So, the festivities are over and here we are, one week in to a brand new year. I love the idea of putting last year to bed and being given the chance to start afresh. This is especially relevant if you feel the last year has not been kind to you. 2017 has been a strange one- we have said a lot of goodbyes and seen some surprising decisions made, so I am sure many of you are ready to move on in the hope of a better year to come. This time of year many people start discussing their New Year’s resolutions, and wondering just how long they might stick to them- the idea of failure is often already at the forefront of your mind. According to statisticbrain.com the top ten New Year’s resolutions last year were:
1. Lose weight
2. Get organised
3. Spend less, save more
4. Enjoy life to the fullest
5. Stay fit and healthy
6. Learn something exciting
7. Quit smoking
8. Help others in their dreams
9. Fall in love
10. Spend more time with family
Sounds familiar? I know that for many years, numbers one and two were certainly at the top of my list. But I must confess I gave up making New Year’s resolutions a while ago after many failed attempts. The problem is they tend to make you put a lot of pressure on yourself, especially if you have shared them with others. I know I would always do really well for a couple of weeks and then give up, feeling defeated and slightly ashamed at my lack of motivation.
Instead, these days I prefer to set goals- which can of course be done at any time of year, but it somehow feels easier at New Year. Goals are more specific than New Year’s resolutions, and encourage you to take the time to really think about what it is that you want to achieve and how you might go about it. So say you want to get fit and healthy in 2018. Think about how you might achieve that; could it be signing up for a yoga class once a week and ensuring you have a babysitter on standby so there is no excuse to miss it if your partner is delayed home from work. Could it be that once a week you try a new recipe out of that healthy cook book you got for Christmas? Give yourself little achievable rewards to incentivise and motivate yourself, like for example if you go to ten yoga classes you can then treat yourself to a new workout outfit. Maybe you want to spend more time with the kids- so promise yourself that one day a week you will leave work on time. Look at your schedule at the beginning of every week and diarise it like you would a meeting to ensure you follow through. Or perhaps it is an hour with your kids every day with your mobile turned off and out of sight so they get your full undivided attention.
Make achievable goals; start with small steps and remember that like you, your goals will change and evolve and that really is ok. Don’t be too hard on yourself, remember you are trying to take care of yourself and different things work for different people. One size does not fit all in life, there is a lot of trial and error but keep trying. Be kind to yourself because ultimately a happier you means everyone around you benefits.
And here’s to a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2018 for you all!
Helen was born in London but has always been mesmerised by the sea and that was one of the many reasons for her decision to study at Brighton University many moons ago. Whilst she left this wonderful city briefly, she finally moved back just over 4 years ago and is now delighted to call Hove her home. She set up the Brighton & Hove Working Mums group on Facebook over a year ago, as a safe environment for working mums to get advice without judgement and promote their businesses. A mother herself, of two gorgeous children, she spends her time copywriting and blogging about anything she feels passionate about.
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