“New Year is a new morning and a new morning is a new opportunity and a new opportunity is a new path and finally a new path is a new richness!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan
New Year’s Resolutions, to my mind, are a curious thing. The urge to better ourselves is an undoubtedly positive and wonderful thing, but I fancy we don’t tend to learn from our mistakes, be realistic about what we know about our own tendencies or be mindful about the effect of making grand promises to ourselves.
Using the turn of the year (and in this case, decade) to jumpstart some new habits is great. If only we cared about ourselves this much the whole year round, and if only we didn’t feel that the phrase ‘new year, new me’ were necessary. There is nothing wrong with you as you are, you need not reinvent yourself every year!
All of that being said, this time of year fills us with optimism and positivity, which is to be celebrated. The resolutions we make often make an impact for a time, but sometimes, when we fall short of our high standards, we throw the whole resolution in the bin instead of getting back on the horse or evaluating exactly what part of that resolution continues to be of use to you. So, here I have a few suggestions on how to reinvigorate and repurpose those resolutions that might have fallen by the wayside one month in to the new year.
1. Getting Organised
Many of us would like to be more organised in order to be more efficient, less stressed to create more brain space for other things. This is all well and good, but to ‘be organised’ is quite a vague and abstract thing. This is why it is easy for this promise to fall apart, because unless you create a means by which you are more organised, it is hard to be so. Also, as far as I know, some people are naturally organised, and others are not. If you are not, it’s a hard thing to implement with immediate effect.
Here is the thing that helps me to be more organised; stationary! Get yourself a physical diary; a page a day ideally. It helps for a number of reasons. First of all, transferring plans to paper by actually writing it I think helps the mind to take in the information more effectively than when put into a device, which is both more passive, and more like every other digital action you take. Next, having one specific place for all your life and work admin means that all your information is accessible and easy to find. Also, diaries also make planning more enjoyable. I don’t know why. It just does. Try it!
2. Eating Better, Drinking Less
For me, this vague promise never works. In order for me to eat better or drink less I have to implement hard and fast rules. Small steps, taking on one or two of the following suggestions is much more mindful and acheivale way to look after your diet a little better.
- No alcohol in the house, but drinking whilst you are out is fine.
- No mean in the house, but meat in a restaurant is fine.
- Work your way through a cook book to reinvigorate your love for healthy home cooking. Make a project of it!
- One meat day a week.
- One booze day a week.
- Limit a vice. For me, its coffee… I cold drink it all day! I have just limited it to two a day.
3. Exercising More
This is one that has a reputation for failing. There is a good reason for this; getting fit is really hard. The trick is to, first of all, try a number of activities to find one that you genuinely enjoy. And then, once you have found this, to set a target. For me, for example, I am adding skipping to my workout routine this year. My first, short term target, is to manage 20 in arrow by the end of January. Simple, enjoyable and achievable.
4. Spend More Time with Loved Ones
Life flies by. You can get to the middle of the year before you know it, and realise you’ve made no improvement in your connections. Here is something I like to do. I have a few messenger groups that are based on a common interest or shared in joke. This is a good way to keep casual and light conversation going with friends and relatives. It may not be a physical meeting, but it keeps your connections consistent. What’s more, when you do next see these people you have a finger on the pulse of what is going on with them.
By Chris Thomson
‘To Do’ lists are really helpful when trying to achieve new goals. Here is a look at how to make them mindfully… How to Make a Mindful ‘To Do’ List
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