“Good resolutions are a pleasant crop to sow. The seed springs up so readily, and the blossoms open so soon with such a brave show, especially at first. But when the time of flowers has passed, what about the fruit?” – Lucas Malet
Many of us burst through the front doors of a new year, our arms piled high with hopes, dreams, aspirations and, of course, resolutions. This is truer than ever this year, as we are universally desperate for a new beginning and a year that makes up for the lack of movement we have experienced during the last twelve months. However, is it good for our wellbeing to slam our accelerators to the floor? Should we be more conscious of easing ourselves in? Should we be kind and considerate to ourselves in relation to our new stash of resolutions?
Now that we have had time to settle into January a bit and been able to make a start on those new promises to ourselves, now might be a good time to review your resolutions and work out what is useful; what to keep, what to put to one side and what feeds your wellbeing and overall happiness.
1. That New Diet
One of the most common new years resolution is a totally understandable one, cutting down on the calories. This is especially true this year, as many have found that the reduced activity of 2020 has left some of us feeling lethargic and deenergised. Now, I am in no position to preach about whether diets are good or bad, indeed my opinion is that they work for some people and not for others. But an opinion is what it is. What I do know is that the world that we live in puts a lot of pressure on us to look a certain way, and a desperation to get to that place of optimum fitness and nutrition again can be damaging.
Also, from personal experience, I find that many extreme diets are not sustainable, and you inevitably can’t keep them up and end up feeling sad and disappointed. So yes, eating better is probably a good idea, especially if feeling fit and energised is important to you, as it is to me. But be kind to yourself and be realistic… try not to drive yourself into the ground. Your wellbeing depends on it.
2. That New Exercise Regime
In a similar vein, high velocity exercise is not something you can just switch on, it takes time and effort to build up. I have fallen foul of the following many times: I decide on a new fitness regime without any regard for how difficult it is.
Last year I bought some battle ropes, thinking I would pick it up and reap the rewards with ease. I was wrong. They were hard. I pushed it, got injured, and ended up unable to work out for weeks. So, when engaging with your new fitness resolution, take it easy and be conscious of how much you are asking of your body.
3. That New Hobby
New hobbies are a wonderful resolution. However, I would warn you of a trap! Resolutions tend to appear finite; a hard lined goal that we must reach, a definitive line we must cross. Hobbies, in my opinion, are not supposed to be intense. Hobbies are chance to relax, to grow, to escape, to lift the other pressures and necessities of your life off your shoulders. My advice is not to make your new hobby yet another ‘responsibility’. Enjoy your new hobby; let it nourish your wellbeing without becoming a chore or obligation.
4. That Motivation Kick
Motivation really is important. Things like getting up earlier, planning your meals better, sticking to a schedule and bringing in new systems for efficiency and productivity are all noble and useful resolutions. However, these can be a bit overwhelming. So, if you are planning ways to keep yourself motivated and productive, be conscious of not trying to achieve to much at once.
Build it up. Perhaps start with a stricter wake up call and get used to that. Maybe start with one morning jog a week and build up to five gradually. Maybe make your own lunch twice a week to begin with and work towards full week in good time. Take it easy.
5. On All Resolutions…
Resolutions are about improving your life. One thing that does not improve your life is putting pressure on yourself to achieve things that have been created only by you. Ambition is important, but stress is damaging. Be kind to yourself and set realistic and genuinely helpful resolutions.
By Chris Thomson
Mindfulness and living consciously are great resolutions. Perhaps you have considered them this year? Here’s where to begin… Mindfulness is My New Year’s Resolution! Where Do I Begin?
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