So it's here, 2017, a brand new year. All fresh and shiny and ready for us to make things better and brighter. A clean slate that hasn't yet been tarnished. Like everyone, we all hope this year will be a good one. Well it can't be too much worse than 2016, can it?!
So, as we step gingerly into this new year many of us will be focussing on what we can do to make ourselves happier, 'better' versions of ourselves (please note you are absolutely grand just the way you are, thanks). We may even set ourselves some New Years R E S O L U T I O N S, which are enough send chills into the hearts of most people. And that's because they're just so difficult to keep. At best a challenge and at worse a disaster that sees us limping home bedraggled and with much less self confidence than before. As much as our good intentions are there to "not eat any sugar" or "spend more time with family and friends" the reality beyond that first week in January is that we don't. Life just gets in the way.
Many people, much wiser than me, have written some great articles all about how to make resolutions that we can actually stick to. I've added some links below, but just in case you don't have time to read them, I'll do a quick summary for you.
1. Make them realistic. Note small. YAY
2. Repeat them. Until they become habits
3. Make them fun
All good. True and valid. I like it. I like it a lot. Especially no. 3.
It's something I've tried to do in my own life. I'll give you an example. I used to find it really hard to go to my weekly yoga class. It was cold outside, it was raining. I was tired from work. All I wanted to do was stay in and watch Eastenders and forget about life.
So, I began tricking myself. Rather than focussing on it being hard, I reframed it to be a treat. I actually began to see it as a spa evening out. I didn't focus on the asana (the postures) I was going to have to do but thought about the relaxation (the savasana) at the end. Bit like a massage no? I didn't think about getting all hot and sweaty in class, instead I thought about the hot and steamy shower afterwards. Steam Room. Spa day see? I really began to see it as my treat to myself, my little bit of self care. And very soon it started to become easier and easier to go until it was (as mentioned above) a habit. And now I can't imagine a day going by without doing my practice.
So this January, I think we need to start giving ourselves some gifts. Some really great things. The things that really make us feel better. Not the material ones. The important ones.
I've decided I'm going to start gifting people via my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account positive experiences. The gift of going to a yoga class, or sitting and doing deep breaths for 2 minutes, getting out into nature, calling your friends or eating some great food. Things we actually enjoy. And should enjoy.
Because life's too short. We need to make the most of it. And maybe if we see these things as gifts (rather than resolutions) then we might just stick to them. Let's give it a whirl shall we? What harm can it do?
Happy (almost) New Year!
Read more here:
- 4 Psychologically Proven Tips to help you Stick to your Goals
- Want to Change Your Life? Make this One Choice
- 10 Ways to Make your New Years Resolutions Stick