The Cambridge Dictionary says that a New Year’s Resolution is “a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year”.
Resolutions can be hard to come up with, but even harder to keep. With the aim of sticking to them, this year our New Year’s Resolutions are:
I of course had the usual NYR… to lose weight, exercise more, save money, go to bed earlier and not drink too much alcohol…. Nothing new about that., then a friend shared how his mother is very ill and the challenges she is facing in the coming months, another friend shared how they are really struggling financially due to not being able to get a job. I read about someone who took their own life because of being bullied, I read about a woman facing life on her own after her husband of 25 years left her without financial security or a job. I read about a woman who has taken her kids to a refuge in fear of her partners physical abuse… I could go on and these stories are just a snippet of everyday life for some people… My NYR seem so shallow in comparison. My revised NYR now is to be thankful for my health, the roof over my head, the food in my belly, the ability to exercise without pain, the friends I have to share a wine with, the family and friends who love and respect me, a secure job and the ability to laugh everyday…
Let’s be honest, most New Year’s resolutions aren’t kept and while I quite like Melinda Gates idea of choosing a word for the year and therefore choosing the lens through which you view everything for that year… I would be lucky to keep that up until Easter. So my New Year’s resolution, if I have to have one, is to give myself permission to let go of some things and embrace other things. What have I agreed to let go of? Trying to please everyone. Perhaps I am a slow learner but have been on a hiding to nothing on that one! Oh, and 8:00am interviews! What am I going to embrace? Breakfast meetings with people I don’t have enough time to catch up with during ordinary hours but need to as they are a tonic!
Loose 5Kg. It’s a bit boring but I do have a plan:
- Restart the 5/2 Diet. That is where you eat normally for five days but fast for two
- Increase exercise
- Eat less chocolate (that’s the hard one)
There’s no silver bullet: Move more and eat less. Simple
Resolution: Swap scrolling for strolling
Something about the New Year makes us want to press the reset button. Fresh starts, new habits. I don’t really enjoy holding myself to resolutions, they usually fall away by February and that inevitable sense of failure can be a terrible way to start a new year! However, an ongoing goal for me has been to stop reaching for my phone first thing in the morning and instead, carve out some valuable time to properly start the day. In short, I swapped scrolling for strolling, putting my jetlag to good use and getting out of bed when I was naturally waking up at 6.30am. Each weekday morning so far I’ve marched around the Botanical Gardens, armed with a strong coffee and plugged into a podcast. It made an impact almost immediately! More energy, more motivation; it somehow made more time in the morning for a proper breakfast. Despite my success, the most important part of my ‘resolution’ is not to beat myself up if this habit inevitably falls away. We can’t be perfect humans all year long and for the mornings when I really ‘CBA’ it has to be OK to hit the snooze button, too.
“Stop and smell the roses” – In a nutshell, appreciating the little things and the beauty of life. Often, I put too much emphasis on things that in the scheme of life, just aren’t that important. I tend to worry too much about silly things that end up stressing me out or making me feel unhappy, so my New Year’s Resolution is to pay less attention to those silly things and pay more attention to the important things in life, pay more attention to the people around me and the beauty of the things around me. This also includes not focusing attention on things that make me unhappy, or letting go of people or things that carry bad vibes. It’s also about taking time out and not rushing things. It’s hard to focus on the beautiful, important things if you don’t take the time out to pay attention to them.
“Do things for myself and not for others” – This year I decided that I would work really hard to keep this NYR as it will have a greater impact on my life and my overall happiness. I am going to play football for me not for my dad’s approval, work in recruitment because that is what I enjoy not because my parents expect me to have a full time job and be successful, stick to frequently running and going to the gym because it makes me a happier person, not to lose weight to be skinner like society has influenced us to think and most importantly, I am going to make decisions myself that I know will positively impact my life and make me happier, not making decisions that I know will make others happier. This might sound self-absorbed to some but for me if I focus on being happy with myself and the life decisions I make, in turn those around me will feel the positive change and I will be more enjoyable to be around. I guess it’s all about finding that inner motivation to be more ME and do the things I want because I want to do them and try my hardest not to be influenced negatively by those around me when it comes to my life.
Good luck fulfilling your New Year’s Resolutions all!