HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you had fun last night celebrating the end of one year and the start of the next in whatever way was right for you – a quiet night in, a massive blow out in town, or somewhere in the middle.
So go on then… have you set any New Year Resolutions? Any personal goals? Any business or professional plans? I know that in amongst my readers will be those who love this time of year and the opportunity you have to look back on last year’s goals and set new ones for the coming year, along with as many who hate it and find the very act of setting and sharing your personal hopes repulsive. Okay maybe not repulsive, but you know what I mean. I’m not about to tell you all you simply must set a long and numbered list of things you want to achieve in 2016; whether or not you are up for New Year Resolutions are not is definitely your call, and if you are I guess you already have a few mind even if you haven’t shared them with the world just yet.
I have set a few personal goals but I’m not ready to share those with you yet (I normally wait until the January blues are over and done with before setting my year long goals, so watch out for those towards the end of the month), and really all my efforts right now are being put into the various necessary preparations for our big North American road trip. Four months today!
But as this particular day is so associated with the idea of self improvement and self love, what with all the healthy living talk, I thought I would offer up something by way of a few suggestions of things that should make us all feel a bit better. If you want to love yourself a teeny bit more in 2016, then here are 16 things I think might just help. I know I need to do all of these so while I hope you find this useful, it’s as much for me too.
Sixteen Things to Remember in 2016
- Drink more water. We’re supposed to drink at least two litres of the stuff every single day. And if you’re exercising then you need even more. I’m okay some days and pretty poor others. I count tea and squash here, but not anything fizzy or milky.
- Move more. Whatever it is, whatever you enjoy, do more of it. Run, cycle, walk, kick box, climb, swim, zumba, pole dance – all of them and more. Laziness breeds tiredness; movement breeds energy.
- Be quiet. Find ten minutes each day to sit and be still and quiet. Meditate, pray, whatever is right for you, just be quiet. No noise, just breathe. Close your eyes if you want to, sit in the dark if that helps. Quietness helps focus, and we all need focus.
- Eat fresh food. Yes, yes we all need to eat more healthily (I know I really need to do this), and this is a very easy way to do it. Buy fresh, prepare your food at home, and you’ll eat well. A wise woman once told me a colourful meal is a healthy meal – your local farm shop or greengrocers can help you with that.
- Read. I manage to read approximately one book a year. Appalling. Reading is very good for us, it feeds the imagination and allows the brain to relax. This year I’m going to double my reading record – two whole books! Any suggestions?
- Write it down. Are you forgetful? Do you think of important things in the middle of the night? Is your head a mess because you’ve got so much stuff in there? Write it all down. Carry a notebook (or use notepad on your phone) and whenever something comes to you, make a note. If you write it down straight away (somewhere you know where to find it!), you’ll not be stressing about memory and are much more likely to actually do it later.
- Be honest. It’s all very well making promises to yourself, but if you also lie to yourself you are never going to get anywhere. Be honest with yourself and everyone around you. The truth is always best.
- Get real vitamin D. Did you know that humans make 90% of our vitamin D naturally from sunlight exposure to our skin? Aim to get some time outside every single day. You could combine this with number two! Yes, even if it’s raining.
- It’s none of your business. Do your best to avoid and ignore gossip. It doesn’t matter what you think about someone else, and it doesn’t matter what they think about you. Honest.
- Laugh. Not always easy but they do say laughter is the best medicine so even if things are looking pretty miserable at least give it a try. And when the opportunity presents itself laugh long and hard and loud!
- Act on your intentions. Do you have hopes? And dreams? Act on them. Do something today that gets you a teeny bit closer to your goals. In fact, do something every single day that helps you achieve what you want from life. It could be the smallest thing, but each small thing goes a long way and eventually turns into a big thing.
- No comparison. Stop comparing yourself to other people and just be yourself. Yes, admiration of others is nice, it’s good to tell other people you think their hair, clothes, life is great. But competing is only going to end in tears. If there’s something about yourself you don’t like, take steps to improve, take advice from others, but ultimately just be you.
- Agree to disagree. I’m sorry to tell you that you will absolutely definitely one hundred percent have an argument with someone this year. It’s inevitable. But it doesn’t have to end badly. Have your discussion, be civil, don’t shout, and at the end pipe up and say “that’s enough now, we don’t agree and that’s okay, let’s move on to something else”.
- Do. Life is short. Don’t waste your days thinking about things you could do tomorrow. Do things now. Take today, whichever day it is you are reading this – is there something you could or should be doing? Go do. A bit similar to 11 maybe, but here I simply mean make the most of your time. Have an hour to spare while dinner is cooking? Change the bed and sort the washing so you can eat in a leisurely fashion and still have time for a walk around the block before bedtime. In the words of Nike… just do it. That is unless you are concentrating on number 16 today!
- You are in charge. We have 1,440 minutes every day, and you yourself is in charge of how you spend those. Yes there are things that have to be done that take time, but you are the master of your own hours. Even if you are an employee rather than self employed you still have charge over your time. We should use our time for what we want to use it for, but at the same time remembering to be wise with our time on this planet.
- Sleep, rest, relax. How busy you are is not representative of how successful you are. Taking time to stop and think, put your feet up, give yourself a break is a good thing! Getting plenty of sleep at its most basic benefit makes us more amenable human beings, but it also helps us be creative, keeps us well, aids our memory and learning, and recharges our batteries. And try not to feel guilty if you take a whole day to relax and unwind.
What do you think? I bet you’ve got 16 more suggestions to add to mine – feel free to comment below, I could use some help.
I genuinely hope you are looking forward to an awesome year, with lots of happy days and smiles, some great experiences, and a few interesting twists. Whatever it is you have planned, or whatever the year throws at you, grab life with both hands, do plenty of what makes you happy, and pay attention to the little things that you can do to make the big things happen. Celebrate, love, laugh, smile. Change if you want to, dream your biggest dreams, be bold and have an adventure. Life is all about the journey, enjoy yours x