Written by: Cally Worden
As a New Year approaches it sparks a period of reflection in many people. The desire to use the transition from one year to the next as a focal point for change in our lives is strong, and can prompt a flurry of New Year’s Resolutions. Despite our best intentions, resolutions have a tendency to falter, and it is often because they are simply unrealistic. To avoid setting yourself up for failure and unnecessary stress, try starting the New Year off on the right foot with some smaller goals that offer a chance for instant success, and a boost to your mood and positive energy in the process. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
Treat yourself to a new pillow
Getting a good night’s sleep can make a huge difference to how you feel when you wake up in the morning. Many pillows flatten over time, and no longer offer good support for the neck and head. This can interfere with your sleep patterns without you realising it.
Review your paperwork
Bills, receipts, bank statements and other general post can build up very quickly, to the extent that tackling the pile begins to feel like you have a mountain to climb. Resolve to deal with new post each day as it comes in, and approach any backlog by picking up three single documents each day and dealing with them. You’ll soon feel on top of things.
Spending time with our best friends is known to be a great stress reliever. Find time each week to hook up with someone who is important in your life. It’s easy to let relationships slip when the pressures of life build up, but nurturing your friendships gives you a sense of love, companionship and well-being, and a reminder of the good things in life.
Break the TV habit
It’s easy, entertaining (most of the time!) and totally kills other creative endeavours. TV has its place but making just one night each week TV-free will remind you of other enjoyable ways to spend your time. Reading, learning a new hobby, catching up with friends, playing a game, or writing a story are all possible alternatives that will refresh your mind.
Buy a plant
I’m hopeless with houseplants, but I love buying them and derive great pleasure from looking at something green in my home. It’s like bringing the outdoors inside, and the act of caring for plants (or in my case, trying to) brings out the nurturing side of your personality and releases feel-good hormones.
Dream of Retirement
It may be a long or a short way off, but planning for retirement is sensible at any age. It has the additional benefit of giving you a goal to work towards. There are online calculators that can help you plan your long term finances, and you can use these as the foundation from which to establish your own shorter term financial targets.
Track your blood pressure
Keeping an eye on those aspects of your health that you can monitor can give you a sense of control and empowerment. If you BP is healthy then congratulate yourself, and if it show signs of creeping up then take steps to address it.
Adding a little natural karma to your daily life is easy, and can help you to reconnect with the things that are important to you. It can be in whatever form speaks to you best – keeping a diary, creating a quiet space in your home, building in a 15 minute meditation session each day, or perhaps taking time to appreciate the natural world every day.
Spread the Love
We often take the special people in our lives for granted. Consciously telling someone that you love and care about them will help you to appreciate the good people you have in your life, and make their day too!
Motivate yourself through music
Make yourself an upbeat playlist, and choose one favourite song to boost your mood each day.¬† The emotional power of melody and rhythm can be incredibly uplifting.