Yup – it’s that time again!
Not “the most wonderful time of the year” – that’s been and gone – theoretically. As has “the season to be jolly”! Although, truth be told, I find New Year “the most wonderful time of the year”!
I think any negativity about New Years Resolutions comes from the phrase New Year – New You – which I personally can’t stand! Why? Because it implies something’s wrong with last years model! And there’s nothing WRONG with the you of right now. BUT surely every year that passes is a new chance to improve, to become the very best version of yourself you can possibly be? So – I prefer to call it New Year – BEST You! And resolutions are just life changes – for the better! But I way prefer the term LIFE CHANGES!
It’s widely agreed that improving yourself little by little is a big step to long term happiness. Hoorah! And we all want to be happy, right? So taking small steps to improving your health, relationships, work – if you consciously step up all important aspects of your life bit by bit, you’ll be happier . Your head will hit the pillow at night and you’ll think “yup – today was a good day“!
Well, who doesn’t love turning a new page in a work book? That blank space to fill? That starting afresh from what’s been before? That “anything is possible” feeling?
Making a lasting change in your life can be tricky. I’ve learnt we need all the help we can get. The massive psychology of a NEW YEAR beginning can rocket fuel you into action. Use it. Use the positive feeling of the etch-a-sketch being shaken, ready for you to start some bits afresh!
LIFE CHANGES THAT STICK
RULE 1 – ONE AT A TIME
Start with one change. Yup – you heard! ONE. Not “This year I’m going to get healthy, make more money, be a better person, spend more time with the kids” … Start with ONE change. Then, once you’ve effectively incorporated that into your life, you can come up with another. Maybe plan to make it seasonal. So you make one positive change to your life every season – 4 a year. DONE!
RULE 2 – BE SPECIFIC
Don’t let your goal be vague like “I’m going to save more money” or “I’m going to spend more time with the kids”. SPECIFIC goals are key.
THE WHAT? Save £2000 by the end of the year for a family holiday?
THE HOW? Maybe, for starters, you’ll stop buying a Starbs every day on the way to work? That’s £3 a day, £15 a week, £60 a month, £720 a year! If you’re in a couple and you BOTH stop? That’s £1,440 a year! Almost there! And 1500 calories a week less excess baggage for that family holiday too! BOOM!
THE WHAT? Spend more time with the kids ?
THE HOW? On Sunday, spend ONE HOUR completely uninterrupted from your phone, emails or anything … just playing a game with your kids. Sounds simple, but I guarantee you’ll feel a bit twitchy! Then, as you get used to it, you can increase the time. Call me crazy but eventually (and this is one for me!) we might end up having a FULL FAMILY DAY A WEEK! I KNOW! Crazy times!
RULE 3 – HAVE S.M.A.R.T. GOALS
I saw this acronym and LOVED IT! Previously, I’ve loved setting myself gigantuan goals which felt impressive but couldn’t necessarily be achieved. For example, if I wanted to get fitter in the past I’d be like “I’m going to the gym every day next year“! Well, that’s great but not massively realistic with an ever changing self-employed schedule, nor very likely, given that I hadn’t been that much in the previous year! Twice or three times a week would be more achievable and realistic! So THIS has been super helpful for me with setting goals.
S – Specific
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Time Sensitive
1. Buddy Up – make changes with a mate so you can keep yourselves in check or even have some healthy competition. Or even post your resolution on FB!
2. Write down your changes in a notebook by the side of your bed when you wake up EVERY morning.
3. Celebrate small milestones along the way. Such as the first mile you ran? Or the first £100 you’ve saved?
GO GO GO!
And Happy 2018! I’m so excited for the year ahead and a BRAVE 2018!