A RAY OF LIGHT
Happy New Year! Does it feel like an exciting start for you? Are you happy to look at the year ahead?
I think there’s something about the bustle of festive season, some light in that very dark time of year, for relaxing and contemplation after all the hard work of the year. In the UK it’s been cold, damp and dark this winter, but those could be said to be perfect conditions for some deep thinking. Time to cosy up with a hot drink and decide what worked last year, and what your goals are for the next.
LEAVE IT IN 2021
I love Terri Cole’s What Crap Are You Leaving in 2021? At the end of each year you write down all you want to remove from your life and ceremoniously burn it, keeping a list of what you want to keep in it. Most cathartic. There is a workbook you can download if it’s something you’re interested in.
NEW YEAR RESOLVE
And resolutions, how about those? According to research, 92% of resolutions made at the start of the year are broken. Wow!
Let’s look at why might that be.
KEEP IT REAL
I think I’ve learned if I’m going to achieve my goals, I need to keep them realistic.
If you’re thinking of a new fitness plan but, like me, have a few aches and pains, then tell yourself you’ll go for a brisk walk for 15 minutes a day. Doesn’t sound like enough, does it? Not for the new you, ridiculous! But if you told yourself you’ll walk for an hour or even half an hour – and then it’s miserable out, you might find you make excuses. But you can manage that 15 minutes, and who knows, you might find you add on a bit more until you’re easily walking an hour a day. That makes you feel good and you know it’s achievable.
And what about goals imposed upon us, whether by others, or that voice in our head that tells us what we should do. There’s sense to a lot of ‘shoulds’, they make us behave in a responsible, socially acceptable way, where we consider others and offer help to those who need it. We should go to work on time, we should take our kids to school, we should make dinner.
But then there are those other ‘shoulds’. I should lose two stone. Who says? I should go to that party even though I don’t know anyone. Should you? I should be nice to that relative who always has something bad to say about me. Really?
Reflect on your goals and decide: what you want to do, what you can do and what really should do. But don’t be bossed about by others or that critical inner voice.
It’s houseplant week from 10th January. I love my plants. I used to be bad at looking after them, didn’t always water them enough and they’d slowly wither away. Now I give them a weekly water and look after them as I look after myself, remembering to dedicate a little time for nurturing. It’s easy to see when a plant is healthy and to know how to help it grow but we can lose sight of our own health and wellbeing.
It’s good to take an objective look at ourselves from time to time and work out what we need to do to grow, be that in work or in our personal lives. It’s important that we keep learning and developing, for staying in our comfort zone will become very uncomfortable in the long term. As humans we’re supposed to keep growing.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still” Chinese Proverb
So feel the strength to push yourself in just a small way and see how bigger change becomes possible.
Happy New Year