If you’re anything like me, there is a tendency to place a lot of pressure on ourselves at the start of a new year. We might make Resolutions about what we eat, how much exercise we do, or how we navigate our daily lives. The new year is an opportunity to transform ourselves into someone new – someone with glowing skin, a permanent zest for life and killer abs. Right? Well… maybe this happens in 1% of cases, but chances are, these things don’t happen overnight, and actually we can take smaller more manageable steps that will be more realistic in the long run.
Nowadays, I like to see New Year as an opportunity to add a new positive habit into my life. I call these ‘Positive Habit Resolutions’. Here are a couple of ideas:
- At the end of each day, make a list of three achievements from the past 24 hours. This could be anything from getting dressed and showered (a huge accomplishment if you are struggling with depression, for example) to surviving the busy commute or clearing your email inbox.
- Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier each day and use this time just for YOU. It could include a 10-minute mindfulness practice (check out Headspace or the Calm app) or a gentle yoga sequence (there are plenty of short videos online). Whatever you do, rather than jumping straight into ‘go fast’ mode, take some time to just sit and ‘be’ in the moment. Starting off the day in a calmer, less adrenaline-fuelled mindset works wonders for my concentration and productivity in the long run.
- At the end of each day, light some candles or an oil burner to unwind before bed. Lavender is my favourite, but rosemary and bergamot are great for my anxiety. I also find that watching the flicker of a candle is a good mindfulness activity too.
- Take a one hour break from your devices. I deliberately no longer take my phone to the gym and put it on silent mode when eating dinner. The constant stimulation that technology brings is definitely something I need to work on, as my brain often feels like a hamster wheel. I’m waiting for the day I start dreaming about hashtags and emojis…
- Send a nice text to someone. This might be a ‘just thinking of you text’ or a positive quote to someone who is having a rough time. Such a seemingly simple act can help a person more than you know.
Have a go at some of these suggestions. There’s no pressure, and don’t beat yourself up if you forget to do one of your new ‘Positive Habit Resolutions’. Even introducing it a couple of times into your weekly schedule is more than you did last year.
Be kind to yourselves and all the best for 2018.