New Year’s resolutions are so last year! More often than not, they leave us feeling less motivated at best, or disappointed and ashamed of ourselves at worst. There are New Year’s resolutions and there are goals. If you are truly aiming for the latter, then you need to break down your goal into smaller achievable steps. Make sure these are realistic and not meaningless sentences set to fizzle out like the sparklers ten seconds after midnight.
Start by reflecting
This year I encourage you to actively leave the resolutions behind and start with New Year’s Reflections.
- What did you achieve this last year gone?
- When were you proud of yourself?
- When were you happiest?
- What would you like to do more of?
- What would you like to do less of?
- What were you grateful for?
- How did you help others last year?
- What have you learnt about yourself?
- And finally, what would you like to change?
Use these questions to help you shape your goals for the coming year. And to harness a positive mindset for 2019, consider these Seven Positive New Year’s Solutions to get you started.
In 2019 I will:
- Take time to do something I love every day
It is much easier to get out of bed each morning if you are looking forward to the day. We each have something that makes our heart sing. Why spend your day doing things you don’t like? You may be a lucky enough to love your day job, and hence ‘will not work a day in your life’ as the saying goes. But if that does not apply to you, schedule a favourite activity into your daily routine. Read a few pages of a book, sketch, listen to your favourite music. Even a small pocket of time doing your favourite activity is time well spent if it gives you joy.
- Help others in my community
Nothing feels better than helping those in need. There are a variety of ways to donate your time or money effectively. You may sponsor a child from overseas, or donate blood when the Blood Bank comes to town, but you may also like to consider assisting those in your local community. It is rewarding to witness the impact of your good deeds directly. Make a meal for a neighbour experiencing hardship, visit the local aged care facility or give some more of your time at your child’s school. Obviously try and choose an activity that you enjoy doing or excel at, so that both you and your community benefit from your kindness.
- Make my mental health a priority
It is easy to let our own health fall to the wayside when we are busy or caring for others. Preparation is key when it comes to eating well, exercise and mental health. Indeed, they are all interlinked. Whilst it may seem counter productive if we have a long to-do list, a twenty minutes break to take a brisk walk, read a book or meditate, may be just what you need to relax, reenergise and tackle those tasks. Similarly, planning ahead for a grocery delivery or doing a weekend cook up may take time to organise but will mean less pressure on stressful days. Above all, be kind to yourself - don’t feel bad about ordering take away or taking other shortcuts every so often if it preserves your mental health.
- Say ‘no’ without guilt
For those of us who are people pleasers, which seems to be the majority, it can be difficult to say ‘no’ in our world of obligations and political correctness. When our schedules are already jam-packed, why are we not content to let things slide? Some of it may be FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out, and it may also be our fear of being judged. Don’t waste your time participating in activities that you don’t enjoy or attending events you don’t want to attend. (We’ve all succumbed to the Tupperware and Arbonne parties at one time or another). You don’t need to justify yourself. Simply say that regretfully you cannot help with that task or attend that event. You don’t have to be the world’s superhero. Put your heart into the tasks that move you.
- Build others up
Make a concerted effort this year to build up the people around you and bask in the feel-good vibes it yields. If you like a friend’s new outfit or business venture, tell them. If you admire something about someone, let them know. Putting positive words and thoughts out into the world can only lead to more positives in return. There is nothing like making someone’s day by showing your gratitude or giving a genuine compliment.
- Find my tribe
And if we are the kind of person who builds others up, is it not a hard request for our own friends to do the same for us? Why let people remain in your lives if they bring out the worst in you, make you feel bad about yourself, or don’t invest in your relationship? Just as it is hard to say ‘no’ to events, it can be difficult to say ‘no’ to people who don’t bring any joy or love to your life. For those you can remove from your life, do so. For those you cannot, keep interactions at a minimum. You want people around you who appreciate the real you and who are your champions. Find your tribe and treasure them.
- Choose to be happy!
Having a positive mindset and looking for the best in every situation is great for your wellbeing. Of course, it is not possible to be happy all of the time. We all have down days and hardships we have to live through. Admire your own strength and be grateful for those who support you during those tough times. During the easier, happier times, celebrate any wins, however big or small, and choose to look for the good. To sum up:
- Give unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions the flick
- Map out attainable goals with similarly achievable smaller steps to help you reach them
- Choose to cherish all aspects of your health by taking time to do things you enjoy, say ‘no’ to the those you don’t, and surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you
- Dedicate some time to supporting and showing kindness to others
- Maintain a positive outlook, be grateful and seek the good
Our Guest Blogger this month is; Kat Buttigieg Kat Buttigieg is a copywriter, author and Macedon Ranges mumma of three rambunctious children. She is the owner of Macedon Ranges Writers, which creates and manages online content for local businesses. Kat’s author blog is A Pocketful Time and reflects on life as a mum and writer. You can catch her through: Macedon Ranges Writers Website Facebook Instagram A Pocketful Of Time Website Facebook Instagram