I’ve written before about why I no longer set New Year’s resolutions but as I grow as a woman, friend, partner and family member I believe it’s important to consider small changes to help you live the life you want. There is no rule stating change can only happen at the beginning of a new year, however the 1st January seems like a good time to re-evaluate what’s important and re-set your goals to inspire positive change and personal growth in the year ahead.
We have all had those days. They probably crop up more often than we care to think of. We are in a rush and the universe seems to be against us because of it. We needed to be out of the door ten minutes ago but our children are still deciding what colour socks they feel like wearing today or are refusing to put their coat on. The traffic is much worse than usual and every other driver doesn’t seem to know the rules of the road. Perhaps you get the train and and you can’t find a seat. Now the man with a horrid lurgy is standing far too close for your liking and doesn’t understand the basic rules of hygiene when coughing on a packed tube.
I find that on a daily basis my head is filled with ‘white noise’.
While doing one job I am thinking about another, bills that need paying, things that needs cleaning or deadlines that need meeting.
My thoughts often run away with me. I have a hugely overactive imagination and while these days I embrace that and use it to my advantage with my work, in the past it has hindered me quite a lot.
I find myself trying to keep multiple spinning plates in the air on a daily basis as my thought process leads me to starting multiple jobs at once (think emptying the dishwasher while putting a wash on, wiping down the oven and making breakfast). Ultimately I end up stressed, unproductive, and overwhelmed.
I was sent a quote from my friend last year and while there are many inspirational quotes floating around on the internet these days, this one stuck. I remember reading it and the instant impact it had.
This simple little quote made me realise that the way you feel about yourself and the way you present yourself to the world has a major impact on how people see you, treat you and even feel about you.
We’re a nation of technology lovers. You’re in a very small minority if you don’t own a smartphone or engage with social media on a regular basis. Most of us would probably deny a reliance on technology, but leave your mobile at home and you suddenly realise how many times you reach for your absent device. We’re obsessed.
I’m don’t tend to make new year’s resolutions. Not because I don’t see their value and not because I’m sceptical about being able to keep them… I just don’t make them.
This year was no exception; I didn’t enter into January was a list of hard and fast resolutions, however recently I’ve vowed to set myself small goals throughout the year governed by an overarching aim; to be happy and try my best.
At the end of 2016 my mother-in-law suggested I start a ‘happiness jar’ and it’s one of the best resolutions I’ve ever made.
The principle is simple – it’s an effective way to remind yourself about all the good things in life, which can so easily be forgotten about when you’re thrown a curveball. In 2017 my husband and I experienced perhaps the toughest year in our decade long relationship, and our ‘happiness jar’ taught us a lot about resilience, hope, and gratitude.
I started writing a gratitude journal about a year ago and the process has had a truly positive influence on my life. Gratitude is nothing new, of course, but until I made the conscious decision to think about and acknowledge the things I was grateful for, these little gems of positivity used to go unnoticed.
So often we get swept along by the daily grind and forget what we hold most dear. Writing a gratitude journal refocuses your attention; it allows you to shut out the noise and realise what motivates you, what makes you happy, and what is truly important.
When we think about self-improvement we tend to set goals related to our physical or financial health. We believe that being fitter, slimmer or wealthier will enable us to lead happier and more fulfilled lives. While our physical fitness is important for our health and financial security can undeniably make life a little less stressful, there is another critical factor which we often neglect and that’s our mental wellbeing.
With this in mind, we have explored some top self-care tips designed to improved your overall wellbeing and boost happiness in the long term.
According to Dr Cliff Arnall, formerly of Cardiff University, the third Monday in January (this year 16th January) is the gloomiest day of the year based on factors including weather, debts, time since Christmas and motivation. And as if that isn’t depressing enough, Arnall has predicted that 2017’s Blue Monday will be the most miserable yet because of celebrity deaths, anxiety over Brexit, and fears about a Donald Trump presidency in the US.
Let’s face it…it’s a tough old world, and in my book, although women have come SO far (and there are so many good things about being a women these days) sometimes being a women is not all it’s cracked up to be. In my view, we are stuck in a strange no-man’s land of progress and the seeming inability for us to move any further forward.
Translated as ‘just the right amount’, lagom is thought to relate to being frugal, fair and creating balance.
While 2017 was the year of hygge, lighting a scented candle and curling up with hot chocolate and layers upon layers of blankets and knitwear, lagom is a way of living. While hygge captures a moment in time, lagom is an overarching concept behind the way we live our lives in general.
At the beginning of the year, many of us make resolutions to save more money, be less stressed when it comes to our jobs and indulge more in our passions and hobbies. This thinking is the foundation of living a lagom lifestyle.
Lagom is the new Scandi trend sweeping the UK, giving hygge a run for its money. It’s centred on moderation; living life a little more frugally; and planning for the future. A loose translation of the Swedish word, lagom, is “not too little, not too much, just right.”