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 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.
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.
A few months ago, after a couple of glasses of red wine and an evening of healthy debate, I took the somewhat shallow plunge and deleted Facebook (from my phone). I deleted Facebook for a number of reasons; 1) to become more productive, 2) to improve the way I communicate with people, and 3) to see if less social media would make me happier.
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.
When it comes to looking after people we – especially women – can tend to put the needs of everyone else before our own.
A new report from the Prince’s Trust shows that the overall wellbeing of young people in the UK has dropped to its lowest level since the study was launched in 2009. The report reveals that more than a quarter of millennials do not feel in control of their lives, and that a crisis of confidence in their own abilities and future prospects is preventing them from realising their true potential.
Attending evening classes can improve physical wellbeing and mental health according to a new study conducted by the University of Oxford.
As part of the happiness project my aim for the year ahead is to explore what makes us happy and why. I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone and exploring whether we can truly influence our own happiness in the modern world.