Wow, Christmas is well and truly over now ... sort of, I still have chocolate, crackers, and cheese taking over my kitchen, but I am determined to get through as much of it as I can, cue feeling possibly ill from sugar overload! But I also have a few new years resolutions in mind that could make my life healthier, happier, and much more fulfilling ....
(love this old Victorian Photo or lightness and levity; they look like they are having so much fun and living life to the max - perhaps something we should all consider doing this coming year! Image from pinterest)
When I was younger I used to make resolutions all the time, and then the past few years I have switched making resolutions to making yearly goals, but I can feel myself switching back again to the idea of resolutions. I think I am doing this because I have clarified for myself exactly what each one is and how they can both be useful in ones life.
So, what are goals?
In the Business Dictionary, goals are defined as - 'An observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe'.
Goals are those dreams that you want to make reality through the intention of steps and time. There is a beginning to them and an end, and usually at the completion of one goal another is then started. They can impact on your life for a set duration, and then, depending on the goal, lapse, or morph into another goal. It is something that you don't necessarily have to work on every day or even every week - in fact, most goals are set out time wise, with a set end date, with the intent to simply finish the goal at that end date.
Goals are good because they enable you have a focus, a drive to reach a conclusion - they help you to push yourself forward and keep life moving forward., Goals can, however, also cause stress and disappointment ... have you ever mentally beat yourself up when you haven't achieved your goal by the set date?
What are resolutions?
The Oxford Dictionary defines a resolution as - 'a firm decision to do or not do something'.
I was reading a blog post on Lifehacker about the difference between goals and resolutions and I really liked what David Galloway quoted from Gretchen Ruben of "The Happiness Project" - 'With resolutions, the expectations are different. Each day, I try to live up to my resolutions. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but every day is a clean slate and a fresh opportunity. I never expect to be done with my resolutions, so I don't get discouraged when they stay challenging. Which they do.'
So resolutions are not goals, they are habits, intentions, lived day by day, things that can and will change your life for the better. Resolutions are not set in stone (like goals can seem to be), they are not defined by a particular set of steps or time scale, they are just what they are, day-to-day changes that we can all do. And as Gretchen Ruben from The Happiness Project states in the quote above, 'Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but everyday is a clean slate and a fresh opportunity.' Resolutions seem kinder, somehow, then goals.
Just because I said resolutions seem kinder doesn't mean I'll be giving up goals ... but I do want to do more resolutions, to make incremental improvements to my life through subtle habit changes. So to do this I am going to commit to 12 New Years Resolutions. These resolutions will be played out over the twelve months of 2014 - they are personal resolutions (as opposed to business ones I will be making - more on that later), and I vow to try my absolute best to enact them (but I will not beat myself up if I have a little slip up now and then). The aim is to keep each resolution turning over to each month, slowly building up good habits to make my life the way I want it to be, healthy, fun, creative, and full of love.
My twelve resolutions for 2014 are as follows -
Jan - A Green Smoothie a Day Keeps the Doctor Away (quite literally, I aim to have a smoothie a day to kick start a healthy a mindful practice of eating - and drinking?)
Feb - Yoga Yoga Everyday (as I am sure you have noticed I am a yoga addict, and as much as I am developing a yoga practice I would still like to make sure I at least to a Sun Salutation everyday, if not a full class or program)
March - Spring Clean Time (I do try and keep up with the basics of general cleanliness .... but it has been awhile since I have cleaned thoroughly the entire flat, soooooo, breaking the month into segments, the first week will focus on the kitchen, second week the lounge room, third week the bathroom, and finally, the fourth week - my bedroom. Boyeah!! And through this practice set up a schedule that ensures the flat stays healthy and allergy free - for my sometimes horrendous hayfever)
April - Say NO to Facebook and Twitter (I do admit to a slight addiction to ye ol' Facebook and Twitter. I can get right suckered in and waste a lot of time on them, so to combat this, I will be making the weekend a facebook and twitter free time-zone, a BIG chillo from techno!)
May - Shop Locally-Dokalee (I do most of my food shopping at a supermarket, even though I have a perfectly good green grocer, butcher, and health food shop not a five minute walk from my flat. SO, instead of using the car twice a week to go get groceries (I have a teeny fridge, so can't really stock up on food), I will walk up to the grocers/butchers/health food shop, and purchase what I need for that day and the day after. It has the added bonus that the food is cheaper at these local places, AND I won't use any petrol to get there)
June - Get Creative and Make a Summer Dress (I have been wanting to have a go at making my own clothes for years, so this month will be about having a go at growing a new skill of clothes making. I have a few summer dresses in mind I would like to have a go at, will post more info closer to the month)
July - Explore and have Adventures in the Beautiful UK (You know all that money I saved with buying locally and saving petrol on not using my car as much? Well, I want to use that money to explore the UK more, so my aim will be, every weekend I go on an adventure, whether it's a day trip or a stay-overnight type of trip, exploration will be had! Any suggestions for places to put on my list?)
Aug - Get Earth Responsible (I am ashamed to say that I don't recycle at the moment, but I really wish to change this, and therefore August will be all about recycling, as much as I can; paper, bottles, food scraps, whatever I can do to cut down on my rubbish will be done)
Sep - Meditate : Ommmmm (To put me in good stead for the coming winter I want to do something I have been wanting to do for years, so I will go on a meditation/Buddhist retreat/course. Whether I have to travel and stay at a retreat or can do a course closer to home, it will be done - and then the techniques enacted at home on a daily basis!)
Oct - Be Mucho More Organised (I always, ALWAYS run out of time to make my own Christmas Presents for people, and I love to make presents, so October will be about thinking of others and what they would like and ACTUALLY getting off my butt and making, making, making)
Nov - Read ONE FICTION Book a Week (I used to be the craziest little bookworm when I was a kid, even to the point where I would be sitting down to eat dinner with the family WITH a trusty book in my hand to read whilst eating. I want to get that excitement and wonder back with reading, so this month is about reading more fiction. I haven't decided on the books yet, but will let you know soon)
Dec - Get into the SPIRIT (December is all about Christmas for me, so I am going to volunteer for a local charity or group, preferably working with children or disabled people. Though Doing Good Leeds I should be able to find an opportunity to volunteer that will suit me AND, hopefully, the group I work with)
Whew, made it to the end. I am quite proud of these resolutions (and occasional goal thrown in there), I have constructed them to expand my creativity, my focus, self discipline, and happiness. Each month I will write about how it is all going; but what about you?
WHAT ARE YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS?
DO YOU WANT TO DO A TWELVE MONTHS RESOLUTION EXPERIENCE LIKE ME?
LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS OR EMAIL ME AT - firstname.lastname@example.org AND LET ME KNOW!
(my business resolutions will be up soon)
Sorry I haven't been around much lately peeps, between trying to get my book written and getting organised for Christmas, but the past few months have seen a huge shift in my life, a renewed sense of motivation and inspiration and a great desire to go into the next year with positivity and fun.
I am loving life at the moment, with my Mastermind group up and running, and the amazing, positive support I am getting from so many people in my life - both professionally and personally, I am feeling very blessed at the moment. Part of the fun and excitement of life at the moment is the fact that it is almost Christmas time and also nearly 2014.
What does Christmas and the beginning of a new year mean to you?
Christmas has always held such fond memories for me - and whether I am with my family in Australia, or with my UK peeps, I always have a wonderful Christmas day. With Capitalism taking so much of the focus of Christmas away from spiritual meaning, I always try to remember the deeper side of the day - being with those you love, giving, openness, and acceptance. For about the past twenty years I have always received more pleasure from giving presents then receiving them, I have always appreciated the food shared with family and friends, and the quiet reflectiveness of Christmas night, when you are stuffed to the gills with turkey and pudding, and reminiscing not just the day, but the past year.
I still have to decorate the tree!! I still have to make some presents!!
But this is the fun, the pleasure, the outside-of-reality that Christmas embodies, the tossing aside of the mundane everyday and the embracing of overeating, making, buying, and wrapping of fantastical items for those you love.
However, Christmas also signals the coming end of the year, and boy what a year I have had. It had been an up and down year, good things and bad things, lessons learnt, things let go of, and new promises made to myself. In fact the past two years have been like this, but I feel that this topsy-turvy time has been a huge signifier of change. I am changing, as we all are, opening up to life and all experiences, both negative and positive, and recognising that no matter what life throws at you you have to remain true to yourself and your own life aims and goals.
So on reflecting on the past twelve months, here are some things that I have learnt:
- Truth and Honesty is King; trust myself because that is the most important thing
- Be as open as possible; holding onto hurt does no-one any good, better to let go and move on
-Embrace those that support you and love you no matter what, a big shout out to my twister and PSA peeps here
- You must always look after yourself first, then you can look after others
- Forgiveness is the path to freedom; I have forgiven and I have moved on, I am looking forward to the next journey that life has for me
- Be Present, enthusiastic always, I have knocked some talks right out of the ball park this year, simply by being absolutely present to the moment and embracing the enthusiasm for life that this brings
-Yoga, what more can I say, it has been a lifesaver
- and lastly, but most importantly, reaffirming my love for my Ma and Pa, they have always believed in me and I wouldn't be where I am today without them and for that I will be forever grateful.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
So what are you reflecting on this year? How has your life been the past twelve months? What lessons had life taught you?
Comment below ....
"Your Determination is Limitless"
- Elizabeth Wright