Starting the New Year with good intentions….or perhaps not?

A very belated Happy New Year to you!

I don’t know about you but towards the end of December I have lots of big ideas about how I’m going to begin the New Year and I’m full of motivation for the year ahead. I like to take stock of the past year and set intentions for the year to come….

So this year was no different, but I was completely derailed from my grand plans by the dreaded winter cold which completely put me out of action for the first couple of weeks of January! The first few days of the New Year, I was allowing my mind to catastrophise with messages like “well this is the worst start the year EVER!” and “This probably sets the tone for the year ahead” etc etc… However, as I started to feel less ill and therefore more rational, I was able to see that this was a minor bump in the road and that actually, who says the ‘New Year, New Me’ has to start on 1st January?

What this time of illness gave me was lots of time to reflect on the lessons learned from 2015, to feel gratitude for all the good things that happened last year and to acknowledge my successes. I was also able to think about my intentions for the year ahead.

I like to set intentions rather than the usual resolutions as they like a more compassionate way of framing my year ahead. Resolutions often involve big and immediate changes like stopping smoking, losing weight, saving more money. The problem being, these are often things that feel like they ‘should’ be done rather than actually being desired. Intentions for me are a way of looking forward and stating how I’d like my year to be and really getting a sense of where I’d like to be this time next year.

My top tips for easing into the New Year are:

  1. Be kind to yourself. Try to reframe negative self-talk when setting your intentions for the year ahead.
  2. Spend more time with family and friends. Studies show that we are happier when we feel connected. Resolve to reach out to somebody who cares about you.
  3. Enjoy what you do, be it your job or a hobby. If you aren’t enjoying it, ask yourself what are you able to change that would make things more enjoyable.
  4. Learn to say no. Saying no may seem hard to do, but with practice these two little letters become easier to say and you can have more time for you and feel so much better!
  5. Cut out images from magazines that represent goals you want to achieve. Create a vision board of your intentions
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