You’re either reading this at the very, very end of 2017 or the very beginning of 2018. Welcome, either way! As I’ve said before, I love the excuse of a whole new year to sit back and take stock of the past year and more importantly, think about the future. Now don’t worry, this isn’t going to me telling you that you should have resolutions for 2018, but rather a list of rather nice, easy things you can do to make 2018 even more brilliant that’s it’s (hopefully!) already going to be.
Create a video diary
Now, this isn’t something I’ve actually done before but I reckon the beginning of 2018 is the perfect place to start 1 Second Everyday. The app helps you create a video diary but don’t worry, you only have to film a second a day. Yep, that’s right. A second. Now, in theory, you could do this for the rest of your life but I figure starting with just attempting it for a year is more than enough for now. A simple search on YouTube will show you other peoples attempts and the result is rather lovely. I love the idea of sitting down and being able to play a flashback of your year back.
Use kinder vocabulary
A friend of mine recently shared the following article with us which I found really interesting. It explained how certain vocabulary we can actually be really damaging to us. In this case, the word focused on was ‘should.’ When you think about it, rarely when you use the word ‘should’, is it in a positive way. E.g. ‘I really should have gone to the gym today’ or ‘he shouldn’t have done that.’ As the author says: ‘What makes shoulds so sneaky is that they’re criticisms and judgments disguised as help. They encapsulate societal or self-imposed pressures that chip away at our happiness and confidence.’ Now don’t get me wrong, cutting should completely out of your vocabulary is pretty impossible but by starting to become aware of when you are saying it and making an effort to reword your sentence is a great place to start.
Set a Goodreads challenge
I truly believe reading is something everyone should make time for. Whether you fly through numerous books a month or can I only just get through a chapter a week, there’s no excuse. There is always time. In 2017, I set myself a Goodreads challenge to read 45 books in a year. Reading should obviously be a pleasure but by setting yourself a challenge, you might just find you’re even more determined to pick up a book. As I write this, I’m currently on book 43, so realistically, I’m not likely to finish my challenge but of course, that’s not the point. I’ve managed to read some incredible books, ones that have taken me away from my phone and laptop and have helped me lose myself in other worlds.
Make your goals small
It’s so easy when a new year comes around to shoot for the stars and promise you’ll go vegan in 2018 or get to an exercise class three times a week when currently your favourite hobby is eating dominos in front of a box set. Now if you want to do that, you go Glen Coco! But why not make things a little easier (and no, it’s not being a cop-out) with small, more manageable goals? Setting yourself a big challenge can seem like a good idea at the time but sometimes you find that maybe you bite off more than you can chew and can end up throwing in the towel. Instead, try making your goal embarrassingly small. So if you want to make drinking more water a new habit, set yourself the task of drinking one glass a day. By setting yourself a goal that requires minimal effort, you feel silly not doing it and thus, you end up creating something that’s much more likely to become a lifetime habit. You might even find that without the pressure, you’ll do it more often too!
There is so much to be grateful for in life, whatever situation you might find yourself in. I for one, am guilty of being a big fat pessimist 98% of the time but when I actually take the time to think about it, even being able to live and breathe as I do is something to take the time to appreciate. I want to start focusing less on myself and more on what I can do for others. I like to think I’m a pretty decent person but let’s be honest, we can always be better. One idea I’m looking into (and I suggest you do too), is volunteering with Age UK, a charity which helps support elderly people. There are so many small ways to make a difference, such as having a weekly call with or visiting an older person in your area to keep them company to fundraising to raise money. If there’s a cause close to your heart, why not see what you could do to help?