10 secrets to a Happy New Year in 2017
As the year draws to a close, like so many I’m feeling reflective about 2016. And what a year it was. Whether you personally had a difficult time of it or sailed through hitting life goals along the way, I think we can all agree that it was a pretty bumpy one for the world as a whole.
And while It’s easy to feel a bit helpless when such big things are going on the world around you, I’m a firm believer that you can make a huge difference in your own life and those around you. And if we all did that, who knows, perhaps there’d be just a bit more empathy and selflessness in the world?
So what are these secrets to a Happy New Year I hear you cry! Well they all start with ditching those resolutions…
ONE. Ditch the New Year resolutions:
It’s great to have dreams and goals for the year ahead, but listing specific resolutions to ‘keep’ is setting yourself up for failure. Take the spirit of this tradition and apply it to your daily life. If you’ve been knocking back one too many glasses of prosecco, just be mindful of drinking a little less when you’re next out for example.
TWO. Be in the moment:
I was at an art gallery last month and a man was walking around systematically taking phone snaps of each artwork and caption. A clever way to view them at leisure? Maybe. But nothing like the smell of the paint as you stand there, the light bouncing off the brushstrokes. At B.LOVED we’re all addicted to taking lovely photos of the beautiful moments in life, not to mention catching up on social media. But sometimes it does the soul good to actually disconnect from that and take in what’s happening in the moment. So next time you feel yourself reaching for your phone as you take in that sunset, step away from the iPhone. Let your mind record the moment.
THREE. Eat well and moderately:
Perhaps the most common resolution after the Christmas stodge-fest, diets are everywhere. Having tried my fair share of eating fads and diets, I can honestly say that the only one worth following is that of moderation and movement. Eat fruit, veg, meat, fish, carbs, protein, and definitely eat chocolate if it makes you happy. Just have a bit of everything, get your body moving and you will be ok. Extremes in diet or exercise are just as unhealthy as only eating bread. It’s far more important to have a healthy attitude towards your lifestyle and accept that being healthy physically is a lifelong pursuit that’s tied to your wellbeing.
FOUR. Take time out:
When was the last time you had a tea break and slice of cake for no reason? If it was today, then you rock! We’re all so focused on our ‘busy-ness’ that we forget to take 5 minutes out for ourselves. My mum called me the other day totally stressed out after rushing round the shops. Her evening plans had just been cancelled so I told her to go to the nearest coffee shop, buy a cuppa, and sit for 10 minutes. It hadn’t occurred to her to stop, to give herself those 10 minutes. Next time you’re feeling overloaded and like you can’t spare any time, take those 10 mins, you’ll feel human again.
FIVE. Life is short. Buy the shoes:
This one’s simple. In a year you won’t even remember how much those shoes cost, but you will remember how you loved wearing them. Sometimes you’ve got to give yourself the little pick me ups and trust that the finances will even out. If you truly love the thing, buy it. Have it in your life, love it and never look back!
Emma has written a great post on ‘How to Hygge’ which you can find here. It’s all about seeking the simple pleasures in your daily life, connecting with people and being present in the moment. In some ways it sums up this whole post, and it’s easy to understand how it can make you feel happier every day. Make your home comfortable, full of cosy touches that you love and invite people over for dinner- you know you’ve been meaning to for ages.
SEVEN. Connect with people:
We’re social creatures us humans and it’s been proven that connections make us happy, not money or success. But here’s the crucial bit: it needs to be in person. Social media is amazing but it will never beat that feeling as you connect with someone, reading their body language. So try to be open to unexpected connections too. Wish your barista a Happy New Year or help a mum with her buggy, you never know where it might lead. And one final note: listen more than you talk, you’ll be amazed how much more connected you feel to people if you give them room to talk.
EIGHT. Take up a new skill:
Learning a new skill is challenging, exciting and can open up your world view completely. If you’ve been wanting to learn how to use your camera properly, take a class. It’s so much more than learning the skills- you could get that from a book- it’s connecting with other people too.
NINE. Prioritise your wellbeing:
This year I found myself having sessions of various types of physical and psychological therapy. After a while I found myself thinking I should stop- even though I was getting a lot out of it- because it was self-indulgent and pampering. My therapist told me that working on yourself is the most selfless thing you can do because it impacts everyone around you, and therefore the world. This blew me away and totally flipped my view on wellness and looking after yourself. Being mindful, self aware and more at peace in yourself has the most positive impact in every aspect of your life. On the subject of mindfulness, the Headspace app has helped me navigate a chaotic year and I’ve had the best sleep in my life!
TEN. Flexibility and spontaneity:
So much disappointment stems from fixed expectations. Have you ever beaten yourself up because you didn’t get something done when you wanted to? Having flexibility built into your mind and life means you can more easily let go of things that don’t ultimately matter. This also creates room for spontaneity, which can create boundless moments of happiness. Can those client emails be sent tomorrow? Yes? Well that’s good then because your friend is bringing a picnic to make the most of the sunshine! Learn when to let go and allow your mind to flex.
So have I convinced you to scrap the resolutions and live your life in the moment, grabbing joy when you can? I hope so, because life’s way too short to be caught up feeling like you’re never enough. Go seek your bliss!