In just over a week, 2017 will be coming to an end. Which means many of us will be taking a good hard look at ourselves and wondering what we can do in 2018 to improve ourselves.
Unfortunately, many of us will come to the conclusion that we need to lose weight, and will begin a starvation diet dressed up as a ‘healthy lifestyle change’ until around mid-February when we can’t take it any more and have a binge to end all binges.
So if you’re planning your New Year’s Resolutions at the moment, allow me to be the first to say that your body is great, just as it is. You can set better goals, you can challenge other areas of your life, you can do amazing things. Remember, you can’t take on the world when you’re hungry!
Here I’m going to list some ideas you can use as your New Year’s Resolutions, if you’re struggling to come up with something positive!
For the creative…
1) Start a blog!
I’ve been blogging for just over a year and I’ve found it to be a great creative outlet. Although my blog doesn’t earn me any money or have a particular direction, I really enjoy thinking of different topics to write about, and it has definitely brought out some sides of me I didn’t know I had, like my love for photography.
2) Start a gratitude diary
The concept here is simple, to write at least one thing each day that you’re grateful for. It will be easy at first but once you get halfway through the year, it might start getting a little more challenging! But imagine looking back through it at the end of 2018 and reading about all of the amazing things you have in your life.
3) Start a journal/diary
A great one for those of you who are struggling with something. Diaries are a great place to pour your heart out without anyone having to ever see it. They’re also nice to read through years later to see how far you have come or to reminisce about an event.
4) Write a book
I feel like everyone wants to do this, but they always put it on hold (guilty!) So make 2018 the year that you finally sit down and write about that amazing idea you’ve had floating around in your head since college. If a full book is too daunting, why not write short stories? You can enter short story competitions online to get your work out there and win prizes!
5) Learn a new skill
Always fancied painting? Or how about that guitar that has been sat in the cupboard gathering dust? Make 2018 the year that you master a new talent!
For the mindful
1) Begin a journey of self-acceptance
Make 2018 the year that you finally make peace with yourself. You can start with one simple idea that Michelle Elman of @Scarrednotscared came up with: Stop saying negative things about yourself. Simple but effective.
2) Start meditating
Meditation is a great tool for really getting in touch with yourself and how you’re feeling. There are loads of guided meditations available online. My favourite meditations are compassionate meditations that teach you to be kinder to yourself. Just 10 minutes a day can make such a big difference, I always feel positive and smiley after a meditation.
3) Start intuitive eating
Remember when you were a child and you didn’t even know what a calorie was? You ate when you were hungry, stopped when you were full, indulged when you felt like it and listened to your body without even realising you were doing it. Intuitive eating helps you to get back in touch with your body, because honestly your body knows what is best for you, not some 500-calorie-a-day-starve-yourself-thin diet shake!
4) Do a social media cleanse
Back in March this year, I went a full month without any social media, and it was honestly so refreshing! If you don’t feel like you can ditch your phone, you could always go through your friend/follow list and get rid of negative people. That one friend always pushing diet products? Get rid. The girl who mocks mental health? Nah. That one family member who always comments nasty things on your pictures? You don’t need that!
For the helper..
1) Try to do an act of kindness each week.
Or every day if you can! It’s surprising how good this can make you feel, when you go a little out of your way to help someone. It may seem like the smallest thing in the world, like helping someone carry their heavy shopping to the car, but it can make the world of difference to them.
2) Donate to charity once a month
There are so many to choose from, all doing amazing things to improve the world that we live in! Spend some time researching local charities and get involved by volunteering or donating money each month and watch their work unfold over the course of the year.
3) Volunteer in the community
Once you look a bit closer at your local community, you will see plenty of opportunities to get involved and help out. After a quick google search of my town, I found loads of projects from restoring the canal to volunteering with the Samaritans. There is always something good to be done in your spare time!
For the academic..
1) Study through the open university.
Thanks to the open university, moving forward in your career or simply learning something new has never been easier. You can slot your studying around your work life and there are plenty of subjects to choose from!
2) Learn a new language
This is actually one of my New Year’s Resolutions! I’m planning on learning sign language in the new year so I can communicate with customers at work. You never know when a new language may come in handy and it’s definitely something to get your teeth into!
Remember that it’s perfectly acceptable to make no changes in the New Year. Maybe you’re happy where you are right now, or maybe you’re going through a hard time and your only focus is on building yourself back up. Whatever the reason, don’t feel pressured with the whole ‘New Year, New Me!’ mentality.
That’s about it for this blog post, I hope you found something useful! Let me know if you decide to use any of these ideas, and let me know what your resolutions are!