Reflecting on New Year's Resolutions - a March update15 March 2016
Back on 2 January I enthusiastically blogged about my 2016 resolutions, as well as my 'core desired feelings' and a few thoughts about the year ahead. I generally think it takes a few weeks, maybe even the whole of January to get into the groove of a New Year, but come March I think it's a good time to check in and think about resolutions and how the year is going (I wrote flowing, but that sounds a bit 'woo woo' doesn't it?) These were my aims for 2016.
Here are some things I've done to keep on track with my resolutions - I won't go into every resolution as this post would last forever, but here are some notable bits I'm already feeling positive about >>
Travel to: I went to Copenhagen with my friend in January, we've booked a couple of weeks in France in June (and we're taking Bodhi!), we have a Cancun holiday in August and I'm hoping to go to Turkey with a friend in May, so I'm well and truly on track with travel aspirations (the Norwegian Fjords cruise might have to wait until next year!
Achieve: I've managed to secure a new job within the same organisation that starts in April, and I'm really excited to get my teeth into it. Ease and balance will be a longer-term goal but I'm already trying to ensure I have free weekends for relaxing and having 'me time' rather than arranging back to back weekends of social activities.
Eliminate: I went on a training course last week, and one of the learning points was that your behaviour does not create your identity. So if you make a mistake, or you do something that isn't very nice, then this doesn't mean you are a bad person, or that you are lazy or sloppy. I'm really working hard on the negative self-talk and trying to challenge the cycle of guilt and shame that I get myself into. Again - this is a longer term goal, but is something I am consciously working on.
Create: I actually have been writing a little more poetry, and I have been trying to be more creative on the blog - though time has been a barrier to this. I know that creating things is a real antidote to stress and feeling overwhelmed for me, so this is definitely something I want to focus on more in the coming months.
Improve: I blogged about having lost my weight loss mojo but this week I'm determined to get it back. I'm back on clean eating, and I went for a run and a bike ride this weekend - I'm feeling motivated to be happy and healthier and get back into some positive habits.
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Learn: My yoga practice has totally fallen by the wayside in recent months, which is a shame as it's one of the things I identified quite quickly has a real impact on my health and happiness. One of my goals at the moment is to try and commit to a regular but achievable practice (for example, my target at the moment is to run once a week and go from there - because once a week is better than never and it provides a realistic platform that I can then build on). So my plan is to ease myself gently back into yoga without putting pressure on myself to have a really frequent practice. As regards mindfulness, although I haven't been as dedicated to a mindfulness practice as I would like, I'm currently listening to the audiobook of A Mindfulness Guide For The Frazzled by Ruby Wax, and I'm looking forward to putting her tips into action (and I'm loving geeking out about neuroplasticity and learning new things about the brain!)
Read: I'm trying really hard with my reading too - this year I've already read Luckiest Girl Alive, Girl on the Train, Spectacles, and Year of Yes, and I'm currently reading Secrets Of The Sea House. (I should mention that some of these I've listened to the audiobook rather than reading - I'm trying to make the best use of my commute!) I still have a major issue with the amount of time I spend on social media though and I know this is something I can improve on. I need a constant nudge to stop Twitter scrolling before bed and get my book out - who knew it would be such a hard habit to break?
Organise: I read The Lifechanging Magic Of Tidying Up in January and immediately was motivated to have a huge clearout - I think I got rid of nine bin-bags of clothes to the charity shop! I re-folded all my clothes according to the KonMari method, hung all my clothes neatly in the wardrobe (on matching coat hangers - it's a thing of beauty) and it makes me so much happier seeing everything well-organised and in their place. I also got rid of two big boxes worth of books and lots more clutter and unwanted bits. However - there's still a lot left to do before we move out (provided we ever find somewhere to live!) and I want to continue the momentum with the tidying and de-cluttering. We also had a meeting with a cleaner this evening who we're going to get in once a week to help us keep on top of that (but I need to clear the crap before they can get anywhere near dusting the shelves!)
It's clear to me on reflecting on these that I've done the more 'process-y' tangible bits - I've ticked off booking the holidays, reading the books, getting the job and de-cluttering the house. But have I stopped my cycle of guilt and self-limiting beliefs, slowed down, practiced gratitude, generated ease and balance in my life and taken time for mindfulness and gratitude? Not so much. These things can't be achieved in a few weeks, but like anything, they take time and dedication and don't come without some focussed effort. Now I've ticked some practical things off the to do list I hope I can spend the remaining nine months of the year really trying to achieve those things I set out at the beginning of the year that I really wanted to feel - ease, balance, curiosity and fulfilment.
How are you getting on with your New Year's Resolutions?