Usually, January has been my least favourite month. I can feel slightly dispirited; trying to hold onto the last of the Christmas magic, sadly not doing much to dispel the dull grey days that loom ahead. Nigel Slater once said: “I hear people describing the days following Christmas Day as ‘flat.’ I am of another mind. They are peaceful days, gentle days that are as much a part of Christmas as those leading up to Christmas Eve.” This year, I am trying a positive outlook. Blogging has helped me connect with the seasons, paying attention to the rituals of each passing month and in doing so, helped me reconnect and appreciate each season.
January is a time for cosiness, quiet evenings, snuggling down under a soft blanket with a good book and sipping mugs of hot chocolate. It’s also a time for personal reflection and goal setting for the coming year. It’s a time for new beginnings and fresh starts.
In general, I much prefer beginnings to endings: the opening page of a new book; putting pen to paper on the first page of a fresh notebook or visiting a place for the very first time. I think there is something slightly intoxicating about new beginnings and possibly why it’s all too easy to get fired up and have a plethora of New Years resolutions.
Once the novelty and optimisim has worn off, it can lead to less pleasurable experiences. Change brings challenges and with that being said, I think it’s wise to have a manageable amount of resolutions and makes it much easier to stay on course and ultimately, create lasting change. I have found I never stick to resolutions for long (probably because I have a long list) or only see them through to far instead, this year I have set three small resolutions:
Be gentle and practice self care
I can be hard on myself in many ways; thinking I could do better; feeling guilty for taking a nap after a long day and so on. I want to work hard but not get burnt out. So, this year I plan on being much gentler with myself. I find meditation and mindfulness really help however, I have fallen off track with both, so its time to get back on track with my daily routine.
In terms of self care, everyone seems to be seeking a way to practice self care; be it sipping your favourite cup of tea or practicing yoga in the morning. I am certainly no different. I am going to start the day early with nourishing breakfasts, fresh approaches and full of optimism. In my quest to practice self care, I have made a decision to create an arsenal of tools ready for any eventuality. Rather like a toolbox; all the tools are different; so depending on job, the right tool can be selected. If all the tools were the same, they wouldn’t work for every job. So, I am going to create a self care tool box. I’ve already thought of things like a good book, a journal, comfy pjs and hot chocolate. As I said, I will get back to incorporating mindfulness into my daily routine and start practicing yoga.
Last year, I set myself the goal of exercising more and to loose some weight. I found it challenging, especially in terms of keeping consistent and may have slacked somewhat. However, I started by doing simple swaps; so walking to places instead of public transport or taking the stairs instead of the lift. I found these simple swaps had a lasting effect and now enjoy walking; the fresh air, passing by new places and the exhilarating feeling arriving at a place by your own two feet.
This year, I aim to keep consistent and increase my time exercising. I have subscribed to some fitness YouTube channels which will definitely help me stay on track and motivated. I’ve also downloaded a fitness app which records distance walked, stairs climbed and steps walked.
Read one book a month
It’s no secret I enjoy reading however, for 2019 I want to explore more and try different genres. I am aiming to read one book a month; 12 in total. I think it’s all too easy to zone out in front of the television rather than picking up a book (although I do enjoy a good series on Netflix). I remember being sat in a lecture years ago and what the lecturer said really resonated with me: “the more you read; the more you learn.” I think this is so true. Currently, I am compiling a list of books but I am open to suggestions so if there are any books you’d recommend, please let me know in the comments!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my lovely readers who have taken the time to read my blog, comment, chat on social media and in general supported my blog so far. I cannot wait to see what adventures 2019 brings! Do you have any fun plans for the new year? Any resolutions you are excited to see through? Let me know in the comments!
Happy New Year!