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With Christmas rapidly approaching and the year coming to an end, you might already be reflecting on 2022 and wondering what comes next. Time to focus on your health and happiness. The first place to start is your New Years resolutions. The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to make positive changes and do better for yourself. If you’re looking for ways to go about that, here are some ideas to consider.
Focus on wellness
It will come as no surprise that health related resolutions are the most commonly made each year. From losing weight to stopping smoking, drinking less, eating better and exercising more, we all know the things that we should be doing. And a new year is a great opportunity to start fresh and pick up these kinds of goals where you last left off. While these kinds of resolutions can be hard to keep, if you focus on overall wellness as your goal then you’re likely to do better.
The goal of feeling better both mentally and physically doesn’t require you to be perfect. You don’t have to feel bad if you ‘fall off the wagon’ while dieting or cutting back on alcohol, you don’t have to beat yourself up if you miss a workout. Instead, you can consider the bigger picture and keep on going without feeling like you’ve failed. If you make even small changes now then by this time next year you could be in a much better position with your health and wellness, physically and mentally.
Instead of creating strict eating and exercise regimes, have a think about the kinds of things overall that you plan on doing. Maybe you could subscribe to a fruit and veg delivery box so that you always have healthy ingredients on hand which will help you to eat better. Perhaps you could sign up to a fun aerobic activity such as dance or aqua fit that you’ll genuinely enjoy doing. Maybe you could purchase some self help books to teach you about different coping techniques when things are tough mentally. Stop being set on being perfect since this only sets you up to fail. Instead, make it all about looking after yourself in as many ways as you can.
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Set some goals
It’s so easy to fall into a rut in life. As the saying goes, ‘a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.’ Maybe your comfort zone is looking more and more like a rut and you’re becoming frustrated with your lack of progress. If that’s the case, it’s time to set some goals. From health goals to career goals, travel goals and social goals (such as events you’d like to attend etc) write them all down. Even if you don’t achieve everything on your list, having things written out in black and white can help you shift your mindset to these things and from there you can work out how to go about achieving them. If for example you want to move up in your career, first you might need to do some more education and then gain some work experience through volunteering.
If you want to go travelling, you may need to spend six months saving up, and then plan out your journey bit by bit to work out exactly what you want to do. Breaking down your goal into smaller steps like this makes it something that’s achievable rather than just being a pipedream.
Cut ties with toxic people
Another important New Years resolution is to think about toxic people. Toxic people can be incredibly harmful. Whether you’re dealing with physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse, finding a way out of the situation is really important. This can be incredibly hard to do, as unfortunately the toxic people in our lives can be those we’re closest to- family members, partners and friends. But recognise the behaviour and then take action, in some cases you may be able to politely cut ties but others you may need outside help. There are lots of charities, helplines and government assistance out there if you’re in a dangerous position. If it’s more a case of a friend that’s become toxic where they emotionally drain you, or constantly take and give nothing back then sometimes things can be resolved in a calm and civil manner.
For example, you might send a message explaining that you can no longer be friends and there will be no further contact. You can check if someone blocked you if you want to make sure they won’t be back in touch, and if they refuse to then you can block them on all platforms. Cutting ties with toxic people can be hard at first and may make you doubt yourself and experience feelings of guilt at first. But in time, you’ll realise how much freer you feel. This then enables you to hold more space mentally for yourself and people that are worthy of your time and energy.
Invest into yourself
It’s not selfish to look after yourself, it’s something we should all be doing. It can be difficult as adults as we’ve been primed to put everyone else first, but you are worthy too. Invest time, money and energy into yourself, your skills and your progress. This could mean learning to drive, going to therapy, going back into education, starting a new hobby or travelling. Have a think about what you want and need to feel happy, improve your skills and move forward in life. Then prioritise so you’re able to achieve this, even if it means spending more money on yourself than you’re used to, cutting back time from other commitments and allowing yourself more mental energy.
Will you be making any New Years resolutions for 2023? If so, what kinds of things do you hope to work on and improve next year?
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