Every year, I make this grand list of all the things I’m going to do differently after January 1st. This year as you know was different! So many people don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions and then feel a failure. And it’s by this time of year already most resolutions end up broken or forgotten about. We make these crazy promises to ourselves, feel badly when we don’t follow through, and then just abandon them completely. Not this year!! 2014 can be different. It’s not about making that promise to go to the gym 4 times a week when deep down after week 2….you know you won’t go! There are small but significant ways in which you can better yourself. Here’s 13 (unlucky for some but it’s my lucky number and could be lucky for you too) ways you could better yourself:
1. Pay someone a compliment.
It is so easy to see someone in a beautiful dress, think in your head how lovely it looks, and that’s it! By simply saying that out loud to the person that they do look lovely in that dress, you could make someone’s day. It’s so important to share a little kindness. It’s not the sort of thing you do to expect something back in return, it’s just your own honest opinion. Whether you know that person or not, it’s something small that can have a huge impact. I have had a stranger come up to me to pay a compliment before and it stays with you, makes you feel good inside, confident. Why wouldn’t you want to do that?! Even to your friends and family, co-workers, etc – it’s important to be kind. The next time someone does it back to you, and you get that warm feeling, you’ll know you make the effort to do that for others.
2. Keep a diary.
Bringing Bridget Jone’s Diary to life! One that you don’t just write in when you’re sad or angry. You don’t have to update it every day, but it’s really interesting to go back and see how happy you were that someone told you how pretty you looked, or that you decided to cut out chocolate but failed two days later (it’s the thought that counts, right?). It’s those small things in life that we tend to forget, and that’s a shame.
3. Call your grandparents more often.
Your Nan is the one person on this earth who probably loves you so unconditionally, it should be illegal. No matter what you do, your Nan is your number one fan. So, give her a bell. Tell her what’s going on, who you’re seeing, or not seeing, or which book you’re reading. It’s important to make time for family. Better still, go visit them! Nothing better than a chat and a cup of tea and biscuits!
4. Listen to your friends.
Don’t fall into the trap of always being the talker. Be the listener for a day. Don’t say a thing about yourself until your friend has gotten everything off her chest. We all know it’s really nice to have someone to talk to, so be that person that they can rely on for that.
5. Listen to your body.
Instead of making insane weight goals this year, try focusing on being more attuned with your body. Do you feel gross all the time? Perhaps you’re eating way too much junk food and not enough fruits and veg? Are you tired a lot? Do you get aches and pains you ignore when you know you should have a massage etc? Avoid processed foods and definitely exercise, even if it’s just a walk. Do you frequently get headaches? I know I do!! Drink more water. The great thing about our bodies is that they communicate pretty well, and you can generally figure out what’s wrong. Focus on being healthy and how good you feel.
6. Take Action.
Quit scrolling through Facebook and hating all your friends who seemingly have better jobs than you. Spend the day revamping your CV, take a useful class, or just spend a few days applying to other jobs. Don’t feel badly about yourself if you’re single. Embrace it. Go out with friends. Flirt with strangers. Really look at your relationship if you’re not single, you could be taking so much for granted! The truth is that no one likes being around negative people. Even if you’re bummed out, get it out of your system somehow and actively try to make yourself happier. Even if it’s romanticised, it’s actually no fun being unhappy.
7. Treat people the way you wish to be treated.
It’s such a simple thing that can make a huge difference. By simply putting yourself in a situation and thinking how you would feel and ensuring you behave in a manner towards others you would like to receive yourself. Nobody likes to be treated poorly, disrespected, talked down to, spoken to rudely or inappropriately, be ignored etc so you shouldn’t do it to others. Exchange a few words with your server or maybe a sales assistant. A simple, “how’s your day going?” is probably enough to make them feel more appreciated and less servant-like. I’ve been there, and it’s the worst to have customer ignore you after you have been super polite and attentive to them. They are probably not earning a huge amount, I know I wasn’t, and a smile, manners, thankyou’s and that little bit of consideration goes along way.
8. Buy or make your coworkers coffee/cakes/cookies from time to time.
Make people happy with treats! As you know I bake and usually make cupcakes or even little home made sweetie bags etc. Sometimes even just stopping at the local coffee shop and bringing back some goodies is a great way of being that kind person too. A round of drinks can work just as well, offering to make the teas and coffees or bringing in healthy snacks for those dieting can show how thoughtful you are too!
9. Try to be more observant.
Don’t leave your shopping trolley in the middle of the aisle. If someone is trying to pass you on the road, don’t be a dick. If you’re with a group of friends at the mall, don’t walk in a row, especially if it’s crowded; people probably want to get past you. If you’re annoyed that it’s taking your server forever to bring you your food, look around you and notice that they probably have a lot of tables. Or maybe the kitchen is backed up or short-staffed. Just be aware of your surroundings and be patient. Put your shopping trolley back where it came from, not just abandon it in the car park. Yes its someone job to go and collect them but how would you feel if someone was actively trying to make your job much harder all because they were being lazy and inconsiderate?
10. Let go.
Stop trying to force a failing friendship to function again. It isn’t your broken car; you can’t just take it to the garage and to get it repaired or get new parts. I had a couple of friends from school that I thought would be in my life forever, but one thing you learn post school/college, is that this probably won’t happen. Friends will move away, find new circles to be in, or just straight up change. That’s ok, let it happen. You’ll make new friends. If there is an ex-friend you are only Facebook friends with to hate stalk, then delete them. You don’t need that unhealthy connection in your life.
11. Read more
It’s so easy to come home from work and sit on the sofa and turn on the TV. Before you know it, that thing has been on for hours and you have been mindlessly taking in the soaps and other programs out of boredom. Sometimes if you do have an hour free, pick up a book. It’s nice to have the peace and quiet, you can still escape to another world, and it’s still effortless but much better for you, simulating your mind, keeping your attention. Even if the only time you read is on your lunch hour, you’ll be surprised how excited you get to have that half hour to pick up that book and escape for a while. Go up to bed early and read for a while. I know one of my bad habits is staying in front of the TV until late in the evening engrossed in some trashy show I don’t need to watch when I should be catching up on beauty sleep. Head to bed early, start to read, you’ll enjoy it and find it does make you want to go to sleep at a more sensible hour!
12. Do more
I always want to travel, see the world and sometimes it is impossible to leave the country as many times as you like due to work commitments, money etc. But you can still ‘do more’ with your free time. Just because you might not be having a wild adventure doesn’t mean you have to stay home and do nothing instead. Look hard at how much free time you have. If you get home from work at 5.30pm and go to bed at say 10.30pm every night that’s 5 hours each night you have free to yourself. How are you using that time? Plus you have 2 full days off a week every week not to mention holiday….where is your free time really going?! So many people waste time, usually doing nothing very constructive. You’re in charge of your social life! See those friends you keep putting off because you ‘can’t find the time’, get to the cinema to watch that film because it won’t be out forever, book that last minute weekend away with the girls as there is no excuse why not to, go out for last minute drinks because you are free to, see family more because it matters. When you meet up with people you haven’t seen in a while and they ask ‘what have you been up to lately?’, you have 2 choices, you can be that person who says ‘not much’, or ‘where do I start?!’….it’s down to you to do more!
13. Make tangible goals this year.
Instead of vowing to go to the gym every day, vow to go to the gym when you can, but if you’re too busy, you’ll take the stairs and park your car a bit further away that day. Don’t promise yourself you’ll lose 2 stone. Promise yourself to eat 5 pieces of fruit and veg a day and eat less junk food. You see what I mean? Don’t make huge goals if you know you might break them. Try your best. Be a go-getter. Think small, win big!
What are some of your goals this year?