7 tips to truly have a happy 'new' year
Many of us greet the turning of the year with a little trepidation.
The year we are leaving behind may not have been the happiest year of our lives, and we sometimes worry what the future holds.
It’s easy to say nothing is worth worrying about in advance, but just what can you do to ensure you go into the new year with a positive frame of mind?
Here are our tips to truly have a happy new year.
Take stock of the year you have had
This may be difficult, but try not to dwell on anything that was overly negative in the past twelve months. Instead focus on your accomplishments. Ask yourself:
- What went well?
- What new skills did you learn?
- Who were the new people who came into your life?
- What did you get rid of that really made a difference to your life?
- What music, books, films, art did you experience?
- What do you wish was on this list?
Once you have all of these answers, you’re in a great place to think about goals you would like to set for next year.
Set some realistic goals for next year
Often we make resolutions at the start of the year that we’ve given up on by the second week of January. It is far better to think of milestones you would like to meet, and set yourself some realistic targets.
Imagine something that you want to achieve – and then break that down into realistic and achievable targets. If you would like to run a half marathon for example, picture yourself doing that. What does it look like? What do you need in order to be able to achieve that? Start gently. Depending on your level of fitness you may need to start very small. Try the running machine at a gym for 5 minutes, or running a mile. Where do you want to be by the end of January? So what do you need to do this week? What do you need to achieve today? Create a plan and try and stick to it. Breaking a goal down in this way makes your target more achievable and much less scary. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Don’t just dream it!
You can apply number two to anything in your life. If you have a dream, how can you take steps to achieve it? You may need a two-year, a five-year or a ten-year plan. Regardless of whether you want to work from home, climb a mountain, sail around the world, or publish a novel – you can do it, but you need a plan and you need to make inroads.
What do you need to change about your life? What are the steps that need to be taken to do that? How much money do you need to save? How can you earn more money? Problem solve and create solutions and see where your passion gets you!
Look after number one
You will never be able to love anyone else unless you love yourself, and that means giving yourself priority as often as you can. Your goals and dreams and ambitions are important. So too, is self-care. Pay attention to your diet and exercise, but make sure you do it long-term. Fad diets never work; you need to make changes to your diet that become habitual. Besides, if you wouldn’t want to eat that way all the time, it is never going to work for you.
The same applies to exercise. Don’t join a gym if you hate it. Instead choose exercise that you love. This might be swimming, walking, horse-riding, climbing, tennis, yoga or dancing. Try a few classes out and see what works for you. Try and exercise a little every day – 10 minutes is a lot better than 0 minutes!
Practise sleep hygiene
One of the best things you can do to make yourself feel great is to improve your sleep. Hopefully over the holidays you have had some rest, but once you get back into the everyday mundanity of working life, you can soon feel stressed and tired again. One way to improve things is to practise good sleep hygiene. You should ensure your bedroom is a shrine to sleep. It should be clean and tidy with fresh bedding.
Get rid of electronics as far as possible. Never take your mobile or laptop to bed and don’t watch TV in bed. Keep a window open while you sleep, and simply have a blanket or throw on hand in case you are too cool. Keep regular hours and you’ll soon notice you feel less tired, which helps to ease stress and worries away.
Resolve to be a kinder person
Sometimes happiness comes to us when we are more thoughtful of others. One thing you can try in the new year is to resolve to be kinder, compassionate and more giving. Turn your back on negative energy – especially that which stems from gossip, or belittling or humiliating people. Invest your energy in more positive pursuits such as mentoring others, or offering your time to people in your community who need help.
Become a student again!
Remember when life was filled with infinite possibilities and you felt you could take on anything? Life still is that place. What’s changed is you. You’re older, more tired, and you have more responsibilities. Try and adopt a frame of mind that is inquisitive and enquiring. Become a student once more. Set out to learn new things – new skills, new knowledge. Read books, look at art, listen to new music. Try new foods. Talk to new people. Ask people questions. Find out the answers to things you don’t know. Go to quiz nights. Watch on-line videos.
Finally, remember that new year only comes once a year. You can start afresh any day you choose; it doesn’t have to be January 1st! Take the time to breathe and think of good things. Salutations!
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