These aims are for life, not just for the new year.

2015

Like many people I have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions; I think that waking up hungover on 1 January and deciding that this is the year to lost 2 stone, run a marathon, volunteer for 3 charities, get a promotion, and BE HAPPY, DAMN IT is a recipe for disaster. I can see how a new year is a clean slate and a good time to try to make changes, but I know that writing a long list of things that I want to change about myself, with a deadline of next Christmas, is a terrible idea. I’ll either give up before I begin or go all-out for a month before slipping up slightly, beating myself up, and then giving up completely. Both less than ideal outcomes.

I do however know that having some general aims can be a help, whether it’s things that I need to get back to after slacking off for Christmas or things that I want written down to motivate me. If I screw up or don’t succeed immediately, it doesn’t matter – there’s no deadline for these, they’re just things I’d like to incorporate into my life for good.

* Leave the negativity behind. I’m a fairly optimistic person but I do have a terrible tendency to get stuck on the negative, especially when disappointed. Having suffered from depression in the past, this is something that I would love to change so I’m starting by reading Mindfulness; a Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. It’s not a quick-fix but hopefully it will help me learn to focus on the positive and deal better with the bad stuff. Shit happens; we need to deal with it and move on.

* Get (and keep) moving. This is a nudge to myself to get back to the fitness routine I was developing before the weather turned freezy and I got lazy. Using C25K, I’d started zombie shuffling running 3 times a week and was actually beginning to not hate it. On particularly cold/rainy days, I was doing an exercise video from Youtube, either Pilates or weight based. (I’ll put my favourites in a post soon because there are eleventy thousand out there and some are inevitably better than others.) I’ve made a start at getting back into it all and, apart from stairs being distinctly harder to navigate than usual, I do feel much better for it.

Don’t miss out on possibilities due to a lack of confidence. This goes hand in hand with the first point to some extent. I used to be a very shy kid and although I’ve learnt to cover it up over the years, it’s still lurking underneath. It mainly manifests itself as a huge lack of confidence in myself and my abilities, and makes me terrible at both going for jobs/opportunities and at actual interviews/social events. I actually shook all through my last job interview, which was excruciating for all concerned. This might not be the year that it all gets solved but I’m going to try damn hard to try to make a change. Hopefully the meditations in Mindfulness will be a good place to start.

* Cut out most sugar, most of the time. I write this as someone who can smell the chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven (FYI, they smell amazing and this recipe is ace). Last year I gave up sugar for about 6 months after reading various articles. It was hard but I got used to it and I feel a bit better in myself, with more energy and better sleep. Then Christmas happened and I remembered how nice lemon meringue pie is and how horrible black bean brownies made with xylitol are (yes, they’re really a thing, sadly). So, for now, Mr Mouse and I will try to avoid white carbs and sugar during the week and allow ourselves a little at the weekend, if we want it. My sweet tooth seems to have diminished a bit anyway but life is just too short without the occasional cake.

How do you feel about New Year’s Resolutions and what are your personal aims for the coming year?

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