Happy New Year! Now that I am back at home, holidays over, I feel ready to start the new year properly.
I’ve been thinking a lot about new year resolutions. I love the idea of a new year bringing a new start, but I hate resolutions that feel like punishment.
I want this year to be a year of more, not less. But by that I don’t mean more wine and cake (I’ve had enough of that over the holidays…). What I mean is more fulfilment, more experiences, getting more done…
So, first things first. I am going to blog more regularly. Every Monday I will do a ‘Monday Minute’ – the idea being that it’s just a quick read at the beginning of the week.
And then I thought…how about linking this to my resolutions? So it’s a kind of reinforcement as well as, hopefully, some inspiration.
So, what are those resolutions? Well, there are three. And they interlink and are, I guess, essentially the same thing. And perhaps these are less resolutions and more of a manifesto…
In a nutshell, that’s it. Yep, I know it sounds a bit saccharine and twee (I can imagine my 17 year old self rolling her eyes) but I have started to believe in the life changing magic of being kind.
Because this is not something that’s easy – ok, being kind to people you like, no problem. Remaining kind when you are dealing with people you don’t like…well, that’s another story.
I also think we need to differentiate between ‘nice’ and ‘kind’. Niceness is about pleasing. Kindness is about doing the right thing regardless how you are perceived. You can be nice without being kind…and vice-versa. Or both.
And, full admission: I failed in my kindness challenge on day two. Let’s just say – I am British and it was a queue related incident. I cringe now thinking about it.
But I said there were 3 resolutions, didn’t I? Well, here they are.
Be Kinder to Myself
Yes, yes, I know how this sounds. But I don’t mean that I am going to be wallowing in bubble baths. This is about self-care.
This is about recognising that you are worth looking after.
This is about telling that nasty voice in your head – you know, the one that tells you you’re fat/ worthless/ rubbish at everything – to take a running jump.
This is about figuring out what your goals are – the things that are important to you – and going for it, because you deserve to be a success. And success involves failing…yes, I’m saying that out loud to the nasty voice in my head.
This is about looking after yourself physically – because eating well and staying healthy is important. This is about making sure you get regularly check ups, that you don’t skip that smear test, that you get that weird mole thats seems to have changed into the shape of Africa looked at…
You know how you treat your closest friends? And how you speak to them? This is about being like that…to yourself.
Be Kinder to Others
I honestly think that when you are looking after yourself and feeling good – well, the rest of your family feels better.
I know this upcoming year is probably going to be stressful for my family, so my focus is on trying to be as kind and understanding as I can be. Which sometimes feels like a Herculean task.
Laugh if you want but I believe that just being nice to the people you come into contact with every day makes the world a better place.
Yep, call me Pollyanna if you want. But surely there is a ripple effect? You know…if someone holds a door for you, and you smile and then you do something nice for the next person and that makes them feel good and so they pass it on? And it works the other way too – when you’re in a good mood and someone drains it by being horrible.
The Dalai Lama always gives good quote:
Be Kinder to The Planet
This is the biggy in our family at the moment. For the last year or so we have been trying to reduce our plastic consumption, especially single use plastics. It’s not easy. The way we live is designed for convenience and half the time we are on auto-pilot. BUT if we don’t all start doing something about it now, what’s going to happen?
So I hope to be able to share some tips and ideas – or cries for help! – on how to live in a way which is kinder to the world. Sometimes I think this is just about taking a pause – do you actually need a plastic straw? (the answer to that question is never ‘yes’). Have you taken reusable bags to the shop with you?
At the start of December I treated myself to one of those beauty advent calendar (because it was half price) and when I got home and looked at it I realised it was all plastic inside and all the gifts were in these tiny plastic bottles and I just thought – why on earth did I buy that? All the packaging went in the bin, most of the products could only be used once or twice and I felt so stupid for having bought it.
So my lesson? Think twice. (And I hope you also have that Celine Dion song in your head now too. Haha)
I realise with these resolutions I am exposing myself a bit. And I am absolutely not a good example of ANY of these things! I am extremely hard on myself, I can be very quick to judge…and, while I have made some efforts, I am definitely not environmentally sound.
So this is where my Monday Minutes will come in. Each week they will link back to these three themes. It might be an inspirational quote, a book recommendation, a fabulous new product…or just random musings. To be honest, I’m not sure right now what it will be…
But I’m going to go with it (I have put a gag on the nasty inner voice) and I’m going to leave it here for now…because I’m well over a minute. It’s not just the inner voice that needs a gag…
And whatever your resolutions are – I wish you all the very best. I would love to hear how you are getting on and if you want to join me in mine – come on, the more the merrier!
To finish, here’s my all time favourite quote on kindness…never fails to make me laugh!