We do it every year! Towards the end of December, I hear the words “New Year, new me” more than I can count. We make resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, go to the gym 10 times a week and by the third week of January, our best efforts have gone out of the window.
For me, this time it’s different.
I’ve been through one of the most awful times of my life and going through it is forcing me to “reinvent” myself, so the phrase “New Year, new me” is true whether I like that or not.
The fact is, I like my old self, so I won’t be a COMPLETELY different person, I’ll just become an improved version of that old self. I’ve always strived for a positive attitude and outlook on life but over the past few years, I’ve had more than my fair share of life changing events and not all of them have been positive times, so life has knocked me down. I want to revive my positivity and look forward to the future.
Here are a few tips to help you do the same….
Put your phone down and take time each day to be in the present. Observe your thoughts, feelings and your surroundings in the present moment. Practicing mindfulness each day can help us to enjoy the world around us and experience the things that we may take for granted. As a self-employed, lone parent to 2 young children, my mind is filled with 1001 thoughts, so I try and do this for at least a few minutes a day and couple it with deep breathing exercises to bring me back. My favourite way of practicing mindfulness is to go outside and look at the stars in the night sky.
The more we practice mindfulness, we train the brain to do it more often.
Be with positive people (and spend less time with the negative ones!)
Positivity breeds positivity and the same goes for negativity. If you spend time with negative people and come away feeling drained and low, maybe it’s time to spend less time with those people or change the dynamic of the relationship with those negative people.
Be kind and add value to someone else’s life
It’s proven that being kind, adding value and helping others has a positive impact on our own brains. Think about it, when you help someone, even something as small as opening a door for someone, and they thank you, it gives you a nice feeling. I love spending time with my 2 young children and add value to their lives every day, whether its teaching them something new or making memories with them, I’m adding value and that makes me feel great! So, go on, smile and say good morning to the next stranger you pass in the street, I dare you!
Poke fear in the eye!
This is a big thing for me at the moment. I’m now in a position where I have to attend social events on my own and it scares the life out of me! So what have I done about it? Well, I’ve poked fear in the eye and said yes to every social event going! And yes, I’ve worried about going and even had thoughts about not going, but I was brave and did go. Do you know what? It actually hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be! So by overcoming those fears, I actually feel pretty good and confident about myself.
Look for the silver lining
That can be very hard to do when you’re faced with an overwhelming, all-consuming situation and I’ve had a few of those over the past few years. Having come out of the other side, in most of the situations, I have realised there is a silver lining and that is what helps me to be positive about the future….by focusing on that silver lining. If you just can’t see the bright side of a situation, look at what you do have and be thankful as a way of helping you through.
Set yourself goals
Modern day lives can be completely overwhelming and its easy to lose track of what we want to achieve whether at work or personally. Find time to think about where you want to be in a few years and break that down into smaller goals. A good friend of mine put me on to this – I have a jar which sits on my desk with folded bits of paper in there. On the pieces of paper are my goals, some are small and some bigger; some are personal and some work related. Every now and again, I take a couple out and have a look at them which helps me to refocus and be positive about what I am aiming for.
Reduce the chaos
There is plenty of chaos in my home! But, I find being organised helps so much. Just the other week, I couldn’t find my keys. I spent almost half an hour looking for them meaning I was late for an appointment and it put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day! So I bought a key hook and I haven’t had to spend ages looking for them since. Please note, I hadn’t “lost” the keys…..as babies do, mine loves keys and had “hidden” them. I remember a similar incident with my eldest at about the same age, but that was with a less important TV control.
I believe in honesty but at the same time, I like to stay kind so I am diplomatic. Whilst researching for this blog post, honesty popped up quite and I read a fab article about this – lying, even a little white lie, has a huge impact on your body and brain and can cause some serious health problems. So, be honest, be kind and in doing so, you show you care, it shows maturity, it shows your character and gives you credibility. It also increases your positivity by eliminating the negative health effects.
Dance like nobody is watching (and sing like they’re not listening either!)
I do both…and sometimes at the same time…and it makes me feel good! There I’ve said it! A spontaneous kitchen disco is a regular occurence in this household because my children join in too and they love being able to express themselves in that way. I have been asked by my eldest to stop with the singing (yes, I am that bad) so I usually save belting out Whitney to when I’m on my own!
Love yourself and remember, it will be ok in the end, and if it’s not ok, then it’s not the end!