Welcome to 2019! I hope you had a good rest during the festive season.
Most people make new years resolutions and here’s a couple of tips to make them actually work…..
BE VERY SPECIFIC
Don’t just say “I want to write more this year” – rather say “I want to write one blog a week”. That’s what I mean by being specific. Instead of “I am going to exercise more this year”, be specific and say “I am going to walk with a partner 3 times a week”. Name the partner if you know who it is.
WRITE THEM DOWN
Keeping the resolutions in your head will result in them staying there. You will soon forget about them. Write them down and keep them in a prominent place so that you can keep looking at them.
Don’t sell yourself short by thinking that you might not be able to do it. Rather believe that you can. If you achieve even 70% of your goal you have still succeeded.
At the same time be realistic. If you say, I am going to run the Comrades this year but you don’t even run bath water then rather choose something more realistic by starting off with something you CAN manage. Maybe next year you WILL be able to run the Comrades if you start training now.
Book an online session with me to work through your goals privately. Are you going to let another year pass you by?
I wish you an amazing year filled with everything you wish for yourself. Don’t just wish it, do it!
Life doesn’t always turn out the way we had hoped but it doesn’t mean we can’t still have a life worth living. There are ways to fix things that seem broken.
Let’s take relationships for example. All relationships require that we spend time making them happen. People who live together can be like ships in the night, you see each other in the passage, say good morning and goodnight, maybe even sit together watching tv but you don’t actually spend quality time together.
The first thing to save a situation like this is to NOTICE that it is happening. Once you are aware of the situation you can take steps to make things better.
END IN MIND
Next, decide about how you would like your relationship to be and then work towards that vision.
Take steps to make it happen. Some examples: Take time to hear about each other’s day. Help with the dishes or make a meal together once a week. Buy your partner a small gift (it doesn’t have to be expensive, it’s a gesture to show your partner that you thought about them). Give your partner sincere compliments.
Recognise all the good they do and acknowledge them for it. Everyone wants to be appreciated for the effort they put in.
Have fun together. Do things that you both like doing. Go on dates. Play a song and dance together. Bath the dogs together. Squirt water at each other (keep in mind you must both like water to some extent). Make each other laugh.
Neither of you are going to get it right a lot of the time. Forgive each other for being human and pick it up from where you left off. If there is something huge to forgive then perhaps see someone who can help you do that.
And we are back to the NOTICING again. Notice your partner. Notice when they are sad and let them talk to you or just be there for them. Notice when they are happy and enjoy it and be happy with them. Notice when they need help to hold the ladder. Notice when they can’t open the lid of the bottle.
Relationships are a gift (sometimes it doesn’t feel like it). They are a gift to help us grow, to have connection, to share your life with another person. It’s not something to just let happen. You need to be an active member.
Relationships can be enjoyable, horrible, stressful, amazing, connecting, separating, draining, life giving.
One of the best eye openers to what goes on in a relationship (any relationship) is when there is a power outage. Suddenly, there’s no internet, no WhatsApp, no food to cook, no TV. There’s only candles and LED lights and each other.
To make a relationship work requires that both (but it can start with just one of the couple) makes an effort to connect. The phones and all other technology can so easily get in the way of that.
Here are a few ways to make a change:
Put your phone down when you see a family member coming towards you or when you hear them walking down the passage. It makes them feel wanted and noticed. Give your loved ones a proper greeting when they come home, a hug and a kiss goes a long way to someone feeling loved and appreciated.
Make dinner time a no-phone zone. Even though it’s difficult to get this to happen it reaps benefits. There are so many studies which state the benefits of sitting down together as a family to eat dinner. Maybe that’s your only time together every day so put the phones away.
SOCIAL MEDIA DIET
Facebook, instagram, Youtube are not going to bring you closer to the people you love. Make time to cook together, declutter together, go out for ice cream or walk the dogs. That’s what will build real relationships.
Studies have shown that in marriages that thrive well, a couple spends an uninterrupted 15 minutes together every day. 15 minutes.
This is all very good and well, however, life happens and it doesn’t always go so easily. So forgive yourself when you make a mistake but make it better next time. Forgive your partner for not getting it right too.
Relationships are so necessary to our lives (any type of relationship) yet we often don’t put enough into them. Decide what is important to you and work towards it.
I really think that if people just stopped and realised that:
- We are all the same on the inside….
- We all have needs, problems, sadness, joy,
- We want to live in peace, have a roof over our heads and food on the table,
- We want the best for our children,
- We want to be healthy and well,
- We want people around us to love, and to love us.
…… We would be less angry, less resentful, less pained. We would see others and ourselves with eyes of compassion and be kind to them. We would look after the environment more for the next person and the next generation. People would think twice about being bad to each other and would choose to be good. Because at the end of the day, we are all the same.
So be kind to the next person, let it spread into the world because what this world needs right now is a group hug.
Standing here, reflecting about my year, worrying, was I good enough? Did I do enough? Was I kind? Was I gentle? Did I reach my expectations of myself? Did I fail? Thinking about the times I messed up.
Where to from here?
It’s important to also look at where I did go right. Where I was kind, where I was gentle, where I helped out, where I reached a goal, where I looked after myself or others, where I gave, where I brought a smile to someone’s face, where I went out of my way.
It helps with self forgiveness and being real about who I am as a human.
Now to grow.
These days so much happens without effort that it takes effort to move.
- Lifts our mood and can be as effective as medication for depression (says Harvard medical research).
- Improves circulation and thereby increases energy – go figure.
- Boosts the immune system.
- If you are struggling to concentrate or your body is sore from sitting too long, moving around does wonders and can get you back on track.
- Helps with digestion because it keeps the muscles in our digestive system working well and releases toxins through perspiration.
- Moving with someone (e.g. walking) improves relationships and increases the happy chemicals in your brain, leaving you on a high even if you have only walked for a short time.
There are so many different ways to move – dancing, cycling, nia, ballet, climbing stairs, martial art, walking, running, housework, boxing, gym, yoga plus many more. If you don’t have a huge budget then walking or running are great because all you need is a pair of shoes.
I read somewhere that Social Scientists have found that as more people take to the streets, neighbourhood crime rates fall and the local economy improves. If that is true then we have a responsibility here people! (Lol)
Walking with your children promotes better communication, reduces behaviour issues and improves academic performance (that’s also from Harvard medical research).
Moving helps us to live more comfortably in our bodies and minds.
It’s self care.