New Year’s Resolutions might seem like a waste of time (I mean, they’re out the door by Feb already right?) but I still like the idea of setting an intention for the new year. I think it is a good exercise to review your lifestyle, bad habits and good ones, and to decide what you want to cut out of your life, where you want to build and where you would like to see changes.
I believe these resolutions should be realistic within your lifestyle and should contribute to your overall happiness and well-being. It should help to improve your health, promote a more balanced lifestyle and promote better relationships with the people who you love.
I also think that it will help to set these intentions on a regular basis as part of a daily or weekly ritual – which also happens to be one of my resolutions. Ideally I want to start my mornings with a quiet breakfast or yoga session and a review of the things I wish to achieve that week, and the things that I am grateful for. I might even pick up a good old-fashion diary gain. The idea was inspired by my new day planner from Blush Paper Company, Your Weekly Edit Planner. Apart from having the standard space for daily to-do’s and appointments, it also has a block at the top of each week where you can list the happy moments of the week. I love this idea. In my experience, actively taking notice of positive experiences and noting them down increases gratitude and changes your sense of the world.
So before the year runs off at a mad speed again, I thought I would set down my intentions for 2017. I would love to hear your resolutions too, so please pop a few in the comments section below.
After watching Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary, Before the Flood, I am once more inspired to reduce, reuse and recycle. No more excuses. I really believe that being a conscious consumer make a massive difference, and I think now more than ever people on the ground need to take a stand and support company’s that are fighting the good fight. So this year I plan to buy as much of my groceries as possible from our local farmer’s market (the Oranjezicht City Farm Market at Granger Bay). That way I am buying organic, locally farmed produce, and I am not buying food in plastic packaging. We are also going to cut down on the amount of meat and animal product we eat, with red meat limited to once a week.
It goes beyond food though. Living sustainably also means becoming a conscious consumer when buying beauty products and clothes. When buying cosmetics, look for packaging that can be recycled, try to steer clear of products containing palm oil (these plantations are destroying rain forests) and plastic microbeads that contaminate our water, and try to buy cruelty free as far as possible. And while we’re at it, remember to throw cotton pads, wipes and sanitary items in the bin, not down the toilet. As for fashion, I am planning to buy less and invest in items by local designers that have been ethically produced and that support the South African industry.
The idea is not to vilify any brands but rather encourage the industry to adopt better practice.
Slow down my mornings
This isn’t going to be easy but I know it is going to improve my overall health and happiness. Normally I’ll snooze my alarm as long as I can, then rush to get ready for work, grab an apple for breakfast and speed out the door. Starting a morning like this means the entire day feels frantic. This year I intend to get up earlier in the mornings – 30 minutes to an hour – and work in either a quick yoga session or make myself breakfast at home, which I will eat, sitting down, at a table (revolutionary, I know!). I also want to take this time to do some journaling and write down the things I am grateful for, and the goals I would like to achieve that day. It might not be realistic every day, but I am going to do my best to follow this routine as often as possible.
Leave the office for lunch
Another horrible habit I want to smash this year is having lunch at my desk. It’s something I picked up at my first job where I felt I needed to work every single minute of the day, and something I still haven’t managed to shake off. This year I want to make a point of taking my lunch hour, leaving the office and doing something that doesn’t involve work. This means leaving my phone in my bag for that time, which is probably going to be one of the hardest things to do. And that brings me to the next point.
Limit my time on my phone
It’s a tough balance for someone who works online, but I think it will benefit me overall if I spend less time browsing social media. This doesn’t mean posting less or engaging less with the people who I follow, but I do want to cut out those random moments when I reach for my phone because I’m bored, or simply out of habit. I would rather use the time doing something sensible like reading a book.
Read more and watch less crap
Binge watching my way through a series is fun every now and then but when left unchecked this habit can really chow away at my time. This year I am going to try my best to watch less television and more time reading the books I’ve had on my list for ages. I picked up The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie over the holidays and it has been such a joy getting lost in the story. It’s been a while since I’ve found a book that really sucked me in and now that the spark has been reignited I want to fuel it as much as possible.
Be kind to myself
My final resolution or intention is to identify my strengths and admit my weaknesses, and to play according to these. It is important to be realistic about the things I am good at and the places in my life and business where I might need help. At the same time I want to avoid comparing myself to others. It is an easy trap to see other’s successes as your own failings (why didn’t I think of that?!) but it is so much healthier to celebrate people, their talents and triumphs, and to be truly happy for them. I started to actively rewire my brain to do this last year, and it has made a major impact in my life. I am definitely going to build on it going forward.
These are just a few of the resolutions I would like to achieve this year. How are you planning to improve your life in 2017? Pop it in the comments section below.