Happiness is a choice. Ok, so there are things out of our control that can affect our happiness, but how many of us approach the start of a new year filled with optimism, promising ourselves we are going to be happy? With lists of all the things you want to achieve and places you want to go (not to mention health and fitness goals), the beginning of a new year is a great time to start planning for the future - so many of us view January as a fresh start. We know lots of you will be starting a healthy diet, beginning a clean eating regime or working on your fitness as we approach the new year, but we don't want you to forget about your mental well-being and happiness too.
So here are a few handy new year's resolutions that will help you to be happier in the new year!
Put Yourself First
Put yourself first, because if you're happy and healthy then those around you will be happier too. Let's see how you can enjoy a happy, fruitful year, starting right now.
Being altruistic (caring about others) is all well and good and you do need to look after your nearest and dearest, but what good are you to others if as a result you run your own health and happiness into the ground? We lead increasingly busy, hectic lifestyles but that doesn't mean you don't have five minutes in the day to relax and do something for yourself. Whether that's taking a bath with your favourite book, going for a run, heading to a yoga class or even just spending five minutes meditating before the kids get home from school, take a little time out of each day to do something that makes you feel good. So resolve to put yourself first this new year and we guarantee you'll feel healthier, and happier for it.
See the good in every situation
We can't control what happens to us in life, no matter how much of a control freak you are! But you can choose whether to view a situation positively or negatively. Of course, there are always going to be situations that it's impossible to view in a positive light, such as a bereavement, but for most other situations, you can find the silver lining. For example, if you're heartbroken after the breakup of a relationship, you'll probably need some time to come to terms with what's happened. Your life will be very different now, but think of all the things you can do! Maybe it wasn't the right relationship for you, and now you're free to go out there and meet the perfect person for you- it's an exciting time rather than a depressing one. By trying to turn a situation on its head and view the positives, you'll quickly find you adopt a more optimistic mindset - mindfulness can really help you to be happier.
Stop focusing on things, focus on experiences
All too often, we associate having the latest gadget or the fastest sports car with happiness. We focus on things rather than experiences, but it's not this which makes us happy. When you're old, it is the life experiences you'll remember - the people you met and the things you did - rather than what you had. It's normal to want nice things, but by focusing more on spending your money on socializing and experiences, you'll find you are far happier.
Try new things
Make this year, the year you try new things! From the little things, like trying food you've never tasted before or going to that new Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, to big things like going on a round-the-world trip, volunteering abroad or signing up to a fitness challenge, trying new things is incredibly beneficial for your health, happiness and confidence. Once you know what you're capable of, your self-esteem will receive a real boost, and trying new things can boost your energy levels and get endorphins flowing, leaving you feeling excited and happy. Whatever you've always wanted to do, make 2018 the year you do it!
Draw up a budget
Life isn't all about money, but in order to be able to socialize and have exciting new experiences, you do need at least a bit of cash! By drawing up a budget in January, you can work out what your essential outgoings, or living expenses (such as rent, bills etc) cost. Netflix is not an essential outgoing; although for some of us it might feel like it at times! This allows you to work out how much money you have left every month for socializing, travelling etc. By saving some money on months when you have more, you'll always have plenty put aside for times you need a boost. So next time there's a party happening or a night out with friends, you won't have to turn down invitations because you're short of cash.
Carve Out Time For Passions
Whether it is gardening, playing games, cooking, or hiking, make time for the things you enjoy. It is easy to get so busy with work and family that we forget to nurture our souls. By making time to do what brings us joy and makes us feel alive, we will feel much better about the things that don't bring us all that joy! A great way to create more time for the things we love, is to regularly go through your calendar and eliminate anything that is not extremely important to you.
Get more sleep and exercise.
I know, that’s not one resolution, it’s two, but the science around these physical happiness boosters is pretty compelling. Studies are clear: You’ll be less stressed, less sick, and less grouchy in the New Year if you get more shut-eye. Try increasing your sleep 10 minutes a night for a week, and then another 10 the next week, and so on until you are regularly getting your eight hours.
If you aren’t active, you want to lose a few pounds, or you frequently feel a bit depressed, try adding more activity into your life in a way that feels fun or luxurious. I like to hike with my friend Jen and her ecstatically joyful dog Lou. It takes a couple hours out of my day (that’s the luxurious part, since I’m so strapped for time) but it leaves me feeling as bright and happy as Lou. On days when I don’t have time for a hike, I walk on a treadmill while watching Modern Family. This is luxurious and fun because I don’t watch TV at any other time.
It is miraculous to me that people can change themselves simply because they want to. New Year’s resolutions are an amazing act of creation, an art form where the canvas is the self.
Please be sure to leave a comment of any resolution you have to offer or like to do.. Thanks