Whether you choose to make New Year resolutions or not, every January feels like a new beginning, ripe with possibility and opportunity. Once the grogginess of New Year’s Eve has faded and the Christmas spirit has waned, how do you seize the momentum of the coming year and take positive steps towards the life you want to lead? And how do you keep promises you have made yourself once the dark winter has passed?
Give yourself a fresh look
A fresh new look can work wonders on our self-esteem and mental well being, and your bullet journal, smartphone or notebook can really help with that. Look through magazines, social media, Pinterest and so on, picking people whose appearance inspires you, from hairstyles, make up designs, body shape or fashion sense, anything that appeals to you. Save them in your journal, or device, and show them to your hairdresser. They’ll be able to recreate a style without you having to describe what you want. You could even book a session with a make-up stylist to get some tips on looking your best, and many larger clothing stores have advisors to help you pick outfits. Your inspiration collection easily demonstrates the styles you favour.
Now, with diary in hand, phone in the other, and the perfect cup of coffee within reach, start making appointments. With many salons offering ‘the full works’ these days, you can achieve the perfect hair-style, laser hair removal, dermabrasion and even laser lipo without leaving the building. The British Institute of Lasers supplies and maintains these top-of-the-range machines, while their experts train salon staff to the very highest industry standards, ensuring you receive the best service possible.
So, with you primped and polished and feeling great, what next?
Make a list of 4 or 5 things you want to achieve this year
Simplify your life by deciding 4 or 5 attainable goals – they don’t have to be climbing Mount Everest or running the marathon, and can be as simple as reconnecting with an old, much missed friend, or reading a classic novel. But you could step outside your comfort zone and take up a new hobby, join a gym, book a hot air balloon flight, or fly to your dream destination. You’ll make new and interesting friends, learn new things, and the sense of achievement will be amazing.
Learn to say no
Do you wish you could put your foot down sometimes and say no? Many of us feel compelled to agree to every request, and would rather juggle a million jobs than refuse to help, even if we are left with no time for ourselves. But learning to say no can earn you respect from yourself as well those around you.
This is one of the key habits to simplify your life. If you can’t say no, you can become overwhelmed by everything you’re trying to squeeze in. Interestingly, the ability to say no is closely linked to self-confidence. People with low self-confidence and self-esteem often feel nervous about letting other people down, and tend to rate other’s needs more highly than their own. Remember, though, that you’re turning down a request, not a person. People usually will understand that it is your right to say no, just as it is their right to ask the favor.
Make this year the year to learn how to say ‘no’.
Take charge of your money
It doesn’t matter how much money you have, if you’re not taking control of your financial situation, cashflow will occupy too much space in your life. It’s not something that you can hide away from.
Commit to taking charge of your money. Create a budget, establishing clear goals, and your financial decisions will become much simpler and easier to think through.
You’ll spend less time, effort, and energy concentrating on money once you’ve taken control of your income. There’s a real sense of peace and freedom that comes with financial organisation.
Gain control of your time
You can never earn more time. It’s your most valuable resource. Yet it’s very easy to waste it complaining, mindlessly scrolling through social media, or waiting for things to happen.
Don’t go through life being busy, but achieving little. Eliminate the things that are wasting your precious minutes, cut back on time-wasters (you know the ones) and schedule time to do the things that matter most.
But don’t just focus on doing — set aside some time for just being. Go for a walk, play with your children, watch a sunset, and be in the moment. We all need time to appreciate the little things in order to cope with the bigger ones.
Our lives can get horrendously complicated and stressful, but by following these easy ideas, yours can be under control and simple enough to have the space necessary to deal with any unexpected upheavals in the year ahead.