New Year, New Start

How did your 2015 go? Did you achieve all the things you wanted to achieve? Are you the kind of person who makes a list and the beginning of the year and ticks things off as the year goes on? Or are you more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type person, taking life as it comes and hoping for the best?

Most of us are a mix of the two. We have great intentions but they don’t always work out the way we hoped. We join gyms, go two or three times and then forget about it. We sign up to new classes but after a month start to feel that the extra work is too much.

We promise we’ll get up an hour earlier and use the extra time to do yoga, read a book or redecorate the house. Or we go on a diet expecting to look like Gisele Bundchen but soon realise we’ve more in common with Oprah Winfrey or Zach Galifianakis. Sound familiar?

That’s the thing about Christmas. It’s one final big blow out at the end of each year, a little celebration to remind us that we’ve made it through another year, we’ve survived the madness and we deserve a party to congratulate ourselves for getting this far.

But we know January looms just around the corner. Another new year. Time for new beginnings. A second chance to make right all the things we didn’t get done the previous year. So we sit down on New Year’s Eve, our bellies full from over-indulgence in turkey and mince pies.

We feel the fat around our waists, we count the brain cells we imagined we’ve lost, moan about the creaking and aching in our bones and have a little cry about our empty bank accounts. Time for change! We exclaim these words with an exuberant optimism reserved for this time of year.

Typically at this time of year people say things like ‘I want to quit smoking, drinking and eating junk food.’ ‘I’m going to stop working non-stop and make time for my family and friends.’ Or ‘I’m going to go to the gym at least twice a week.’

That’s because we all want to feel better, look better, earn more money and spend time with the people we love.

The problem is that these are big goals. Each one takes a huge amount of commitment both in terms of time and energy. But here’s the real clincher: when we fail we feel awful.

We end up feeling the opposite of what we wanted. That’s why it’s really important to be selective when making New Year’s resolutions. When we make goals they have to be easy, manageable and realistic or we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

This year the kindest goal you can set for yourself is a goal that’s easy to achieve and makes you feel amazing. Make it something fun, something you’ve always wanted to do. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be as simple as reading a new book every month, learning how to cook a new dish or take up a new sport like Karate.

Whatever it is, enjoy it. And make sure you make 2016 the best year it can be. Here’s to wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

 

Vocabulary

ticks (v.)  – to mark something

fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants (id.) – to be carefree

intentions (n.) – plans

blow out (id.) – party

congratulate (v.) – to celebrate something

looms (v.) – is coming

over-indulgence (n.) – to do something to excess

mince pies (n) – special Christmas cake

creaking (v.) – to make a harsh sound

aching (adj.) – to be in pain

exuberant (adj.) – to be really happy

optimism (adj.) – to have a positive view of life

commitment (n.) – to make a promise

awful (adj.) – to feel bad

selective (adj.) – to make a specific choice

resolutions (n.) – to make a promise

manageable (adj.) – easy to do

elaborate (adj.) – difficult or complicated

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