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The New Year brings with it the challenge of making New Year’s Resolutions… and perhaps more importantly, trying to stick to them. But you don’t need to make official resolutions to make positive changes in your life. You can make changes at any time of the year, although January is a great time to start afresh.
Whatever changes you’d like to make, here are some tips on how to make sure this January counts. I’m ready to begin – are you?
1: START A JOURNAL
Notice I say journal rather than diary. Choose a journal without dates, because these can end up feeling like just another job to complete. It’s very easy to feel negative or frustrated if you miss a day. A journal, with its blank pages, doesn’t bring that same feeling. You also have far more to choose from, enabling you to select one that ‘speaks’ to you and feels right.
Take time to write whenever you can, and whenever you feel in the mood. Write about what you want to change. Getting it down on paper can help you feel clear about it in your mind. Focus on your resolutions for the year ahead, and how you are progressing towards attaining them. When you are feeling as if you aren’t making progress, look at your journal and re-read what you have written. You might be surprised to find a very different picture emerging!
Positivity counts for a lot when you want to make good changes to the way you live. This holds true for all areas of your life. If you always look on the bad side of things, try stopping yourself mid-thought when the same habits rear their heads. It takes time to form a new habit, but a sense of positivity is a great habit to have.
Even when you experience a setback, there is often something positive to be gained from it. For example, you might discover a better way of doing something. Maybe you will learn something that will help you progress towards your goal more easily than you have thus far.
Beyond that, a positive frame of mind will help you feel less stressed, much happier, and far calmer in every aspect of your life. Doesn’t that sound like a better way to move forward? And remember, you can note down everything in your journal so you have a record to refer back to when you need a positivity boost.
3: BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU INTEND TO CHANGE
How clear is your goal for the year ahead, or even for this week? The vaguer the goal, the harder it will be to attain it.
For example, you might think ‘I want to eat more healthily in 2018.’ That’s great, but it doesn’t provide you with much detail. You could say ‘I want to go vegetarian’ or ‘I want to cut out sugar’ or ‘I want to quit snacking’ instead. That is clearer and will provide an easier path to follow. I’m not saying the challenge will be easy, but making sure you are clear on the positive change you wish to make does make it far simpler to achieve that goal.
You may wish to set several goals for 2018. Write them down in your journal and be clear about each one. And remember, think positively and focus on the end goal each time.
4: BE PREPARED FOR SETBACKS
Hang on – I know what you are thinking. ‘I thought she was talking about positive changes, not negative ones?’
Yes, and that is exactly why we should be prepared for setbacks to appear on our journey. Let’s say you want to lose a stone in 2018. You will probably find it easy to eat healthily to begin with – especially after the excesses of the festive season. But there is a birthday party to attend in mid-January, and then a family Sunday dinner where everyone always has seconds… and there is always one relative who insists you should eat everything…
Every path you choose to lead you towards achieving positive change in your life will have the odd pothole in it. But if you are prepared for that pothole, you can steer around it because you know it will be there. Even if you end up going right through it, it will likely cause less damage than if you had assumed the path would be smooth.
Making positive changes is an admirable goal to have in your life. Every day, we can take steps towards becoming more positive and enjoying our lives more. If you fail in getting started towards your new positive changes this January, don’t worry, and don’t give up. Some challenges are harder to meet than others, but you’ll reach your goal in the end if you persevere.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.