Here is some inspiration for you in case you want to plan some New Year’s Resolutions but aren’t sure where to start.
The trick is to find something that falls into one of these 5 categories:
- Create a stress-free version of yourself.
- Do something nice for others.
- Make yourself healthier, feel stronger, better and more attractive.
- Face your fears.
- Do something that gives you a creative outlet.
Take your pick from the 32 ideas in this list or just use my list as inspiration to find your own resolution
- Autorelax once a day (or even once every few days) to lower blood pressure, aid sleep and make your body work more efficiently. This is SUCH an important part of total stress relief. Do this for a month and you can banish any skerrick of anxiety or tension. You can do it on waking to get the most out of the day ahead, or before sleep. Learn how to do this in 5-10 minutes here: Let Go: Achieve a Relaxed State Quickly and Effortlessly.
- Practice Jalna Neti (pouring slightly salted water through each nostril to clear the nasal passage) once a day before breakfast. This ancient technique has a huge range of far-reaching health benefits and once you get used to it (usually after a few days you will find it easy), the health effects are so pronounced that you will wonder how you ever did without it. It has become as important to me as brushing my teeth.
- Learn to lucid dream. This is when you are “awake” in your dreams and can control your actions and what happens in the dream. I have only had this happen a few times in my life but it was a fascinating experience. Once I realised I was dreaming and decided I wanted to fly and told myself to fly around the whole world. It was epic. That only happened once and I’d like to know how I did it! There are lots of books on the topic. I bought this one for my partner and he liked it.
- Apply the Pareto Principle to your life. The Pareto Principle states that 80% of the output or results will come from 20% of the input or action, so focus the bulk of your efforts on the right 20% and you will be much more efficient in every way. It’s a really interesting concept. Mark Manson has a great article explaining how to do that here: 80-20 your life.
- Haven’t been to India yet? Find a way to get there. Everyone should go at least once. Love it or hate it, give yourself the opportunity to make up your own mind rather than just believing everything you hear about the culture shock etc. For some reason I didn’t get culture shock there. This surprised me. I felt happy and at home. Many people can’t stand being there. Whatever happens it doesn’t matter, that’s not the point. You will learn a lot about yourself from being in India.
- Shamelessly superficial idea here, but do something new with your hair. Don’t have a fringe (bangs for Americans)? – cut one. Have one? Grow it out! Dye it / go natural. Shave it. Grow it. Change is good. It makes you feel revitalised. This applies equally to men and women. If your tried and tested hairstyle is a non-negotiable, change your fragrance or get a tattoo or get a tattoo removed or wear crazy shoes that make you smile. Wear sandalwood oil or an amazing piece of jewellery. Express yourself through your look, try something different, and you will feel freer.
- Read this article on following your heart’s purpose and then follow it!
- Introduce tongue scraping as part of your everyday oral health routine. You’ll have a permanently pink healthy tongue but more importantly, improved oral health has flow on benefits for the whole body.
- If you struggle to incorporate adventure into your life, book a trip somewhere new in 2014 and go. If you don’t have travel companions, be bold and go alone. There are so many great tours you can try if you feel self conscious or anxious setting off on a totally solo trip – and you are guaranteed to make new friends. Try Intrepid for great tours. I have even been on an excellent tour of Egypt with Topdeck Travel. Travel snobs may turn their nose up at tours but when you are new to travelling or going somewhere not particularly welcoming to a solo / lone female traveller, they can be loads of fun. Remember, most people in a tour are alone or very open to making new travel companions.
- Try the “New Year’s Resolution Smoothie” at least once a week for an appealing and delicious challenge which is great for your body.
- Meditate. This is something that has almost become a cliche. If you already meditate you think, hey, I already do that. But do you really? Every single day? If you don’t meditate you think, quit going on about this meditation thing, I have better things to be doing than sitting around with a blank mind. But you don’t! Nobody doesn’t benefit from detoxing the chattering and worries and complaints of the mind. It makes everything you do easier. Experienced but lazy meditators and meditation newbies, get to it for at least 5 minutes in the morning before you start the day and 5 minutes at night before you go to bed. If you find it hard to get motivated, prepare a lovely little dedicated meditation area in your home with a cushion and some pictures that make you feel happy. If you don’t know where to start, the idea is to let go of thought until you are without thought. This is something that takes most people a lifetime or more to master. I find it helpful to imagine hands holding my thoughts and watching them let go of the thoughts. Then I imagine smaller hands holding onto residual thoughts and imagine them letting go and so on. If you are struggling you can check out this short article of mine about a very easy 10 minute chakra-energising visualisation exercise which will help to prepare you for meditation.
- Start your own blog about something you feel passionate about. It’s really easy to start a WordPress blog. It can start out very simple. Just write about anything you like and that you think you would like to read. If you enjoy this process, you can then spend some time sprucing up your blog down the track. Maybe you like to try out new cafes in your area: review them. Take photos of the food and include them in your posts. Or perhaps you enjoy writing poetry or you like commenting on sporting events. Whatever it is, just write about it. Blogs are a great creative outlet.
- Learn a new language. Check out the awesome Duolingo site which offers free and fun tools to learn German, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian. I am working my way through the Spanish one at the moment. Me gusta!
- Don’t sit back just admiring or envying those who display skills you crave. Take inspiration from these people instead. Is there something you always respected others for that you think you can’t do? Learn to do it (or at least start to learn it) in 2014. Think you can’t dance? Learn. Think you can’t sing? Learn. Always wished you could paint or draw? Take classes and learn. Envy your mates who can pick up a guitar and play a beautiful song? Wish you knew how to stand up on a surfboard? Do it! Most things can be mastered with repetition and perseverance so long as the passion is there.
- Smoke? You don’t need me to tell you it’s extremely bad for you, makes your mouth taste awful, your hair and clothes stink, makes people cringe, it’s inconvenient and expensive and to top it all off, what was once considered rebellious and cool has become embarrassingly unfashionable. Want to join the rest of the smoke-free world, or even just want to want to? Use the Alan Carr method and see if that enables you to stop once and for all. I did it and it worked so well for me. I now even tell GP’s they need to give this book to patients trying to quit because it seems crazy to me that people are encouraged to use nicotine-replacement therapy and even anti-depressants to help them stop smoking when a simple little book that costs $12 held the answers for me and so many others. Trust me, I KNOW how freaking hard it is to quit smoking. It took me nearly 15 years to build up the courage to do it. But this book worked for me 100% and I’ve since heard that lots of famous people used this method to stop smoking such as Sir Anthony Hopkins.
- Promise yourself to drink enough water every day. Most of us are chronically dehydrated. Drinking enough water makes you realise how you definitely were not drinking enough before. It is one of the simplest ways to feel much better and results can start as quickly as within 24 hours. Want to be convinced? Check out this article from the Daily Mail that was recently doing the rounds on Facebook: Drinking three litres of water a day took TEN YEARS off my face:
Wow hey? Although it is pretty obvious that the lighting and makeup are different in the “After” shot, the evidence is undeniable. I mean I have tried it myself and on day three of drinking the recommended amount of water I notice a plumper and firmer appearance to my own skin. What a simple and inexpensive way to look and feel much better.
- Walk outside with bare-feet at least once a day on the grass, sand, earth or even the pavement. Get grounded.
- Don’t fancy yourself as a gardener? Plant some herbs – mint and parsley are super easy to grow and will add a nice rustic feel to your mint tea, roasts, pasta dishes and smoothies.
- Commit to trying one new recipe a week on a Tuesday night (or whatever night of the week is currently the dullest in your schedule). It will broaden your repertoire in the kitchen and make a dreary work-day evening a little more interesting.
- Write a short poem each night before bed. It will get easier and easier and after a month you will see a massive improvement in your writing and you will be unblocking your creative channels which will have a knock-on effect in the rest of your life.
- Go digital free at least one day a week. This is getting more and more important in my view. I hate being at lunch with people who use their phone during the meal. So rude! Remember that we are human beings and are not androids (yet).
- Make a nice bound book with all of your favourite digital photos for your parents or grandparents or auntie or uncle (preferably someone a bit older who will really appreciate it). Loads of electronic stores offer this service or you can do it online. It will only take you only about an hour to choose nice photos and design the look of the book, you’ll probably have fun doing it, and it will mean the world to whoever receives it.
- Do some sort of volunteer work at least one day a month. It could even bolster your CV if you manage to do work that is relevant to your industry. However, do it for the love of people / animals / causes you care about. Sea Shepherd is one of my favourite charities. What’s yours?
- Come off Facebook for a week and see if your life improved. If it did, come off for a month and check again. Now, I am still on Facebook and I quite like it. But it’s not a big part of my life. I think a Facebook diet would be most helpful to those who check it every 5 minutes and can’t experience anything without sharing it on FB.
- Read a book about a religion that makes you feel uncomfortable. Against all religion or the concept of religion? Read all of the texts you can! Broaden your mind. Open your heart. Experience things from a different perspective. After all, if you are sure what you believe you can afford to at least try to see things from another point of view.
- Meat eater? Introduce more vegetarian meals to your diet. Vegetarian? Try a few more vegan dishes.
- Donate even a very small amount every month to a nonprofit organisation. Regular donors are the bread and butter of all not-for-profits and reliable donations enable them to more effectively plan for future campaigns.
- Try the most painless way to save money. At the end of every day, take your coins out of your pockets or purse and put them in a big jar or tin. By the end of the year you will have saved enough to buy yourself something really brilliant. You may even have enough for a holiday.
- Cut all sugar / yeasts out of your diet for 6 weeks. Read about my experience as a starting point. It is hard to deny yourself treats but when it’s just for a short time it is manageable.
- Stop using products from companies that do not care for the environment. Buy cosmetics and body products from cool companies like Lush who don’t test on animals, don’t use palm oil and don’t include dangerous ingredients like aluminium in their products.
- Stand up straighter. Good posture is great for your confidence, the way people respond to you, for your lungs and heart and spirit. I need to take this advice as being tall all of my life led to me stooping to accommodate shorter friends and really, I need to accept that I am tall and stand tall! Same applies if you are not tall.
- Be kinder to those you love. Sometimes we can take those closest to us for granted so take a step back and think about all you have to be grateful for and give back to everyone around you with sweet words, noticing nice things about them and telling them, doing cool unexpected little things like bringing home a salty chocolate peanut brownie for your partner for no reason or making your kid a cute flick book out of a pad of post-it notes, or just giving a friend a big hug and thanking them for being a great friend. Even a big, genuine smile or learning and telling a funny joke is valuable. Anything that would bring a smile to your face will probably also be appreciated by someone close to you. Make a commitment to spread the love in 2014.
The most important thing to remember about New Year’s Resolutions is that their value comes from the fact that they offer an appealingly fresh blank slate to “start again”; a mini-rebirth. The reality is, you can reinvent yourself or put a bad habit to rest or do something to improve your character or quality of life any day of the year that you want. The New Year is just a nice time to get started because a new year is like the first page of a nice new notebook. No mistakes have been made and everyone is doing it so there is a collective energy surrounding this special time of year.
Do you have a great New Year’s Resolution that is not on this list? Share it here so that others might benefit.
Happy New Year