Say No to New Years Resolutions. Choose JOY in January

On New Year’s Eve I love taking some time to reflect, and I always feel there is nothing more exciting than the prospect of a fresh new year full of new adventures and possibilities!

However, I also remember clearly my excitement at the prospect of a new year in 2020 and declaring that it was going to be an amazing year. So, I think it is important to approach it gently, before we start declaring huge expectations and aspirations for the year and for ourselves.

It is also important not to over think it! If there is one thing I have really learnt this year it is to be guided by my heart more than my head. So, just asking yourself a few simple questions can really help.

Taking a moment to reflect on ‘What am I grateful for?’, ‘What is important right now?’, and ‘What went well?’ can be really powerful for giving you clarity and perspective and to be guided by your heart.

Every day there is something to be grateful for and every day there will be something that has gone well, however small that is. I am continually inspired by people I meet every day who despite facing enormous challenges in their lives still find moments in their days that make them smile, and how they continue to see glimpses of hope and light in really difficult situations.

If there is one thing, we all know for sure that is that none of us really know what is around the corner, and there is so much in life we have no control over.  So I think it is important to reflect in all the things we have right now that we have to be grateful for. I also think it is really important to take a moment.  celebrate all things right now that are going well, and everything we HAVE achieved this year, however small.

Unfortunately, as humans we often have a tendency to focus on the negative and are also quick to criticise ourselves for not being good enough, and consequently can often approach a new year with a harsh, critical must do better approach.

However, it is very difficult to make any changes in life, when we feel bad about ourselves.

When we feel happier, calmer and better about ourselves, we are able to make much more empowered choices.

So instead of focusing on what you want to give up this year, why not focus on making space for things that bring you joy and make you feel good. January can be a challenging month with the cold winter days and dark nights, so it is so important to take a gentle nurturing approach to our wellbeing rather than depriving ourselves and creating harsh restrictions for ourselves.

Another question that my clients find incredibly useful is ‘How will it make me feel?’ when making choices in life.

We have all experienced the ripple effect of making that one decision to say yes to doing something we enjoy, such as committing to a regular weekly dance class, weekly singing group, or painting class, or simply meeting up with friends. Committing to something that brings you joy every week has the potential to change your outlook, your focus, and your levels of happiness. Even at times when life is incredibly hard and challenging, it is possible to create those moments for joy, and it is actually even more important to do so. If an hour a week feels impossible start with 5 minutes a day, or 30 minutes a week, do whatever works for you. It is a real privilege in my work to see what happens when the women I work with commit to making tiny, but consistent commitments to create tiny moments for themselves.

When you feel good about yourself it is SO much easier to make healthier choices. I imagine many of you can remember the ripple effect one healthy choice has. Perhaps you went to that exercise class you enjoy… suddenly you started drinking more water, you had a few more vegetables at lunch and suddenly you start to feel more relaxed and started sleeping better too… but it all started with making that one choice to go to that exercise class that you know you always ENJOY.

So why not turn those New Year’s resolutions on their head, an instead of declaring to cut out whatever it is you are ALWAYS trying to CUT OUT, why not CHOOSE JOY instead. You are much more likely to continue to make choices that serve you when you are feeling better, and you are much more likely to create sustainable habits if they are based on what you enjoy.

If you are struggling to know where to start, I would be delighted to offer you a gifted 1:1 coaching session. However, if you would like a suggestion, I would say creating a regular habit to add more movement into your life is always a brilliant starting point.

What that looks like to you may be very different to what that looks like to me. Movement can be very different things to different people.  However, if you are looking for a dance-based class that is always guaranteed to put a smile on your face and leave you feeling great, I would really recommend IndulgDance Fitness. Niki runs a wide range of different classes, so there really is something for everyone. Everyone who knows me knows I am a HUGE fan of Fit steps (a strictly inspired class) and Vera flow (which is a very special fusion of yoga and contemporary dance).  Niki is kindly offering a free first class to anyone I have recommended. I would really recommend that you indulge in this brilliant opportunity! Please click on this link to contact Niki directly. Niki has taught me so much about how to create a supportive community over the years and I find her whole approach inspiring. Please do feel free to read a previous blog I wrote about her wonderful virtual supper club session in lockdown here. 

Also, if you would like some healthy inspiration to set you on a healthier track this year, and would like to connect with like-minded people, please do join us at the first Supper Club of the year on Monday 16th January. We still have some spaces left but please do book here soon to avoid disappointment. We would love to see you there.

In the meantime, if you were thinking of writing those New Year’s Resolutions this year, please pause a moment, think about how you want to feel and start there! Please start 2023 by saying YES to yourself, whatever that looks like to you, and however small that first step. Just say yes!

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2023. I hope to see you very soon,

Harriet x


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