I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. I find they’re often negative, saying ‘I will give up X, Y or Z’. Instead, this year I’ve decided to make some aspirations, positive actions to help me strive towards my goals by putting them in writing. I also feel you shouldn’t wait for a new year if you want to make a positive change in your life, do it today! It’s a bit like Valentine’s day, if you love someone you tell them and make them feel that way every day, not just once a year!
So here goes…..
- Do more yoga
2018 was the year I found yoga! I had tried it several times before but never clicked with it. Over the past 6 months or so I’ve become a wholehearted yogi, I can’t get enough! The instructor I’ve used the most is Tim Sensi. I use his YouTube channel for home yoga practice. I love it! I used to be someone who’d come home from work and if stressed go for a hard, fast run. I now choose yoga and 5 minutes in I feel a completely different, calm, person. Yoga is my form of mindfulness. I used Calm a lot for a few months and still dip into mindfulness meditation occasionally. However, I always feel my most mindful doing yoga. I can see my progress with it, getting stronger whilst flexible and being able to hold standing balances I used to tipple over whilst doing! I’m currently striving towards a handstand. Having this goal to me is like seeing the weight you’re lifting strength training go up, it’s a positive transformation as you see your body get stronger.
This year I’m aiming to do just 5-10 minutes of yoga every morning before work to start my day off well, on top of longer sessions a few evenings a week.
- Get through hospital training
This time in a year I’ll only have a couple more weeks before leaving hospital work forever! As a part-time GP trainee it takes me a bit longer to get through the hospital jobs. I have to admit, it’s not an environment I thrive in. I love the team-working side of things but the hospital life is not for me. It reminds me how much I value prevention and lifestyle medicine. I also am amazingly lucky with my home life, I have close family who I love seeing and the most supportive boyfriend ever. These people are my purpose. There is ever-growing evidence that having a purpose in life is essential for wellbeing. Reflecting a lot on what I find hard working in a hospital is how the shift work takes me away from these people on the important days and when they have time off, which makes me feel a bad girlfriend, sister and daughter which in turn makes me so sad. I’m also one of those people who need closer to the 9 hours’ sleep a night of the 7-9 hours recommended to feel happy, healthy and thriving. This evidently isn’t conducive when working 13-hour days (or nights!).
So, this year I am going to focus on getting through these harder times whilst being grateful and enjoy every moment I have with the people I love.
- Gratitude and affirmations
These two things I think will be invaluable in helping to achieve my second aspiration. Gratitude is something I’ve been practicing for a while now and honestly, it is amazing how taking just a couple of minutes before bed for gratitude can make you go to sleep with a smile and a positive heart. I’m currently reading The Stress Solution by Dr Rangan Chatterjee. In this book he provides a structure for gratitude practice that I will use as this is what my practice has been lacking. Everyday I think of a person, pleasure and promise I am grateful for.
Affirmations I have to be honest sounded a little mumbo-jumbo to me when I first heard of them. However, without trying something you don’t know if it could work for you. I am going to start practicing affirmations, and I have chosen to start with the phrase ‘I am happy and I am calm’ as when these two emotions combine I am in my happy place!
- Make time for my inner bookworm
I love reading, but have got out of the habit of making time for it. In the past few weeks I’ve started reading before bed again and am really enjoying it and plan to keep it up. I have a pile of inspiring non-fiction books to read and I can’t wait to get through them all, although I feel it might pile up quicker than I can read them! Reading before bed is also a great way of finishing a bedtime routine, signalling to your body it’s time for sleep and helping you drift off more easily.
- Use less plastic
Reducing my own plastic consumption is something this year I am going to activity try hard with. I’ve watched several documentaries recently and seen shocking statistics, images and stories about plastic devastating the planet. From oceans to rivers and mountains, the mark of human waste is everywhere. I am honestly shocked at how much single-use plastic there still is in our everyday lives. Supermarkets especially annoy me, food like bananas in plastic packaging when they have their own skins! This year I am going to make a real effort to check more labels before buying anything in plastic packaging, and if it’s not recyclable, I’m not going to buy it – voting with my wallet and all! I love shops which actively strive to reduce plastic waste, from local greengrocers to large chains, and I will be supporting these more.
- Be more inspiring
This one is easier said than done, but a humbling goal I am passionate about striving for. I want to be the change I want to see in the world and spread messages of positivity.
That’s it for this year – what are your New Year’s Aspirations?