Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!, reflections, resolutions

The New Year is begun! It is officially the first day of 2012. 2011 is finished with, to be boxed up with so many other previous years. So many people my age seem to look on the year that's gone extremely, considering it to have been either the best or worst year of their life. Well, at our age, we haven't really had many years to compare it with. Nor have we have that many significant events in our life that would put a spin on how good or bad a year has been. But all the trivial things in our lives seem to be so major to us. And we seem to judge how well a year has gone on the last month of it, or thereabouts, our mood at the time of writing our facebook status about it having a large bearing on how we judge it. But if they actually really thought about the year, maybe they would realise that, overall, it's been a pretty good year, perhaps with a crappy finish - but pretty good overall. Or maybe that it's been a bit of a mixed bag. Or maybe that it was just another year, neither good nor bad, which in itself might seem a little sad, but is still better than a bad year, as it gives ground to build on. But I doubt that for most of the people my age whose years have been 'the best' or 'the worst' of their lives, that they actually have.

As or me, I've spent a lot of time considering the past year, and I think, on the whole, it's been pretty good. Last year, I: completed college; got wonderful A level results; went to London with H to see Wicked; began work childminding; suffered from incredibly painful tooth infections; sorted out and had the majority of the dental work needed to give me a healthy smile again; developed some incredibly open and hones closer relationships with friends; grew closer to God than I had felt in years; wrote a couple of articles for The Band; made my first quilt; and began to grow upwards as a person. Boy, that's a lot! Sure, there have been downers in my year - some hefty ones, at times. But even they have provided me with the ability to think and reflect a lot on myself, and not only to come up from them, but to grow further. I learnt a lot in the past year about myself, about my friends, and about the people around me - spiritually and emotionally, I feel I have grown, at least a little. So many incredible memories have been made in the last year. I am higher and more stable than I have been in years. And I look forward to the year ahead of me. I can't wait to create new memories, and to face difficulties head-on (I know, this is getting corny).

I already know that in the coming year I shall: continue childminding; give B as much help as I can; go to see Les Mis with H in London; start at nanny college; and do lots of writing! I hope I shall: stay in touch with people; grow even closer to God; grow more in myself; learn lots of new things; ask for help when I need it; and keep being happier. I hope to continue my diary - and my blog, perhaps more frequently than I currently do! I want to enjoy every experience I can, and perhaps capture a few of them with photos. My dental work will be completed in the first quarter of the year, which I am very excited for!! So overall, it feels like a year filled with potential and promise!

I've spent quite a bit of time considering New Year's Resolutions. It's not something I usually do, simply because I can't be bothered and I can't see the point. I guess I've figured out that the reason we make New Year's Resolutions is because a fresh year feels like a fresh slate - we can rub off the mistakes we made in the last year, and resolve not to make them again this year. So! I decided to make some New Year's Resolutions, and I found some helpful suggestions from The Happiness Project for making your Resolutions realistic and attainable, such as making them specific actions that are measurable - for example, if you want to be healthier, just writing 'be healthier' is not easy to measure. It's a big, general statement, and you're likely to feel frustrated every time you do anything that isn't healthy. And that means you're likely to give up. So instead, making the Resolution to eat a certain number of fruit and veg portions every day, or to do a certain amount of exercise a week will enable you to measure your success. I actually joined the Happiness Challenge for 2012 (something you can do here) as well, because I want to become happier during 2012, but it's a difficult Resolve to specify into measurable actions. But anyway - here are my Resolutions:


  • Get out of the house for a walk at least once every 2 days
  • Exercise at least 5 times a week
  • Eat 3 fruit/veg everyday
  • Go to bed no later than 11, except on special occasions

  • Write in my diary at least twice a week
  • Keep up with my letter-writing
  • Start and complete at least 1 knitting/sewing/crafty project a month
  • Read at least 1 new book a month (ie unread)

  • Change my bed once a week
  • Complete 1 housework task every 2 days
  • Tackle 1 room in the house a month

  • Try to trust people more
  • Be more honest with people about my feelings
  • Appreciate other people more - and let them know
  • Be more honest with myself about my feelings
  • Appreciate myself more
  • Accept my limitations, be realistic with my expectations, and be patient and understanding with myself
It looks like a lot to aim for, I know. I'll probably have to introduce things bit by bit, rather than trying to do it all at once. I can't expect them all to happen overnight, after all! So I'm going to start by aiming to do the walking one, the fruit/veg one, and the diary writing one. Those 3 are a good starting point - they all feel attainable, they're not too big a change from my current lifestyle, and they're enjoyable ones too. And by starting with just those 3, I'll be working on some from the Happiness column. The bed one in Housework is something I already do, which could be called cheating I guess - but I'm thinking of it as a big automatic tick to help encourage me! The Happiness column is the hardest, as I don't think they're things that can be done consciously really. But I want them there anyway, so that at the end of 2012 I can look back and reflect on whether I feel those Resolutions developed or not. I guess they're more a mental reminder for next year.

So that's all for now - a long post, I know! But a good post to start off the New Year, positive and fresh-feeling! So - a Happy, Prosperous New Year to all, including myself!

Love love xx

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