HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I find January to be a tricky customer. I’m not a fan of the whole new year, new me thing, so I refrain from making too many resolutions. After all, it’s no fun setting tough targets, only to find I fail in the first month of the year!
For 2017 I’d like to achieve a sense of balance in all areas of life. Keeping the scales from tipping too far in one direction. It’s something I was aiming for at the end of 2016, and I find it to be a kinder and gentler way to live. Especially when the world can be unkind.
Balance for me is having the freedom to say yes to the occasional indulgence and living a guilt-free life. It’s enjoying a little bit of everything while showing grace and compassion to myself and the choices I make. Most of all, it’s feeling grateful and content and making sure I have all the ingredients I need to build a happy and fulfilled life. Here are the five areas I’ll be focusing on in the coming year.
CREATING A BALANCED LIFE
Many of us get sidetracked investing time in how we look while neglecting what’s inside. Feeling good about our appearance can, of course, improve how we feel. But it’s valuable to start from within by practicing a little self-care and focusing on gratitude for what we already have.
During 2017 I plan to find balance by nurturing relationships while also enjoying time out to read and think. Making sure I create space for the things that bring me the greatest joy will be my primary focus. While continuing to practice mindfulness to reduce thinking about the past or worrying about the future.
I don’t know about you but when I impose a strict exercise routine I struggle to keep it up. This is because I either wear myself out or simply get bored. During 2017 I intend to approach exercise with a strategy of little and often while mixing up what I do to stop the boredom kicking in.
I plan to continue to swim and attend the gym while integrating movement with a daily morning walk. If I have a busy week and I don’t have time to exercise I won’t beat myself up. My priority will be to listen to my body and exercise when I need to. After all, exercise feels better when it’s viewed as a treat!
Last year I tried several different routines in my working life. Working freelance after twenty years of full-time employment has certainly been a big lifestyle change. And on occasion a bit of a shock!
I’m hoping that this year, I can balance out my week and workload. Being sensitive to what I need in my day and open to ideas and new ways of working. I intend to find a place where I feel at ease and can work smarter and not harder.
Working freelance means the boundaries between work and play are sometimes blurred. This results in working when I should be enjoying some much needed downtime. Seeking balance will hopefully create a clear distinction, and thus enable me to fully switch off and recharge when I need to.
Balance in my downtime will include spending time with family and friends, seeking adventure as well as enjoying quiet time to relax. I hope indulging in a whole range of different activities as well as trying new things will invigorate my body and mind.
I wouldn’t like to advise anyone on what to eat but what works for me is a little bit of everything, and everything in moderation. I find with a balanced diet I can create a healthy relationship with food and most of all it stops me from overindulging. Over the years, I’ve noticed whenever I remove items from my diet I crave them even more!
CLARITY AND CALM
By applying balance to the five areas of life I hope to maintain a sense of clarity and calm. I’m certain there’ll be weeks when things tip in one direction. The secret will be to notice when this happens and make tweaks to get the balance back.
Whether you’ve set New Year’s resolutions, established some exciting goals or are simply looking forward to embracing life as it unfolds, I wish you all the joy in the world. Let’s strive for a peaceful, happy and healthy 2017!