We’re coming up to that time of year when everything is about festive fun, excess and consumerism, but after the decorations have come down, you can feel a little deflated: you’ve a credit card bill you’d rather not look at, and made New Year Resolutions that, while made in good faith, seem unachievable in the cold light of a January day. You do not want to feel like a party pooper, but the excesses of Christmas can make you feel awful at the start of the New Year, and this is the time of year when you want to be able to fully embrace the prospects of a new beginning and make positive changes to your life.
Take some time out to review and reflect on the past year. What have been the highlights, and what challenges have come to light that you certainly don’t want to repeat for the next year? Are there occasions or situations that you wish you had handled differently? Although there will have been circumstances out of your control, there will also have been situations that have control over you and need to be addressed.
Make a list of the things that you would like to change about your life. You may be ready for a change of job or career, in which case you need to update your CV and find a role that fulfils your career aspirations. You may now be ready to enter a new relationship that will build your confidence and make you feel fabulous, in which case you need to embrace your curves and join BBW dating sites such as Plus Size Connections and find a partner who will fulfil your wants and needs. Documenting what you would like to change allows you to see in black and white how the next year can give you solution to areas of your life that have been holding you back.
Use your list to help you write a plan of action of steps that will help you achieve your goals. These steps are to be your New Year Resolutions – not the end goal. By making these steps your resolutions, you will find that they are much more achievable, and once you have accomplished these baby steps, you will find that you are leaping towards success.
Here are 5 tips to ensure that you start the New Year with a bang, but rather than a firework bang that fades as quick as it was lit, a bang that lights up your life all year round.
Decluttering the house before Christmas is a great way of clearing headspace too. Go through your cupboards and wardrobes and either sell, donate or tip the things that you no longer need or like. This way, you are creating the space for the gifts you receive over the holiday period, and you will also be able to identify things that you need, so that when you are asked what you would like for Christmas, you can give a list of definitive items (and take advantage of January sales for the items that you don’t receive from Father Christmas). Keeping your home clutter free, keeps your mind free from clutter too.
Christmas is all about spending time with loved ones, celebrating, and, of course, sharing gifts. However, it is all too easy to go overboard and stretch your finances to the extent that you face a very bleak January and February. Make a list of who you need to buy presents for, and designate a set amount for each person. This figure is set in stone. Do not be tempted to go over your budget, but spend time seeking gifts that come in under budget – take advantage of BOGOF offers and multiple buy deals, and before you buy anything online, look for promotional codes. If you plan your buying, you will not be in the situation that you will panic buy and blow your budget; continue this throughout the year, think about what you are spending: do you need to buy a coffee everyday before work? Can you take sandwiches instead of buying from a café at lunch? Review your spending practices, and save the money that you ordinarily would have spent.
When you are out and about over the Christmas period, you will want to look your best, and the temptation is always there to buy new outfits to help you shine; however, this does not help with your budget! The most cost-effective way to glam up an outfit is to accessorise. Go through your wardrobe and select key garments that make you feel fabulous; a simple black top can be overhauled with the addition of a statement necklace, or a costume jewellery bracelet or cuff, costs a lot less than a whole new outfit.
The holiday season is all about excess, but you don’t want to be starting the New Year feeling sluggish, regretting either alcohol induced behaviour or the money that you have spent. Try and alternate alcoholic drinks for soft drinks; often, it is the reaction of those we are socialising with that challenge our attempts to reduce alcohol intake, but how do they know that your drink is a tonic rather than a gin and tonic? Or your wine is not a spritzer? Everybody will be none the wiser, apart from you, your head the next day and your purse!
With all the giving and sharing and celebrating of the Christmas period, being able to feel gratitude for what you have been given and what you already have is essential for your long-term happiness. Gratitude improves our health, relationships, emotions and personality. By showing gratitude, you are able to be more optimistic and have greater self-esteem. Take time out of your day to make a mental note about what you are grateful for. Some days it may be just seeing the autumn colours of the trees, and other days having your hard work recognised at work – whatever you are grateful for, acknowledge it, and you will soon identify more things that make you happy.