‘Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective’ – Gilbert K. Chesterton
I saw this hashtag on twitter this morning when Lucy posted it on her blog and was started by Sophie over at Busy Little Fee (both of whom were some of my favourite bloggers in 2015). And whilst I’d made a conscious decision not to do any resolutions posts this year, I simply can’t resist a bandwagon!
On a whole, I’m pretty happy with myself, so there’s not that much I want to change per se. I like Lucy’s slant on it, not things that need to change, just things that need to ‘get done’ or ‘do more/less of’. So here are the 16 things I’d like to see happen in 2016, in no particular order:
1. Worry less about things I can’t control – I started CBT in 2015 because I lost my way a little bit and It’s really helped me to get my emotions in check and try not to worry about things that I can’t control. The worry tree has been a huge benefit (I have a little one on my desk at work that I use when I start to feel overwhelmed). I’m going to consciously try to remember that if I can’t control the outcome of something, whether I worry or not, the outcome will be the same; so pointless worrying.
2. Watch less TV – I’ve always been a telly addict and have many a favourite show. I feel that particularly in the winter I get trapped in the work/gym/tea/TV cycle and it’s counter productive. My plan is obviously not to stop watching TV altogether, just to watch less and replace TV with a game of some sort. Something I can sit at the table with some music on like a jigsaw puzzle or dominoes. Anything that gets my brain working a bit more than watching Made in Chelsea.
3. Buy less stuff on Ebay – I love a bargain and some of my favourite clothes I’ve gotten for 99p on Ebay which is great, and saves loads of money than buying stuff full price in the shops (and is also good for the environment if you think hard about it!) but for every gem I’ve found I’ve also bought something that arrived and didn’t quite fit, or is a slightly different colour than it looked in the pictures and it goes in the next charity bag, which is a massive waste of money. I’m going to try and limit my Ebay shopping to a couple of things a month and only bid on things I have a fair idea will fit.
4. Wear the clothes I have – I’ve noticed over the years that I have a habit of buying a new top for a night out or event because I’m too lazy to trawl through my disorganised wardrobe and find something I haven’t worn in a while. So I’m going to make a conscious effort to start wearing the clothes I already have before I start buying new things. For example I have a lovely black and white jumpsuit I got in the next sale 2 years ago and I’ve only ever worn it once, so that’s getting worn again for Mum’s 60th Birthday in a few weeks time. It might take a bit more organising, but hey I come form a long line of administrators; organising’s in the blood.
5. Spend more time with my niece and nephew – I’ve already set the ball rolling with this one by asking my sister-in-law if we can take Darcy and Evan to a space exhibition at the Centre for Life in January – which of course she’s all for as it give her and my brother-in-law some time to themselves. Evan in particular is dead into space at the moment and loved the lego space rocket we got him for Christmas. I love being around kids, even though it is nice to hand hem back at the end of the day. And Darcy and Evan may well be the ones looking after us when we’re old so may as well get them on side early 😉
6. Get back into running – I still have a love/hate relationship with running. I don’t particularly enjoy it and I find it difficult, but I’ve always a bit of a masochist, I like punishing myself by doing things I don’t enjoy. Health wise nothing tones me up like running, it gives me the opportunity to discover new music, and it completely clears my head when I’m down. I know all the benefits it brings, I just need to get it done.
7. Stop eating crisps and twirls – This obviously goes hand in hand with the running but since we started the 5:2 diet last January I noticed my crisp and Twril consumption go up significantly on non fast days, which isn’t the healthiest balance in the world. It’s no secret I struggle with my weight and body image (like most women) and feel better when I’m fit and healthy (a size 8 I shall never be – I accept that) and sadly crisps ad twirls don’t support that goal.
8. Spend less time on social media – This will be a tough one for me as I love the ‘social’ aspect of social media but over the last few year I’ve inadvertently walked into what I thought was an adult debate but has turned into nasty mugslinging and I’m in over my head before I know what’s happening. I got some particularly mean insults from a load of ‘adults’ on Mumsnet once, which, whilst it was amusing at the time, did upset me. Getting insulted by keyboard warriors for merely expressing an opinion isn’t very good for my soul so I’m going to make a conscious effort to keep my opinions to myself in future. Keeping in mind an old Thai phrase; ‘The duck that quacks gets shot’.
9. Be tidier – Another thing I’ve learnt from CBT is that tidiness and order can be directly linked to good mental health. There’s been research done that has shown that people with a tidy bedroom sleep better because they’re not surrounded by clutter and chaos. Whilst I have always maintained that just because you’re neat and tidy, doesn’t mean you’re a superior being, however I have enough drama and chaos in my life that I simply create in my own head, I don’t need leaving my knickers on the bathroom floor making it worse.
10. Be more houseproud – My hubby Dave has always said that one thing he really loves about me is that I don’t nag. I’m not that type of wife who’s always badgering her other half to put the bins out or wash the dishes and in fact that brand of ‘man bashing’ you see on Facey by women who think they’re some kind of superhero because they load the dishwasher every night really bugs me. I do wish I was a little more house proud though. Our house looks lovely when it’s clean and tidy. We stayed at my parents for Christmas this year and my mum has done such an amazing job with the bathroom that it looks like a hotel. I want people to come to our house and think our bathroom looks like a hotel!
11. Spend more time outdoors – I’m a self confessed city girl so the most ‘outside’ I see is normally Northumberland Street or a beer garden somewhere. I’m constantly inspired by my friend Caroline who is always out and about in different gardens and country houses in the North East with her husband and two girls and it always looks like fun. Walking around in the fresh air is obviously good exercise, which I’m all for, but will also keep me off the high street buying another 20 pub tops that I just don’t need.
12. Look after my skin – I wrote about this time last year about my acne and how I was trying really hard to keep my skin clean and moiturised to keep the spots to a minimum. Sady I’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit and gotten into bad skin habbits with all the festivities in December. My worse habbit is I don’t take my make up off before going to the gym and it doesn’t take a dermatologist to know that thick foundation mixed with sweat does not a smooth face make. I’m doing the food shopping this afternoon so going to make sure I stock up on some Simple face wipes so I can at least get the bulk of crap off my face before starting to work out.
13. Read more blogs – 2015 was my first full year of blogging and I still feel like I’m fining my voice a little bit. Some of my favourites last year have been Katie, Laura, Linda, Louise and Suzie. Don’t get me wrong I get some lovely encouraging comments and have met some lovely people (special shout out to Samantha at North East Family Fun who’s become somewhat of a mentor for me) but I’ve also accidentally trodden on a few toes along the way, I’m still learning the ‘rules’. I want to read more to get more insight and inspiration into how to make mine better.
14. Spend quality time with Dave – Me and the hubs have always been mega supportive of each other; i’m his number one cheerleader when it comes to his ultra running and he encourages me and supports me with the work I do with The Longsands and writing my blog. While that’s a fantastic part of our relationship, they’re very much solitary passions. What I’d like in 2016 is to find some common interests that we can do and enjoy together. We’ve haven’t quite discovered what that thing is yet but I imagine it will fit quite possibly with my ‘more time outdoors’ resolution!
15. Spend more time with my friends – Again, this is something I’ve taken from CBT. Do what makes you happy, and there’s very few things that make me happier than spending time with my friends. I was a forces kid and moved around a lot, when we finally settled back in the UK I always thought I needed loads of friends, to make up for the friends I didn’t have growing up. It’s been a long hard lesson realising that it’s quality not quantity that’s important when it comes to friendships and that there back be lots of people who know you, but very few people who understand you. Ang, Cheryl, Janine, Patricia and Steph are those few people, and I want to keep them around as often as possible.
16. Tell people how much they mean to me – It’s really easy to go through life assuming that people know how much they mean to you, we’re British, we don’t like being mushy or gushing. I want to start telling people how much they mean to me, while I have the chance. Even if it’s just a simple ‘your text really cheered me up today’ or ‘I really appreciated you asking how I was this morning’ because it’s nice to hear that you’ve made a difference to someone’s day, week or life. It’s also one of those self fulfilling prophecies as well, if you smile at someone in the street they inevitably smile back, if you say nice things to people, they’ll say nice things to you. And the world could so with more people saying nice things to each other!
Thanks Sophie and Lucy for the idea and inspiration!