A Single Parent Lifestyle Blog

A guide to the best 5 New Years Resolutions

Well folks, it’s that time of year. Christmas is over, Elf has been put back on his shelf and our minds alternate between looking at the year just gone and with wonder at the one ahead. This is where people fall into two camps, those who make new year resolutions and those who don’t. Which one are you? Here is your guide to the best 5 New Years Resolutions.

Here, I am going to share some of my epic failures at resolutions, ones that seem to appear every year on some lists and ideas on how to make the best 5 New Years Resolutions and keep them in 2021.

Before we start, why don’t you have a quick think about which camp you fall in, what type of resolution normally sits on your list and whether you actually keep them. Whichever type you are, I hope you finish this post feeling satisfied that your new year will start with a bang.

What is a New Years Resolution and how we make 5 of the best.

A resolution at this particular time is where a person constructs a list, upon which are areas such as good practices, changing bad habits and ways to accomplish a particular goal. Basically, what we want to get rid of in our lives and how we would like them to look in the near future.

‘The new year is like a blank book, the pen is in your hands, it is a chance to write a beautiful story for yourself’.

Isn’t that a beautiful idea? And also a little scary? The idea that this whole new year in front of us could alter our lives…. I am definitely one of those people who sometimes falter at the alter of adversity and don’t succeed in pushing myself.

A prime example would be the gym membership that so many people seem to take out in January and rarely use. I am such an example. A monthly amount of approximately £50 does not seem excessive at first, especially when it comes to your health. When I think about how long I kept said membership and the amount of times I used it, it was extremely expensive and so not worth it. Getting out of that contract can also sometimes be tricky. For me, that was epic failure number one. I could have done with a list of 5 of the best New Years Resolutions at the time.

Previous failures in our New Years Resolutions

My second and probably the biggest would be the career change one. My whole working life is centered around administration, being an assistant and organizing other people. A job I am good at and enjoy but not my passion. What is your passion? Mine is writing. Creative writing, to be exact. At university, I wanted to pursue a journalistic career but was weak willed when it came to keeping to this goal and let myself be thrown off-course by others advising me otherwise. Throughout my twenties and thirties, I have picked up my pen and started writing that novel that apparently everyone has within them but for some reason always put the pen back down. I think it is lack of confidence in myself. Maybe I am being harsh but that was epic failure number two for me and the largest of them all.

What is the purpose of New Year Resolutions?

5 of the best New Years resolutions would help give us faith in the coming year. Along with a belief that we can either continue with a good habit or create a new one that will build us a better future. Whether we have just experienced a good year or a disappointing one, there are always areas that can be improved upon. Below are the broad topics normally focused on in this list. After musing on these, we can then, with more confidence create our own.

Areas to include in your 5 best New Years Resolutions

  • Finance – Whatever our financial situation, most of us believe we could do with more money. If your job does not value you, then your chance of getting a bonus or pay-rise will be low. Maybe this is an opportunity to pursue that change in careers, to pursue a dream that will be incorporated in financial gain.
  • Health – A vast topic, this nearly always features in resolution lists, in some way or another. Health encompasses physical, emotional and mental areas and if these are not in alignment our whole world can suffer.
  • Family – There are many areas that could be improved in this topic, how far we live from our family, how often we see them. Whether we actually wish to improve our general relationship with them. This area also incorporates our personal relationships. Is yours a healthy, encouraging and loving one? If not, maybe its time to examine that situation.
  • Personal happiness – This often comes from where we are in our lives. Whether we have achieved what we set out to do. Learning to be happy with ourselves no matter where we are is a skill and one many of us need to learn and constantly practice.
  • Organizational skills – Last but not least, if we want to increase our chance of achieving the above, we need to work on our organizational skills. List creating and recognizing priorities is importing for making sure tasks are done in the right order.

How to make and keep that list

For me, the more visible an idea or a list is, the more likely I am to stick to it. Are you a pen person or digital? Or both? For a digital approach, you could create a screen saver with that years or months resolutions on it. Or get out the fancy colored pens and write yourself a pretty list and stick it everywhere – the fridge, by your mirror, where you eat. The more visible, the better.

As many resolutions are too lofty in their ambitions and set you up to fail right from the oft, I prefer to draft a list that makes me feel calm, healthier and more organized just thinking about it. I am far more likely to succeed this way.

I would suggest firstly writing down the areas you wish to change in your life. Then narrow them down, one by one and pinpoint the exact reasons they need changing. How does it make you feel, suggesting these changes? If it makes you feel anxious, my advice would be to choose a section of each area to focus on, to make it more manageable. Give yourself a timeline that is achievable and break it down on a monthly basis. That way, you do not need to focus on the whole, seemingly immutable task but can achieve each section one by one and build up your achievements slowly. By choosing 5 of your best New Years Resolutions, you are making the task both manageable and achievable.

5 of the best new years resolutions
setting your alarm early for exercise

1. Set your alarm half an hour early in the morning

It’s surprising what can be done with an extra half an hour in the morning. Do you need to pack your bag for work, make the packed lunch that means you don’t have to waste money on eating out? Maybe your child needs encouragement to get out of bed or maybe they have a forgotten piece of homework to finish that half an hour would do nicely. It’s amazing how quickly it will become part of your routine and a vital part of your day. That extra half an hour can be the difference between feeling organized and ready for your day ahead or not being prepared and facing the day already flustered. No contest for me.

5 of the best New Years Resolutions

2. Exercise

Whatever your want to put on your list, I would choose exercise as a priority. There have been times in my adult life where I have not done any exercise for a period of time. The impact this has had on every other area of my life has been immense. Consequently, examine your fitness level and whatever it is, take it one step further. You don’t have to become Usain Bolt or Simone Biles. Even if it is only stretching fully in the morning and evening and doing a set amount of sit ups and press ups, exercise is proven to have such fantastic benefits. Who doesn’t want to feel happier, more energetic less depressed and more fluid physically, emotionally or mentally?

3. Food

Again, a very wide and general area. You know what you are currently putting into your body. I’m sure you roughly know whether it is good or bad for you. My foible is crisps (chips to the American). Don’t take the rather daunting task of completely revamping our whole diet. Choose an area you’d like to improve and focus on the one, smaller and more achievable goal. Maybe it is to eat more fruit. In which case, you could use that extra half an hour in the morning to make a fruit salad to take to work.

5 of the best New Years Resolutions

4. Sleep

We’ve looked at the start of the day, now lets examine the end. I think its pretty safe to say that most adults go to bed too late. This means they do not get up on time, can’t concentrate fully, don’t eat properly…. The repercussions from poor sleep are immense. A good sleep pattern is an important part of establishing deep sleep. This can be started from the simple idea of having a set time to switch of screens. Whatever time you need to wake up in the morning, make sure you get approximately 8 hours sleep. This will set you up for the day ahead. It will not take long for your body to start reaping the rewards!

5. Screen time

At night-time, our bodies release melatonin, the hormone that calms us and prepares us for sleep. However, if we are on our screens – phone, laptop, computer then cortisol, the stress hormone is released. This means it takes us far longer to go to sleep. The long-term, far reaching implications of lack of sleep are huge. These include lack of concentration, bad mood and ill health. The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health conducted a review on the effects of screen time on children. Links were found between increased use of screens and sleep disruption. Also, obesity and mental health issues such as anxiety and loneliness. Their suggestion which I follow with my son is to stop all screen time one hour before bed-time. It is harder for adults to practice this themselves; however I feel calmer and more ready to sleep when I do.

Believe in yourself

In January 2020, I invested and participated in a three month course on starting an online business. After toying with several options, I settled on creating a family blog. My life has had many twists and turns and the experiences I have had along the way could help others in their journey. And for me it provides the opportunity to write. So my passion, the hobby I have long wanted as a career is now becoming a reality. What matters is that I started and persevered. On this years list is a little more of that same goal. Where I ultimately want my blog to be is a long way off; so I am focusing on smaller areas, getting feedback, persevering and enjoying the process. Baby steps.

Keep your baby steps going…..

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