Our columnist tells us why she’ll be focusing on her hopes, her health and her happiness in 2020
I’m not the biggest fan of the new year. It’s always seemed rather a lot of fuss for what is; after all, it’s just a change of date. But this year, I’ve decided I’m going to do it differently. I’m extraordinarily blessed, I know that, but 2019 wasn’t necessarily the easiest of years for me, with moving to a new house, deadlines and career stress. It may be the same stuff we all deal with but it’s not the most fun to get through. With that in mind, I want to make some changes for 2020, starting with planning out my year, which is how you’ll find me spending the first few days of the month.
I refuse to make resolutions. I’ve never found them particularly helpful, and everyone just ends up sad when they don’t achieve their often ridiculously tough aims. However, I will be making a few ‘positive mindset’ goals to help keep me focused as the year starts to kick in. Like the universe and all the world’s best artists know, we are most productive when we work in threes, so I’ve decided to focus on three key areas of my life: my hopes, my health and the things that make me happiest. If you’re going to do the same, grab a massive board and divide it into your three areas, then map out all the things that come into mind when you visualise them.
Hopes are up first. I’ve been overwhelmed by your stories of menopause this year and your support of conscious puberty, which is my mission to ensure no woman goes through what I did. I’ll be plotting out how I hope to reach more of you, change more preconceptions of getting older and help other younger women understand what might be in their future.
More than that though, I want to move past the menopause message and focus on our third acts, so I’m going to plan what that might look like. While I do this, I’m going to warm some high-quality essential oils, like The Divine Hag’s Study and Concentration Oil, to trigger my olfactory response. I’ll do this because, later in the year, when I light the same oil, it will take my mind back to the work I did at the start. I’m priming my mind to stay on track by using my senses.
I’ll continue to work through my hopes until I’ve tracked them all. Then I’ll move onto my health.
This is an area I think I’ll track slightly differently. Instead of saying ‘I want to run a marathon’ or ‘I’m going to lose those final five pounds’, I’m planning to map out all the little things that I think I could realistically do differently to improve my overall health.
I’m talking about things like cutting back on caffeine by one cup of coffee a day, or taking the stairs and never the lift. You could add walking to the shops, taking a daily supplement, cutting back on your social media time by putting a deadline on your phone, or trying a daily mantra to this list, too.
The key is to keep them all small. It doesn’t feel hard to make tiny improvements here and there but by the end of the year, they’ll add up to a big improvement in your health and wellbeing.
Finally – happiness. How often do you make a resolution or a plan to be happy? If you’re like the 70 percent of us that make goals each January, it’s probably not often. We always seem to want to deprive ourselves, but why do we do it in the first place if not to feel happier?
So instead of thinking about what is wrong with my life and keeping me from happiness, I’m going to plan to do more of what I know already brings me joy. Then, (you guessed it) I’ll map them out, but my plan is to take advantage of the brain’s ability to create more of what it sees. That means I’ll be hunting out and using images from my happiest places and times – such as walks in the sun, drinks with friends and cards from the boys – all the things that no resolution or money could bring to my life. I’ll post them to my board and make sure I can see them every single day.
Finally, I’ll make a little prayer of gratitude. Whilst 2019 hasn’t been the easiest, I’ve been lucky enough to see it through.
The opportunity to choose the way our lives go in the future, to remember how we enjoyed the past and share our happy and sad moments with those we love – that’s always something to appreciate. And if we’ve got that, we’ve got all we need to get through whatever 2020 has to throw at us. Happy New Year!
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