In the second half of December, I tend to have a lot of readings with sitters who come to me with one thing in common: They are so tired. Not because they had a late night. They are tired of the year that is ending. Sometimes totally exhausted. And whether we care much or not about the change of years, most of us are affected by the calendar.
In December, we inevitably feel the fatigue accumulated over the past 12 months. The winter darkness doesn’t help much with that loss of energy. And then there is sometimes the feeling of having failed at certain things. Of having left some of our goals unachieved, our projects unattended. Time flies as we all know, and some targets we set ourselves simply get swallowed up by our daily routines, work and social obligations.
So every end of the year, we come to ask ourselves how we could have made it better. We make new year’s resolutions to make up for our “mistakes” our “weaknesses”…that we often don’t keep. So: How to make the change of year really count for once?
How to make 2017 your best year yet? My approach is pretty simple: be realistically optimistic.
The good thing about the end of December is also this little sparkle, this glimpse of hope that we see in the year to come: the possibility of a fresh start.
How many times have we decided that “this is the year I will lose 20 pounds” or “this is the year I will read a book a week!” etc. but then…well then things don’t really change. By February we stop making the mistake of dating things with the year past and we forget all about our supposedly new start. And that’s often because this new start is too daunting. Because the leap is too big. That’s why I call my approach to change “realistically optimistic”. Step by step, year by year, huge goals can be reached. As long we don’t overwhelm ourselves with too much pressure and high expectations. Here’s a little recipe to make 2017 your best year yet. And 2018 even better 😉
According to my experience, 3 main things will get you on track to start a (happy) new year.
- Be Kind to Yourself. That means you shouldn’t blame yourself for anything that you haven’t achieved or succeeded at yet. If you gained some weight, work to lose it but don’t be harsh. Don’t make yourself feel bad. There are enough people out there busy doing just that often enough. If you haven’t been the best citizen, well, time to get your things together. See where I’m going? Correct your flaws, slowly but surely, without beating yourself up.
- Be True to Yourself. Don’t ever, ever, ever try to be something that you’re not. Or you will hurt yourself. You will choke your true self. And eventually be trapped in a whole life that was never meant for you. Sounds familiar? It’s never too late to make a move. If you feel trapped, figure the way out and free yourself.
- Make Choices. Only change what really needs changing. It’s a new year. But everything you did so far is worth something. Don’t throw everything out the window without thinking it through first. Only replace what needs replacing, only fix what needs fixing. Make choices and focus on your priorities.
Here’s some more inspiration and simple advices for a happy 2017!
Spend more time outside. Sounds simple. Not so much, especially when you live in a city. But try and go to the park, take a detour on your way home and walk in a new street. Walk to where you usually drive when it’s possible. Take small steps towards spending more time outside. If you live in a smaller town or village, be sure to make time to enjoy the nature near you. Wake up 15 minutes earlier, walk the dog an extra 5 minutes every day or start a little garden (or plant your balcony if you have one).
Drink more water and herbal tea! Feeling hydrated and using herbs in prevention of colds, pains and feeling low works like magic. Have more energy, feel healthier, eat less junk food. All that in a little glass of (hot) water. And if you’re a coffee or soda addict, make your daily water magic by using edible flowers, real leaves and other little things that will make your tea time really special and beautiful. It really doesn’t have to be boring!
Reward yourself with little treats – something sweet or something to pamper yourself, whatever works. Yes, like a pup. I do it all the time. Do something hard, earn something sweet. That way you have no reason to feel any guilt about eating that little brownie or spending a little extra on something that makes you feel good. The key is to keep it all small and measured.
Be the best version of who you really are. Don’t try and force yourself to be something you’ve seen online or in a magazine. You’re you! The rest is taken. Be the best, most vibrant version of the unique person that you are. The rest, automatically, will follow.
For your energy, for your health and your mood, there is no better medicine than mother nature. It may sound corny but it isn’t for one second. Fresh air, grass under your feet, pines in your hands, birds above your head. These are worth more than millions of painkillers, sleeping pills and artificial mood elevators. Take it from a gardening endo-warrior!
Finding joy in every new season, whether you tie these celebration with a religion or not, is an easy and free source of happiness. Guaranteed every year. Some call it Spring, some call it Easter, it doesn’t matter. Celebrate the first flowers, the return of the birds and the longer days. See beauty in the lush and the quiet of Summer while looking forward to pumpkin spice lattes and falling leaves to come. The great thing with celebrating seasons is that it never stops. You look forward to the next one while celebrating the current one. I call it a Joy Jackpot. And I recommend it to everyone!
<h3>Welcome and appreciate the new beginning, be kind to yourself and make changes that are sustainable in your life. And happiness…will follow. Happy new year!</h3>