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No More New Year's Resolutions

5...4...3...2...1...HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The clock strikes midnight, indicating a brand new year with a brand new set of resolutions you have set yourself to do.

This year you have told yourself that you are going to lose two stone, cut off 'fake' friends and train for a marathon. You are excited by your new resolutions and have told your friends your plans because you know this year, compared to every other year, you will achieve all of them.

Fast forward and it's mid February. The the days are still cold and dark and the resolutions have gone out of the window. You come home from work and automatically raid the cupboards for chocolate to give yourself the sugar rush you 'need' to boost your energy from a hard day at work. The ice cold temperature outside and your moans of being tired provides enough of an excuse not to go for a run and train for that marathon. Instead you sit on the sofa with your family size chocolate bar and listen to the 'fake' friend you still haven't cut loose moan about another friend on the phone. You promise you will get back on track tomorrow but tomorrow never comes.

Sounds familiar?

Every year many of us make New Year's Resolutions, and every year many of us break them within the first few months, even weeks!

Bupa conducted a survey looking at the perceptions and attitudes of British adults towards New Year's resolutions. They found from the 26% of Brits who made New Year's resolutions, only around one in eight successfully carried out their resolution, blaming it on a lack of commitment and motivation.

I must admit, I am part of the one in eight who finds it hard to stick to a resolution. Why? I set myself unrealistic targets that are unmanageable.

Therefore, I decided this year not to make any New Year's resolutions (I was sick of failing and being disappointed in not achieving them). This year I have decided to focus on how I want to feel. .

I have focused on particular emotions to guide me, e.g. joy. From just this one word, I focused on the things that are going to bring me the most joy: the people or activities which put a smile on your face and give me a warm feeling. Once I figured this out, I thought about how often I could incorporate it into my day/week/month, ensuring it was realistic and achievable for me.

My family and friends bring me joy. However, living internationally makes it harder for me to see them on a regular basis. Rather than sending a text, I aim to video call or voice note them once or twice a week. Seeing their faces or hearing their voices is more personal than a texts and would definitely bring me joy.

For me, this is more achievable than running a marathon and takes care of my mental wellbeing and social connection. While others may enjoy more physical challenges like running a marathon, I know it wouldn't bring me much happiness.

Set goals designed for YOU and nobody else. Don't make resolutions you think you need to set because other people are doing it. Create a plan with your happiness and wellbeing in mind only.

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