Friday, 4 January 2013

Start as you mean to go on

I've not been big on new year's resolutions for a while now, but I do appreciate the fresh start that comes with a new year and whilst not making resolutions per say, I do certainly have a think about what I could do to improve my life, relationships, well-being and overall happiness. I like the idea of making small but regular changes that over the long term can make a big difference.

As an example, here's a list I read recently entitled, 'What 10 things should you do every day to improve your life?'. Some may be obvious, like exercise. We all know we should do it regularly and that it really does make us feel better, healthier and does probably improve our life. However, there are a couple on there that I thought were less obvious and good to take note of:

Express gratitude - I've read this a lot in the past year or two, specifically regarding its relationship to one's happiness. It's one of those things that sounds so easy to do on a daily basis but a lot of us are out of practise and it takes a conscious effort to stop and do it each day until it becomes a habit. I keep meaning to try it, really I will.

Meditate - This word for some people will bring up images of Buddhist monks in robes or similar. It can feel like a difficult task for those who are not used to having any quiet moments in their daily life, switched off from their TVs, phones, computers and all other eternal stimuli. You don't need to go to a class or listen to special music to meditate. You can start by simply making time for a quiet few minutes alone, sitting or lying still with your eyes closed and the most difficult part of all, trying to reject all thoughts that come to your head, to just breathe and be.

Challenge yourself - As a stay-at-home mum, I find this depressingly, the hardest thing to do of all. I recognise how important it is to keep one's mind in good condition, just as we strive to do with our bodies. However, after a day of looking after two young children, I invariably find myself exhausted and it even takes a lot for me to read a page or two of a book in an evening, let alone do something to challenge myself! Yet, of course I shouldn't feel defeated before I even begin and as with anything, it can be achieved with small steps. It's a matter of deciding on a simple approach that can fit in with your own life and schedule.

I hope you find the list gives you some ideas and inspiration and I would love to hear if there's anything either on the same list, or something else that you have decided to try to incorporate into your daily life throughout 2013.
photo credit

Here are a couple of new year posts from previous years that you may enjoy re-reading or having a look at for the first time:
Following dreams
Your annual review


  1. Happy new year, Mummy Zen!

    A breath of fresh air post, as always :)

    Points one and two I share with you as areas to improve upon. Meditating, as opposed to ruminating (!) is something that I've decided is vital to my health and well being. Living a bit more in the moment and nurturing genuine friendships. Challenging myself isn't an issue for me - in fact I've been trying to slow the pace down (giving up teaching for good helps) so that I can do fewer things, but better.

    Here's to a happy and healthy 2013! :) xx

  2. Happy New Year to you too and thank you for the kind comment :-). Really interesting to hear how beneficial you have found meditation to be, for your health and well-being. I like your focus on living more in the moment too, that's a good one. xx


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