So every year I fall into the category of people who make unrealistic, off the cuff, New Year’s resolutions that, by the end of January I’ve either forgotten or already broken..
So this year, the year of 2017, the first New Year’s resolution I made was to make better ones.
I saw a post online that is doing the circuit on Twitter of a girl who asked her boss what his New Year’s resolutions were and he produced her a list which was divided into categories such as personal, spiritual, mental, social etc. Therefore, I decided to take these categories into mind when thinking about my resolutions for the forthcoming year.
Although I find the stereotypical New Year’s resolution rather trivial, I think that it is important for everyone to make yearly goals of things we want to achieve and attitudes we want to change. No, this does not mean we need to be harsh on our selves, set unrealistic goals, make the year ahead an itinerary that revolves around these goals and feeling like a failure when we don’t achieve some of them. But I do want to take on this mindset of mini goals to keep in mind for the rest of the year as I think it ill improve my mental health, my personal attitudes, my outlook on life and self-control.
There’s always something we can change. So I believe that writing a small list of goals that can be revisited every now and then is an easy way to make sure we aren’t just walking down the same road for the rest of our lives. It can be a way to discover things we didn’t know about ourselves, help us try something new and hopefully make us happier people.
- To Lose Weight: I’ve always been insecure about my weight and I have found my weight has particularly gained since I had the Mirena coil inserted meaning that I have struggled to cope with my change in body image mentally which in turn made me comfort eat and started a viscious circle. So as of Monday 16th Jan, I started an 8 week health & fitness challenge at work and had my ‘weigh in’. I wasn’t shocked at the result because I already knew my weight and know that I’m overweight but being part of a ‘programme’ where I feel like I can’t let the team down will hopefully give me the will power that I need to actually do this! I’ve never known what it looks like to actually lose weight so here’s to hoping this challenge will actually give me that feeling!
- Blog More!: Last year I created my blog and I feel like I have barely blogged (due to being in the last year of my degree = mountain of work) so I want to try and blog a lot more! It will also mean that I need to put time aside for me rather than doing things constantly.
- Have A Wardrobe I Like: Part of my lack of confidence is because I am wearing clothes that I don’t feel comfortable in. Need to put time aside to overhaul my wardrobe, donate unwanted clothes to charity and only spend money on things I like, will wear and feel good in.
- Sort My IBS Out: So last year after a laparoscopy operation, my gynaecologist informed me that she thinks I have IBS and I had been presenting with bloating, cramps and constipation. After much trial and error throughout 2016 I *THINK* I have got the cause down to dairy consumption and am currently trying to work out whether it’s actually dairy or lactose that is the problem. Unfortunately, everything I love in life seems to be made out of dairy – so this is involving a massive change in lifestyle so in 2017 I need to change my eating habits and find foods I love without the dairy which could also aid my weight loss!
- Keep A Pain Diary: I’ve been suffering with SEVERE menstrual pain for over 10 years now and now that I have been in my job for 3 months I find days that I get pain really difficult to manage. I work as a radiographer and therefore don’t have a lot of time for sitting in agony. But also the pain really drains my energy and clouds my concentration, even when I’ve eaten well and taken my medication. I’m hoping keeping a pain diary can help my gynaecologist sort this out for me.
- Eat More Raw: In starting this 8 week health & fitness programme, rather than following a ‘diet’ as such, I’ve decided to cut down on fats and carbs and just focus on eating mostly raw during the day and then having protein, veg and some carbs for dinner instead. In doing so, I’m trying to eat 7 portions of fruit and veg a day, up my mineral and vitamin intake and reduce unwanted weight gain and bloating from reducing carbs and fat.
- Look After My Skin: I have extremely dry skin which means that I struggle to find a make-up that doesn’t highlight this and look like my face is peeling off. I know this is partially my fault because I barely drink any water throughout the day, but I have found that there are barely any affordable face washes on the market that are specifically aimed at dry skin types. Currently trialling a Nivea cream wash with almond oil and using a moisturiser aimed at very dry skin and have swapped to a tinted moisturiser Bobbi Brown foundation – will see how this goes!
- Drink More Water!: So this follows on from all of the above really! At the moment I probably drink anything from one cup to a maximum of one litre of water per day which is poor. I suffer from headaches and tiredness, my skin is really dry and my digestion isn’t exactly great. My goal is to try and drink 1.5L a day and build upon this. Now that I can’t drink fizzy drinks because of my IBS and I’m trying to cut down on sugar due to my weight loss challenge, this limits fluid down to coffee/tea, water and the (occasional, promise!) glass of wine. This is a massive culture change for me and my bladder needs severe training (currently nipping to the loo on an average of every 2 patients I treat).
- Don’t Waste Energy/Time On People That Don’t Appreciate It: For too long I’ve felt this dutiful need to appease people, meet up with people to stay in touch and because it’s the right thing, remember birthdays, move aside important things in my life to fit other people in when I have now realised that often people son’t make the same effort or sacrifices. I used to be angry about this, but I have now come to accept that people obviously don’t have the same priorities that I do or that they value our relationship a little differently to how I do. But in accepting this I have become a little ‘colder’ as it were and realise that I need to spend my time how I want to, with the people I want to and doing things that I actually enjoy doing. Now I have just typed that out it sounds really selfish. But for anyone who’s gone to eat at a restaurant that they don’t even like for people who don’t seem to care if they’re with you or not realises, “hey, why am I even doing this?”.
- Communicate More: I’ve been one of those people that tends to bottle up my feelings and not communicate stuff. This has ruined relationships in the past because I’ve not spoken up about things and let them escalate and not taken control. Now that I’m in a good, stable relationship with my boyfriend, I feel more empowered to discuss feelings and issues. Now that I’m older I feel that I open up to my parents about situations and relationships that I’m going through also and I want to continue this!
- Go On Adventures: For Christmas, my boyfriend got me a photo album and put a load of photos of our time together so far. So together we made a pact that by the end of 2017, we would fill the photo album completely with all our adventures. He’s the first person that I feel comfortable exploring and experiencing new things with. Normally I feel a bit awkward, anxious and set-back about experiencing new things but Josh makes me feel so much more comfortable about everything and I’m excited about all the things we can achieve this coming year.
- Continue To Support One Another: Josh and I are doing very different things. He’s in Loughborough studying for his Masters in Chemical Engineering whereas I am living in Sheffield and commuting to my new job as a recently qualified radiographer in Leeds. Our roles have also reversed, until recently I was the student and he was the salary earner and now that has swapped! The differences in money, commitments and distance does mean that we have to work very hard on our relationship to make time for one another and also keeping the relationship interesting with budgeting in mind. At the moment we support each other a lot in our careers/ambitions and respect each others space, time and budgets. I hope we continue to support one another the way we do because I believe that if the want to support one another is there, coping with the distance is easy.
- Find Time For Relaxation: Okay yes this is a very corny, LA thing to say and that all the health and wellbeing books/magazines are recommending this but I really do think I need to find some time for myself to just relax and not do anything. My whole life until now has been studying and having no money. The last 3 years of university was spend splitting my time between 3 cities, balancing placement and a mountain of work and moving somewhere different every 6 weeks or so. I’d like to try yoga, actually know what meditation is, I’ve signed up for pilates class at work and just have 30 minutes on my own to not be overthinking about something and just let go.
Phew! I *THINK* that’s everything! Yes I may not achieve all of the above. But do you not agree that despite the long list they are all actually achievable? They are all mini goals that, if achieved, will improve my life and mental health directly and I don’t see what can be wrong with that.
I will try and write a blog in December 2017 looking back on how I have done!
Happy Resolution Writing!