New Dawns

This is my first blog on this site. I am still playing with the layout and trying to find my way around WordPress.  I haven’t begun to promote the site to the world. If you are reading this in January, I will be fascinated to know how you found me.

Yes January, and my inbox is flooded with advice on how to make my life better, to set resolutions and to avoid breaking the resolutions once I’ve set them.

January is dark, often cold (well certainly it is here in England) and life can feel flat after Christmas, so I am not sure why making resolutions on January 1 has become such a tradition.  Why not the first day of Spring, when the world feels full of opportunity and you are more likely to keep your promises?  Because of course that is what resolutions really are, promises to ones self.  I’ve never been particularly keen on New Year’s resolutions but I feel 2016 is going to be a year of change, the beginning of a new phase in my life as I move from career pushing woman to a more internally focused individual looking for new challenges and fulfilment.  I want to set resolutions that help me embrace change and find a new me.

I read everywhere that it takes you 21 days (some say 30 days) to establish a new habit.  So I decided that in 2016, I would form six new habits – one every couple of months or so.  That way, by the end of this year, my life will have changed in six ways.  Right now, I can’t be sure what all of those six things will be but I’ve got plenty of time to decide and implement them, with the added bonus of doing new positive things in my life throughout the year instead of just in January.

This blog is habit #1 and will be a big commitment.  It may help me decide what the other five few habits are going to be.  Here are some possible options.  I hope they offer you some ideas too on how to make your life simpler, more rewarding and more focused.

  1. Set a new morning routine to shape my day.  See My Morning Routine for inspiration
  2. Get fitter.  First step commit to something I can’t easily get out of,  like a fun run for charity, then tell everyone I’m doing it and get them to sponsor me.
  3. Make reading for pleasure a priority, instead of fitting reading around everything else I do. Start by setting a challenge on Goodreads.
  4. De-clutter my work and home environment. There has been a build-up of clothes, books and work papers recently and a cluttered home doesn’t support a peaceful mind that is open to new ideas and change.  The Japanese de-clutter guru Marie Kondo may offer some ideas on how to calm my world.
  5. Spruce up my nest.  My home is my refuge and where I work for a lot of the time and it needs a makeover.  I need to make a list, set priorities, research costs and then decide whether I can do the work or need to call in an expert.
  6. Be more productive.  This is a huge one for me.  If you are not careful, the less you do, the more time it takes.  If I am cleaning up my lifestyle and starting afresh, the extra time that creates must be used productively.  The standard time management books seem to be all about the work environment and assume everyone has too much to do.  How do you build up new productive activity when you have freed up time in your life?
  7. Keep a journal.  I have tried and failed to do this in the past with one exception, when journaling during a particular period of my life became a life saver.  This was a long time before journaling became voguish.  Yet thousands of people swear by the therapeutic benefits of daily journaling, the clarity it brings and how journaling de-stresses your life and improves your writing skills and creativity. This piece and this one encourage me to have another go.