The best thing about a new year is that it presents us with a clean slate and the opportunity for a fresh start and new beginnings. What can be more exciting and invigorating? So, if you’re still not sure how to approach 2018, and you’re not keen to think up a whole lot of resolutions you know you’re not going to keep, here are some ideas and approaches to make sure your New Year also signals a New You.
- RETHINK (YOUR GOALS)
This is where it all starts. What are your hopes and dreams for 2018? Think carefully of five things you’d like to achieve, big or small, in the New Year. In fact, it’s a good idea to balance these so that they don’t seem overwhelming or unattainable. For example, one small goal might be to be more patient and a more challenging goal might be to learn a new language or a musical instrument or take up one you abandoned years ago. Make sure your goals are important to you (ask yourself why they are) and in line with your values and responsibilities – and that they make you feel good and motivated to achieve them.
- REVISE (YOUR GAME PLAN)
It doesn’t help to have goals if you’re not focussed about how to achieve them. It helps to apply the SMART principle, which is attributed to a concept developed by management guru Peter Drucker. SMART is an acronym which helps in the setting of goals, and therefore in successfully reaching them. Each goal should be:
- Specific (simple, important and sensible);
- Measurable (motivating and meaningful);
- Achievable (attainable)
- Relevant (reasonable, results-based, realistic)
- Time bound (time sensitive, time-limited and time based)
The first step is to write them down – it makes them real and tangible – and put them up where you can see them. If it’s possible put a timeline to each goal and then divide them up into daily, weekly and monthly goals. Keep a check on your progress but writing them down in your diary too. It’s important to get support to help to reach your goals, but you should retain control of them. You can do this by setting up an action plan – and then make sure you stick you it.
- RE-ENERGISE (YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE)
If you’re unfit or your exercise routine has fallen by the wayside, or it simply needs to be revised, seize the day (and the year!). Truly. You will thank yourself and be eternally grateful, not only for the increased energy you’ll soon have but you’ll feel good too thanks to the increased number of endorphins racing gleefully around your body. Remember to always check with your GP before starting a very strenuous exercise regime, especially if you’re unfit and have health problems. It’s best to start slowly and work to your exercise goals in a methodical and committed way. Use the approach in setting and achieving goals above. Don’t be unrealistic – if you hate running or cycling, steer clear of these forms of exercise instead of fooling yourself that they’re going to meet your exercise needs. They’re not – and you’ll give up in no time and feel demotivated and deflated and back where you began. If you’re a gym member, investigate all the exercise classes available to you, and engage the services of an experienced personal trainer to develop a well-balanced exercise routine for you which includes aerobic, strength, balance and flexibility exercises. If you’re not a gym person, then there is a plethora of other options: walking, running, yoga … find the one which complements your lifestyle and personality.
- RE-USE (AND RECYCLE)
Without being over-dramatic, the planet is in trouble. This is not only evident by the severe water restrictions and dire situation Cape Town is in right now, but by factors such as the huge amount of plastic pollution damaging our sea life and the threat of extinction of several wildlife species. We can all play our part in living a greener lifestyle. Make 2018 the year you live in a very eco-conscious way. Here are 10 ideas from www.wheelsforwishes.org
- Eat less meat – cutting back on meat consumption makes a huge difference to the environment;
- Use less paper and recycle more –the less paper we use, the less is needed and the more trees we save.
- Shun plastic when possible – it’s fast turning into the scourge of our time.
- Use canvas bags instead of plastic bags
- Start a compost bin
- Cut down on electricity in your home
- Borrow instead of buying – join the library, rent a DVD, buy good quality pre-owned goods. By doing so you’ll reduce items headed for a landfill.
- Save water – this goes without saying but there are STILL Cape Town residents who are not sticking to the strict water restrictions. You know who you are …
- Use green cleaning products that don’t harm the environment
- Invite pollinators (bees and butterflies) into your garden
5. RESTORE (YOUR SANITY)
Increasingly, we’re living incredibly busy and stressful lives. We’re juggling a million and one different things at any given moment. It’s time to get off the frantic treadmill of life. Make a pact with yourself in 2018 to slow down and smell the roses. Limit your commitments by learning to say no when you know you’ll be overstretched if you take on too much. Set boundaries and people will learn to respect them – they will have no choice. Commit to doing one thing at a time. Multitasking is not necessary – it is stressful and can be counter-productive. Limit the amount of time you spend on social media, and be disciplined about your down-time so that you can focus, calmly, on the real world. Turn off SMS notifications and unsubscribe from unnecessary emails – be ruthless! Most importantly, make time for yourself every single day. Whether it’s 30 minutes a day or two hours, you know what will work for you. Use this time to meditate, walk in nature, read a book or exercise. Make it happen. Make 2018 YOUR year.
We wish all our customers well over the festive season and may 2018 be your best year