So … as you’ll have seen from my last post, The Rugby Boy and I split up at the end of the summer, and I’ll admit it rather knocked me for six. He was the first boyfriend I’d ever lived with, and the break-up was pretty messy and soap-opera like.
I’ve spent the last four months re-building my life. I appreciate how dramatic that may sound, but in a matter of weeks I lost my job, my boyfriend, and my home.
And I’m pretty much there. Break-ups suck, and I’m not going to pretend I’m completely over it … but I’ve managed to get all my foundations back in place. The key now … to feel as happy as I did this time last year.
It got me to thinking in depth about the things which make me happy, aside from a relationship. Everything from the smell of Snowflake Cookie scented candles, to fresh flowers on the mantlepiece. Some things can be bought or made, others need to be achieved.
The thing about New Year, is that it gives us the perfect marker. If you’re not feeling happy about your life, for whatever reason, you can use New Year as a fresh start.
But the thing I’ve come to realise about New Year’s Resolutions is that they are really hard to keep, because we set ourselves the wrong goals. Give up chocolate. Give up alcohol. Exercise 5 days a week. Definite aims which one or two mistakes can completely undo. And then rather than feeling good, and happy, you feel miserable and like a disappointment. You kick off the year feeling the complete opposite way to how you meant to feel. And it’s particularly easy to do on January 1st of all days, when you’re hung over and all the gyms are closed!
So this year I set myself a couple of different resolutions. Two of the things which I know affect my happiness are my body and my brain. Regular exercise dramatically affects my mood, and reading is something I’ve always taken great pleasure from. It’s something I only ever feel I have time to do when I’m on holiday … yet I watch TV almost every night. This year, instead of setting myself a daily or a weekly task, I set myself a couple of challenges for the year instead.
This year, my ‘new year’s resolutions’ are full year resolutions. I’m aiming to average a book a week all year -so 52 books by the end of the year. And not just any 52 books – 52 books I’ve been meaning to read, or which have specifically been recommended to me by good friends.
My exercise resolution is an annual one again … because I know there will be times I’m too busy, or weeks when I’m away. My exercise aim? To tally up as many ‘exercise days’ over the year as I can. It doesn’t matter what that exercise is – swimming, yoga, a run, an exercise class – as long as I feel like I’ve done a decent amount of exercise. I’m going to aim for 250 days across the year – an average of 5 a week. By doing it by session, I can ‘catch up’ with myself if I let things slip across the year, and by keeping a tally across the year I can also give myself a bar for 2017 – a figure to beat in future years.
The next 12 months will tell us whether my approach works, but 9 days into the new year, I’m one book down, and I’ve done 7 exercise sessions … so I’m already feeling pretty good about life, and about my approach to this year’s Resolutions … because normally by now, I’d be a defeated, guilty mess!