There’s just something about the dawn of a new year that brings a new sense of purpose to our lives and a desire to do better. For many of us, the natural inclination is to make improvement promises to ourselves: “This year, I will finally sign up for that boot camp I’ve been meaning to take” or “In 2019, I’m going to make at least one new friend.”
The thing is, a new year often tempts us to ADD to our already crazy lives, in the hopes that this one addition will make everything better somehow. But what if… what if the very best thing we could do was to cut out a few things before we started adding anything new.
So, before filling your diary with even more commitments, why not take stock of the long-held habits and burdens that may be holding you back, stealing your joy or simply leaving you exhausted. Here are a few ideas:
1. OVERTHINKING EVERYTHING
So, you had an awkward interaction with a colleague at the coffee machine – they used an offish tone with you and now you can’t stop thinking about it. What did you do wrong? Did they maybe misinterpret that remark you made in the stand-up meeting? Could they be upset about the fact that you couldn’t attend their birthday drinks? Perhaps they’re jealous of your recent achievements. What if this? What if that?
Sound familiar? If you’re the type who tends to analyse every interaction to the most minute details, you’re probably a bit of an over-thinker. Apart from the fact that it’s a super tiring exercise, it can also leave you feeling paranoid and make it impossible for you to act spontaneously.
Make 2019 the year that you let things be. Some interactions will just be awkward. If it’s really bothering you, pluck up the courage and talk to the other person/people about it to get their perspective. It will save you loads of energy, time and headspace.
Closely related to overthinking is the tendency to want to please everyone around you… often to your own detriment. The root of this incessant need is of course our desire to be accepted and liked. Instead of standing up for what we like, believe or desire, we’ll go with what the majority/more assertive people want in the hopes of seeming easy-going and flexible.
Well, you know what: you have some pretty great ideas! And every time you just go with what anyone else wants instead of doing what you know will make your soul sing, you’re robbing yourself and possibly even those around you of some seriously epic experiences.
Make 2019 the year in which you kick the people-pleasing habit and stand up for yourself, your ideas, your plans and your desires.
3. TOXIC BEAUTY PRODUCTS
It seems like a no-brainer: if you don’t understand the word in the list of ingredients on your mascara, do you really want to put it on your sweet, sweet lashes?
The fact is that most commercial beauty products are filled with toxic ingredients that can be harmful to our bodies, as well as the environment. Fortunately, with a growing selection of earth-friendly, cruelty-free and harmless beauty products around, you can easily make 2019 the year you clean out your make-up bag!
4. 24/7 CONNECTION
There’s no denying that – in many ways – the digital devices we carry around have all but become extensions of ourselves. They’re our primary means of communication and even help us keep track of our health and wellness. All things considered, they’re nifty tools to have around!
However, if we don’t set healthy boundaries for ourselves, we can end up becoming slaves to our devices instead of employing them to assist us in living better lives. So, here are a few ideas for avoiding 24/7 connection in the new year:
- Stop checking your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Allow at least an hour of screen-free time for settling down or waking up. It will improve your sleep at night and help you start your day on a calmer note.
- Consider turning off your push notifications for apps like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and even your emails. This will help curb distraction during the day and minimise clutter on your phone’s screen, which will minimise clutter in your head.
- Take a digital detox every six weeks or so. Spend this time outdoors, connecting with family and friends or tackling that craft project you’ve been putting off.
5. CONSTANT COMPARISON
It’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison trap – measuring your own beauty, achievements and dreams against others. There’s absolutely nothing life-giving about this.
Why not try trusting your own path this year, believing in your talents, embracing your beauty, pursuing your dreams and encouraging others to do the same?
If you feel envy rearing its ugly little head, try practicing gratitude instead and see your life bloom in new and unexpected ways!
6. SITTING FOR 8 HOURS STRAIGHT
If you’ve gotten used to working through your lunch break, take the opportunity of a brand-new year to break that terrible habit.
Use the 30 minutes or half-an-hour you have at your disposal to eat a healthy meal mindfully, go for a walk, chat to colleagues, meet a friend for coffee or even do a quick little bit of yoga!
You can also keep the blood flowing throughout the day by trying these toning exercises at your desk.
Last, but definitely not least, make 2019 the year in which you cut down on single-use plastic even more. We have loads of articles about minimising the use of plastic in your home and switching to a zero-waste lifestyle.
And there are so many products in the Faithful to Nature shop, which will help ease the transition.