I'm such a cliche blogger right now...
But quite honestly I really couldn't resist doing one of these posts. However, I don't want to do it for me. I want to do it for all of those people out there who think that new year's resolutions should be about re-inventing yourself. Well, I don't think you should. Because, let's be honest, there's nothing wrong with who you are as a person right now.
Sure you may want to lose some weight this year or make more money or work on your style but these sorts of material resolutions, while have good intentions, are not the sort of ones that I think any of us should be making. The world focuses far too much on what we look like, what we earn and what we own. I think it's time we all start to combat this and make resolutions that are not solely based on appearance or status.
Something I have really started to understand more over the past few years is the importance of our minds. As cliche as it sounds, I think that nurturing your mind and taking care of it should be at the top of everyone's resolution list. No matter who you are, where you're from or what you're doing with your life, your mind is something that will always be with you. So you have to take care of it.
That's why this year my resolutions are all about self-care and looking after my mind in a way that will not only make me happier but also make me more mindful, relaxed and more conscious of others. So here is what I aim to achieve this year for my mind...
1. Read more
Reading is something I have always loved. As a child I remember instead of watching cartoons in the morning or playing games late at night I would read. From the age of ten to about twenty I would read everyday religiously. Not anything too demanding, just fiction. I distinctly remember how happy reading made me and how my imagination would flourish and I'd be full of adventure. I know to some that may sound silly, but that's honestly how I feel when I'm reading a book. Unfortunately when I got to my third year of university I found myself stressing over getting a graduate job, doing my final exams and eventually starting my first full-time job. This didn't leave me much spare time and looking back I realise taking up precious time filling my mind with worries was not worth skipping reading. Consequently this year, I am going to start reading again. The first book on my list is the entire collection of the Brother's Grimm tales.
2. Do nothing more
This probably sounds really lazy, but last summer I went to an event hosted by Xerox called I am beautiful. During the event there was an opportunity to take part in a group meditation session. This wasn't anything too spiritual. We were all just instructed to clear our minds and not think of anything. Then just sit there. While this may seem pointless, it's actually very good for you to just do nothing. It's important to take just five to minutes a day and just think about nothing. This not only helps you relax but it also gives you a chance to have some time to yourself. That's why this year I am going to make a conscious effort to do nothing a whole lot more.
3. Improve my French
Being fluent in another language is something I have always wanted to do. At the moment my French is probably in between beginner and intermediate. I can hold basic conversation but I am nowhere near fluency. Learning another language and improving it is not only a very rewarding experience, it is also good for your mind. People's brains actually work in a very different way when they are bi-lingual or multi-lingual to people who only know one language. This is because the part of you brain that helps you learn a new language plays a large role in cognitive processes. Cognitive brain processes are things like the ability to remember and the process of thinking. Learning a new language can help improve these processes. To keep on top of learning and improving my French I will be using my Duolingo app. It's completely free, sends reminders about your daily lessons and if French isn't your thing there are whole load of languages to choose from.
4. Move more
Exercise and keeping fit is something I've always been interested in. Don't get me wrong I am by no means an athlete or a self-confessed gym bunny. I just like to take part and do sports I enjoy. I really enjoy dancing, swimming and yoga. However over the past couple of years I really haven't been exercising as much as I'd like. So this year, I have scoured my gym's class timetable and am going to try out a few of their group classes they have on offer. I'm really interested in trying out a barre core class which is a strength and aerobic class based around ballet barre exercises. As well as classes, Elliott and I have decided we are going to make a more concerted effort to work out in the gym itself. We're not doing it to necessarily lose weight though. It's mainly because exercise releases endorphins which make you feel good. So whether you like it or not exercise and getting a little bit sweaty can actually make you a much happier person.
So those are my main four resolutions for 2017. I'd love to know your new year's resolutions, so leave me a comment below and tell me about them. And let's work together to make 2017 the best year yet!