Well, here we are again. The decs are coming down, the last of the Christmas turkey is finally disappearing and we are getting thrust into the vortex of New Year’s Resolutions, or more accurately posting inspirational #NewYearNewMe posts on social media with absolutely no intention of actually following through on the 6am gym class you optimistically booked after one final festive sherry! We are all for good intentions in the new year, but after a pricey and over indulgent month we have decided to take a look at the resolutions that are free of a price tag and have you feeling positive inside and out.
Let’s flip new years resolutions on their head, and think more about what we can give than what we can give up. Most charities see a significant increase in donations during the festive period - some people opt to give a donation instead of buying Christmas cards, many people send parcels to food banks to ensure others have presents on Christmas Day. Enjoying all that we have at Christmas makes us hyper aware of those that do not have as much. However, when gloomy January comes along people start to feel a little more sorry for themselves and forget that there are still many people in need of our help. This January, why not make it your mission to give a couple of evenings to a local charity that need some post-festive support? The freezing weather means that soup kitchens are inundated throughout January and February. Giving up one evening a week would make a massive difference to the annual volunteers and give a real sense of perspective for the start of a fresh year.
An age old tradition that you may wish to consider taking back-up this January is the tradition of sending post-christmas thank you cards. Many of us remember sitting down as children to scrawl illegible thank you cards for the gifts that we received, but there is no reason that we shouldn’t be doing this as adults (perhaps with slightly improved handwriting though!). There is no necessity for these notes of thanks to be specific to presents that you received. Why not consider sending a short message to a selection of friends just to let them know how they have helped you throughout the past year and why you are glad to be starting 2018 with them by your side? We all love to receive compliments and a random act of kindness could really get someone else’s year off to a flying start. These thank you letters do not need to be sent in the post if you would prefer them to be less formal, why not record a short video that can be sent of social media? Whatever way you would prefer to present them, it’s a great way to start 2018 on a positive note for yourself and those around you.
We don’t want to be the ones to mention the ‘E’ word alongside the conversation of new year’s resolutions, but I’m afraid it is an undeniable fact that exercise is a sure fired way to get those endorphins pumping. We’re not suggesting that you get yourself down to the very next legs, bums and tums class with headband and leg warmers in tow, but there are loads of ways to get your cardio fix without spending a dime - and hey, you may even enjoy it! We have spoken before about the wonderful Park Run, a national movement founded on the principle that anyone can run 5km with enough encouragement and a lovely environment to run round. Park Run is free to enter each Saturday morning and gives you the real sense of what it feels like to run competitively, but without the pressure of needing to worry where anyone else places - all you’re focussed on is beating your own time week after week. If you would prefer a slower pace of exercise, why not grab a couple of friends and hit one of the stunning Dorset beaches for a chatter and a dander to blow the festive cobwebs away? You can burn up 250 calories in a one hour walk, and that not to mention the ground you can cover in the gossip that goes alongside it!
However you plan to kick of your new year, we hope 2018 is your happiest yet.