Image credit: New Year Clock

…and then, suddenly in a flurry of shiny paper and tinsel and Quality Street Christmas is over and we’re hurtling towards another year.

Homework and school uniforms have to be checked, chased and gathered, thoughts cleared for returns to work and for some the dreaded season of tax returns approaches.

But maybe take a moment to pause. 

In former times the gap between Christmas and New Year, what became known as the 12 days of Christmas, was a space in the year to dream, to gather thoughts and to reflect. 

We still see remnants of it in New Year’s Resolutions.

Sadly in our ultra-demanding 21st century these can be another excuse to berate ourselves for all the over-indulgence we may have been tempted to (third helpings of Christmas trifle anyone?  Oh, and the whole top layer of chocolates, too, eh?), the sloth we’ve exhibited (the Xmas Eve dash to Sainsbury’s the last real exercise we had?) and the slatternly habits we’ve got into (just couldn’t face running the hoover round again…).

But what if they were an opportunity to reflect on what isn’t working in our lives?

Or even better, what we can do to bring more joy to ourselves and others so we are happier in 2018 than 2017.  Isn’t that a better idea?

Maybe this year instead of taking things away from yourself, try making resolutions that give:

Take up a new hobby.

But forget about ‘improving’ yourself with something worthy, choose something you loved as a child, or are just curious about.  I’ve recently taken up tango and yoga.  Absolutely love ‘em.  But if you’re more inclined to snooker and map-reading, knock yourself out! 

Have more fun. 

Schedule in 2 hours a week to indulge your playful side.  It might mean doing a jigsaw, colouring in, playing tig or hide and seek with the children, noodling about on a piano…whatever takes your fancy.  The only restriction is it is for no other reason than to play. George Bernard Shaw famously said ‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing’.

Get more rest. 

Make your bedroom a place you want to be.  Buy beautiful sheets/pillows/pajamas and make a decision to luxuriate in them for an extra 20 minutes a day.  While you’re doing it think of three things you’re grateful for in your life just before you go to sleep. It’s been scientifically proven to do you all sorts of good from improving relationships to helping you sleep better. But best of all, it makes you happier.

And we all want and wish for a Happy New Year.

Victoria x