I love the time between Christmas and New Year. For one thing, there are generally tasty leftovers in the fridge, but more importantly I find it a useful prompt to reflect on the year just passed and identify the important bits for the year ahead.
In previous years, I’ve made all sorts of resolutions, most of which have fallen by the wayside. However, 2013 has been a challenging year for us, during which I have learnt an amazing amount and been inspired by some wonderful people. Over the course of the year, I’ve learnt that by focusing on the below, I can live a happier, simpler and more eco-friendly life.
1. Move more
Such a simple change to implement, yet it yields such great results. In 2014 try leaving the car at home and walking or cycling, turn off ‘Play School’ and perform your own rendition of the ‘Hokey Pokey’ (complete with all actions) and use yoga rather than TV for relaxation. Your physical and mental health and the environment will thank you!
2. Be kind
Commit to just one random act of kindness every single day. It may be as simple as baking some extra cookies to share with a neighbour, offering to make your colleague a coffee or even just making the time to call your Mum. Imagine how wonderful the world could be if we all committed to doing kind things for others.
3. Get involved
Get involved in whatever way you can. Do you have time to join Rotary or another service club? If so, brilliant, go ahead! Too busy for that level of involvement? Why not sponsor a child, sign online petitions or volunteer to help the Salvos during the Red Shield Appeal? The key to personal fulfilment lies in participation in civic life. Don’t believe me? Give it a try and see how you feel!
4. Buy less
Be honest, do you really NEED a new handbag? So many of us shop out of habit or boredom and end up trapped by debt and possessions. The next time that you are tempted to shop for material goods, spend just 30 seconds considering the environmental and social conditions in which that amazingly cheap handbag was produced. Chances are that the real costs of your shopping habit are higher than you think.
If you love a challenge, why not take a lesson from The Fearse Family and attempt a ‘Buy Nothing New Year’? Or, if you’re not quite up for that level of commitment just yet, ‘Buy Nothing New’ month is in October and is a really fun challenge!
5. Be grateful
Learning to be grateful even under adversity is a skill that will change your entire mindset and make both you and your family much happier. The best part is the more that you practice exercising gratitude, the easier it becomes! Make gratitude a part of your daily ritual by reflecting on the things that you are grateful for over dinner each night.
So there you have it, the five small actions that have made a fundamental change to my life this year. The Happy Rebel will have heaps of posts to inspire you in all of these areas throughout 2014 so stay tuned…
Happy New Year!!