We all know that most people break their New Year’s resolutions within days of making them, so what’s the point? I used to make New Year’s resolutions every year, and then I would just feel miserable when I made the same ones all over again a year later. I felt like I hadn’t achieved anything at all, but really the resolutions were just to big. It’s like making a to-do list of all the things you ever need to do (ever!), rather than just a list of the things you need to do today, which is much more manageable.
I’m not really one for jargon, but I do like the idea of SMART goals. SMART goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. So, here are my SMART goals for 2018, in no particular order:
- Complete at least one Park Run (✓ DONE!)
- Reach my goal weight of 10 and a half stone
- Complete my Veraflow Dance Fitness Instructor Training Course
- Do a headstand in yoga
I have lots of other small themes and tasks for the year, but these four things listed above are my main goals. And, like all good lists, at the time of writing this post I have already been able to tick one thing off!
Here’s to a year of achieving wonderful things!
Welcome to the cliche – new year, new blog, new me. But I don’t care. This blog is something I’ve been thinking about doing for months, and now seemed like a pretty good time to get on and start it.
So what’s going on here then? Those of you who know me will know I’ve been blogging a long time – over 10 years in fact, in one way or another. But over the last couple of years I’ve been going through something of a transformation, and that’s changed the amount of time I have to write. I no longer spend my weekends sat around at home in front of the computer – instead I’m usually out and about, and quite often dancing. Actually, over the last year I’ve hardly blogged at all. I often feel guilty about not blogging, but then I remind myself that I don’t have to, and that (most importantly) there’s no point in writing if you don’t have anything worth writing about.
But you see, writing is one of the things that I’m most passionate about. You could say it’s one of my reasons for living. When I ran into the concept of ‘ikigai’ recently (a Japanese word which basically means ‘reason to live’), it got me thinking about all of my reasons for living, and I wanted a space in which I could explore all of the things I’m currently passionate about.
There’s work of course, and I am lucky enough to do a job which I genuinely love and feel happy and proud to do, but I do think a reason for living can be a lot more than one’s career. For me, my ikigai is everything else. It’s all the things that get me out of bed on a day when I don’t have to get up and go to work. For example, this morning, 1st January 2018, I rolled out of bed at 7am so I could go and join my first ever Park Run, a timed 5k run. Why? Because I’m committed to challenging and bettering myself, and because I’m a little bit crazy.
Often, when I’m tired and I’ve had a busy day or week, I feel like I could just curl in a ball and hibernate for a while, but usually on those occasions I find a bit of oomph and I take myself out dancing, because dancing cures everything. (I’ll talk more about dancing in coming posts, I’m sure!) Dancing is definitely my ikigai.
So, ikigai is the name of the game, and this year, this beautiful new year of 2018, is when I’m going to let the words tumble out of my fingers and see what happens. Thank you for joining me – I promise it won’t be boring.
Brits are funny creatures. I went along to the New Year’s Day Parade in London today and about halfway through it started to rain. When I say ‘rain’, what I really mean is that the heavens opened and it chucked it down with almighty force until there were rivers running down the streets. Just another day in London.
A lot of tourists took one look at the puddles forming on the ground and made a dash for it under their ‘I love London’ Union Flag umbrellas. But we Brits, for the most part, stuck it out – brolly or no brolly.
I had an umbrella, but I still got really wet and cold to the point of shivering. It rained so hard that it actually soaked through my leather boots and made my tights soggy. So why did I stay? One reason is that I needed some new photos for my daily photo blog, Picturing England. But the main reason I stayed is that I felt it would be wrong to leave. Those poor people at the end of the parade, especially the marching bands and cheerleaders from America deserved my support.
And it wasn’t all bad. An old guy on a bike took pity on me hiding under my flowery brolly and gave me a Quality Street chocolate (strawberry – my favourite) and a kiss on the cheek to wish me a Happy New Year. He understood my British resolve to stand and watch the parade no matter what, and he understood that it would all be made a little bit more bearable with a little sugar. Thank you, kind stranger.
(Perhaps it’s not just us brits – these American cheerleaders managed to stay surprisingly perky despite the rain.)