I don’t think I’ve managed to keep a single New Year’s resolution for more than a week or two in previous years. However, I always think it’s fun to set some positive goals for the year ahead, so I always have them knowing full well that I probably won’t actually change any habits. Looking back though, I’ve noticed that my resolutions have been almost exactly the same for the past 3 years. I always make sure that my resolutions will add something to my life, rather than deprive me of something, and that they are things that I would actually like to do, rather than things society tells us we should be doing, like ‘eat healthier’ or ‘do more exercise.’ So, given that I keep coming back to the same goals, I must still really want to achieve them, but there must have been barriers to me getting there in the past. To try and give myself a better chance of succeeding this year, I’ve decided to write an action plan to go with each resolution so I know what I’m actually going to do to achieve them. Here are my resolutions and action plans for 2017:
1. Read more– I love the escapism and the peacefulness that reading can give you but I’ve never reserved the time or energy to commit to it regularly. I’m going to:
- Set aside time to read every day and actually open the book or turn on my Kindle, so even if I only have the energy to read half a page I will have made progress
- Aim to read 20 books in 2017
2. Write more– Similarly, I love writing but lack of time and energy has always got in the way of making it a habit. So I’m going to:
- Start a new blog (this one!)
- Write something more than emails and social media updates, either on this blog or elsewhere, at least once week
3. Worry less– Now, I don’t mean this in a ‘just stop worrying’ or ‘have a more positive attitude’ kind of way. I want to take some real positive steps to try and tackle my anxiety, as I consistently struggled with it in the second half of 2016. I’m going to:
- Actively use the techniques I learn during counselling to reduce anxiety and remain open to the option of starting medication
- Aim to leave the house at least 4 days a week
- Aim to see a friend, either in person or on Skype at least once a week
- Fill in a Gratitude Log once a week
- I’m also toying with the idea of taking the last week of every month off social media, but I’m not sure I really want to, so we’ll see.
4. Complete the Whizz Kidz Young Leaders Award– This is a new one for 2017. Whizz-Kidz is an amazing charity that provides young wheelchair users aged 5-25 with equipment and training to enable them to live more independent lives. I’ve been a Whizz-Kidz Ambassador for 10 years and I actually helped to put the Young Leaders Programme together 2 years ago, but I haven’t done much with them since then as I was busy finishing my degree. When Whizz-Kidz got in touch last year to ask if I’d like to do some volunteering, I decided to enrol on the Young Leaders Programme as I think it’s fab and that it will really help me to take stock of what I achieved last year, and what I will achieve this year. There are 9 modules in the programme, and to complete a module you take part in an activity which comes under the banner of the module title that challenges you, and then complete a reflection on that activity. I’ve already done one module so in order to complete the award this year I am going to:
- Complete reflections for the other 2 modules I did in 2016 this month
- Begin to mentor other Young Leaders this month, as part of my Supporting Others module
- Complete 1 remaining module every 2 months in 2017
You can find out more about the Whizz-Kidz Young Leaders Programme here: http://www.whizz-kidz.org.uk/get-our-help/young-people/young-leaderz
That really seems like a lot now that I’ve written it all down, especially as I already have the task of moving abroad and starting in my first full time position to contend with! I do think that they are achievable though, and I think they will all help me to manage the challenges that the next year will undoubtedly bring.
I’ve never had a word of the year before, but there’s one that I keep thinking about so for 2017 my word of the year is HOPE. I think the world may be in for a tough year and I think we’re all going to need a lot of hope, so going forward this will be my focus! If you have a word of the year, let me know what it is and why you chose it in comments!
Good luck with your resolutions if you have them, and here’s to a hopeful and successful 2017!