Do you make New Year’s resolutions on the 1st January of each year? Are you good at keeping your resolutions?
If you feel you’d like to make some positive changes and you need some help in achieving your goals, it may be a good idea to take a more holistic approach to new year’s resolutions to make them really resonate with who you are, what you feel and what you need.
Why not make the most of the New Year to look after yourself, putting your body and mind at the centre of your life. Doing that will allow everything else to flow better with less stress, more focus and clarity.
When you look ahead at a whole year you realise it is a long stretch of time but you can break it down into 12 months and have small goals for each of them. The key is to create a sense of positivity and progress, so that when you look back at the past year you can see how much you have achieved.
You may want to learn to let go of perfection and the thought of completely changing your life in one year, because that can be too daunting. Perhaps a better option is to consider changing your attitude first: for example, by being more grateful for what you have and more appreciative of others. Being thankful for what you already have can help to become more open to new opportunities and more positivity in your life. Then, each month you can think of a theme you may want to focus on. It can be something you would like to improve on or build upon.
Any journey requires a first step, and, even before you take your first step, the journey begins with your mindset.
Slow and Steady
If you start feeling uncomfortable or tense, breathe in and out. Listen to your body.
Sometimes you make plans that don’t fit with your lifestyle: you may want to change too many things at once and too quickly. This means that you are likely to abort your plans as normal life takes over, because your old habits are much easier to stick to than your new ones.
If you learn to let go, you then realise that there’s no point in judging yourself not completing something or for not achieving a set goal. Life is a process and there will be times when things just don’t go to plan, and that’s fine.
Whatever you decide to do this year you have all the power within you to make the best life possible for yourself and that will also have a positive effect on your loved ones.
12 Theme Suggestions for 12 Months
If you are feeling stuck and need some ideas to get started on your holistic resolutions, here are some suggestions that you can customise to your liking. Even before you think about creating healthier habits, you may want to start a very simple daily routine to improve your wellness that doesn’t require much effort or changing your ways completely. You can do that with Sophrology.
Being thankful: before rushing into joining your local gym or anything else that people do in January, write one thing you are grateful for every day. When you have completed this simple exercise and you look back at your list of 31 things you are thankful for, the last day of January will feel like opening all your Christmas presents again. You will realise how many positive things there have been in a month and set you into a positive state of mind for the whole year.
Meditation: why not take the month of February to reflect on how you can implement 10 minutes a day of relaxing ‘me time’? Self-care doesn’t need to take long or require a trip to the spa. Sophrology can be the perfect way to start shifting your energy and let things unfold, or maybe do some humming or singing, carve out some quiet time for relaxation or do some breathing exercises just for yourself in a quiet space where you won’t get interrupted. It’s better to switch off your phone. A short Sophrology sequence can help you feel calmer and more centred in only 10 minutes. Plan when you can take a 10 minute break in your day and make it a recurring daily appointment in your diary for the whole month. It could be when you are commuting by train to work or maybe during your lunch break. When you look back at the past month all this will have become a habit and a part of your daily life, probably something you really look forward to. Find what works for you that suits your lifestyle and commitments.
Detox: as Spring approaches, why not give your liver a holiday and use this month to cut down on heavy and/or processed foods, stimulating substances like coffee and sugar, increase your water intake and eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. While many people start a detox in January, springtime is actually ideal to change some lifestyle habits as the days get longer and warmer and you can spend more time outdoors.
Digital detox: just for one month why not reduce your screen time and limit your social media activities to get better sleep and observe how it changes your daily life? A digital detox can in fact be very beneficial for your sleep. Studies found that staring at a screen before bedtime can affect the quality of sleep negatively. During April you could try to implement a new routine: for example you could put your phone in a box when you get home to stop you from checking it every five minutes or at night.
You can set a time each day when you switch off all devices and concentrate on other activities like reading, taking a bath or talking to your partner. Alternatively, you can allocate one day a week, for example Sundays, to be away from screens and social media.
Focus on sleep: during this month you can create a routine to help you improve your sleep. You can find many tips in my book The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology. If you have kept your routine of setting aside 10 minutes a day to practise meditation as suggested for February, you can spare another few minutes before bed to practise Sophrology and get in the mindset of a good night’s sleep. You can visualise yourself having uninterrupted, deep sleep and always getting enough hours’ sleep. Keeping this routine each day should bring incremental benefits and make you feel rested and energised in the morning.
Exercise: during the month of June you could focus on trying a new form of exercise, maybe something you always wanted to explore. It could be a team sport like basketball or an individual sport like tennis, or a dance class. If your diary is already very busy just commit to something once a week, possibly near your place of work so you don’t spend too much time travelling. Trying something new coupled with the buzz of exercise stimulates the brain and releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones.
Body work: self-care means taking care of mind and body, so why not take a bit of time this month to visit an osteopath, a massage therapist or an acupuncturist. Good health is all about prevention and maintenance. We make sure our car gets a regular MOT and we should treat our body in the same way. Check that everything is in good working order and boost your energy at the same time.
Connection: connection is about spending quality time with friends or family, which is important to have for a balanced and meaningful life. Long evenings watching sunsets with friends having conversations are what life is all about. Enjoying each moment, being grateful for your loved ones and appreciating them.
Holiday: allow yourself to have a proper break from your routine. September is a great time to go away, if you can do it. During the course of this month you can focus on looking at what no longer works for you and letting it go. A change of scenery or a change of perspective can give you a better appreciation of life and inspire you to make improvements for a better future. Holiday can be time where you let go of all your usual routine to experience something different to nourish body, mind and soul.
Clothes and your look: Autumn is the season when trees shed their leaves to make a new start in spring. Maybe you can shed the old and think about making some subtle changes to your wardrobe or your hairstyle? For example, before you need to start wearing woolly jumpers and winter coats, do an audit of your current wardrobe and de-clutter it from items you no longer wear that take up much space in your home. The sense of release and lightness you get afterwards is priceless.
Contributing: helping others can do wonders for your well-being. Volunteering has been proven to have a beneficial effect as you feel valuable and you see that your actions are doing good for someone else. Studies found that volunteering can help lower anxiety and depression while increasing self-confidence and providing a sense of purpose. It also helps staying healthy because it can lower blood pressure and improve your lifespan. Basically, people who contribute and give their time for others are happier.
Celebrate your year: just like you looked back at the whole month at the end of January, take the opportunity to review your year in December. Congratulate yourself on your achievements: your new and healthier habits, your commitment to sophrology, your contribution to the community. Be kind to yourself and appreciate others to allow your life to flow.
A simple Sophrology exercise to support to create your best life
This Sophrology exercise is very useful to help you connect with your inner energy, strength and positivity.
Take a seat and sit upright, with your feet making contact with the floor. Rest your hands on your thighs. First, scan your body for areas of tension. Then, do an activation stretch: breathe in, interlock your fingers while moving your arms up over your head, hold your breath and stretch, then release the arms while breathing out. Take a moment to pause and notice any positive sensations in your body. Maybe the stretching has released some of the muscles in your body? Maybe the breathing has taken your mind off your current problems?
With each in breath, connect with a positive intention for your mind and body or tune into a positive sensation. With each out breath, diffuse that positive energy into each part of your body.
In Sophrology we talk about body systems and each body system relates to a specific area. There are five body systems in total.
With each breath, you want to focus on your positive intention or energy and stimulate it within the five body systems.
Start with the first system, located in your head and face. Breathe in and, as you breathe out, bathe your first system with positive energy.
Acknowledge the presence of the second system, your arms and upper back, and bring that positive energy there with your breathing.
Feel the presence of your third system, the chest and, drawing in that positive energy.
Feel the presence of the fourth system, the upper tummy region, diffusing positive energy there.
Feel the presence of your fifth system, the lower tummy, back and legsNotice the presence of the whole body in the megasystem system, the belly button area, and bring in the positive energy all over.
Now you are reaching the perfect state of mind to start visualising what you would like to achieve, and that means deciding how you would like to feel in months to come. You can visualise yourself having achieved that new state.
Repeat this exercise everyday during your February month and let us know what it does for you via our social media.
Visit BeSophro and learn Sophrology
Sophrology is a self-development technique for self-development and stress management that can really help you in creating a plan for the year ahead. You can get good results from learning the Sophrology techniques for your daily life and quicky notice a positive difference after a few sessions.
Feel confident that, with the right tools, you can create the best life for yourself with Sophrology.
A nice way to start your Sophrology journey can be, for example, to join a group class. In this way, you can access a ready-made support system of like-minded people. You can find a list of events on the website including our group sessions and one-to-one sessions.
One-to-one sessions are great if you prefer to learn on a one-on-one basis and at your own pace or want to address a specific issue. We also do Skype. The BeSophro clinics can help you implement your 10 minutes of meditation a day and give you support to stick to your holistic new year’s resolutions with tailored exercises to tackle a specific area in your life you want to work on or simply lower your stress levels.