Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's resolutions for 2012

I love this time of the year. It feels almost like magic when I allow my mind to step out of the daily routine and let new ideas spark. The most interesting part is reflecting on the year coming to an end and at the same time contemplating the year which is about to start. It is the time when I realise that life is not only about the daily grey routine but about goals, dreams and aspirations. 

When I reflect on the year past, I normally try to think of the different areas such as relationship(s) with partner, family and friends, finance, health, nutrition, work and spirituality. It is not a tedious exercise. I do it on the beach or when I wake up in the morning. I want to encourage you to do it as well. Take a notebook or your laptop and randomly write things down as they come to mind. Do it when you have time to relax - in the bath tub, at your favourite coffee shop or while dozing off in your garden.

While you busy with this, surely new ideas, goals and dreams for next year will spark in your mind. I turn these in little resolutions and start the new year with new energy and enthusiasm.

However, the most difficult part about New Year’s resolution is to make those newly set goals last beyond February. In December, I often cannot even remember what I had set out for the year. So I thought of some ideas to remind oneself about these resolutions and dreams throughout the year.

My suggestion, take advantage of your electronic calendar and write six little notes/reminders to yourself stating your goals, dreams and things that you want to achieve. Post it on the first of each month from June onwards. Address those notes personally to you. For the first of December you write yourself a special message with encouraging words and also praising yourself how well you have done this year. Write yourself an 'end of year report' which contains mainly grade As.

Write a few postcards with similar messages and put them into envelopes, put a stamp and your address on the envelope and on random days from March to June you send them to you via snail mail. Keep them in your diary and when they fall out, you know it is time to put the next one in a post box. Alternatively, give them to a reliable friend of yours and ask her/him to randomly put those in a mailbox.

Be specific on those cards but only use positive language. 
'It is time to check out the gym schedule and attend your next spinning class' or 'by now you have lost 2 kg, well done.'

'Detox day is around the corner - go shopping for fruit and vegetables' 

' Call friend x - I love chatting with her'
'It's time to (re-)introduce your weekly 'spend-no-money-day'

It is all about your goals, so do not go with things your read in magazines or on the web but write down things that are relevant to your life. Be kind and don't set your goals too high. Make it realistic and achievable. Maybe add an inspirational quote that you like to read and find very powerful. 

My message for you for the new year is simple:

Let your inner you shine during 2012.

Wake up in the morning and ask yourself, how am I doing? How do I feel today?

What do I need today to make this a fantastic day?

Be gentle and kind to yourself; focus on yourself, so you have enough energy to focus on others.

Follow your dreams. 

Wishing you a lovely start of 2012.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing you an imperfect Christmas

It is just about time for the Christmas festivities to start. You might probably be too busy to read this because you also are preparing the Christmas meal and wrapping the last presents. Like busy bees we women tend to run around in the shops, clean our homes and prepare the decoration to make it the perfect occasion. It is Christmas after all.

It is often us who put all our efforts into this evening/day. We work hard, exhaust ourselves and the smallest issue will upset us. In all the rush trying to make it perfect, I would like to propose to all of you - pull the breaks. Take it slow this Christmas. Being in the moment, spending time laughing and listening will most likely make this day a memorable one. If one of the dishes is a 'ready-made-warm-up meal', the serviettes are folded the wrong way and at the last minute you see that the stain on the table cloths has not come out from last year - relax. Who cares? It is those imperfections that actually makes one remember. Creating a relaxed atmosphere will make it an unforgettable and special occasion for everyone.

Have an enjoyable and merry Christmas - and a happy holiday season.

Monday, December 12, 2011


It is Christmas time and in the Southern Hemisphere, where I live, also time for an end of year summer break.
My work closes offices as of the 15th of December and happiness is spreading at the office...finally time to relax. I share the odd comments with colleagues about how great it will be to just do nothing. We love and joke and I am really looking forward to it. However, there is this other little voice in my head telling me all the things I can catch up with and keep myself busy with during the break.
I have no doubt that almost everyone is looking forward to get away from the office and be on holiday. But I think specially us ladies, we have the tendency to look forward to our ‘holidays’ because we will then find the time to get busy at the house, to clean, to wash, to shop, to bake, to cook, to tidy up the things we don’t find time for in our daily routines.
So do we actually ever really relax? How often do we take our holiday time to really be on holiday - to just be, read a book, chill with our favourite music, watch a chic-flick?
I know that it is a true relief to get things done that otherwise are constantly on the ‘should-be-done-never-get-around-to-it’ list. 
The question I ask, is the busyness not sometimes an escape of not taking real me-quiet-time? Are we not maybe running away from being just on our own and do nothing?

I think it is partly our society that drills us to always achieve something or do something, to be constantly productive. It results that after a day of just doing nothing, we feel bad, our bad conscious calls out ‘but I didn’t do anything today’ and one tries to maybe at least cook a meal or DO something, to close the day of with an ‘achievement’ of some sort.
I think being constantly busy can also be an avoidance tactic, because we do not know what thoughts might come into our head, when we allow them to. The new smartphones support us nicely in that endeavour because when we really just sit down to ‘do’ nothing, we can still connect with the whole world on Facebook, Twitter etc.
I am not an exception, but I will put in some serious effort to just do nothing at least for a few days during my holidays and I encourage all of you – do the same – you can. You deserve it and owe it to yourself.

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