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Five tips to move you into a wonderful 2011

28 Dec

It can feel like you’re in limbo this time of year – shaking off the excesses of Christmas and waiting for the new year to arrive.   So, why not make the most of the last few days of 2010 with these five tips designed to prepare yourself for a wonderful 2011?

1) Take some time to reflect on the past year – think about what you have achieved, what you can be grateful for and any special memories.  Even if you’ve had a tough 2010, give yourself a pat on the back for coming through it and focus on ways that 2011 can be better for you.  Taking time to recognise our achievements and practice gratitude is something we can build into our lives on a daily basis, helping us to develop a more positive attitude.

2) Make some space.  I know you’ve probably heard this many times before, but de-cluttering our homes and getting rid of anything we don’t want or need any more can be so beneficial.  Just as you have to breathe out to let new, fresh air in, by clearing some space in your home you will allow good things to flow into your life – both physically and mentally.   Start on one small part of a room, a drawer or a cupboard, and start putting aside anything you want to throw out.  Once you have finished, give it to charity or go to a car boot sale – I guarantee you’ll feel better.

3) Focus on your goals.  Think about anything you want to achieve in the new year.  However big or small, write down your goals for 2011 and take some time each day to focus on them – visualise yourself achieving them and imagine how good it will feel.  As soon as you start focussing on something, your unconscious mind will start coming up with ways to achieve it, so spending 5 minutes every day thinking about what you want really can help you to get there.

4) Banish negativity.   Many of us spend a lot of time being negative both about ourselves and others.  We may gossip with friends about someone’s appearance or behaviour, or we may put ourselves down, saying that we’ll never be the way we want to be, that we’re stupid, that we’re always making mistakes.  Often we don’t even realise we’re doing this, so over the next couple of days be aware of your thoughts and conversations; notice when you’re being negative and switch it.  Be kind to yourself and others and, as the old saying goes, if you can’t think of anything positive to say, don’t say anthing at all!  Notice how much better you feel, spreading positivity rather than thinking negatively.

5) Get moving!  Just as the way we think can affect our bodies, the way we feel physically can influence our emotional well-being.  It’s easy to sit indoors and veg out at this time of year, but just taking 10 minutes to get outside for a quick walk, do some gardening or even have a dance around the living room to your favourite music, can be so uplifting.  Changing your physical state is one of the easiest ways to change your emotional state, so even if you’re feeling low and demotivated, just do something – anything!  It doesn’t have to be for very long and you can shake off those winter blues in a flash.

Most of all, enjoy the rest of 2010 and a happy new year to you all!

The Value of Being Bored

28 Oct

Most of us are constantly occupied nowadays; if we’re not working, we’ve got other responsibilities and in our free time, we’ll be watching TV, online, reading a magazine – the list is endless.

Yesterday I arrived 30 minutes early for a class I was going to; I had to wait outside in my car and I immediately started to think about what I could do to fill the time – listen to the radio, make some telephone calls, write some notes?  In the end I decided to just sit and do nothing, half an hour of allowing my mind to wander wherever it wanted – and do you know what?  It was probably one of the most valuable parts of my day.

When you think about it, we very rarely allow ourselves to just sit and do absolutely nothing.  We are so afraid of being bored that we are always looking for something to do.  However, by giving ourselves some space to do nothing, just letting ourselves daydream aimlessly for a while, this can give our minds the real downtime they need.  Just like soil needs to have some fallow time to restore itself, so do our minds.

So, next time you’re sitting in traffic or waiting in a supermarket queue, don’t get frustrated, take the opportunity to let your mind off the lead and have a wander.  You might just come up with a solution to a particular problem or an amazing idea without even having to try.

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