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Taking the time to think about what matters to you

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Often at the New Year, we decide to make some resolutions, sometimes that's, lose weight, get fitter, stop smoking, take up a new hobby, get a new job, stop worrying, spend more time with the family……………the list is endless

At a community event once, we asked what resolutions people had. Of the 42 people who kindly shared their resolutions

  • 31% was around being kinder to others
  • 21% related to caring about their mental health
  • 17% related to caring about their physical health
  • 14% were around being more positive
  • 10% were around working harder, getting on at work
  • 9% were around being stronger and surviving

Sometimes we get so caught up in what we think we should be doing; we don't find the time to think about what really matters to us and how we can make that happen. While yes, making plans to stop or start something on 1st January gives a date to aim for, a danger can be, if we don't do it that day, we feel we have failed, and starting a New Year on a feeling of failure isn't a great motivator for the rest of the year. 

The truth is, we can make any day the day we decide to make a change to take us closer to where we want to be.

The resolutions above are a snapshot of a group of people and what they kindly shared, and kindness to others, and our self, rated highest, though if we think about being positive is good for mental health and being stronger and surviving around our resilience to life challenges then 44% of those resolutions related to caring for our mental wellbeing, and yet how often do we find, we put other things before looking after ourselves?

In an emergency on a plane, you put your own oxygen mask on first, so you can help others. Making time to look after ourselves as well as other people aren't selfish, in fact, if we only think about others and never ourselves, not only can this be unhealthy for our own wellbeing, we can begin to resent the kindness we show others, and that then makes us feel guilty, so we do even more and get caught in a vicious circle not knowing how to get out.

Kindness to self, each other and the planet is important, finding time to fit that all in, however, easier said than done.

We have shared a wee workbook which has a variety of questions aimed at helping us think about what matters to us. It can be done as quickly or slowly as suits you, the aim to provide some ideas to create that space for us to think about, 'what matters to me and how am I going to find the time and motivation to work towards that?'

Remember, this is a guided self-help tool, not a replacement for more formal mental health interventions, however, it offers a place to start thinking about how we look after ourselves as well as others. Enjoy and hoping 2020 is a year which brings you and those you care about reasons to smile. 

You matter, others matter, the planet matters. 

Together we can be the change the world needs to see to be a kinder place for everyone. 

Make 2020 the year of Kindness to ourselves and all life on this planet, and hey it's a Leap Year, so an extra day of kindness to share and experience for all.

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