Another year gone by and again you didn’t even realize half of your resolutions. It doesn’t have to be that hard and it doesn’t always have to be that big. Here are a few realistic tips on how to get through this next year, with raised energy levels and increased self-fulfillment.
- Be healthy.
Let’s try to make this one more than just a typical New Year’s resolution. The festive days have only just passed and undoubtedly we have all eaten more than usual and are probably starting the new year again with a few love handles more than we would like. But not just your hips will thank you for being now again more conscious about your calories intake. My energy levels seemed to have hit a record low and I urgently need to do something about that. My absolute winter favourite: fruit salad with pomegranate seeds, you can’t go wrong with this. A true superfood and in combination with other winter fruit, such as kiwi or oranges absolutely yummy and also visually very appealing, especially for kids eyes. Try it. For me even more delicious when topping of with some walnuts – of which I have tons left from Christmas – and a squirt of honey. A tip from me on how to “peel” the pomegranate without making your kitchen look like a blood bath: cut fruit in half and put in bowl with cold water. Wait at least 10 seconds and then you can remove the seeds easily with your fingers. Skin and flesh will swim on top and can be easily removed with your hands whilst the seeds sink to the bottom. Put through a sieve and voila, the seeds are yours.
2. Be generous.
What feels better than doing something for someone that he did not expect? Pay for the next work lunch or get something for your friend, your sibling or your parent you know they have always wanted. It doesn’t always have to be Christmas or a person’s birthday to buy a gift. It was the first time that we packed a shoe box this Christmas. I felt so much happiness when taking my son to buy the gifts. We will definitely join again this year. He was too young to make sense of it but this year he will understand and I guess particularly in our world today, it seems even more important to pass on morals and values that centre around humanity. And this does not have to cost money. This morning I went shopping and wondered why the lady that had parked beside me came towards me with two shopping trolleys until I realized that she had brought one for me. “Us mothers have to stick together”, she said. It is little things like this that restore your faith in the good. At least I know that this has made my day and I felt a lot of positivity whilst going through the aisles of the supermarket and it seemed to me that everybody smiled back at me. The way you behave reflects on other people. And happiness is contagious. So lets all make our world a happier place together.
3. Be curious.
Do something new. Read a book. Learn an instrument. Travel new places. Move outside your comfort zone. We often get caught up in our day to day routine and turn somewhat miserable or feel just like robots which is neither good for yourself nor your environment. My new goal for this year is to start up an own business. In fact, this is completely new territory for me. I am probably one of the most security-focused persons you would ever meet. And of course I am in a very comfortable position, being regularly employed with regular income and trying to plan out an business idea on side. I admit, this is not exactly living on the edge but hey, for me this is quite a step and I feel extremely excited whenever I think of the project. It gives me a new purpose, a new goal that I am aiming towards and if there is something that I hate then it is not to achieve my goals so I am determined to go through with this. You will see, a new experience or project in your life will really spice up your days and fill them with a true meaning – this particularly helps at times when you feel like your whole day only evolves around managing work and washing load.
4. Be grateful.
When do we actually take a step back from everything to just be grateful for what we have. Grateful that our kids are healthy, that we have a house which keeps us warm and enough food so that we don’t have to worry about having something to eat the next day. I am not preaching this because I am doing this every day. It is my husband who ever so often asks me when I have last been grateful for being able to use my hands or see our kids grow up. I realize that what we have cannot at all be taken for granted. And I want my kids to realize this, too. So it is my job to set a good example. Life sometimes seems blurry and we are just existing day after day after day – surviving actually, but not living. We don’t consciously think about the things that we do or the consequences of our actions. Or whether what we do is actually what we want to do. Slow down sometimes and notice what is around you. I am not proud of it but one of my weakest points is that I am not very good at observing things – you could probably redecorate my entire living room and I would not notice – but it is amazing what you really see when you focus. Good things and bad things. When I was in Egypt it took me weeks to understand that it wasn’t a symbol of wealth that all houses had security guards but that in fact these were men who found shelter for themselves and their family under the staircases of the houses they surveilled. In current times, I believe that the daily news give us sufficient reason to be grateful for what we have. Let’s just always remind ourselves of that.
5. Be yourself.
Last but not least. Don’t try to be someone you are not. For nobody. You are already stretching enough to manage your work, your kids – your husband included – and your home, you do not need more stress or strain on you. I would also like to be a supermum and learn overnight how to cook, bake, sew and all this other stuff that mothers are just able to do. This is not going to happen and since there is not yet a degree course on “How to be a good mother” , I guess I must accept and love (?) me for who I am. And my kids must learn to love the food I cook. The good news for me is that so far they don’t know much different so I stand a chance that they will not enter a hunger-strike to avoid my cooking. It is harder to compete with my mother-in-law but luckily my husband inhales his food, not leaving his taste buds any chance to protest. Nonetheless, I was trying to convince myself and others of my skills in the kitchen and tried out a horrendous amount of different recipes in the run up to Christmas.
Guess which side reflects my creations vs. what they were actually meant to look like. But at least all of it tasted ok and I guess that’s what really matters in the end. Nobody is perfect, so why should you? It is ok to be ordinary and better in some things than others. It is exhausting to try and be better all the time. And we don’t need more exhaustion. Make peace with your inner-self and find your balance.
Have I forgotten anything? Let me know, as I am keen to make this year a good one, with more positivity, humanity and mutuality – help me in doing so, my family and everyone else around me will forever thank you for it.