What I've done instead of the New Year's resolutions - My happy list

So, how are your New Year's resolutions going so far?

I can't remember when I last made a proper New Year's resolution. At some point I realised that had I actually ever followed through my resolutions I'd be a marathon-running polyglot with an impeccable figure and a thought-through wardrobe and just an all-around enviable human being.

Just to clear it up, I'm not.

mum with two kids

So there have been numerous resolutions I've done over the years. Lots about more exercise, lots about learning new languages or skills, and even more so about being efficient and organised. Yup, what I have learned from that is that I am not particularly organised nor am I efficient, and there is always the next day...

I have also tried choosing a "word" to guide my year, which I suppose has worked a bit better in the past. The idea is to, instead of specific resolutions, choose a word that you aim your year towards. So it might be balance (work-life balance, balanced eating etc.) or freedom (from debt, obligations, midfulness etc.), whatever you want or need most in your life.

So far the only resolution I have managed to make into a regular thing has been flossing my teeth. Small, easy, daily habit. Using the "word" (I think one of the years is was "me") I've also managed to clear some obligations and relax, but nothing extravagant.

This year I am not doing any of it. This year I decided I am not going to set myself up to fail. This year what I will do however is exactly what I did last year - and that is to make my happy list. What is that I hear you say? (OK, I don't actually hear you say that, but you might wonder quietly...)

mum and kids in matching pyjamas

Happy list is exactly as it sounds like - it is the things that make me happy. Things that I actually WANT to do, instead of OUGHT to do. And my happy list has these eleven things on it:

1. Have a weekly family tradition. Lat year we started doing Film Fridays - we got the pizzas in, snuggled under a blanket, ate home-made pop corn and watched an animation or another family film. It was a nice end to the week, a relaxing evening after a full week at work. Nowadays I make the pizza and we skip the pop corn, but the principle is the same. Sometimes we make it into a Games Night and play Junior Scrabble or Junior Monopoly. 

2. Do my yoga. I don't do much exercise, which I ought to I suppose, but this is the want to list, eh, so yoga. It never fails to make me feel better, my back feel straighter, my posture more upright and my well-being better.

3. Go out experience London. We live in this amazing city, and spend silly money for the privilege, but do we really experience it? It is so easy to discount going to see anything just because "I don't feel like it, let's do it another weekend". And then that another weekend never comes. There are still places I'd love to see here that I haven't yet seen, and we might as well go and explore.

4. Read books. They transport you to another world, educate, entertain, do I need to continue? I used to love reading, but I find it difficult to find the time now. I WANT to make the time.

5. Use my good stuff. At some point I realised I hardly ever used my good stuff. It was just there waiting for "the special day". But you know what, the special day might never come. The stuff might get broken, old, go past its date. Or you might die. And there would be all that stuff, waiting for that special day. So now I wear my nice perfume on a school run, and wear my nice top to the cafe with kids.

6. Bake. Just because I quite like it. I don't do it that often, and I don't go all that fancy, so not a Bake Off contestant hopeful material here, but I do enjoy the kneading, and feeling the dough change consistency and it getting all buoyant and most of all, it in my mouth afterwards. I nearly always get good results, and nearly always get good feedback of my bakes, so it's these little rewards of success that make it my happy thing.

7. Learn a new thing. Not sure what it could be this year. Last year I tried my hand at making a perfume. This year, maybe something crafty?

8. Sleep more. Nowadays I usually fall asleep pretty early. And after a good night of sleep (if you really ever can get one with young kids...) I feel like the troubles of the day are much easier to deal with. They say any problem can be solved with sleeping on it...

9. Tidy up my wardrobe. I have far too many things I don't wear, and when I wear them, I find them just a bit off. Ill-fitting in some way, not exactly my favourite colour, a bit odd looking in some way, and even when other people tell me they look nice on me, I just feel off in them. So thus, 2019, let's make my wardrobe spark joy.

10. Meet new people. I find I don't know a whole lot of people in my neighbourhood, and me thinks it is time to change that. I am away from the area most of the week, commuting into Central London (except now while on maternity leave), but it would be nice to know more people in my local area.

11. Keep on taking family photographs. I loved the monthly challenge of taking a family portrait. It wasn't always easy, and it wasn't always with the best results, but I did it and I loved looking back.

mum and kids making funny faces

So those are the eleven things on my happy list - things I want to do this year. This I actually want to, instead of think I should. And all of them are things that help make me more happy.

What would be on your happy list?


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