New Year: Keeping it simple

Keeping it simple – Jacky Burton.

I don’t want to sound smug but I’m somewhat of an expert on resolutions. Ask any of my close friends. In fact one of my friend’s husbands chuckles every year asking me how many resolutions I have and who I want to become (this makes me sound a little unhinged I know).

For years, I made a long list of things I wanted to achieve, do or see. Then I had a busy few years meeting Mr B, having babies and moving house. The list got stripped back. As a parent, there is a whole lot less time for ‘you’ and so sometimes the list can feel like a stick to beat yourself with.

Resolutions are fascinating (well for me anyway). It is estimated (by the New York Times) that more than half of all resolutions fail. Surely this is because we’re setting ourselves the wrong ones. As a parent, I know I’m not alone in those pangs of Mum guilt – I don’t have enough fun with my kids; I’m not as calm and patient as I’d like (come and see our house on any given morning). The list goes on. Why do we need any more reason to beat ourselves up?

So let’s keep this whole resolution thing SIMPLE. Pick a few quick wins: Things you actually want to do which are also realistic. It could be meeting up over the next few months with a friend you would love to see but haven’t managed to catch up with for a while. I did this last year and caught up with an old school friend who lives overseas. Magic.

I think the other thing to keep in mind is PURPOSE. I mean why would anyone actually want to do ‘dry January’ and give up that warm glass of red at literally the darkest, coldest and most depressing time of year? Always baffles me. I understand the desire to get healthy, but surely putting better food into our bodies or finding a way to be active which we enjoy, is better than depriving ourselves?

If we can see a reason for doing something, surely we are more likely to see it through. Children teach us this all the time. Try and get a teenager (replace this with any child really) to do something they don’t see any point to (trust me, I’m also a teacher).

At so many of our Mini First Aid classes, we hear from parents that doing a first aid class had ‘been on their list for ages’ or that it was always something they had meant to do but previously ‘not got round to it’. When parents do attend one of our classes, they wax lyrical about how much more confident they feel in knowing what to do in an emergency situation. Hugely empowering.

I know in theory you can make resolutions / intentions at any time. But New Year is symbolic. It gives us an opportunity to look back over the year and set things straight again. If there is one thing I have learned as a parent, it is that there are always a few curve balls thrown so you’ll never end up quite where you thought you would by the end of the year!

So what are your quick wins? Has learning first aid always been a life skill on your ‘to do’ list? I’m reluctant to do the ‘hard sell’ as it really is up to you (see my point about purpose) but it really is as easy as booking a Mini First Aid course online. Then you can set your others (and forget dry January would be my advice).

 

 

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