Reasons to be cheerful
THE start of a new year is a great time to hit the refresh button on your life and get organised.
Setting goals for the year can be a bit overwhelming but if you break it down and set a series of small but satisfying tasks, you’re on your way to making 2018 the best year ever.
Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.
1. Clean out the family cupboard
Every household has one. That cupboard, drawer or cluttered corner where random stuff accumulates. As your kids get older they inevitably grow out of toys, clothes and possessions and, while it’s tempting to hang on to them all, your house can start to resemble a garage sale. Post Christmas is the perfect time to go through board games, books, clothes, soft toys and sports equipment – identify the can’tlive-without favourites and donate the rest to younger friends or, better still, your favourite charity.
2. Get off Facebook and call your friends
It’s great to be able to view a glimpse into what your friends are up to via your daily Facebook newsfeed scroll but nothing beats a face-to-face catch-up for nurturing a lasting friendship. Move away from the screen and call your favourite peeps to arrange a new-year coffee, drink or walk. Like.
3. Update insurance policies As the year cranks into full swing, it’s easy to get distracted with small-picture stuff. Now is the perfect time to stop and think about the big picture and update your insurance.
4. Plan a trip
Having a break to look forward to is a guaranteed way to stay sane through even the busiest weeks. Set a budget and work out how far you can go. Packing the family off for a couple of weeks creates beautiful memories, whether it’s finding some winter warmth in Hawaii or packing up the car with camping gear and heading off for a long weekend. Do it.
5. De-junk the pantry
If your pantry is stocked with packaged snacks, grab a garbage bag and chuck out all the sugary, chemical-infused, hyperprocessed nibbles and stock up with healthy alternatives. Tamari almonds, dried cranberries and popcorn are a good place to start.
6. Scan old photos
Most of our photos are in digital form these days but every house has a shelf of dusty albums or a couple of boxes of family snaps. Preserve your memories for eternity by setting aside a couple of hours a week to start scanning them on to your computer or hard drive.
7. Perform an act of kindness Research has shown that doing something nice for someone else is an interest-free deposit in your happiness bank. Helping a mum on to a bus with a pram, making an extra portion of dinner for a neighbour or complimenting someone at the checkout feels good and costs nothing.
8. Start researching your family tree
Our family stories can make for fascinating reading. Piecing together the pieces of your ancestral puzzle is not only a fun way to pass some spare time but it’s a great gift to your kids and grandkids.
9. Read a classic novel
We may not all get to write War and Peace, but there’s no excuse not to read it. We all have at least one classic novel we’ve promised ourselves we’d read some time. Now’s the time. Anna Karenina, The Catcher in the Rye, Wuthering Heights… the comfy chair is calling.
10. Learn to meditate
A few minutes a day to still your busy mind, breathe and be in the moment is a healthy habit that will help you achieve all the other things on your 2018 to-do list.