It’s almost that time of year again. New Year resolutions just around the corner, and the focus starts on highlighting the things about us we want to change. Is it really the best time for starting new habits and patterns after a month of Christmas indulgence, mince pies and wondering, ‘what day is it?’

Starting the year with a brand new you. Sounds like a lot of pressure. It is. 

January can be a tough month after the festivities of Christmas, with the song “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” playing on repeat through December, it’s easy to find yourself getting off track, and possibly not making as many good, healthy choices as you should. the pressure of creating new ‘rules’ to follow.

Instead, in the quiet before the Christmas holidays, December is the perfect time to reflect on your successes and everything you’ve achieved this year. Not only giving you time to approach the holidays with a positive mindset, but to feel calmer, more relaxed, and happier in yourself.

Here are some ways you can celebrate YOU:

Reflect on Personal Growth

Highlight the small victories and progress you’ve made this year, it’s not always about the big achievements. Every journey starts with that first step, and it’s about celebrating where you are right now and acknowledging setbacks, however difficult – is still growth.

Gratitude Journaling

The great thing is you don’t have to be an experienced writer to keep a journal. You might even prefer to doodle or scribble, there’s no rules here – it’s whatever works for you! Keeping a gratitude journal where you can express your thoughts, feelings and share what you are thankful for each day, can really support your mental health. Being positive can help shift the focus from what needs to change, to what is already good in your life.

Celebrate Achievements

Emphasise the importance of celebrating achievements, no matter how small. It could be overcoming a personal challenge, learning a new skill, or making positive lifestyle changes. Develop an inner voice that celebrates, rather than criticises.

Mindfulness Practices

Introducing mindfulness practices to find calm and relaxation during the holiday season. This could include meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply spending quiet moments in self-reflection. There are lots of free mindfulness apps and podcasts available to help you get started.

Connect with Others

Reaching out to friends and family to champion your journey and celebrate how far you’ve come is an excellent way to boost your confidence. Connecting with loved ones can provide emotional support and a sense of belonging, especially during the holiday season.

Set Realistic Expectations

Instead of setting rigid New Year’s resolutions, set realistic and achievable goals. This could involve making gradual changes and focusing on overall well-being, rather than specific habits.

Create a Vision Board

You don’t have to have an art degree to create a vision board – images, postcards and magazine cuttings, all help build a visual representation that can serve as a positive daily reminder. Finding your inner creative self is a great way to relax and discover new hobbies or talents.

Practice Self-Compassion

Be kind to yourself. It’s okay not to be perfect. Self-compassion is crucial for maintaining a positive mindset. 

Set Intentions for the New Year

Instead of resolutions, set intentions for the upcoming year. Intentions are more about the journey and the process rather than strict outcomes.

Go and be the best version of yourself in 2024.