Blogs are often rife with posts which attempt to tell us how we should live our lives. This is especially the case as the new year rolls around, and the number of posts out there boasting of a ‘new year, and new you’ skyrocket. Do this, don’t do that. If these posts are anything to go by, following pointers like these is the best way to happiness.
In reality, it’s possible that expectations aren’t the best way to go about finding the life you want. Of course, it’s difficult to knock people who write posts like that. They’ve obviously attempted those methods and found them useful. And, sure; it’s fantastic news that those plans have made them happy.
But, part of what makes the world so wonderful is that we’re all so different. And, for that exact reason, what works for one person in the happiness stakes won’t necessarily work for all. So, all these posts CAN’T be a fast way to happiness for every one of us. Worse than that, the pressure they place on us to live a life which doesn’t suit can have the opposite effect. Instead, we feel bad for not doing those things. Before we know it, we’re even further from happiness than we were to start with.
It’s a vicious cycle, and the wrong way to enter a new year. So, instead of telling you what you should do, we’re going to look at a few of the pressures you could do with letting go of this January. Of course, these will be different for everyone. So, feel free to adapt or ignore the points which don’t quite work for you!
Deal with money
Money and the desire to get it under control is always a big topic during January. For the most part, that’s because so many of us have so little of it for that first month. Besides which, all the debts we carry forward with us can play heavily on our minds at this time of year. So, our attention turns to clearing debts, cutting costs, and generally going without.
But, remember that we’re all different. As such, we all have different ways of dealing with money. So, these strict guidelines may not suit everyone. Sure, we would all love to be debt free. But that’s not a goal you should work towards if doing so is going to leave you struggling. It may be that you don’t earn enough each month to pay them off fast. Or, perhaps you have a family who needs to come first. No one should leave their kids without so they can pay off their credit card bills.
The good news is, there are gentler ways to clear those debts. Instead of setting strict guidelines, why not turn to a company like National Debt Relief? An option like this will take you a step closer to clearing your debts, without putting you on the brink of bankruptcy. Instead, you can work with the company in question to develop a plan which suits your situation. Better, all your debts will be in one neat place so that you can develop an estimated date by which you’ll clear them. It may not end up being this year, but working towards an end goal like this will be a huge relief.
Bear in mind, too, that you don’t have to cut costs if you don’t want to. We could all do with more money, but you don’t have to struggle to get it. Small changes could still leave you in a much better position. It may be that you want to set aside a certain amount each month. That way, you can spend the rest of your money without guilt. Or, you might want to find small ways to earn extra money. That way, you don’t have to make any allowances. Starting a blog or another side venture can be a lot of fun, as well as a lucrative money making idea.
Follow a traditional career path
Admittedly, it wasn’t so long ago that people had to work a traditional 9-5 job if they wanted to make a go of their lives. That was the done thing, and it was ludicrous to think of going about things in any other way. Now, though, the options for a career are limitless. You don’t have to stick to the 9-5 scheme if it doesn’t fit with your lifestyle. Admittedly, many moms still find this works best, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, make sure you aren’t going along with something because you feel as though you should.
This may not necessarily fit into the new year for you. But, this is a time for reflection and a time when many people opt to change careers. So, it’s worth giving this some thought. Consider whether the traditional office route would really be best for you. If not, you might want to opt for shift work instead, which changes often and is a little more flexible in most cases.
Or, you might want to hop on the freelance bandwagon. More and more people are going freelance in a variety of professions, and it’s a fantastic way to take back control of your life. It couldn’t be further from what we’re used to and can seem like a daunting change. But, if you have a skill people will pay for then there’s no reason why this can’t work for you. To test the waters, do a few jobs on the side. If all goes well, don’t hesitate to ditch the 9-5 in the coming year.
See your friends more
Given that the festive season focuses on friends and family, increased socialization is on the minds of many at this time of year. We live in a world in which extroverts are hailed as ‘the norm’. And, if those New year inspirational posts are anything to go by, the more you get out there, the happier you’ll be. Socialize, socialize, socialize, and everything will fall into place.
In truth, though this isn’t a method which works for everyone. As Susan Cain explores in her book ‘Quiet’, too much stimulation can do damage to the well being of introverts. There is truth to the idea that socialization is good for us. Certainly, you don’t want to find yourself lonely in the new year. Besides which, a complete hermit routine will soon see friends turning away from you.
But, again, consider your needs. It may be that going out for hours at a time, or whole evenings, is too much for you. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it doesn’t mean socialization has to be off the cards. Instead, arrange meetings which are shorter. A quick coffee date, or lunch in your favorite restaurant, is all it takes. This way, you can control the level and length of these meetings, and leave as soon as they get too much for you.
Live a healthier life
Sadly, this one is a little trickier to unravel. Because, we should all aim to live a healthier life, no matter the time of year. But, the main issue with the vast majority of healthy new year posts is that they’re too rigid. They’re full of strict regimes, and exercise rituals which are never going to suit everyone. In truth, it isn’t even worth trying to follow these methods. There’s just no way they’re going to work for you.
But, by taking your health into your own hands, you stand a much better chance of making a go of this. For one, forget the idea of diets. These are short-term solutions to a long-term problem. Instead, find a way to eat food which is good for you, but that you enjoy. Focus on incorporating your favorite vegetables into as many meals as possible. Make more effort to hunt down recipes which appeal, but use the best ingredients possible. And, forget about starving yourself or eating smaller portions. This is all about food which can sustain you but is good for you at the same time. And, there are plenty of hearty and filling options out there. Just take the time to find them!
Bear in mind, too, that an unrealistic exercise regime is never going to work out. Worse, it could do you damage. Everyone is at different places with their health. As such, following running guidelines set by someone who does it often could be harmful. Instead, check in with where you are. If you have to force yourself to get out there, ditch that exercise and try another. Instead of punishing yourself, start seeing how you could have fun with your fitness. It may be that just going for a daily walk makes you feel better. You could even try taking up yoga and seeing how you get on.
Either way, this is all about what works best for you and no one else. Because, when it comes to our lives, we really do know best.