New Year’s resolutions: positive change or tortuous failure? If you fall into the latter camp, you’re not alone. A staggering 92% of us will see our best intentions slide into the abyss by February. Tired of trying to be a better me, I’ve decided not to bother. This year, the focus is on experimenting with new activities, discovering new destinations and most of all – having fun in the process. Hula hooping, bounding through Bohemia and savouring high class chips are the order of the day in in 2016.
Exploring quirky places:
One of the biggest bonuses of being an office worker is our annual leave allowance – offering twenty-eight precious days to get out and see the world. This year, I’m checking out the Czech Republic’s national parks. While there, I’ll also be visiting the medieval village of Kutna Hora – home to the infamous bone church, eerily decorated with the bones of 40,000 plague victims. Closer to home, in May, I will be staying in the magnificent eight hundred year-old St Briavel’s castle in the Wye Valley for a weekend of hiking and medieval banqueting.
Embracing my inner Nigela Lawson:
Next on my New Year’s resolutions list is to have fun in the kitchen. Sunday afternoons are now dedicated to test-driving new recipes with the finished product slung in the freezer for handy home-made lunches. The results so far have been mixed. My tomato and lentil soup has morphed into a vat of mush through over-zealous blending but my shepherd’s pie is a triumph. Inspired by workplace nutritionist, Linda Munster, I also intend to conquer quinoa salads this summer and be the envy of my colleagues.
Finding alternative ways to exercise:
Tired of my post-work gym routine, this year I’ll be ditching the treadmill to explore alternative ways to exercise. I’ve kicked off the New Year by getting down and very dirty at ParkRun and I’ll be adding bouldering, hula hooping and Nordic skiing to my repertoire. With so much choice, there’s something out there for every office worker. After climbing Mount Toubkal last year, I’m also on the look-out for another grand adventure. There’s nothing like facing the horror of a mountain to get you off the sofa.
Leaving the office EVERY lunch break:
This year, I’ve resolved this year to leave my desk EVERY lunch break. Whether that’s a ten minute mindfulness walk or a quick browse round a mini museum. The change in scene always helps me de-stress and return to the fray with a different perspective. Studies have shown that taking a break at lunchtime makes you more productive and creative – boosting your worth to your employer. Time to ditch the guilt and make self-care a priority.
Indulging after work:
One of life’s greatest pleasures is eating out and after all the bouldering, running and hula hooping, I will be rewarding myself with more post-work restaurant outings. First up is the Big Easy Bar.B.Q and Crabshack – stacked to the brim with Nova Scotia’s most succulent crustaceans. I’m also hotly anticipating the opening of Come Fry with Me – a restaurant dedicated to chips drenched in wondrous toppings including truffle and parmesan and steak and stilton. Inspired by Jaklien Van Melick’s eating around the world in London blog posts, another of my new year’s resolutions is to delve into more exotic world cuisine – from Nepalese Dal to Ethiopian Shiro.
Doing one relaxing thing every day:
Living in such a fast-paced city, taking time out is often viewed with the same disdain as leaving your desk at lunchtime. In London, being frantically busy all the time is a tortuous aspiration that frequently leaves me feeling frazzled. This year, it’s all about slowing down with one relaxing activity a day. Whether that’s a warm soak in the bath or mindful colouring below – (my new addiction) – I’ll be taking more time out to relax, de-stress and unwind without the guilt.
What New Year’s resolutions do you have planned for 2016? – Share your thoughts here.