I'm not a massive fan of resolutions but there is something about the post-Christmas food coma, waiting for the New Year to start that leaves us all full of reflection and hope for the months ahead. I for one I am seriously looking forward to 2020, not just the start of a fresh year but a new decade too, with lots of excitement about moving forward and growing into new ideas and projects.
If you are looking to challenge yourself big or small, here's a few ideas for the next 12 months
GET YOUR DOSE OF VITAMIN D - Apparantly we need just a small amount of time outside a day, without sunscreen to get our quota of Vitamin D, if we do this between the end of March and late September we can get all the Vitamin D our body needs. Easy eh? Plan a fresh air break into your day, a quick walk around the block, a spot of gardening or a cuppa in the sunshine!
VEGANUARY- After several weeks eating more cheese than Wallace and Gromit, this is calling! I spent 15 years as a vegan from my early twenties onwards, in the days when eating out meant a portion of chips and a side salad and I had to bulk buy soya milk from the only supermarket that sold it for miles. Although I still drink soya milk, life has changed greatly since those days, we have variety and choices in everything we eat, drink and do and we are aware of our impact on the world. Whether you try it for yourself, your health, for animals, for the environment, be conscious about your choices, and if it's not for you... no drama.
RED JANUARY - This is a brilliant idea, supporting mental health through exercise. Join up online and then run, cycle, swim, or choose your favourite exercise every day throughout the month. It's free and all-inclusive.
SWIM ALL THE FULL MOONS - With the first full moon of the year on the 10th January, you don't have long to plan this one. What better way to kick off the year than a dip in the sea with some friends under the cool glow of the 'Wolf Moon'? Back a flask of hot chocolate and post-swim plan your next swim, the 'Snow Moon' will be out on 9th Feb!
TAKE AN ONLINE COURSE - I love learning new skills and whilst you may not have time to give up a precious week or weekend, online courses are amazing nowadays. Check out FutureLearn courses are free and there is a wealth of different topics to choose from and even better you can do your learning from literally anywhere... I'm thinking in the van looking out at the mountains!
SET YOURSELF A READING LIST - I am guilty of picking up my phone over a book so many times so I'm definitely planning on allowing a little more time for reading. I have been given numerous books that need finishing or starting so they are all going on my list.. It's looking pretty healthy already!
The Almanac: a seasonal guide to 2020, Lia Leendertz - this is a month by month read to reconnect with the seasons, perfect for picking up and putting down.
On the Marsh: a year surrounded by wildness and wet, Simon Barnes - A Christmas present, this looks like a beautiful tale of conserving a marshland and giving it to nature.
The Moor: A journey into the English Wilderness, William Atkins - This is one of my unfinished books and it has been on my pile to finish for so long. I attended a workshop with the author and he really helped the way I see the environment around me. Inspiring man!
Solitaire Spirit: Three times around the world single-handed, Les Powles - I watched Les' boat come out the watched earlier this year on an extremely rainy day and was intrigued by his story. Les, 92 has lived on his boat since it had gone in the water in the 1970s and recently moved into a nursing home, but what a story he and his boat have had!
Mermaids, Sophia Kingshill - I don't think I ever hid that I haven't been a fan of the whole mermaid culture that is impossible to hide from, the pink glitter and sequins in every shop on the highstreet turns my stomach a little, but for some reason, the little book found its way to me. Although it's also sitting in my unfinished pile, it's already changed my perception of the mermaid, no longer the sexualised helpless nymph, the more man-eating sea monster. Highly recommend!
SET YOURSELF A READING LIST - I am guilty of picking up my phone over a book so many times so I'm definitely planning on allowing a little more time for reading. I have been given numerous books that need finishing or starting so they are all going on my list... It's looking pretty healthy already!
TRY SOMETHING CREATIVE - Whether it's cooking up some new recipe or teaching yourself crochet, learn a new creative skill. I love creativity for the way it allows us to make mistakes, and make our own minds up about whether we need to correct them or not. Try writing in all it's different forms, drawing, painting, photography, make music, knit, sew, bake, make cocktails, plant, landscape the garden! Creativity comes in endless forms, and don't get hung up conforming, remember poetry can be anything you want it to be (it certainly doesn't need to rhyme!), draw with biro's and marker pens, use your phone to take photos, don't buy new things, be resourceful and have fun!