Despite some really appalling insomnia last night, I was up and out of bed for a run this morning before I had a chance to talk myself out of it.
I managed a fairly easygoing 10km in the cold, damp air. London was incredibly quiet, which was a welcome change from the hectic activity of last month. And just to thing to kick-start my focus on wellbeing for the year ahead.
Starting over for 2020
I’m not one for resolutions really – they don’t work – but I’m working on cultivating some habits under a yearly theme. You can hear all about the idea of annual themes on the most recent episode of the Cortex podcast.
For me, last year was the ‘Year of Less’, where I tried to rid myself of unwanted possessions, while also avoiding buying anything inessential.
This year, I’m working on a ‘Year of Simplicity and Self-Care’ which continues this, in a sense. Before you scoff, here me out. It’s all about cutting out needless distractions and activities, focusing with intention on looking after myself and improving my general wellbeing. When tempted to do something, I just ask myself “Does this contribute to the simplicity of my life? Will this support my self-care?”
The self-care element has already kicked off, with a 10km run and the commencement of ‘Dry January‘. It’s definitely the easiest way to reduce calories and undo some of the impact December’s festivities had on my waistline. I have a list of smaller habits I’m going to experiment with over the year, all related to boosting my health. I’ll also carry over some of the more beneficial ones from 2019: journaling, gratitude, meditation etc.
I know I feel better, sleep better and perform better at work when I get enough regular exercise. Running is really the easiest way for me to do this, so I’m committing to increasing my kilometres run this year.
But self-care is more than that. For me, it’s also about eating right, sleeping enough and taking the time to engage in activities that I enjoy. So I’ll be spending more time in the sauna this year and more time in the pool too.
As for simplicity, this will include regularly reducing my number of possessions, clearing out unused clothes and donating them to charity, reducing the online services and apps I (don’t) use and basically minimising the number of things I rely on to get through the day.
Too much clutter and ‘stuff’ really detracts from my happiness – the opposite of what it says it’ll do when I’m tempted by buy it! So without going the full ‘Marie Kondo’, I’ll be steadily questioning possessions as I come into contact with them to see if they are truly necessary.
It also applies to commitments and as I’m someone who is working hard learning to say ‘no’, this will be a real challenge for me. I want fewer ongoing commitments in 2020, but ones I can give all my focus to. Rather than spreading myself too thin and wearing myself out like I did in 2019.
Onwards and upwards – here’s to an excellent new year. Or, at least, one that’s marginally better than the dumpster fire that was 2019.