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Guest Blog: How to start 2023 positively

17th July, 2024

A new year, a fresh start – it all starts off so well doesn’t it? But so many of us quickly slip into old habits. How do we make changes that stick? We’re going to hand over to the experts on that one, with a guest blog from Carl Finn, one of the team over at The Positive Planner. He had a chat to us about his 5 top tips for starting the new year well. Over to Carl.

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When I was asked to give Interflora my five simple tips on how to set goals for 2023 I felt rather thrown at first. Like many, setting goals can feel difficult especially if you've experienced setbacks in the past. This year more than ever I have to admit, every plan I have set in the last 12 months went to pot through no real fault of my own, and that’s been tough. Of course we all know what the past few years have been like, but this December I started to think about how next year will be different, and I decided to take a new approach and I would like to share it with you.

The main difference? I started off by asking myself ‘how do I want to feel in 2023?’ Here are the tips I came up with off the back of that.

1. Above all, be kind to yourself

Goals are there to be achieved, to push you to the where you want to be. But there is no point making them unachievable. I am a single parent with an 8 year old boy, I work full time and take on other projects so time is tight. There’s not much time left for me, my goals have to work for me and above all be realistic. Being kind to myself and my needs in the everyday, the micro goals and continuously checking in with myself is key.

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2. Have fun

You have got to enjoy working towards something and making it playful is a really great way to stay motivated. Allow for changes, adaptations and don’t be concerned on the path, just trusting the process. Journeys are fun, its often not the final destination but how you got there and the process that will make you look back and smile.

3. Let go of comparison

Don’t let comparison be the thief of joy when it comes to your goals. They're yours, keep them secret or share them with the world, it’s up to you! But they are yours and yours only. Letting go of things that do not serve you can be the most liberating goal of all so set your intention to release others judgement of you, after all it’s none of your business what they think of you.

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4. Manifesting

Manifesting doesn’t come down to luck or ‘woo woo’ it’s simply a way of putting out into the world what you want. It’s not for everyone but I find it a useful tool to stay positive and keep things clear in my mind as to the direction I’m heading in: simply write your wants down, I like to write them down in the present tense, as though they have happened. When you are writing them make sure you really mean them, visualise them with your entire being and immerse yourself in believing that these could be a reality.

5. Keep on keeping on

Curtis Mayfield said (well, sang!) it best. “Most of your life can be out of sight. Withdraw from the darkness and look to the light”

Life will send you a new curve ball every day. That much can be expected. But you have got to keep on going. Get up, get the kettle on, meditate, pop the radio on and have a good old sing in the shower. Whatever works for you, just make sure you get out of your own way if you feel the negative self talk creeping in. Do whatever you need to do to get your day right. You matter, all day, every day. But also, it’s comforting to know we all have bad days, after all they are just days, a new one will come tomorrow and you can try again.

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My goals

Having written these tips I’d like to share my goals with you...

Dance more

I love dancing. I mean I am awful but I love it! I always feel better when I do it so, with this in mind, be it kitchen disco or just a spontaneous joyful moment, I will dance more.

Keep a food journal

I love food in every way and it’s a big part of my life. But I’m trying something different this year when it comes to consumption, I simply want to be more mindful. I’m also very keen to get down to my community allotment and eat some home grown food as well! I hope that this journal will be full to the brim of recipes, ideas and anything that will keep me curious and creative about what’s on the table, fermenting in the jar or going in the ground.

Play more

I have the best play buddy I can imagine: an eight year old with a box of lego. So this year I intend to play more. Let him be in charge and embrace my inner child. Being silly and having fun with everyone, not just my son. I find that when I keep things light it always allows for the most creative ideas of all, and it’s great because it’s also incredibly infectious.

Write more

I love writing. It’s a new pursuit since working with the The Positive Planner but it has taken me to worlds I had never imagined. This is the big one for me. To make this manageable I am taking the pressure off and looking to prompts to help me when the inevitable writers block descends. I also find that setting a three minute timer really helps when the words aren’t coming so easily. It really helps push through that barrier to think less and write more.

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In conclusion, when I got down to getting these tips and goals down it was much easier than I thought. Simply following my joy will be the overarching theme and surrounding myself in love and fun, and after the last few years this seems like a great way to start any year.

For more tips on planning your goals, and taking care of your wellbeing and mental health check out thepositiveplanners.com – come join me in putting pen to paper!

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