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Leave the door ajar a little...

I am looking forward to the new year as much as everyone else. What's nicer than the thought of fresh starts, new things to come (a beach body? Become a yoga master? Marry Prince Harry? Ah, wait..) But sometimes we jump in head first with unrealistic, unmanageable goals and beat ourselves up when we don't achieve them. So rather than rush to the ‘in january I’m gonna…’ stage, I've relished every moment of Christmas with my family and I will plan to set goals like everyone else. But not yet. Before I do, I think it's so important to take some time to reflect. Rather than slam the door on 2017 like so many Facebook/Insta memes/quotes demand we do, let's look back through the eyes of gratitude. Now, gratitude is at the forefront of my mind, unfortunately not because I'm a wise owl sitting on a big fat branch of enlightenment (I wish) but because it's a focus of my first assignment in my new uni course (yep, I've gone mad) and although initially I was getting the shakes over revisiting the Harvard Referencing system and palpitating over Moodle becoming my only friend again, when I realised that my chosen content was actually everything I love learning about (as it should be) I talked myself off the ledge and just got started with something familiar, gratitude.

My current assignment involves writing down three things I’m grateful for each day for a week. But to deepen the experience, for each one I also write down why this good thing happened, what it meant to me and how I can have more of this good thing in future. Lovely. But it got me thinking about before following my normal routine of ‘ok in January I’ll…get a beach body, become a yoga master, marry Prince Harry…see the pattern?’ I’m going to say thank you to 2017 for all the lovely things that happened. I visited 5 new countries I’d never been to before, I got promoted, I started a masters, I saw my gorgeous friend get married, I met some amazing new people, I got to relax at home with my family at Christmas, my cat is still in one piece after having me for a mum for a whole year… the list is endless. Of course, I’ve reflected in much more depth but one thing I can tell you is that wonderfully warm feeling that appeared after reflecting is still aglow. And it’s making 2018 seem very promising indeed. Rather than close the door just now, just leave it ajar a little and walk through to 2018 in your own time.

I won’t be starting my healthier eating until around the 7th or 8th, well, just because!

I’d love to hear your gratitude stories,

Ash x

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