2023 is here and presents us with an exciting opportunity to set new goals and take stock of what is really important. Navigating the last few years certainly hasn’t been easy, but the pandemic has taught us not to take the small things in life for granted. This year is all about embracing positive change, diving into adventure and saying yes - we have a feeling it is going to be the best one yet!
Spending more time with your family and loved ones is like a warm hug. It is often a goal that is high on everyone's list at the beginning of each year and one that feels more prevalent than ever. Understandably we all have different schedules and busy lives that can take over any spare time we thought we had. Prioritising a weekly or monthly catch-up can help ease time restraints; having a regularly scheduled event in the diary means you don’t have to worry about fitting it in. Quality time over quantity, cooking a meal together, going on family walks or even popping over to help with a household task will strengthen your bonds and means you always have a helping hand (or two) when you are in need. If you live far away from your kin, checking in with a message or a call will make the distance feel much smaller. Set up a group chat as a place for everyone to chime in, where you can send regular updates even if it turns into a slew of hilarious dog memes. Another idea is organising an annual family holiday or a weekend trip away; these are great ways to get the gang together and enjoy putting your feet up or embark on a group adventure wherever you choose. Creating opportunities and grabbing every chance to see your loved ones will turn into magical memories and give you time to emotionally recharge whilst forming deeper connections with the most important people in your life.
A big one for the coming year is to travel more! Think about how you want to spend your downtime because weekends and holidays are always a chance to explore, near and far. The way to make it happen is to get planning; start with a bucket list of your top destinations. You may want to see a handful of new countries, a new continent or have the drive to explore more of Australia; there is certainly a lot to see across the country for exceptional beauty and wonder. From cityscapes to going bush in the outback, the organisation is vital. Start by setting up alerts for flight deals, keep checking availability, as well as the times of year to visit each place. Seasonal travel often means everything will shoot up in price, so navigating slightly outside the typical timeframes can radically reduce costs and crowds. Don’t forget, not every journey needs to be done by aeroplane; a road trip can bring some of the most exciting and unforgettable experiences. It is a unique way to get from a to b, find a good podcast to listen to or crank up the playlist for a proper sing-a-long and enjoy the ride!
Going hand in hand with the adventurous spirit, spending more time outdoors is our forever goal. Immersing yourself in the natural world has a surplus of physical, emotional and mental benefits, and you don’t have to spend hours outside before these kick in. The purity of mother nature provides healing energies like no other. Big open spaces away from the hustle and bustle of people, cars, and pollution have much better air quality. This will help your breathing, especially if you suffer from chronic or acute respiratory issues; regular trips where you can spend time in a clean and clear atmosphere will do wonders. Exposure to sunlight resets your natural body clock and helps it to align with your circadian rhythm, meaning you have more energy during the day and feel more tired at night. It can decrease the time it takes to fall asleep and improve the quality of your rest time. Studies have shown that sunlight also helps ease and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It encourages your body to produce more vitamin d and boosts your immune system, which is why it is often referred to as light therapy. Even fifteen minutes can make a big difference, just don’t forget the sunscreen! The softness and slow pace of the natural world helps ease worries from your everyday life; it gives a beautiful perspective of the big picture that is a welcome distraction from wandering thoughts and overactive minds. Early morning walks, beach picnics, bush hikes, stargazing, fishing and forest bathing are all beautiful ways to soak in your surroundings, enrich your spirit and take a moment just to be.
Hobbies are crucial when contributing to your sense of identity and give you an escape from the whirl of the working world. Carving out time for them is a worthy goal for the New Year, as hobbies help you relax whilst stimulating another part of your brain just for fun! Solo ventures like painting, ceramics or reading are an excellent way to unwind and promote a little me time, but hobbies can also incite ways of being more social and meeting new people. Sharing a love for something brings you and others closer and can introduce you to so much outside your usual schedule or circle of friends. Surfing, joining a cooking class or a local fun run group will significantly impact your well-being and give your free time a sense of purpose.
Lastly, but most definitely not least, health is always front of mind when the New Year begins. The idea of health is complex, so nurturing your own should come in many different forms. Setting realistic health goals is a good way to keep on top of your general well-being and motivate you for positive change, as optimal health will give you the best chance of achieving your other goals in life and is nothing to be taken for granted. Self-care is essential; however that may look for your lifestyle, for instance taking time out for an Epsom salt bath, brewing a lovely herbal tea or listening to your favourite music all contribute. Committing to a nutritious diet and regular exercise will always give you fast results both physically and mentally; remember, it is all about balance, so showing yourself compassion and care should be your number one goal for 2023.