resolutions

I know, I know, resolutions can sometimes feel a bit tired, but they can still be useful. At the start of 2015, I knew I wanted to volunteer, so I set myself some ambitious goals to make a difference by volunteering my time. By the summer, I had left the UK to work side-by-side with local volunteers in Uganda on international development projects with Restless Development.
See, up until recently, I thought that this was success. Working long hours and enjoying the ever-shortening weekends, to live for the end of the month only to spend most of my money in the first few days and then wait all over again.
September's here and we're gradually returning from summer holidays refreshed and energised, with renewed motivation and enthusiasm for life! September is also traditionally a month for change, as the new academic year begins, as many people move city to start new jobs / degrees, and as the job market floods with new opportunities.
It's hard to ignore the Back to School signs in the shop windows, the dust in the streets, the yellowing of the leaves and the shift in the air as the days get shorter. Programmed by my own years at school, then again as a teacher and parent, I can never escape the rhythm of the academic year.
After the excesses of December, which now seem to take over the whole month, not just Christmas, I have actually found myself craving my own company, reading books, catching-up on films I haven't seen yet and focusing on eating healthily and moving more.
The brain is the ultimate habit machine. Your life has unknowingly been sent down a set of rails, and your cunning brain switched to autopilot. Making changes means seizing back control. To do this you have to shake up those old habits and routines, take new routes.
At this time of year, as well as your physical condition, it's also a good time to look at what shape your business is in and where it will end up if you stay on the current course.
Resolutions essentially come into the category of goal-setting. We often make them for things that we have been putting off, such as learning a language or quitting smoking. Quite often they are things for which we have a long-term incentive, like our health or our career prospects, but no reason to do it right now
We are just about one week into 2015 - a new cycle has begun, and is pregnant with potential. I enjoy the (perceived) clean slate that comes with each new year. It compartmentalizes our existence into meaningful increments, into manageable time frames that help us to cope with the turbulence of life.
So I am going for it this year. Every morning will be welcomed with open arms and the previous day's downers will be consigned to the past. Of course I will starting running. Of course I will go on a diet but this will not be because it's a resolution, it is because I want to do it so that I finish the year feeling like a better person than I started (and be able to tie my shoe laces again).