Out With The Old, In With The New?

Chances are, you will be thinking about New Year’s Resolutions today – even if it’s merely to decide you don’t want to make any! You’re probably familiar with the statistics that show just how few New Year’s Resolutions make it past the middle of January before being consigned to the “nice idea but it’s never going to work” pile. I’d like to encourage you to look at this New Year in a different way.

First of all, let’s start with the past year. Close your eyes and just spend a couple of minutes thinking about all your achievements in 2014. They don’t have to make sense to anyone else, as long as they mean something to you. For instance, you may be going through a divorce or separation. What are the valuable things you’ve learned about yourself? Are there any occasions where you really stood up for what you believe, or showed authenticity, integrity, courage, compassion or strength of character? As a single mum, what worked best in your parenting and home life? When did you manage to not just survive, but really feel like you were thriving? Take a moment to jot that list down, then review and celebrate! Light a candle or give yourself a treat to acknowledge all those successes.

Next: how to deal with what you didn’t achieve? Recognise that your life is a work in progress. You may not have achieved the goal, but did you at least make some headway? Do you need some help or extra resources to empower you to achieve your targets? Be totally honest with yourself and rule out the “shoulds”, “musts” and “ought to”s. Goals should be motivating and inspiring, not fill you with dread. Perhaps it’s time to cross out those?

Finally, what would you like less of or more of in 2015? Don’t pick goals that are so big you don’t actually believe you’re capable of achieving them. At the same time, pick something that’s going to stretch you out of your comfort zone and be big enough to really excite you. Make sure you spend some time thinking Why you want to have, be or do this. Write goals down in the present tense, stating the time and date and describe where you are and how you are feeling. Use words which excite you (check the feeling in your body as you write or say them to be sure). Keep your list handy and take action every day, making sure to affirm and feel grateful for the achievement of your goal as if you’ve already achieved it. Have fun and make 2015 your best year yet!

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Vivienne@thelifeyoudeserve.co.uk

Click here to register for THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE TO BUILDING A HAPPY NEW LIFE – a FREE online webinar series with guest experts on: DEALING WITH THE BREAK-UP, TELLING THE KIDS, DIVORCE/MEDIATION, FINANCES, FITNESS AND ENERGY, DATING AGAIN, FORGIVENESS AND MOVING ON.
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Christmas Isn’t What It Used To Be

I grew up in East Africa but we always had a very traditional English Christmas, minus the cold weather and the commercialism. These are a few of the things I used to love…the Christmas service at Nairobi Cathedral was always very magical with the carols and Christmas readings. My favourite thing was to wiggle my toes on Christmas morning and encounter something lumpy at the bottom of my bed, which made a unique rustling sound – my stocking! (Actually, it was always a pillow case, but we called it a stocking). I always waited until my sisters were awake and then we’d troop off to my parents’ room, sit on the end of their bed and open everything there. It’s hard to say why unwrapping a series of small gifts is so exciting but, having watched my sons’ faces every year, it doesn’t seem to have lost its appeal! We always had our meal in the evening (as the weather was always beautiful in Nairobi at that time of the year we might even have gone swimming during the day) – roast turkey, chipolatas wrapped in bacon, Brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, bread sauce, cranberry sauce and homemade gravy. This was followed by my mum’s delicious mince pies (I still use her recipe to this day), Christmas pudding ( with a lucky “sixpence” hidden in there) and luscious brandy butter. I remember the candlelight and the happy faces and pulling the crackers (again, the pleasure of the tiny toy hidden inside) and everyone taking it in turns to read out the corny jokes.

When I grew up and had children of my own I tried to recreate the same magic. My own love of Christmas took a serious knock the year my first husband left and since then I’ve felt a sort of homesickness at Christmas – nostalgia for the good old days, perhaps. But I realised two things – Christmas for me is about the children and I can delight in their pleasure. It’s about being grateful for the people in my life today, the people I love.

Whatever your thoughts, hopes and plans this Christmas, I’d like to help you to make it as stress-free as possible.

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I’m hosting a free webinar today (8 pm GMT/ 12 pm PST/ 3 pm EST) entitled¬†THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE to Coping With Christmas.

You can log in and listen from the comfort of your own home – all you need is your PC, laptop or tablet and your log in code. To get that, just fill in your details in the form below.