Okay, let’s go there...have you made any New Year’s Resolutions this January?
A huge percentage of people don’t stick to these but still make them. Perhaps you have just vowed to make the most of things this year as last year taught us not to take anything for granted!
I have _______________________________-(insert pledge or NY resolution or reason why not)
New Year’s resolutions, yay or nay?
When are the decorations coming down?
Some people get them down as soon as the turkey gravy has cooled down it seems like, or do you wait until the twelfth night?
Hopefully you got some lovely presents for Christmas and have enjoyed time with at least some of your loved ones, even if it wasn’t the standard Christmas.
But what did you get?
Let me know your worst and best presents.
Mine were ______________________________
As we trudge through the coldest month of the year and winter envelops us with her cold fingers, are you relishing those cosy night in front of the fire or are you just waiting for those first snow drops to emerge?
Are you embracing the cold winter months or is it a countdown until spring?
One of the cool things about being online is talking and connecting with people all over the UK and even all over the world.
You can now Zoom or video chat with anyone anywhere but what is your favourite accent?
Mine has to be ________________
I have a really important and vital question I just have to ask. Does chocolate go in the fridge or the cupboard?
I hope you all had a great Christmas, hard to believe it was last month now.
The last few years have been less traditional Christmases and some families chose to spend it apart to protect older or vulnerable people in their family.
For me we ____________________ (what you did Christmas)
Are you planning a delayed celebration later in the year when we are allowed?
If you are a parent, you will know that people just LOVE to give advice. But what is the WORST parenting advice you have ever had?
Everyone loves leftovers don’t they? Well, I know I do (change this if you don’t...)
I love an innovative leftover recipe, bubble and squeak is a classic, but what did you make with your Christmas leftovers?
I know it was last month now, but did anyone still circle the TV they wanted to watch at Christmas in the Radio Times? Those times are almost gone, but it is a fond childhood memory for me. What was your favourite film or TV programme you saw during the Christmas break?
Did you have much time off over Christmas?
I think time off and away from working is so important. As someone who owns my own business it is easier to be flexible with time off but also a lot harder to truly turn off from work and have downtime.
Being available and online all the time isn’t healthy and long term won’t do you or your business any good.
Time away from work and time away from social media is sensible for everyone, and sets a good example of a balanced lifestyle to children as well.
Did you switch off in the holidays?
Sometimes bad or difficult things happen, and we can all be prone to wallowing or overthinking situations. But it comes to a point when you need to let go of bad energy.
Without going too woo woo about it I am not suggesting you burn sage and dance around a fire (unless you want to...) but acknowledging how you feel, forgiving someone or yourself and letting it go, is really important.
Sometimes bad feelings can fester for years or even for life if you don’t take action to move past them. No good will ever come of holding on too tightly to the past or refusing to let something go. You may want to talk to someone about it or you may just deal with it yourself but don’t bury your head too deep in the sand, let go of the negativity and make sure you move on.
Do you find it easy to let things go?
2023 – what can we say? What a year. I think it pushed most people to their limits in one way or another, even those that enjoyed quiet times or appreciated the less busy lifestyle that was enforced upon us due to the situation.
But what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, or so they say. And resilience is born out of hardship. Do you feel stronger after the year we had?
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Have you ever played the dream house game? Looking at estate agents online or even just looking at nice houses in an area you have been and imagined owning one.
Some people might have a house they see regularly and dream of living in, or a list of things they would love to have like a big garden or a library.
So, what holds you back from going after that house or that lifestyle you dream about sometimes?
Perhaps it comes down to a self-limiting belief, deep down you think you don’t deserve it or can’t achieve it. And guess what, if you think that then you are right.
But what if...you started to dream big and started to believe anything was possible. Successful people don’t get in their own way, so don’t get in yours!
Most of us spent more time with close family in 2023, as we had to stay in a lot! So, what was your best family moment of last year?
It can be funny or heartfelt.
Mine was definitely when ___________________________________ (insert your own best family time of 2023)
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2022 affected everyone is some way, but do you think it has affected our children?
Time off school when they were all shut, then possibly more time off if you had any local outbreaks. Being told to wash their hands a lot, using sanitiser, seeing everyone in masks or having to wear one if you’re old enough.
Imagine babies growing up and seeing all strangers with masks on, they can’t read expressions without seeing half the face.
Could that affect development. There’s a lack of socialisation as well with less baby groups happening and obviously there were none for a period.
Many things may have a long term effect that we just don’t know yet, children are very resilient but it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on children for any signs of anxiety and speak to them about how they feel. Speaking to other parents can also really help, share experiences and support each other.
Have you noticed any adverse effects?
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If you have children, do you get much quality time with them?
And I don’t mean just looking after them, but engaging and sharing in a task or game together.
As they grow older this can feel like a more difficult ask, but it has been proven that parents who stay more involved in their teenagers’ lives have less issues with them and they communicate better. That doesn’t mean monitoring everything they do, but taking a genuine interest works well, at any age!
• If they watch YouTube watch some with them, this doesn’t just have to be for safety reasons, but it will help you have things to chat about, and it is a good safety tip (also for children ensure they use Kids YouTube not the general one)
• Ask them what THEY want to do. Sometimes we can get very caught up in our own plan for fun, even if we think it will be great for the kids, let them choose, as young children especially can feel they lack control over their lives.
• Put the phone down. Most of us are guilty of it, doing one task while still replying to messages or scrolling on social media, but when you engage in something with a child show them, they are your priority.
• Commit to time together – it doesn’t have to be hours and hours. Sometimes you have to work and that’s okay, they need to understand that, but set aside quality time and stick to it and they are much more likely to let you work at other times.
Got any to add?
We all have to do lists and things we want achieve. Whether you run a business or not you will have aspirations and dreams for what you want to do in the future.
By breaking these big aims down into smaller goals that can be tracked you can monitor your progress and measure where you are.
Some days you might not feel like it though and even the best of us struggles for motivation sometimes, so who keeps you accountable?
You could team up with someone and become accountability partners, that can work really well if you do similar things or have similar lifestyles.
I am lucky to have ______________________________(coach, friend mentor who keeps you on track – if you wish to say)
When times are hard, we often wish for the weekend or even the month or season to be over. When babies don’t sleep, we long for them to be older.
But, of course, when a child then grows, we yearn for the early days to be back again. As a parent how many times have you heard from older people you will miss those days, my kids are grown up now and flown the nest and I wish they were waking me up for cuddles every night.
Wishing time away is a dangerous game. You will one day be old and wish you could be young and do it all over again.
Our lives are but a blink of an eye in the universe’s lifetime.
Learn to live in the moment and appreciate everything as it happens, not just when you are looking back on it one day.
(please do adapt wording if you are not a parent, focusing on not wishing time away in general)
When making a decision, do you:
1. Go with gut instinct
2. Make snap decisions
3. Think things through
4. Ask others