The start of a new year is a time for reflection on what you've achieved over the past 12 months and is also a chance to make plans for the year ahead.
Traditionally, people have made new year's resolutions to stop smoking, drink less alcohol or go on a diet, berating themselves when they break them. But a healthier - and more achievable - approach could be to set yourself goals that you can work towards throughout the year as a whole. While you might encounter setbacks along the way, this won't mean that your resolutions are broken or that you've failed, just that you're not quite there yet.
Here are a few ideas to give you inspiration for positive changes to make in your life in 2018. This time next year, you can look back and reflect on what you've achieved, without ever having to feel like your efforts weren't worthy.
Move forward in your career
If you're feeling ambitious and confident enough to go after a promotion this year, that's brilliant and we wish you the best of luck. But moving forward in your career doesn't just have to be about climbing the ladder and reaching a higher salary bracket. It could be about deciding to go it alone as a freelancer, or taking some time out to retrain in an area that's always appealed to you.
Making changes to your career could be as simple as striving for a better work-life balance, switching off your email notifications outside of office hours and spending quality time with loved ones instead.
Adopt a healthier lifestyle
Striving to be healthier is a popular new year goal, but how exactly are you planning to achieve this over the course of the next year? Maybe you're going to try a new exercise class at your gym or make the time for ten minutes of yoga before work each day. Or perhaps you're planning to cook from scratch more often, trying new recipes and fresh ingredients that you've never used before.
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Remember that you don't have to be on a juice detox or be living off salad to be healthier in the new year - there are lots of little changes that you can make to work towards a bigger lifestyle overhaul gradually, which will make it much easier to stick to.
Learn a new skill
Learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby is always a lot of fun, and if it's something that keeps your mind and/or body active, then the benefits are myriad. You could sign up to a course that will benefit your career or you could try a new activity just because you've always fancied a go at it. Whether it's sporty, crafty or a form of volunteering, it's always good to challenge yourself and a new hobby is a great way to meet new people.
Find your dream home
Want to make 2018 the year you find your family's forever home? Get out there and do it. While it's not the bricks or location that make a home but the people and the love inside it, home is ultimately where the heart is, so if you're truly unhappy in your current abode, it could be time for change.
Perhaps you've always wanted to move somewhere bigger or you've always dreamed of having a garden, or maybe you've finally reached the end of your tether with life in the city and are thinking of moving to the country.
Even if you don't manage to do this by the end of the year, you could put a few steps in place to start your journey, such as saving a set amount of money each month or dedicating a couple of hours a week to researching properties and amenities in an area you've always wanted to live in. The sooner you put the wheels in motion, the sooner you'll be closer to your dream.
Look after yourself more
Ever feel like you're always running around after other people and wish you had more time for yourself? Make 2018 the year that you prioritise you. You're just as important as everybody else and if you're not in a good headspace to look after others, there's little that either side can gain from your efforts, no matter how well-intentioned.
Self-care is incredibly important in today's frantic and often confusing world, so try to take some time for yourself as often as you can. This could be to focus on your new hobby or to batch cook healthy meals for the coming week, or it could be something as simple as running yourself a hot bath and treating yourself to a good pamper.
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Use a handmade soap bar to nourish your skin with natural ingredients so you can be assured you're being kind to your body and your mind, and finish off with one of our gorgeous salt and bamboo-based body scrubs to leave your skin feeling beautifully smooth and silky.
Whatever you decide to do make your goals in 2018, as long as they make you happy, that's a positive step and we hope you achieve your ambitions, even if they're as small as having some precious 'me time' just once a week.