Bettering Yourself, One Section of the Year at a Time

So, dry January is over and all of you that managed it are currently soaking up all the plaudits (and possibly the bets made against you), but now you’re looking for your next challenge. You want to continue getting the best out of yourself, as you kind of like the feeling of it now, so why not carry on with the same initiative of giving yourself a challenge with a finishing line? There are twelve months in a year, so why not use them as inspiration to get things done? You could take them in months, or you could take them in sections, whatever floats your boat. Here, however, the months of the year have been split into three sections, offering you the chance to set longer lasting goals and tasks for yourself.

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February, March, April and May

Where better to start in your goal of bettering yourself than February? which has already turned up to the 2017 party! It’s the shortest one though, as you know, so you’ve got to get started quickly if you want to make the most of it. Devote this February to travelling as much as possible, because there is an awful lot to see and do. Some of the best include: visiting New Zealand to see the Auckland Lantern Festival; heading over to the big apple to get involved with the NYC fashion week; going to Paris for Valentine’s Day, or celebrating National Margarita Day, if that’s more your style, on a beach in Mexico; or heading to the Carnival capital of the world: Rio. Obviously the amount of these places, if any, that can be visited are all relative in regards to financial, family and work commitments. If you can’t go to any of these places, then just take to exploring your area a bit more — there are 101 things to do in England before you go abroad, like, for instance, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which is obviously an option itself that is relative to if you actually like dogs or not!  And if you did in fact do a dry January, make sure to sample any of the local beverages in the places you visit.

And once February is over, it’s time to continue the momentum you garnered in it, but this time by focusing on not your travels, but your home. If you’ve managed to make it through the wintery weather without any boiler mishaps, maybe it’s time to spend all that money on embracing the springtime! With spring springing to life within the next month, the frost of winter will begin to thaw and slowly but surely the last dregs of winter will disappear completely (until later this year, of course). But it’s not just the natural world outside of your front door that has to benefit from the seasonal rebirth: your home can too. With spring comes change: a rebirth of the land and, if you allow it to, a rebirth of your house.

Your home should undergo a traditional spring clean: opening windows that haven’t been opened since the dying days of last year’s summer in order to let the clean, fresh air get rid of all the mustiness that’s been building up; washing curtains that have a winter’s worth of dust sleeping on them; and wiping, dusting, cleaning and polishing everything you can lay a hand on: it’s time to start bringing new things in, and where better a place to start than where you sleep: your bedroom? Whether it be bedroom furniture, a new state-of-the-art TV, a fresh lick of paint, new curtains or a new wardrobe that your bedroom desperately needs, buy it. Buying things is good; buying things makes humans feel good — it’s science! And if you really want to, why stop with getting just one or two of these things? Why not go the whole hog and give your bedroom the makeover it deserves, especially if you abandoned it during your February travels.

As well as this, your home must remain seasonal. This means bringing the regrowing nature of outside into your living room. No, this doesn’t mean picking your next door neighbour’s growing flowers and putting them in a vase in your front room, but simply going to a florist and buying, well, whatever takes your fancy. Seasonal flowers include: daffodils, tulips, narcissus and iris, to name just a few. You should also change the decor in your home to match the vibrant elegance that the flowers have brought in with them: you can add pastel-coloured and floral looking throw pillows to your couch in order to make the room at-one with nature and to brighten it.

And let’s not forget Easter, which this year falls on April 16th. For homes that have children inside, especially, Easter ornaments wouldn’t go far amiss. Add Easter eggs, rabbits, chicks or even Christ, if that’s what Easter means to you, to your decor in order to create a festive feel (and no, Christmas isn’t the only time you be festive).

June, July and August

And if you want to carry on the theme of doing work to your home, then preparing it for the summer is an easy task. Just some of things you can do include: emptying your freezer to make room for all the barbecue essentials (and the ice-lollies), extinguishing anything that provides too much heat, readying your summer garden (if applicable) and most importantly, preparing yourself to party! Click here for further advice on how best to prepare your home for summer. But if your home isn’t the place where you want to be during summer, then there are a whole host of places to visit and travel to that will enrich your life, rather than just providing you with a good time.

All holidays bring with them a degree of freedom, and so they should: you’ve worked hard all year to be allowed two weeks to be free to do what you like. But the freedom you get on a freewheel holiday, for instance, mixes the idea of going on adventure with the idea that you’re doing it in your own time. France is the perfect spot for this, as it is for boat holidays: it is blessed with a remarkable network of inland canals it is the perfect setting for a holiday afloat. And to find freedom you don’t even have to cross the English Channel; in a place like Center Parcs, for example, you can saunter, or cycle, through the forest with your family and down to breakfast in your own time. And some of the the views just waiting to be seen, they’re unmissable. So, maybe it’s time you travelled outside of your comfort zone — but if you’re happy to see how this year’s pool differs to last year’s, that’s okay too.

September, October, November and December

And finally, the last push of the year. Just as spring brings new life to nature earlier in the year, allow the autumn time to bring new life to your year. What with the kids going back to school and the cold weather returning, it’s the perfect time to relight the passion that you brought with you into the new year, way back in January. You can do this by trying things that you’ve never tried before. This could include embracing Halloween and attending the annual Screamfest event. Located slap-bang in the middle of the country, this event offers you the chance to take on all sorts of scary things: both dead and alive. But if that is really not your thing: why not try something else that you’ve never done before: like writing a book? Even if you haven’t ever considered writing anything, or even considered yourself as a good writer, there is no harm in trying? And this is the perfect time of the year to start due to November being National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo, as it is more commonly known, helps those who are ready to write a novel get over that all-important threshold: starting the writing. It challenges you to write a novel in a month, helping you to do so by allowing you to track your progress, get pep talks and meet fellow writers online. And once November is over, of course, it’s December and Christmas time is upon you once more.

December is a time to sit back, breathe and look back on the year you’ve had. Hopefully, if you follow the advice above, you’ll find that when you listen to that lyric of John Lennon’s: ‘So this is Christmas, and what have you done?’, you’ll be able to think ‘yeah, i’ve done a lot. But remember, as in the fact that you’ve had quite the year and the holiday celebrations, that soon enough January will be back, meaning it’s time to do it all over again.

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