Did you make a new year’s resolution for 2020? How are you getting on with it? Have you “failed” yet? Well if so, you’re not alone! According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for new year’s resolutions is said to be about 80%! With most people giving up by mid-February (Inc 2019).
What was your new year’s resolution?
According to You.Gov the UK’s top 3 are all focused on health:
- More exercise/improving fitness
- Losing weight
- Improving diet
Health and fitness
Well, we agree with body positivity activist Megan Janye Crabbe aka @bodyposipanda that diets more often than not! Diet culture is a thing of the past: we can be fit and happy at any body size! Members of our Health and Happiness Bookclub have all agreed to sign Megan’s pledge to stop dieting and step away from body shaming; of others and ourselves. Check out Megan’s fab book: ‘Body Positive Power’ to learn more about how she believes that diet culture is just marketing spin to make us feel bad and consume more, setting us up to fail and living on a never ending hamster wheel to self-acceptance – something that you just can’t buy.
Which brings me to what I believe to what I believe could be the most radical and perhaps easiest-to-stick-to new year’s resolution of them all, the one simple word: Kindness. I know… “kindness”, sounds fluffy and wet, right? Like “f@@k it just eat what you like!”. Well actually, kindness might just be that one word of the year we could just stick to. Kindness might be the little door to big change. Kindness might be the voice that whispers “if you do go on that run now you’ll feel ace later when you rest into that warm soothing bath.” Eat that cake, take that dance class, give yourself a break! Because it’d be kind to. And kindness is the key to self-acceptance and meaningful change.
We learned from the amazing psychotherapist and meditation teacher Tara Brach in our November bookclub read ‘Radical Acceptance’ that the recipe for health and happiness is:
- Mindfulness: clear seeing, alongside;
- Compassion: the capacity to relate with kindness to what we perceive.
She describes Mindfulness and Compassion as “two wings of the same bird, meaning that to fly you need both: mindful-awareness and kindness-compassion.”
the best part? Kindness is contagious!
“The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to “pay it forward.” This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people!” Says Jamil Zaki, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University for Scientific American.
Key Kindness dates for your diary
Monday 20th January: Blue Monday – be extra kind to everyone on this day, starting with yourself! Notice your first thought – was it somehow unkind to yourself or someone else? Challenge it! How con you make it kind?
Saturday 17th Feb: Random Acts of Kindness Day – a great day to act on our Feb Kindness Club deed!
Friday 13th November – International Kindness Day – Kindness around the world? Yay!
by Gemma Bowden, CEO (Chief Energy Officer), The Owl and the Coconut, 16th January, 2020