No new year resolutions, but three inspiring initiatives to share…
First of all I’d like to wish all the readers of the blog a Happy New Year and to thank you all for your loyalty, interest, likes and comments.
This year I haven’t made any traditional resolutions as such – no promises to myself to get slimmer, fitter or wiser. Although if any of these come to pass I’ll be delighted.
However, there are three New Year related initiatives that have caught my attention and they’re all ways of bringing a little joy into our own and other people’s lives – something much needed after the battering of 2016. So let’s hear it for the power of positivity and individual action in 2017…
#ScotSpirit of Kindness
Firstly, I’m quite taken by the idea of 21 days of kindness being proposed by Visit Scotland.
The idea of the 21 days came from the fact that on the 25th January Scots, and indeed many non-Scots, celebrate the birth of Scotland’s national poet and bard, Robert Burns and in 1788 Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne, a song still sung nowadays, often as part of the New Year celebrations and other celebratory occasions. The song praises the value of friendship, and one of the lines in the song is we’ll tak a cup of kindness yet- a lyric which expresses a promise to be kind.
Visit Scotland is suggesting that on each day from the 5th of January until Burns night on the 25h people commit to doing one random act of kindness per day and sharing it with the hashtag, #ScotSpirit. Suggestions include complimenting a stranger, feeding the birds in your garden or paying for the coffee or bus fare of the person behind you in the queue. Apparently it takes 21 days to change a habit or form a new one, so the hope is the kindness will persist after the challenge itself is over.
The second suggestion that I like the sound of is the setting up of a Happiness Jar. Again it could be a good way of defusing stress. The idea here is to write down one thing each day that has made you happy and to put the note in a jar. So you not only take a moment to focus on the positive every day, but you can also recall all these moments at the end of the year when you re-read them.
Reflective Reading Challenge
And the third suggestion is the 2017 Reading Challenge. There are a few of these challenges around, but I particularly liked the sound of this one as it’s ‘only’ 26 books and doesn’t necessarily require a commitment to read more. It’s more about reflecting on one book per fortnight over the 52 weeks of the year and then to ‘inspire your world’ with your reflections. The full list of suggested categories is below and it comes from Hannah Braime at hannahbraime.com So I hope to inspire you as members of my blogging world with my own reflective recollections.
The 26-book 2017 reading challenge
- A book you read in school
- A book from your childhood
- A book published over 100 years ago
- A book published in the last year
- A non-fiction book
- A book written by a male author
- A book written by a female author
- A book by someone who isn’t a writer (think Paul Kalathani or Richard Branson)
- A book that became/is becoming a film
- A book published in the 20th Century
- A book set in your hometown/region
- A book with someone’s name in the title
- A book with a number in the title
- A book with a character with your first name
- A book someone else recommended to you
- A book with over 500 pages
- A book you can finish in a day
- A previously banned book
- A book with a one-word title
- A book translated from another language
- A book that will improve a specific area of your life
- A memoir or journal
- A book written by someone younger than you
- A book set somewhere you’ll be visiting this year
- An award-winning book
- A self-published book
Have you made any resolutions for 2017 – perhaps reading, writing or reflecting related? Have you considered any of the above initiatives? Do share in the comments below.