Take care of number one. Now, how many of us dish that advice to others, but never actually follow our own proclamations? Starting today, forget the grand gestures. In fact, focus on doing little things that slowly but gradually increase the happiness of your every day. Here are six ideas to get you started.
INVEST IN A RITUAL OF HYGGE
The Scandinavians are masters of creating joy out of grey skies. With winter lasting months and the sun not showing up for weeks, it’s important to keep the gloom at bay. Think of hygge as an elevated form of self-love, which can be anything from enjoying a cocktail alone in a cozy bar to spending the last hour of your day curled up in bed reading your favourite book. There’s no golden rule, except one: To do what sparks joy within.
COMMIT TO A HOBBY FOR AT LEAST THREE MONTHS
Newsﬂash: Work is not a hobby. Nor is Netﬂix, which is really just a fun distraction. This year, dare to delve deep to nurture what really interests you. Just like how your parents exposed you to chunks of ballet, piano, swimming, martial arts while growing up, do the same, but this time you’re in charge of sussing out your own interests. For a start, if you feel the urge to create something tangible with your hands, have a go at throwing and shaping clay at Mud Rock Ceramics, which runs regular classes.
SUBSCRIBE TO A PODCAST FOR A HAPPIER COMMUTE
No one loves commuting to/from work. Make this daily chore one you actually look forward to by subscribing to a podcast geared to your interest. Whether it’s true crime or stories about modern love, it’s a sureﬁre way to pass the crowded commute in a more enjoyable manner. Plus, you don’t have to crane your neck to look at the screen. Hit up Anchor and explore your options.
SAVE FOR THAT BUCKET LIST TRIP
You could whip out your credit card and jet off to Paris for a week… but where would that leave you 10 days later? Saddled with debt, that’s where. Travel is a splurge that should be planned for. Start making a list of bucket travel plans, big and small. Whether it’s to learn how to dive, spend a week leisurely exploring the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, hot air ballooning in Cappadocia or joining a surf/ yoga camp in Costa Rica, it’ll feel so much more amazing knowing you saved for it. Lower your costs by doing your research (accumulate air miles, explore house sitting and couch surﬁ ng options), and don’t be above taking on a side gig to make this dream come true.
PRETTY UP YOUR SPACE
Spend a weekend beautifying your space and you’ll never want to leave home. Make your own soy-based candle, purchase some plants or put together your own stained glass pane. If you’re not artsy, it’s amazing what a fresh set of pillow covers and curtains will do for the room, or just tidy up your desk space with a cool pegboard from Ikea.
MAKE A LIFE-CHANGING MOOD BOARD
If you’re not living your best life now, start the realisation process by putting all your dreams and hopes down on a mood board. Clip pictures from magazines, trawl Instagram for inspirational sayings that resonate with you, make a list of great stuff that happened in 2018, and keep adding to it — before you know it, your dreams may come true.
TEXT CHARLENE FANG PHOTOS 1234F.COM