January is finally behind us! I don’t think anyone is too sad to see the back of it, right?
Now the bleakest month is over, I’m thinking about New Year’s resolutions. I haven’t typically been very successful with my resolutions – to be honest, I rarely make it past the first week of January before I’m back to my terrible habits. Sticking to resolutions is HARD, especially when you’re committed to the hygge lifestyle and happier curled up on the sofa than pounding the pavement or lifting weights in the gym. Most people who made New Year’s resolutions will have broken them sometime in January, and for the vast majority of people they’ll be a distant memory by now.
New research from Superdrug has revealed that for 6 out of 10 Brits, a compliment in January is the way to stay motivated with New Year goals, with 88% believing more compliments need to be given in January than any other month to encourage, inspire and motivate during the bleak cold winter. I totally get why – I felt so much more motivated to carry on going to the gym when people were noticing the results, and I’m much better about maintaining a good skincare routine when my friends tell me I look fresh and glowy.
“When it comes to getting fit, losing weight, or focusing on our health, positive acknowledgement is very useful. Hearing that we are looking good from people, and that the time and effort we have invested in our health are bearing fruit, actually spurs us on to do even more.”
-Dr Becky Spelman, Registered Practitioner Psychologist & member of BABCP
It’s true that compliments are an absolutely vital part of helping people stick to their goals. More than anything, it’s nice to feel like what you’re doing is paying off, whether that’s a new diet, working out, getting more sleep or even mastering a new skill. I think of that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when someone pays you a compliment as being a sort of ‘internal hygge’ – and the beauty is that it’s SO easy to share. I recently wrote about how other people play into our personal experiences of hygge, and that got me thinking – should we all be doing more to share the hygge? I believe the answer is a resounding YES, so I’ve come up with a few ideas to help us put a smile on our friends’ faces – and if anyone is struggling to stick with their New Year’s resolution, maybe your kind words will be all the motivation they need to stick with it.
Leave a positive comment on social media
This is SO EASY, you can do it right now! I always used to be a bit of a passive consumer of social media, but I’m now making much more of an effort to leave nice comments on the posts of my friends and people I admire. It’s often said that we (people in general, but especially millennials) are too obsessed with social media validation and ‘likes’, and I’m going to say that that’s not necessarily a bad thing – we should just flip it and strive to validate others with our likes and comments! If your friend posts a pretty selfie, don’t just think it and scroll past – tell them! If they post about an impressive run they went on, let them know you admire their motivation. If they upload a beautiful photo, compliment them on their great artistic eye. It takes literally seconds, and it can make someone’s day. It’s a way of spreading microhygge! If you fancy giving me a follow on Twitter, give me a shout and I’ll send some nice words your way (or, since we’re doing the whole shameless plug thing, I’m also on Facebook and Instagram – positive vibes only on my channels).
Talk less, listen more
If you find yourself turning everything someone else says into an anecdote about yourself or waiting for someone to finish their sentence so you can talk again, you’re far from alone! Lots of us are guilty of talking too much and not listening enough. But listening is absolutely vital if we’re going to pick up on the little things that matter to the people in our lives. If you know you’re one of these people, make an effort to focus on what someone else is saying, and think of questions to show that you’re interested. If a friend mentions they’ve started a new diet, make a mental note to let them know they’re looking fabulous the next time you see them, or if they tell you they’re having their living room decorated, remember to mention how good it looks the next time you visit. Sometimes it really is the little things that remind people you care – even something as small as picking up someone’s favourite snack from the corner shop when you’re on your way to visit them. Mine’s a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup if you’re asking…
Support others in achieving their goals
I know, I know – hygge allows us to indulge in the things we like and not feel guilty about it. But equally, there is NOTHING wrong with doing things for our own health and happiness, so if you know someone on a health kick, why not help them on their way with an indulgent (but secretly healthy) feast? Superdrug has just launched its new Some Body range, and it’s filled with foods designed to fuel an active lifestyle that actually taste like treats! For example, I rustled up some pancakes with the Some Body Protein Pancake Mix, and this would be GREAT if you’re hosting a healthy brunch. Serve it alongside the Some Body Whey Protein Powder in vanilla (it tastes best with almond milk and a dash of cinnamon) and you can carry on hosting your cosy Sunday brunches with your best friend without feeling like you’re missing out. Or switch your usual buttery, sugary snacks for the sea salt popcorn, get yourself comfy under a blanket and enjoy a film night with your friends, safe in the knowledge that everyone can come and have fun without worrying about straying too far from their New Year goals.
So, have you fallen off the New Year’s resolution wagon already? Do you believe in the power of a simple compliment? Let me know – I promise there’s no judgement here!
PS – Don’t forget to give someone a compliment today!