New Year, New Year – Another Year

Here we go again – another date in the calendar telling us the old year is over and the New Year has started.

WHY is it that we don’t feel so great at the end of another year?
WHY do we feel like we are going around in circles?
In other words, we have been there before and it all feels same same.

WHY do we put pressure on ourselves to achieve even more than last year?
WHY do we demand more from our body and expect it to perform even more?
WHY are our stress levels higher than ever during ‘happy holidays’?

WHY have we got a pattern that feels comfortable doing all the festive things?
WHY are the fireworks and all night party not really worth the hangover feeling?
WHY are some of us spending the first day of this year exhausted in bed?

WHY are so many people sick at this time of year?
WHY are GP surgeries and hospital A&E’s so busy during this party season? (1)
WHY does our bank account at this time of year not make us feel settled?WHY are we wishing we had no credit cards to pay off?

In 2015 a poll by the Principal Financial Group’s Financial Well-Being Index found that –
53% of people feel that holiday spending will stress their finances.
11% said that it would put a “great deal of stress” on their financial situation. (2)

WHY is this weather making us book a holiday?
WHY are diet books the best sellers at the beginning of the New Year?WHY are we looking for extreme exercise and diets as nothing is cutting it?

WHY are we so busy with our New Year ‘to do’ lists?
WHY do the New Year sales drive us to buy even more?

WHY are our old patterns of behaviour still with us in the New Year?WHY are we just not able to get rid of our ill choices because it’s a New Year?
WHY do we give up our New Year’s Resolutions so fast?

Did You Know – 17th January is the most common date that people give up New Year’s Resolutions. This is known as Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day. (3)

The BIG question is has anything actually changed?

What are our goals for 2017?
How big is our New Year’s Resolutions list this time?
How realistic is our list?

How were we feeling when we started this list?
Is it the same stuff as last year’s list?

How honest are we about making them work?
How committed are we to life in general – in all areas?
Is this whole thing a game for us?

Who is having the laugh here?
Are we just setting ourselves up to fail?

Are we thinking that big achievements are the passport to happiness?
Are we competing in any way or in comparison with others?
Are we doing things to prove something to others?

Are we pretending to take action with our New Year ‘to do’ list?
Are we simply doing what everyone else is up to so we fit in?

Do you wish this New Year nonsense would go away?

Have we ever stopped and considered –
Is a New Year the time to reflect on the past year?

Do we hope that the New Year will not be as bad as our past year?
Do we want a better year as last year was not good?

Do we pretend things are going to be great this year but we are not prepared to make any changes?

Do we think things are going to really change if we do not commit to making changes?

Have we asked – If last year was crap, what exactly are we celebrating?

As a past party goer and big into the festive season, I did not understand why I felt so low, bored and empty after the New Year thing was over. The New Year was well under way and I was feeling like giving up.

Did You Know – Research published in the Journal of Affective Disorders (2016) found that one of the highest rates for suicide in England was on New Year’s Day, with the suicide risk much lower during the Christmas period. (4)

The thought of freezing cold weather and a new gym membership was enough to send me on my favourite hobby – shopping with my champagne lifestyle and lemonade money.
The goal was to buy any bargain and feel the high and up the mood-ometer so I could feel that false sense of ‘happy’.

At no point did I even consider whether the garment would fit this body or if the colour was something I actually liked.

Twixtmas – that name for the time between Christmas and New Year was spent in a state of anxiousness to find the perfect outfit for New Year’s Eve and bang on about all the things on my New Year’s Resolutions list that were simply unattainable.

Not once did anything work or last more than a few days.

It was the same old stuff repeated every year with no effort on my part to make any changes to my lifestyle.

Example Top of the New Year Resolutions list was Stop Spending.

That lasted a few hours as I was plotting and planning in twixtmas what shopping centre to visit and where to eat. Eating was a hobby that was not going away. I was addicted to fancy restaurants with my lemonade budget.

“People are blowing their budget because they’re eating out,”
Kevin Morris, Vice President of Retirement and Income Solutions (2)

Next – Lose Weight. I would check out the latest diets whilst eating a piece of cake or the big huge chocolate bars you can buy at Christmas time.

Next – Exercise. Running might work but I knew my chest and knees hurt so that was a non-starter. Gym, yoga, pilates, spinning classes all thoughts passing through my mind but no action taken whatsoever in over 30 years.

Next – make an effort to sort out all those ugly difficult relationships, including family. Effort made = make sure I avoid people especially difficult relationships.

Next – Clutter Clear. Get the garage de-cluttered, sort out the hoarding in all rooms, stop looking for a bigger house to put more clutter in. Action plan worked and things starting going out of the house. However, the shopping addiction continued so new stuff would be back inside but there would be more and this meant another house move. This went on for 25 years.

Then a ding dong moment – HELLO

What if New Year Resolutions don’t actually work?

 What if nothing changes inside us, just because it is a date on the calendar?

What if how we live and the choices we make on a daily basis will bring about real change?

What if our commitment to making sensible choices every day brings lasting change?

What if taking small steps and making choices that support our body helps?

What if we take RESPONSIBILITY for the choices we make in every moment?

What if we grow up and take accountability for all our choices?

What if we stopped blaming the world, the system, the politicians, the neighbour, the job, the relationship and anything else for our ill choices?

What if we stopped using a date on the calendar as an excuse and just got on with life?

What if real change comes when we commit to every area of our life?

What if we started asking the WHY questions every day, like –
WHY do we need coffee first thing in the morning?
WHY does bread and cake always make us feel bloated?
WHY do we eat so much chocolate?

WHY are we on social media 6 times a day?
WHY has our sleep quality gone from bad to worse?
WHY do we feel anxious most of the time?

WHY is our confidence not consistent?
WHY are we struggling being someone we are not?
WHY are we busy trying to please others?
WHY do we think it is important to put the kids or our partners before our own needs?

WHY do we never stop and find the time and space to ask the WHY questions?

WHY is our world so geared up to make sure we never stop?
WHY do we have a tendency to avoid our true feelings?
WHY do we run from life like it is a dis-ease?
WHY do we never see our body as precious like we do a tiny baby?

Dear World

Could it be possible that we do not have to wait for a date on the calendar to make changes?

Could it be possible that if we take true Responsibility for the choices we are making every day, this will give us the life we really want?

Could it be possible that there is another way to live?

Could it be possible that simple lifestyle changes can support us?

Could it be possible that we no longer need to subscribe to complication?

Could it be possible that the next app and next diet are not going to deliver all the answers we are seeking?

References

(1) Donnelly, L. (2016, December 30). ‘Selfish’ Partygoers Getting ‘Blotto’ are Putting Intolerable Strain on NHS, says it’s boss. Retrieved January 1, 2017 from
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/30/selfish-partygoers-getting-blotto-putting-intolerable-strain/

(2) Harris, E. (2015, December 12). Money Worries Top New Survey of 2015 Holiday Season Stresses. Retrieved December 31, 2016 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/elizabethharris/2015/12/12/money-worries-top-new-survey-of-2015-holiday-season-stresses/#56bce0c31988

(3) Issy. (2014, January 15). Have You Ditched Your New Year Resolution Yet? Retrieved December 31, 2016 from
http://blog.redletterdays.co.uk/national-ditch-new-year-resolution-day/

(4) Cavanagh, B., Ibrahim, S., Roscoe, A., Harriet, B., While, D., Windfuhr, K., Appleby, L., & Kapur, N. (2016). The Timing of the General Population and Patient Suicide in England, 1997 – 2012. Journal of Affective Disorders. Volume 197, pages 175-181. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.02.055. Retrieved December 31, 2016 from
http://www.jad-journal.com/article/S0165-0327(15)31130-7/abstract

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Comments 46

  1. …So here is the answer to why New Years Resolutions don’t work and what does work.

    The blogs on this site continue to confirm back to me what it took for me to truly turn my life around.

    It goes like this: once I started really asking to get to the truth of why my life was not working (instead of going from one ‘solution’ to the next with the root cause of my issues still intact) that truth led me to Simple Living Global, where I was supported to develop my sense of accountability and deeper self honesty and make a deeper commitment to care for myself and make more loving choices every day.

    For example: One area of ongoing repeated struggle for me was sugar. It ruined my mental health & made me feel horrible physically. New resolutions were always destroyed. Huge amounts of will power were not enough to fight my cravings. 25 years of struggle brought no success. Once I found the support of Simple Living Global. I developed more self-honesty and more commitment to and love for myself and life, my sugar addiction slowly died… I no longer have any dependency on it. Sugar is something which makes me feel bad and holds no power over me anymore because with truthfulness and more body awareness I have broken the illusion that ‘it is worth it’…

    1. That sugar thing Jo that you talk about in your comment here is a ‘ditto’ for many of us as we struggle with this substance that is a killer for our body.
      Anyway we look at it – sugar is a poison to our body and it is simply not needed.
      Yet we live on the stuff and it seems to appear in most foods and beverages these days.
      Simple Living Global will be posting a blog in our real Truth series about drugs. Lets get honest here – sugar is a drug.
      Come New Year we want to give it up but it is not that simple. From lived experience and playing the new years resolutions game for many decades, we are not able to do that. What works is asking questions and being honest. Starting with WHY we are so exhausted that we need a poison like sugar to stimulate us?

  2. Its a sobering time the New year – I always used to feel sad, and low on New Years Eve, and the next few days – on reflecting back at the year I had just had, and on trying to muster up the strength to face another year. On top of which I had usually had a christmas where I had over eaten, and in particular I had over indulged in chocolate. One of the things I realised some years ago around New Year was how depressed I felt – and part of this was because I had been living on excessive amounts of chocolate for the weeks preceding the New Year, and when I stopped eating the chocolate I felt a huge slump in my body – realising I was using the chocolate to keep me going and to give me mini ‘highs’ or feelings of ‘elation’. What I have come to realise is that an honest reflection on the year, supports me to consider where in my life I can deepen my self-care, where I can continue to build rituals and ways of living that support me, and where I have outgrown rituals and ways of living that no longer support. These are not New Year’s resolutions but an ongoing way of choosing to live a life where I am always inquiring, curious, and open to change, where I continue to deepen my relationship with myself, and where I continue to experiment with what works and what doesn’t. So the New Year isn’t a peak (or trough) – more a continuation of living as a student of life.

    1. Great point you make Jane Keep about chocolate giving you “mini highs or feelings of elation”. Many would agree with this and this says a lot really.
      We are using chocolate and other substances to give us a quick hit to keep us going.
      Imagine if we took all sugar related foods and drinks away from our diet and that includes all these other names for sugar substitutes. The take away caffeine and alcohol.
      How would our body feel and would we be able to get up and do a days work?
      This is well worth considering because it brings a raw reality check on how we are choosing to live and how it may not be supporting us with our evolution.
      It maybe another New Year but are we truly evolving should be the question.

  3. This gym membership stuff is huge business at the new year as most of us have overdone it in every self harming way and then we want radical change with superfast results in January.

    So we all know that we each have a choice even if we don’t think we do. So we make choices in the jolly festive season and each year those choices seem to turn into this pattern of dis-regard and no respect for our body. We never stop as we are too busy chasing after the more more of anything and everything. At no point do we even consider that how we actually live in this moment and what we choose may effect the next moment.
    Classic example, if we make a commitment to going to bed early and not checking our phones or drinking and eating anything that stimulates us, we got a chance to feel what is going on as our body has received more rest than usual. Keep doing this consistently and things may just turn out much better and we will not need to react to the new year and the special offers available.

  4. The other thing I wonder about is the cost of these festivities. While Im up for a celebration where it is purposeful and true, I noticed the cost for instance of the fireworks last New Year’s Eve (2015), as reported in a number of newspapers, in Sydney were $7 million for 15 minutes, £1.8 million in London lasting 11 minutes which got me thinking about our world today. We have an NHS that cant handle the demand, and is apparently bankrupt, and many other econimic issues, as well as social issues in our world today, and yet we can spend ridiculous amounts on a 11 or 15 minute firework display? We can never say we dont have enough resources… the question is how wisely do we use the resources we have?

    1. Good points to raise Jane Keep about the cost of our fireworks celebrations. I just read this “The U.S. fireworks industry has experienced unprecedented growth during the past decade and a half”.
      The link below shows a snapshot of industry revenues and this is the most recent one –
      2015
      Display Fireworks Revenue $340 million
      Consumer Fireworks Revenue $755 million
      http://www.americanpyro.com/assets/docs/FactsandFigures/fireworks%20revenue%20by%20industry%20segment%201998-15.pdf

      Who gets this revenue?
      Where is all this money going?
      This is serious big bucks business here.

      Your question also can be asked to this great nation – how wisely are the United States using their resources?

    2. Great point Jane Keep. Most of us are oblivious as to what is going on in other parts of the world as we plan and prepare for those 11 or 15 minutes.

      On 20th December 2016 there was an explosion of fireworks at the San Pabito Firework Market in Tultepec, Mexico. This killed 31 people and left many badly burned. This is the 3rd blast that has occurred at this market since 2005.

      60 people were being treated at the time this article was written, with some people having 90% burns over their body.
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/21/mexico-firework-market-explosion-death-toll

      Some of the people that died were so badly burned that neither their ages or gender could be immediately identified.

      Due to the Christmas and New Year period, the San Pabito market was at it’s busiest because this is when most of the products are bought. The market had more stock than usual.

      Poruguez, the Tultepec Mayor says about the fireworks industry in Mexico “We know it is high risk – we regret this greatly, but unfortunately many people’s livelihoods depend on this activity”

      So whilst we are getting excited and preparing for the festive season – do we consider where the products are made and the high risk situation?

      Do we consider the people who have laboured to make the fireworks?
      Do we ask how much they are paid?
      What conditions do they work in?
      Whether they are treated with care and respect?

      Do we consider whether our desire to celebrate the new year and watch the visual affects, creates an explosion elsewhere that leads to injuries and deaths?

      The Mexico State Governor, Eruviel Avila said “We are going to identify who is responsible”?

      What If we are ALL responsible through any reckless behaviour that does not truly support and evolve us ALL?

      There have been other firework explosions in Mexico –

      2002 – 29 people died when a fireworks explosion happened in the Gulf Coast City of Veracruz.
      1999 – 63 people died when an explosion of fireworks stored illegally destroyed part of the city of Celaya.
      1988 – 68 people were killed when fireworks exploded in Mexico City’s La Merced market.

  5. On 3rd January 2017, The Conversation posted an article on emerging diseases in 2017. They note 5 new infectious diseases to look out for this year.

    http://theconversation.com/five-little-known-diseases-to-watch-out-for-in-2017-69699?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20January%203%202017%20-%206411&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20January%203%202017%20-%206411+CID_13842c2332912877fb25dfe9f2970edd&utm_source=campaign_monitor_uk&utm_term=Five%20little-known%20diseases%20to%20watch%20out%20for%20in%202017

    So it is not just diseases that we are most familiar with like cancer and diabetes that are on the increase but infectious diseases too.

    The article also makes the following interesting point –
    ‘…emerging diseases tend to flourish where wars flare up or the breakdown of civil society occurs. ‘

    Is it that the disharmonious way that we are living both individually and collectively are creating ripe environments for infectious diseases to grow?

    1. This is interesting Shevon – thank you for posting your comment.
      What sticks out is that the article mentions how “emerging diseases tend to flourish where wars flare up or the breakdown of civil society occurs.”
      This alone speaks volumes and is well worth pondering on.
      So here is evidence that things are happening to the human body when there is war when division of any kind is amongst us.
      How are we living everyday that leads us to have wars?
      How are we communicating with each other?
      How come our body is copping the ill of a separated society?
      What is the long-term cost here with new diseases emerging?
      How is our over-stretched health systems going to cope with these additional emerging diseases?
      WHY is our body in dis-ease and are we able to join the dots?
      Is this making any sense?
      In answer to your question at the end Shevon, it does feel like our living way, both individually and collectively has a consequence and our human frame is telling us so.
      It is well worth reading our blog – The War Inside Us
      http://simplelivingglobal.com/the-war-inside-us/

    2. I also noticed in the health press that old seemingly eradicated conditions are coming back like TB, and scarlet fever – they have more cases of scarlet fever last year than for a long time… given everything we have in our world, we are resource rich (though it is not evenly distributed), we have more pharmaceuticals, technology, research, and medical/health professionals than ever before it does raise the question as to what exactly is going on in our world today?

      1. YES it does raise the question Jane “what exactly is going on in our world today?”
        Reading your comment we have to ask are we in some way going backwards. At one point it felt like we had ‘evolved’ from old diseases like TB and Scarlet Fever, so what on earth is going on for this to appear again?
        We think we are super intelligent than any other species and our advancing world is confirming this with taller buildings, missions to mars and so forth. BUT what about the human body? Where are we failing to see that this vehicle that is with us from day dot and until our last breath is trying to communicate something to us and we just don’t seem to be joining the dots or accelerating at the same pace as other advancements in our world.

  6. So its back to work, back to school etc after the Christmas/New Year break – how are we feeling? did we take the opportunity to deeply rest, to nurture, to super care for ourselves? I have been observing in the last few days people saying they realised they didn’t take enough time to rest, recuperate from a busy year during the recent holidays, they were busy, busy busy… where does that leave our health for the coming months when we start back after holidays feeling already under par? Just how good are holidays for us? How supportive is the Christmas/New Year time for us?

  7. Human beings are always seeking the quick fixes and use resolutions as a way of doing this; going on diets; looking for a new job, giving up alcohol for a month and so on. Resolutions do not work. Could it be if we make the right choices to support our body and well being daily, there would be no reason to make resolutions.

    1. Your comment is funny Priscilla but so true. We as human beings go into action mode come the new year and ‘quick fixes’ seem to be our top choice. We have become a race of beings that want things now and fast. We make ill choices most of the time throughout the year then we go into end of year, festive party season, followed by the fireworks to celebrate the new year in. Then the resolutions start and ‘giving up alcohol for a month or so..’ is about as much as we can manage.
      What if we made HONESTY a new year commitment. In other words we are going to get honest about our life and what is not working. The first thing on the list could be if we are honest that new year resolutions will not work for us simply because the way we live tells us so. We have a track record of never sticking to anything so why even bother to think things will be different this year unless we are going to take RESPONSIBILITY for our choices.
      You sum it up in your last line that if we choose to support our body and well being everyday then there would be no reason to make resolutions.

  8. A great reason to have these resolutions and dates in the future is that we can always procrastinate and push then forward to a new date. Always pushing ahead or looking forward prevents us from living in the moment.
    Living in the moment we then see the responsibility we ought to take for ourselves, the way we live and ultimately as an example to those around us. So all these resolutions and great plans for the future are actually our own self destructive plans to avoid responsibility, avoid being ourselves in full and just conforming to the ill state of the world around us that we know is completely out of kilter.

    1. And we wonder why we don’t stick to resolutions? I know for myself I haven’t found it motivating when I have for instance over eaten then I have to push myself to ‘return’ to my former weight, or to stop eating those foods. What I have now come to understand is that there is something deeper going on here – Why in the first place do I eat in that way or have this ‘feast or famine’ kind of approach to daily living? In recent years I have learnt that there is something foundational about learning to take care of myself in a new way, honouring what I feel, being self aware of the things that support and don’t support and realising my health is in my hands. It is very empowering and whilst at times I can feel I don’t want to be responsible – mostly my willingness to be responsible deepens – the more I take care of myself the more I want to take care of myself. I no longer set up ‘resolutions’ as taking care of myself is a daily way of living, not something I do after letting myself go over a holiday period – as everyday is the same.

    2. Thank you Christopher Murphy for your comment. The bit that sticks out is when you say “all these resolutions and great plans for the future are actually our own self destructive plans to avoid responsibility..”
      So what is our future?
      Have we ever stopped to consider what this word actually means?
      Do we think it is somewhere in the distance?
      Do we get anxious about it?
      Do we worry because we know the current state of the world?
      Do we feel helpless or hopeless?
      Do we go into fantasy dream world to escape about our future?
      Could it be possible that every choice we make right now, in the present moment becomes the next moment and so on – that means our future is actually how we live right now? Is this where that word RESPONSIBILITY comes in.

  9. Dear World

    A hot news article dated 3 January 2017 talks about the dangerous levels of air pollution across the globe on New Year’s Eve.

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/world/heres-why-new-years-eve-caused-dangerous-levels-of-air-pollution-in-germany-770908.html

    In Germany, national figures suggested displays released 4,000 tonnes of them into the atmosphere. In Munich, levels of polluting particulates rose to 26 times that of the EU’s recommended daily limit of 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air – reaching a whopping 1,346 micrograms.

    In 2015 a study published in the science journal Atmospheric Environment stated that particulate pollution rose on average by 42% across the United States on 4th July because the nations skies had over 14,000 Independence Day fireworks displays.

    It goes on to mention:

    Bastille Day of France
    Guy Fawkes in the UK
    Diwali in India, Lantern
    Festival in Taiwan and China
    World Cup Celebrations in Milan
    Montreal International Fireworks Competition

    Consumer use of fireworks accounted for 88% of the total 2013 US fireworks consumption.
    Source: American Pyrotechnics Association
    http://www.americanpyro.com/

    Exposure to PM (particulate matter) is associated with a broad range of adverse human health effects mainly affecting the respiratory and cardiovascular systems (WHO, 2003)

    The Federal Hazardous Substances Act classifies fireworks as hazardous, because the explosives can have dangerous side effects, including fires, injury and death. Air pollution is another potentially harmful effect of fireworks (Wang et al.,2007), which release gaseous sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide; hazardous trace elements; and particulate matter

    There is more to read for those who are interested with plenty of referencing.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231015301369

    For this super long comment, it would be true to say that fireworks do disturb our air quality and the question we need to be asking is how is this supporting us to evolve as a race of beings?

    Our animals are disturbed.
    Our pets are scared.
    Nature is not even considered.
    Our health can be affected.
    We want eye candy in the form of spectacular visionary colour.
    We ask for big bangs and the smell of bonfires.
    We call this celebration.
    It lasts a few minutes and each year we demand more.

    How are we celebrating if mother earth is not considered?
    Are we taking Responsibility?
    Is this just something that we do to in the name of “celebration”?

    Are we following the John Adams’ prediction shortly after drafting the Declaration of Independence in a letter dated July 3, 1776 to his wife –

    “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to G-d Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

    Would it be true to say that 240 years later things have changed and we need to get real and get honest if we are to get to the truth.

    Are fireworks at this grand scale or at any scale actually needed?

    1. Its very interesting when we take one aspect of our lives – e.g. fireworks and the impact they have and realise that everything has a ripple effect – there are consequences to our every act – often far more reaching than we care to consider. Maybe one day when planning certain things in our lives e.g. New Years Eve we would plan by first asking – what would best support me and my body? Also asking what would best support my local community, my fellow brothers and sisters living on Earth at this time. What would not only support me and others, what enables us to evolve, to learn, to grow? That would be a very different way of approaching events, times of the year, and indeed every day.

    2. On Celebrating’ with fire works:
      The simulation of war as something that has brought us freedom has never settled well for me nor the excuse to do away with any civic codes around not disturbing the peace (of others)…and I have never felt they were worth the bang and dazzle for all the immense pain they cause in burn accidents…

      …so I have never felt good about fire works… and these statistics confirm to me that they are not ‘for the good of all’.

      Perhaps we could ask ourselves why we need explosions to feel that we have celebrated ?
      And if we need explosions, which always take a great toll by hurting, burning, killing people and disturbing many others, than perhaps we don’t know how to truly celebrate in our heart?

      On celebrating from within: Could this be what we are missing and trying to make up for?

      I know that the more ‘with myself’ I am, the more I feel how precious and tender we ALL are & the less I need in the form of outer stimulation or outer celebration because feeling the truth of who I am/who we all are is actually so beautiful that I don’t need or even want ‘more’ and when I feel the Truth of who we are I simply don’t want anything that can and will bring harm to any of us…

    3. One day we will not carry the need to celebrate at anyones expense, ever, in any way and we will look back on the times that we did in oh so many ways with immense appreciation that that way of living is behind us all forever.

    4. Wow, those pollution statistics are a wake up call if ever I heard one. It’s not so surprising now it’s laid bare like that: that entire countries pumping fireworks into the air in one day would have a global impact. And all in the the name of entertainment.

      Perhaps this blog can also help us think about how we use the word ‘celebration’. What does it actually mean? We are calling new year’s eve events ‘celebrations’, but what exactly is being celebrated? Perhaps if we came together and decided that the new year would be all about working towards global unity or a commitment to honesty (as offered above), to appreciate the hard work put to true purpose in the pervious period, then ‘celebration’ would be the perfect word. And if nations did focus on the bigger picture together or if we as individuals looked beyond the parties at where we’re really at, I wonder what the celebrations would look like then. Perhaps more solemnity, more reserve, more humility, little need for excess?

    5. I am reminded of my young son being completely perplexed by the existence of fireworks. No number of explanations seemed to make sense to him. He couldn’t get the point of standing in a field in the dark looking up at them. Why would you do that? What’s the point? Why are they so loud? Why don’t we just look at the stars? For me that was it. I’d bought into it all before that point – into the entertainment, however fleeting. But that conversation completely slapped me in the face with truth. What actually is the point of it?

      1. Awesome Jenifer Swallow,
        As a child I remember not liking nor understanding fire works too… not to mention being creeped out by ‘Santa Claus’ especially when he smelled of alcohol…

        I love it when people notice the wisdom of our young children… before they take on the beliefs, ideals and rationals of society they are so clear about what makes sense and does not make sense.

        They keep it ‘simple’ as they are living from their own felt truth.

    6. “Are fireworks at this grand scale or at any scale actually needed?” What a great question. And for those in doubt, why not ask how we feel when the fireworks are over and we walk off. Have we been truly enriched? Was it worth it?

      1. Oh what a great question you ask Jenifer Swallow
        “Why not ask how we feel when the fireworks are over and we walk off. Have we been truly enriched? Was it worth it?”

        Can’t we ask this of so many things we do?

        And can’t we consider if there may be something more rewarding we could focus on but are missing when we ‘use’ things that do not contribute to us feeling the beauty of who we truly are?

    7. It is time we all take responsibility to look underneath and behind all of our choices and make sure we are not ignoring or contributing to a trail of harm.

      If we want change in the world we will need to claim responsibility for our everyday choices and assumptions.

      If we want to be part of true change we may need to examine our loyalties and ask what exactly am I being loyal to?

      Do we hold a fear of going deeper and then possibly needing to go against the norm of the easy, pretty or socially accepted surfaces of things, to be true to our heart?

  10. I can imagine people would think ok its just fireworks who cares. But we should care. Would you light a fire in the middle of your lounge floor at home. NO you wouldn’t as you know the damage that we do to you/others and your home. So are our parks and green belt areas not being damaged in the same way. That saying if it does not affect us why bother. Well we should!

  11. I am the same Jo since a child my body has always been disturbed by fireworks and I remember telling my parents at the age of 9 I no longer wanted to watch them. And have not done so since.

  12. Cardiovascular deaths around the world, such as heart attacks and strokes peak in January.

    https://theconversation.com/heart-attacks-are-more-common-in-january-heres-why-70298

    Scientists initially thought it had something to do with cold weather, however a number of research studies have found that regardless of the weather, the death toll is highest in January, and this has been found across the globe.

    Genes, Air Pollution, the Flu, lack of sleep are some of things mentioned as risk factors.

    Could the human body be telling us something, as we enter the start of each year, by the rise in cardiovascular deaths?

    Could the human body be communicating to us that as we enter a new cycle, a new year, we cannot take the same old way of living with us forward?

    Could there be something else happening at the start of each year that is asking us to truly change and if we don’t, our bodies are then ill affected?

    1. https://theconversation.com/heart-attacks-are-more-common-in-january-heres-why-70298

      This is a great link that you have given us Shevon and well worth reading and asking what on earth is going on when studies across the globe are saying that more heart attacks go on in January.
      So we finish off the year with that festive jolly merry season. We then start the new year with a bang and then what?
      Does reality kick in?
      Do the credit card bills roll in?
      Does the indulgent season leave us feeling empty?
      Does our life lack any real meaning or purpose?
      Does a joyfull life feel like a dream or another lifetime wish?
      Does the misery and agony of last year before the ‘happy holidays’ just suddenly appear on our radar again?
      Does last year memories bring up so much pain and hurt we have had enough?
      Do we realise we have been living shut down and closed down, guarding and protecting?
      In other words our heart has not been truly open to our self or to others?
      Could it be possible that our heart has its own intelligence and is communicating to us?
      Could it be possible our heart is saying LET THE LOVE IN AND OUT EQUALLY.
      Could it be possible that we are designed to have open hearts and anything less is going to one day lead to a stop which we call heart attack?
      This article and study – link below is something worth pondering on about the human heart and living in true brotherhood. There may just be a big fat clue here for us.

      http://www.unimedliving.com/living-medicine/illness-and-disease/the-roseto-effect-a-lesson-on-the-true-cause-of-heart-disease.html/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=january01

      1. LET THE LOVE IN AND OUT EQUALLY – that makes so much sense. And it reminds me of that old adage about giving being as powerful as receiving. We are so focused on what is going on with us and our own lives and issues that we lose sight of the fact that we are each just a single unit of an entire race of people, in constant movement together. Protective bubbles are just not it.

    2. Shevon, I feel your post is offering something big here, something that takes us way beyond the day to day.
      If we zoom out a minute, we can have a look at the fact that we are constantly going round and round the sun on this planet and the planet itself is going round and round. This might be easy to ignore, but there is no getting away from the fact of the constant rotations. Can these rotations offer us something? What, as you say, if they are asking us to move forward, to be more, and that, as part of nature, our bodies are attuned to that movement and that call? Every once around, then, we would get the chance to have a look and see what happened in the cycle just passed: did we stand still or did we move on and up and forward? And what, then, do we think happens if we don’t move on, move up or move forward? Do we just get away with it, clinging to our old patterns and behaviours?

      Evolution has been shown to be the most persistent of processes in nature, with development as a constant.
      As part of nature, why would we humans be any different? And if so, can there be any resistance to this process or only delay, with some suffering along the way to show us where we might be getting it wrong?
      I know for me, stuff I used to do just doesn’t cut the mustard any more and patterns that got me to this point no longer serve.
      My body wants to move differently.
      In my case, it wants me to stop rushing, to take things with more care, to leave more space for myself.
      It doesn’t want the same food it did before, nor at the same regularity. And it’s showing me all this all the time: a bloated stomach here, a narcolepsy moment there, an object dropped on the floor, an arm bruised, tension in my forearm, a kidney ever so slightly aching. And the communications go on and on, asking me not to “take the same old way of living with me forward”.

      1. The bit that sticks out in your comment here Jenifer is the word SPACE.
        So could it be possible that if we stopped rushing as you say, then we will have the space to do what is needed?
        Or do we get to the Spa, have our massage or whatever we do to chillax these days and get some space only to fill it up as soon as we leave the building?
        This filling up our space maybe why we feel so drained and exhausted everyday. We eat foods, drink anything with sugar in it and get on social media to stimulate our body to keep going. We then fight the feelings, ignore our body asking for rest and wonder why we feel anxious about life and our future.
        New year or not we seem to be deeply dis-content with our everyday disregarding choices and if we need proof, we just need to look at the rise in illness and disease which come simply from our ugly lifestyle choices.
        We were never designed to be buzzed up and multi-task and push and drive ourselves through life.
        As the author of this blog – I am no halo head making out I got it right. I had the ra ra life of distraction, which got me on the wrong road.
        Thank God things are completely different today and this website alone is living proof of that fact.
        There is no nonsense distractions now – just a daily commitment to life with a deeper meaning and purpose.

  13. I was a habitual New Year resolution maker once I was intoxicated with alcohol and with the highs I could conquer anything. Then I woke up with an all time low. Funny thing, I kept repeating this pattern for many years. It was only a few years ago when I stopped drinking alcohol and realisation hit that resolutions are as good as the commitments I made, so I made the choice not to make them anymore.

    In Psychology Today – ‘Why New Year’s Resolutions Often Produce the Opposite Effect’ – Is the best way to achieve New Year’s Resolutions not to make any?

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/slightly-blighty/201512/why-new-years-resolutions-often-produce-the-opposite-effect

    suggested ‘trying hard not to do something is more likely to perform negative habits’.

    And just pondering on this in your face statement needs no further explanation – it was so obvious yet I hoped one of the resolutions would come true and make a difference to my life.

    Realisation finally hit, I stopped making unachievable resolutions and focused on my internal being and what was needed to support my body.

    1. Thank you for sharing this link Shushila.
      The effect is referred to as ‘ironic mental control’ because the ‘ironic’ part refers to the fact that trying not to do things paradoxically brings them on more strongly.
      So if this theory does make sense then we would agree why it is hard to stick to our new years resolutions.
      Coming from lived experience – it would be true to say that giving up excess eating just because a date in the calendar tells me ‘jump on the bandwagon, its New Year’ made zero difference as I spent most of my waking time actively thinking about food, buying food, cooking food and eating food. In fact my brain was consumed with food thoughts which looking back was very odd.

      This article that you mention also talks about a study, recently published in the journal Brain Research where is has been established that trying to suppress thoughts doesn’t just produce the opposite effect but that it occurs at a fundamental brain activity level.

      This alone is worth pondering on and asking WHY on earth are we trying to do this new year resolutions stuff every New Year and expecting change.

      Would it be wiser to Get real and Get honest about what is not working in our life?
      http://simplelivingglobal.com/get-real-get-honest-and-get-to-truth/

  14. Another brilliant blog Simple Living Global questioning our immense drive to achieve the in achievable. I had a kind of dread around Christmas as an adult the pressure to buy the right thing for people, for how many plus the huge build up that is made, the part I enjoyed was the parties. With the new year my friends and I used to plan a party mid to late January to get us through the flat feeling we all had after party season was over. Looking back what a way to live no consistency of joy in the day to day living at all so completely dependant the hits from the parties and social events to keep us up and away from the exhaustion we were feeling.

  15. Thanks Simple Living Global, for highlighting this simple obvious fact – for most of us, New Years Resolutions DO NOT WORK.

    Going on past experience, and being a huge advocate of New Years Resolutions, I had all the intentions of sticking to mine but I had none of the commitment.

    The reason I had none of the commitment was because I didn’t really want to change.

    Although I wouldn’t have admitted it to myself at the time, I loved my comfortable life. I loved my alcohol, my bread and cakes, my takeaways, my caffeine and my irresponsible life.

    Of course, I wanted to lose weight, get fitter, earn more money, but, in truth, I wasn’t prepared to commit to changing anything.

    That was 10 years ago. Since the presentations of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, my life has changed beyond recognition. Understanding that I am responsible and accountable for all my choices has brought the commitment into my life and so when it comes to making New Years Resolutions, I no longer need them because everyday is a New Year.

    After all, the calendar is a man made invention to give a frame of reference to a period of time.

    Why should one day be the focus of when we should make changes to our lives?

    We all have the opportunity to make different choices EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    If we really want to make changes in our lives, we don’t have to wait until the 1st of January every year.

  16. Usually this time of year you often hear talk of making new year resolutions. But do they work? I don’t think they do. They are a temporary thing and quite often people lose interest after a few weeks.

    Why do we wait until a certain time of year to commit to Life. Should we not commit to Life all year round. I think so.

  17. Just having a general chat last week – on the street talk when one guy said he couldn’t wait for this horrible year to finish and get into next year. He kept repeating that Christmas had to be ‘dealt with’ so he could push on and move to the new year.

    He had big plans for his new year and I said why not start living them now and not next week. First he thought I was mad and then he thought about it as I gave him an understanding from my living perspective. In other words, how I choose to live is not wait for a calendar date to make the choices, in order to make changes that would support me.

    What is the point of waiting and stressing and creating anxiety and tension, when all we have to do is get on with it now?

    I for one, will not be concerned about this year or next year.

    What I have done is taken stock of this past year and celebrated the great stuff and the ugly stuff which were simply lessons to learn and no big deal.

    With no new year resolutions, diet plan or any nonsense like that – it is simply ‘business as usual’ and that means getting on with it.

  18. Listening to others in the workplace, what is interesting is the auto pilot chit chat that goes on between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

    The classic questions have not changed –
    Did you have a nice Christmas?
    What are you doing New Years Eve?

    So we could lie, fluff it up, speak the truth or give a diluted version of what really went on. The biggest thing I observed was a kind of anxiousness with an anticipation, a bloated exhausted feeling of late nights and high emotion.

    I know I can relate to all of this as that was me for many decades, but not now.

    The other thing that always seems to go on is that any celebration means there has to be alcohol.

    WHY is this and WHY are we not questioning it?

    Looking back at my past I had to have alcohol to stimulate me to stay awake, as New Years Eve was way too late to be up at midnight. I realise without this substance I would be flat out asleep, as I had so much exhaustion at this time of the year.

  19. Another year over and another one begun.

    Another year end celebration, in most, if not all, countries of the world.

    In Australia, across the country, cities will be holding New Year’s Eve celebrations.

    In Sydney, more than a million people will watch from the city’s famous harbour with people taking the most sought after viewing positions from 7.30am. This year’s show, costing $7 million, will feature more than 100,000 pyrotechnic effects.

    In Melbourne, more than $2.6 million is being spent on the New Year’s Eve celebrations which include 14 tonnes of fireworks.

    Other major cities like Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide will all have their own celebrations and each city will have their own concerns over security from:

    Officers patrolling on foot, on horseback, on the water and in the air.
    Dozens of riot squad members armed with semi-automatics will be on hand if a major incident unfolds.
    Extra bollards will be put in place.
    Extra train and bus services will be laid on.
    Streets will be closed.

    Then there will be the increase of admittances to emergency departments in hospitals due to alcohol, drugs and anti-social behaviour.

    Last year in Perth, paramedics attended more than 1,000 cases between midnight December 31st and noon New Year’s day.

    In London, there will be a 12 minute display consisting of 10,000 fireworks.

    Just the fireworks alone cost £3.1 million in the 2016 New Year’s Eve celebration.

    Apart from all the expense and resources used in these celebrations, the noise from the fireworks has an effect on all those that have to get up in the early hours of the morning to go to work and on all the animals, pets or wild.

    The cost of these celebrations, in one city alone, can run into many £millions – the planning, the staging, the fireworks, the emergency services, the hospitals, the extra staff, all at enhanced rates.

    What actually is the purpose of all of this?

    If the purpose of these New Year’s Eve celebrations is for excitement, is it possible that we have our priorities wrong?

    We live in a world where there are global humanitarian crises – famine, lack of adequate fresh water, war, displacement of communities, greed, corruption, men, women and children put into forced labour or the sex trade, rape, murder, etc. etc.

    These celebrations come once a year and a lot of time, energy, money and resources are being spent for something that lasts only for a few hours.

    What would be possible if that same, time, energy, money and resources were spent on our global issues?

    Is it possible our priority should be elsewhere?

    1. Absolutely agree Tim. I saw the Twitter feed last night and this morning from the ambulance services, the air ambulance services, St Johns Ambulance, the police, and Fire Brigade – all with extra staff on the ground, on alert for a busy night. Ok so in London I saw there were around 300 incidences the ambulance/St Johns ambulance had to deal with mostly due to alcohol (no idea how many people went to emergency depts in hospitals or how many incidents the police dealt with) – which out of 100,000 who had tickets to attend the fireworks in London, and the other thousands and thousands who were out last night in London that is a miracle more were not needing emergency care.

      What struck me reading these Twitter feeds last night was how strange it is – if I were from another planet I may ask what the fuss was all about – for a few hours? Why the extremes? Do we distract ourselves (e.g. with making it a big night) so much so as to avoid feeling truly how wisely we spent our year just gone? so that we don’t have to take responsibility into this New Year?

  20. Just flicking through the supplement that comes with the big fat weekend newspaper in between Christmas and New Year and there are plenty of pages about delicious New Year recipes for us. It is like we need more as Christmas is now out of the way and we need even more to keep us going.

    This one stuck out about Ice Cream and there are very few ingredients – Heaps of Sugar, 6 egg yolks, double cream and full fat milk. You can of course ADD alcohol, as it is still the festive season.

    Have we bothered to even consider what goes into this ice cream before we jump on the bandwagon and get the ingredients?

    Do we all need basic education about the legal drug called sugar because this substance is a killer to our body?

    Do we know that egg yolk is what affects our arteries?

    ADD double cream and full fat and common sense would tell us something feels fat and full here, so it cannot be right for our body?

    Ask a nutritionist or any health and well-being practitioner and they would all agree – every single ingredient that goes into making this ice cream is harmfull to our body.

    What is it about us that looks at the calendar for a date that means licence to eat and drink whatever we want and have no consideration for the consequences?

    Is it time we started being sensible, living sensible, so our future generations can have some real role models and not celebrity chefs who are there to supply the demand we are asking for?

  21. Thank you for this tremendous blog.
    I have never felt the appeal of making New Year’s resolutions.

    When I was younger, I imagined that making such resolutions successfully depended on summoning prodigious amounts of willpower and self- discipline. And I never felt that I had much willpower or self-discipline.

    With hindsight, I can see that New Year’s resolutions would never have worked for me even if I had tried them.

    Although there remains much work to do in my life, I have learnt from the changes that I have made that there is a bit of a process for me with change that begins with me first feeling in my body the ill created by my previous choices in that aspect of my life that I wish to change.

    Also, for change to happen, I need to first take responsibility and honestly admit to myself, and totally accept, that I created the mess that I wish to change in the first place. Me. No one else. No outside factor.

    In addition to that, for me, change requires asking why and how I got myself into the mess it is that I wish to address. Without an awareness and understanding of the causes behind the issue in question, it is difficult for me to change because otherwise my mind will remain busy trying to keep me doing what I have always done, regardless of negative consequences.

    Further, for me to have change in my life, I have had to do something different immediately and then repeat the new choice or behaviour consistently.

    It seems to me that New Year’s resolutions can all too easily be a way to escape, through putting things off to one particular day in the calendar, really feeling the truth of the ill we have created in an area of life and honestly taking responsibility for that ill.

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