I’ve suspected for a very long time that New Year’s Resolutions are the worst! As we speed through July, reminders of New Year resolutions are flooding in. It seems everyone is taking stock of where they are against what they set out for themselves in January, and are rapidly setting Summer Goals as a way to try and gain traction before the end of the year.
No more please! New Year’s Resolutions don’t work…and I’d suggest that although they have a better chance of success, the Summer ones don’t either. A few interesting pieces of literature have led me to firmly believe that ‘mini’, 'shared' and ‘fun’ goals are the only way to reach the end of a year satisfied and energised to do it all again when the new year starts.
Compelling information shared by Daniel Pink in When, the Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, suggest we fall prey to setting New Year's goals as January 1st is a fresh start day, whereby we feel the best version of ourselves is possible.; however by February 64% of people will have already given up on their resolutions. He also breaks down the importance of coffee, naps, planning for mid slumps and the importance of looming deadlines. All fascinating and insightful in explaining how and why some things are successful, and others are not. Though all these things I have never heard associated with setting and achieving resolutions!
And whilst not scientifically proven, the endless stream of supportive comments confirms for me, that Hannah Bullivant’s diagnosis of the negative slant generally put on resolutions actually drives us away from doing them, as “they make us feel crap”. Who wants to lose weight, think about losing weight, or tell your friends you want to lose weight?! However, if you wanted to nourish your body instead(!), how much nicer is it to yourself, to talk about with friends, and to actually do?!
From both sides, scientific and anecdotal, both Daniel and Hannah focus on the need to break things down into small goals and to frame them in a way that sets you up to succeed (that is, positive and achievable!). It’s time to forget the 11:45pm New Year’s Eve scramble of negative things you want to achieve, and jump into interesting and exciting things to do that’ll get you to the end of the year with joy sparkling in your cheeks.
With all of these factors in mind, this year I decided I’m going to try new things, learn something, be more social, connect with people on a deeper level and pamper myself a smidge. And all I’ll have to do is rip open a Lucky Dip Cards envelope to get started. How, I hear you say? Well, I created a life experience game of sorts, which has 12 interesting, exciting and memorable things to do, and have been playing merrily along.
The aim of Lucky Dip Cards - The Experience Game, is to ensure that over the course of a year really memorable moments, special things usually put off, are brought front and centre, to finally be experienced. Reflecting beautifully the sentiments and knowledge shared by Daniel and Hannah, Lucky Dip Cards is all about doing things you want to do. Quite close to resolutions, but resolutions you’ll actually want to do - you won’t find any ‘lose, quite, stop’ in this game! And harnessing the positive effect of a deadline, each experience can be done within 30 days.
Looking back over the year to date, each month has been surprised and filled by a special experience. There is no regret over time wasted, or time spent on one thing over another!
Here is how playing Lucky Dip Cards is helping me reach New Year’s Eve with a spring in my step:
Try new things:
Dance Class - A little peek into my past would reveal that I am an avid admirer of dance. I love how regardless of your level of skill, shaking your booty across the floor is uplifting. For people watching, sure, the better you are at it might make for more enjoyable viewing, but for the dancer, the shimmying, bouncing and twirling is sheer fun for all. I am absolutely guilty of filling my tummy with wine and then taking up way too much space on the pub dance floor. So when I opened a Lucky Dip Card to reveal ‘dance class’ I was delighted. I was in Seville at the time, and so could not resist the opportunity to take a Flamenco class. Through Air BnB I was able to book a local dance experience, and not only meet 8 other likeminded travelling lasses, but also learnt from a professional in a relaxed, fun atmosphere, who then took us for a glass of wine at her nearby fav bar. It was such a great night!
Paint a Portrait - For various reasons I would never describe myself as cultural. I feel that despite my love of paintings, beautiful buildings and artisanal craftsmanship, the fact that I somehow don’t retain any relating information about them, leaves me feeling like a imposter. When the 'Paint a Portrait' experience card was revealed, I was thrilled. I’ve never really painted before, white walls within a house excluded, so I spent a little time once more admiring paintings I adore for inspiration and to focus my mind on gathering the tools I needed. I set a date in the diary with my husband and collected the few last essentials (wine and snacks...). When the day arrived for our painting session, for a moment it was almost cancelled. We had just endured an explosive and emotional bedtime with our daughter and were feeling quite exhausted and just wanted to crawl into a Netflix hole. However, and very luckily!, we decided to push on with our plans and got underway (from my side, a glass of that earlier purchased wine helped get me into the mood!).
It was such a lovely way to spend an evening. From the turbulent start, we slowly unwound, spending hours chatting and gazing at each other, by the time we had finished our painting and drawing, we were glowing with a mixture of satisfaction and love. It was so nice to spend a night away from watching stories of other people lives, and creating a gorgeous memory of my own life, with a physical object at the end to continually remind us of that night.
Make bread - I have often been accused of consuming unhealthy amounts of gluten! One of my all time breakfast delights is to devour a substantial portion of a freshly baked sourdough loaf slathered in sweet jam. When surprised by the Lucky Dip Cards experience of 'mastering a life staple', I couldn’t look past London Sourdough. For years I had been slinking around following Bread By Bike, first as an ‘every Saturday morning’ customer, then as an email subscriber whilst they got their kickstarter funding to open their own bakery, to a long distance lover constantly pining after them whilst hopping about France and Spain. Upon opening that month’s envelope, I immediately searched for sourdough classes, hoping rather than confident, that they’d have a class coming up. Bursting with delight, all stars aligned and I was booked into a Bread By Bike bread making class 3 days later. The universe was absolutely telling me my gluten consumption was fine! This new skill of making bread has transformed every other Friday night for me. Starting the night before, I feed my starter, priming it for my bread making session the following night. Then, with wine and a fun movie to keep me company, I begin the 5 hour process of making my own bread. Between each step of stretching and folding, I’m lounging, sipping and laughing, until I finally pop the loaves into their proving baskets for the night, and I drift off to bed on a cloud of satisfaction and warm delight, knowing within 18 hours I’ll be baking my own bread. Lifting the lid of my casserole pot (vessel of choice to bake my bread in) my eyes feast on the most incredible looking bread. I cannot believe that I’ve made that beauty staring back at me. It has been 6 months since I started making my own bread, and I have shared it with as many friends as possible - a loaf to friends to say ‘thanks’ for having me, served alongside dinner when American friends were in town, guest star of a goodbye lunch for friends relocating to Sweden and as a gift to warm a friend’s new house. It is nourishing everyone around me!
Pamper myself a smidge:
High Tea - For many, high tea may fall into the ‘try something new’ category, however I am a bit of a sucker for this glorious English tradition, so it’s an indulgence for me. I have had several high tea’s during my years in London (my very first as my courtyard was filling with poo - but that’s another story!), and each time, I am struck by the experience’s ability to quieten the pace and centre all those at the table. I’m not sure if it’s the abundance of flowers that usually dress the tea rooms, or the impeccable manners of the servers, the tea, or even the cakes themselves, but something magical is definitely at work. The latest 'High Tea' experience I had begun with a false start. I was planning, calendar reminders set and all, to be heading to Sketch (which has been on my wish list for far too long) but sadly my friend had to cancel. Unshaken, I moved onto another moment I could transcend into something a little more memorable and special, I had a friend from Brooklyn coming to visit the following month. After a casual catch up dinner the previous night, I met my friend looking quite glam and feeling a little special. We walked into the stunning room, were shown to our table and immediately poured a glass of champagne. With shoulders relaxing, smiles getting wider and laughter sneaking into voices, we spent two lovely hours eating, drinking and revelling in each others company. Any excuse for this incredible way to spend quality time with friends is absolutely welcomed by me.
Connect with people on a deeper level:
Write a letter - Wearing your heart on your selves is a brave (and hard!) thing to do. Any movie worth its salt features a raw and revealing declaration - not necessary of love, perhaps of gratitude, of loss, or of dreams. At the conclusion of such speeches both audiences, those within the movie, and those watching, are so moved by the honesty, by the openness and by the courage shown. Everyone is nervous and careful about showing their feelings; no one wants to be hurt or embarrassed and revealing your true feelings makes you vulnerable to this. But when you say exactly how you feel and open yourself up to someone, you allow for a deeper connection with them. When I received my Lucky Dip Cards prompt to 'write a deeply personal letter', I chose to write a love letter. To the person I have spent more time with, than without, to the father of my child, and to the keeper of my heart - I told him how much I loved him. And in return, he wrote me a letter. I think of it very often, and I’ll treasure it always.
Be more social:
In a time where it seems everyone is more social than ever, it also seems people are so busy that there is no time to spend quality time with friends. There is a constant drive to do this, see that and go there, that unless you make a concerted effort to pause, to think about what you want to do, and with who, that you can so easily just get swept up in the noise.
Through playing Lucky Dip Cards I get a monthly nudge to step back from it all, to reveal an interesting and memorable experience, and to plan and scheme with purpose on how I want to do it, and who I want there with me. When catching up, I have something I want to seek my friends opinions and recommendations on, and in most case, want to know their availability so we can experience it together. And through doing these experiences, I’ve met new friends and opened myself up to new networks, places and interests.
Whilst still a massive fan of entertaining myself at home (by which I mean cooking, movies and wine…) I love that once a month there is something new to look forward to, something that might challenge me a little, and something new to explore and talk with to my friends.
If you like the sound of filing your year with fun, interesting and memorable things to do, in place of negative, undefined resolutions, then please do explore Lucky Dip Cards - The Experience Game.
LUCKY DIP CARDS
EXPERIENCE INSPIRATIONS AND STORIES