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    NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS YOU WILL WANT TO STICK TO

    2018 has fully commenced and we are already nearly 1 whole week down. Of course this time of the year always causes a bit of an internal stir and means we all start to reflect on the previous year of our lives, and think about what we have achieved and also, mostly, what we haven't. 

    Let's all say it together... new year, new me?

    So what are your new year resolutions? Lose weight? Join the gym? Eat healthy? Yes, it may have been your new year's resolution for the past 10 years and it has never quite materialised, but never mind, 2018 is your year! Right...? Instead of this endless, unsatisfactory merry-go round that all-in-all makes us feel highly unachieved and unmotivated with our 'new year resolutions' we think it is about time we switch it up and make new ones that you are actually going to stick to! Cause realistically do we really want to give up our daily 3pm chocolate pick me up? No.

    Instead give some of our suggestions a try and after a while you will notice yourself being more productive, more positive and overall happier.

    Stop hitting snooze

    Start waking up when your first alarm goes off. As let's be honest, it not any easier to get out of bed 3 snoozes later and it only results us rushing around to get ready. Inevitably we end up forgetting something, which overall is just not a good way to start the day. Instead wake up early, have time to eat breakfast, get ready properly and prepare yourself mentally for the day ahead.

    Make a visualisation board

    What do you truly want in life? Maybe your dream car? That dream house? Or possibly a dream job? Put it all visually on a board and manifest your dreams in reality by speaking them into existence, and use the powers of law of attraction to your advantage, after all it can't hurt. By creating a visual it is also very easy for you to quickly glance at your board and be reminded of what you are hoping to achieve in your life, therefore constantly re-motivating yourself.

    Stop procrastinating

    If you truly want something in life, do it now! We all know if you wanted a new lipstick you would go and get it asap, so apply that mindset for everything you want/need to do in life. Trust us when we say that the satisfaction you get from finishing something early ahead of time is a way better feeling than the mounting stress/worry you get by keep putting something off.

    Start a new hobby

    Is there something you have always wanted to do but have always been too 'busy' or just not really brave enough to try? Maybe you want to try your hand at photography? Or possibly you want to learn how to sew? Well this is the year to do it! Even if you're terrible at it, who cares? You will never know unless you try it and trying new things should definitely be on your agenda for 2018.

    Save Money

    This is a resolution we make for ourselves at the start of every month, let alone the start of each new year however we still somehow find ourselves with limited funds. Instead set a target of how much money you want to save by the end of the new year and then break it down into months/weeks/days to make it more manageable and to keep you on track. There is also tons of great apps that help you manage your spending limits, and set budgets for different areas in your life, bills, car payments, new makeup... that sort of thing!

    Keep your home tidy

    Now every one of us have the post-holidays tidy up where all the Christmas decorations get put back in their boxes until next year and our homes seem to look a little bare again. Whilst quite sad, it does provide us with the perfect opportunity for a clean slate (literally) in the new year. We are all guilty of letting the mess pile up until it becomes a mammoth task we just don't want to face from time to time, however not in 2018. Be sure to tidy up every day, that way it is only a 5 minute job and it keeps you feeling fresh and motivated, after all, tidy house, tidy mind, as the saying goes.

    Stop comparing

    In a world where social media is on a constant drip feed, looking at others 'perfect' lives through the perfect filter on a perfectly themed instagram page, shockingly it leads us to compare our lives to theirs and of course leaves us feeling inadequate. The number one goal you should set yourself this year is to stop comparing yourself to others. Instead focus on your own goals and ambitions and working to achieve them. Once you accomplish this goal, watch your happiness soar!

    So there you have it, realistic achievable new year resolutions that you will want to stick to throughout the whole year. Let us know in the comments below if you have set yourself any other new year resolutions that are aimed to help you become the best version of yourself in 2018.

    Leap Year Traditions

    So, turns out this February wasn't just about pancakes, Valentine's Day and competitions. What makes February 2016 even more special is that it's a Leap Year - and, as we're about to find out, that doesn't just mean an extra day in the month. Here's our roundup of the wackiest and strangest traditions and beliefs that we've discovered around Leap Years - who knows, you might even want to celebrate some of these next week?! Time for the ladies to propose Tradition goes that St Brigid/Bridget struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women the chance to propose to men once every four years, on a Leap Year, in order to balance the conventional roles of the two sexes. So ladies, if you're feeling brave this year, why not get down on one knee and propose to your man on February 29? Gloves and rebuttals Linked to the reversal of women and men's roles in Leap Years is the fact that, in some areas, the extra day in February is also known as "Bachelor's Day." However, guys, beware - if you refuse the proposal from our other half on February 29, tradition in some countries dictates that you will have to buy her 12 pairs of gloves so that the lady may hide her embarrassment of not having an engagement ring! This weird and wonderful convention dates back to the Middle Ages, where strict laws were used to enforce it. Unlucky for some... Despite the fact that we usually associate Friday 13th with bad luck, some cultures and countries also consider February 29 as an unlucky day. In Scotland, it is considered to be unlucky to be born on this day, while in Greece marriage on the Leap Day is thought to be very bad luck indeed. Birth dates Did you know that the chance of being born on a Leap Day is 1 in 1,461? People born on this day are known as "leapers" or "leaplings" and there are around 4.1 million people around the world born on February 29 - anyone born on this day is invited to join The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies! Proverbs As well as having lots of traditions and superstitions associated with it, the Leap Day also brings with it many proverbs and beliefs. A Scottish proverb states that "Leap year was ne’er a good sheep year," since it was thought that a Leap Year was bad for livestock. In Italy, as in Greece, a Leap Year was thought as a bad time to plan special events, particularly weddings, due to the popular saying that "Anno bisesto tutte le donne senza sesto" which means that "In a Leap Year, women are erratic!"

    The Weird and the Wonderful

    In case you've been hiding under a rock, you'll have no doubt figured out that tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Now we know that sometimes, we get maybe a bit too caught up in the whole flowers and cards and chocolates thing and that can be a bit, well...boring to say the least! So this year, we're celebrating the build-up to Valentine's Day by looking at some weird and wonderful global traditions and how other countries and cultures mark the day the love. Who knows, this might just give you some great ideas you can use tomorrow! Japan While it's more common for men to spoil their other halves in Western culture, in Japan the tradition is reversed. On the 14th, Japanese women shower their men with gifts, particularly chocolates, of which there are many different types. Exactly one month later, on 14th March, the men are expected to return the favour and give gifts and chocolates to women on what is known as "White Day." Wales Not only do the Welsh celebrate love on January 25th (The Day of St Dwynwen, a patron saint of love), but they also have a cute and unusual tradition to match. Forget about flowers are chocolates - in Wales, it's all about spoons! In an age-old tradition, it is customary for lovers to give each other intricately carved wooden spoons often depicting various motifs to show and symbolise their affections for each other. Germany Although Germans celebrate in much the same way as other Western cultures, they like to take the sweet treats a step further. As well as the usual gifts, lovers in this country also buy enormous gingerbread cookies for their other halves. Often these will be beautifully decorated and bearing sweet messages to show their feelings. Denmark and Norway Whilst Valentine's Day was not usually celebrated in Denmark and Norway up until recently, these countries have come up with a fun game to mark the day of love. Men will send anonymous poems or love rhymes to women, who must then guess who the sender is based on dots above certain letters of the poem, which give the woman a clue as to who the sender might be. If the woman guesses correctly, she gets to receive an Easter egg from her admirer later in the year - if she can't guess, she owes an Easter egg to her Romeo! Finland and Estonia Fed up of all the smug couples on Valentine's Day? Maybe you should consider moving to Finland or Estonia, where the 14th February is a celebration of friendship rather than romance. It is customary for friends to give each other cards and gifts and to greet each other with "Happy Friends Day" - we couldn't think of a better reason to celebrate your besties! Bulgaria Although many couples in Bulgaria today will celebrate the 14th February as the day of love, traditionally this day is also a celebration of wine. Called the "Day of Trifon Zarezan," this dates back to old Pagan and Orthodox customs and is a brilliant reason to try some of the country's amazing wines as well as welcoming the onset of Spring. Legend has it that the more wine that flows on the 14th February, the better next year's harvest will be so cheers, or "Nazdrave," as the Bulgarians say!

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