January 8, 2018

Positive thinking for the New Year ahead


It can be very easy to feel a little bit rubbish when it comes to arriving into January. Christmas blues are upon us, the cold weather is still ever so present and we are all feeling a little sluggish after all that indulgence over the holidays. I have found this year, I’ve really wanted to arrive into the new year feeling positive and keeping it that way.
Here are a few ideas to start that positive thinking as a family and work towards a bright 2018!

Happy box

This is something I have introduced this year. It can be very hard to reflect on your day in a negative light so myself and my family have created our very own ‘happy box’. We got the children to decorate a used plastic jar (it was full of marshmallows but my daughter is a huge fan so they soon disappeared!) and each evening before we go to bed, we individually write one happy thought we have taken from the day – some days its more difficult than others but its something we can all reflect on in a more positive way. We each then drop our thought in to the box without telling each other. We will do this every day for the whole year. Once New Years Eve 2018 arrives, we will read our happy thoughts out to each other allowing us to look back on an amazing and happy year!



Keep organised
It can be very easy to loose track of everyday life and one way in which I can keep check on this is to be organised. I have several diaries and one main calendar which is visual in the kitchen so we, as a family know where we all are on a certain day. This calendar has a column for each family member so I can keep track on appointments, birthday parties, play dates…oh and of course the occasional cheeky night out!

Now is the time to start something new…for you! It can be super hard as a parent to find time for yourself, but it is SO important. Whether it be relaxing in the bath, baking or watching your favourite soap, it is paramount that we get our time to recharge our batteries. January is a really good time to find something that may interest you that you have never done before, or that you may want to revisit.
One of my all time favourite ‘me times’ is to read. I have not read in months what with being so busy, but I’ve made the time to open my kindle and download a book to get myself into. Its a really good way of allowing your mind to refocus – even if its just 15 minutes before you turn off before bed.



Minimalism is great for mindfulness and starting the new year feeling overloaded with clutter is not a good start. Whether you start with one room in the house or just your wardrobe, its a great way to get control of your items and feel positive towards promoting the things we most value and removing anything that distracts us from it. Get clearing out that loft!

Have things to look forward to
Its a great way to keep focused on why you do what you do – whether you are a stay at home parent or a working Mum or Dad. Having things to look forward to it a positive reminder of the hard work you put into your life and gives us all the strength and reason to get up in the morning. Book a date night, a family get together or a little holiday and add some goals to your calendar.

Read this blog post on Families online now!

12 comments so far.

12 responses to “Positive thinking for the New Year ahead”

  1. I would be lost without my family calendar to track appointments etc. I love your idea of a happiness jar.

  2. Vicki says:

    I love my calendar and diary we have so much stuff on with school I need to be organised

  3. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops says:

    I love the idea of the happy box, I am going to have to borrow that! I really struggle with being too negative!
    I love reading and I really made more time for reading last year and it helped me feel better, I love getting lost in lots of different worlds and ‘meeting’ lots of new people.

  4. Oh I love the idea of the happy box. This is definitely something I’ll think of doing in the future when the boys can write!

  5. Great idea! I definitely need to have things planned to look forward to, really helps me get through these months!

  6. Hannah | Make, Do & Push! says:

    I love the idea of the happy box! Some wonderful ideas here 🙂 Planning ahead really helps me too xx

  7. Kirsty McManus says:

    I love the idea of the happy box, what a nice thing you’ll be able to open if you need a pick me up on New Years. Also, I’m with you in the reading. I find it so relaxing before bed, I just always seem to give myself the excuse that I don’t have the time!

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Hi and welcome to The Willow Tree. I’m Michelle, also known as Shel and I am a mama to three beautiful crazy kids – I have two handsome boys and a wild and wonderful girl.

I really wanted a concrete place to share my love for travel, in particular Disney and offer my readers a chance to gain some knowledge around what we love to do as a family of 5.

I share our family adventures which include days out, travel advice and tips, holiday reviews, restaurant visits and of course, our love for Disney, including Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World.

Life is about creating memories, and here we are sharing them with you




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