How to Set New Year Resolutions and Keep Them

“New year, new me” ; “I want to run a marathon this year” ; “I want to pick up a new hobby” – sound familiar? These are some of the most common new year resolutions that people make at the beginning of a new year. Unsurprisingly, most resolutions are hastily made and forgotten, until the next year rolls around. The problem is not you, at least most of the time. The problem lies in the resolution itself. Setting your resolution right is as important as keeping them! We share some of our tips on how to set new year resolutions and keep them below!

Choose a Solid Why

Before you choose a resolution, you must first be very clear about why you are setting it. Many of us tend to choose goals to achieve that we don’t feel strongly enough about, or worse, because other people tell us to set it. If your ‘why’ is strong enough, you will be more likely to stick to your goals for longer and achieve them.

This holiday season is a great time for you to reflect on the year that you’ve had. Take some time out for yourself and have a good think on what you want to improve on in the new year and choose a resolution that you really want to achieve.

Be Specific

“I want to read more this year” – this might seem like a regular new year resolution that we’ve all heard. However, this will more likely be abandoned or forgotten within the first few weeks of the year. Why? It is too vague to be achieved.

“I want to read 25 books by the end of the year” – this is a more specific goal that you can remember and will be more likely to stick to, as it makes you more accountable to yourself. It is also more measurable so you can monitor your progress throughout the year, giving you motivation to push forward when you’re nearing your goal.

Plan Your Resolutions

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – an age-old saying we’ve all heard a million times from our parents, teachers and bosses, but it really does apply here. If you really want to achieve your new year resolutions, you need to take to the time and draft an “action plan”, however that looks like, towards to achieving them.

The end of year break is the perfect time for you to plan your resolutions. You will have the context of the last year you’d lived through and be more motivated to have a fresh start for the new year. This process of drafting an action plan will also allow you to evaluate your own capabilities and circumstances to see how achievable your goals are. You might find yourself going back to the drawing board to rethink and adjust your new year resolutions at this stage.

Seek Support

You will more likely than not feel your motivation waning as the year goes by. This is perfectly normal – you get caught up in the daily grind and have good and bad days. Having a solid support system can help keep you on track and stay motivated. Get a like-minded partner to join you in working towards your goals, and even make it more fun. Explaining what your new year resolutions are to your loved ones or family and ask them to help keep you accountable.

A common mistake that most of us make when setting our new year resolutions is being too ambitious, and then giving up early when we don’t see immediate results. Change is hard, especially when it’s about yourself; it’s important to start small but sure steps towards your goals.

It’s also important to remember that these are not hard and fast rules that you need to achieve at all costs. These resolutions are yours, and yours only. It’s okay to adjust them to your circumstances and abilities along the way.

Show some kindness towards yourself. Setting new year goals should be a process of reflection and excitement, not stress. Don’t feel pressured to set unachievable goals just because you think that’s what is expected of you.

How to Practise Self-Care During the Festive Season

How to Practise Self-Care During the Festive Season

This festive season might start to seem a little more familiar to many of us, with more of us travelling and opening up our homes to visitors to celebrate the end of the year. However, after 2 years into this pandemic, we might have forgotten how overwhelming the festive season can actually be. Opening up your home and yourself to people can be stressful after being out of practice. Here’s how you can practice self-care during the festive to ensure that you don’t burn out before the year ends.

Take It Slow

It might be tempting to immediately invite all your friends and family that you have been away from to your home. If you’re not careful, you might put a huge amount of pressure on yourself to make sure that your gatherings go well and are enjoyable enough for your loved ones. The stress of it might end up making you feel worse, instead of happy, like you’re supposed to feel around your loved ones.  

Don’t be obligated to host huge festive parties for your friends. If you’re out of practice, the first step is to admit it, and then prioritise. You can start small this year, and slowly work your way up to bigger groups and more gatherings as the year goes by.

Set Boundaries

Too much of a good thing can be bad for you: a universal truth that applies to every situation. It’s important for you recognise when to draw the line, whether it’s the amount of food and drink you consume or even the time that your guests can stay until. We’ve all had times where we were too shy to get our guests to leave even though we were absolutely exhausted.

Don’t succumb to pressure to consume and host beyond your capabilities just because it’s the festive season. Social fatigue is very real and can be hard to recover from. Listen to your mind and body, and set some boundaries accordingly.

Adjust Your Expectations

Sometimes your festive party or holiday doesn’t look exactly like the ones that you pinned on to your Pinterest board, and that’s okay. Things might not always work out and it’s important to not let yourself fixate on comparison, especially with your friends on Instagram.

Live in the moment and turn any missteps as opportunities to make precious memories with your loved ones. Remember the true meaning of the holiday season and enjoy your break to the fullest.

Go Back to Basics

The holiday season may largely be about celebrating with loved ones, but it also serves as a time for you to recharge and rejuvenate for the new year ahead. Take some time out for yourself to reflect on the year that has passed, and your goals for the new year.

Engage in your favourite self-care practices, whether its physical, mental, intellectual or social. Focus on unwinding from the year’s stress and ensure that you’re well-rested and re-energised to face the upcoming year.

The Made In Singapore Festive Gift Guide for Her, Him and Them

Gifting season can be both exciting and nerve-wrecking for many of us. You have so many different types of people in your life with different preferences – it can get a bit stressful. We have compiled a brief list of some made-in-Singapore brands that we personally have gotten and loved, and would get as gifts for our loved ones in a heartbeat. Hope this guide helps in making your festive shopping easier for your near and dear!

For Her

Amira: Temple Candles

I’ve personally been obsessed with Temple Candles’ scented candles ever since I discovered them a few months ago. Their scents last long but are not overpowering, and they have unique scents. They’re available in a wide variety of scents that can suit every girl that you have.

I personally like to light one for a couple of hours in evening and they really are a great addition to my evening wind down routine.

Soukaina: Maison 21G’s Love Atelier

Scents influence my mood, concentration and emotions greatly and I am very particular about how I and my surroundings smell. I had an absolute blast crafting my own bespoke scent with Maison21G, and love it so much. The Love Atelier workshop, where couples can get together to personalise their unique scents, will definitely make a great gift for my husband and I this Christmas

Boutaina: Crane Living Homewear

I’m always on the lookout to add interesting homewear pieces to my collection – be it vases, plates, jars, anything! Crane Living houses some amazing homewear collections, from the classic to the quirky, and they make great gifts for friends who have fun personalities!

Rawbought’s Je Dors and Carezza Lace Pyjamas

It’s year 2 of the pandemic and comfortwear still dominates our everyday! Our buttery-soft modal pyjamas make for a great gift of comfort for the loved ones in your life, this festive season. You can go for our classic piping design in the Je Dors Collection for the no-frills bestie, or the romantic lace trims in our Carezza Lace Collection for your rom-com loving partner.

We’re currently running a festive promotion for all our Je Dors and Carezza Lace Collection pyjama sets – 10% for 2 PJ sets, and 20% for 3 or more PJ sets!

For Him

Shopping for men can get a little hectic, with them getting surprisingly specific about the details of their gifts. Here are some of our favourite local brands that can work for pretty much every guy!

Drink Morning Coffee Machine

If he’s a coffee fiend, he will sure love their Morning Machine! Touted as the world’s first capsule machine that gives the home brewer full control on how they want their coffee to taste, the Morning Machine has been a hit among home baristas looking to elevate their coffee experience.

Bynd Artisan Personalised Book Jacket

Leather goods are always a hit among men, make your gift truly unique by personalising it with your recipient’s name. We recommend Bynd Artisan’s personalised Book Jacket, which adds the perfect touch of class and elegance to his current read.

O+ Sunglasses

Classic designs that suit every face – you can’t go wrong with a pair of sunnies from local eyewear brand O+. The perfect blend of comfort and style, O+ sunglasses allow his sense of style to shine through the fresh and contemporary designs.

Rawbought’s Je Dors Men’s Pyjamas

There’s no better time to introduce your man to the world of comfort in bed. Our first-ever men’s sleepwear range comes in two classic styles and colours. Made of the same buttery-soft modal fabric as our Ladies pyjamas, our Men’s pyjamas make for a great gift of comfort for the men in your life. If you’re looking to up the cheese quotient this festive season, get a matching pair!

For Them

Running late on your gift shopping and shipping timelines are too long for your gifts to arrive? Or just don’t know how to guesstimate size and style preferences? We’ve got you!

Our Rawbought e-gift card make for a great last-minute gift for the people in your life – friends, colleagues, employees etc. Pick a date and include a personalised message, and we will schedule the card to be delivered straight to their inbox!

If there’s anything the last two years has taught, it is that the gift of company, comfort and concern is far more precious than any material gift that you can choose for your loved one. So, please remember to check in on those that might be having a hard time this festive season, they will remember and appreciate your efforts for a long time to come.

Happy Gifting!

Tips on Getting Organised and Reducing Stress That Work for Me by Boutaina

Tips on getting organised and reducing stress that work for me by Boutaina Faruq co founder of Rawbought

Motherhood is a full-time job in itself. Add on co-founding a company while raising three young children, all in the midst of a global pandemic, and you have a recipe for utter chaos! Though I wouldn’t have it any other way, it can really feel like having multiple full-time jobs that require 100% of my attention 24/7. And when you’re that busy, it’s natural for things to get messy at home. I like my living space to be relatively neat, so a messy home can really add on to my stress.

So, I take matters into my own hands. As a full-time co-founder and mum, making time and headspace for anything else can get really difficult. And so, I found a way to kill two birds with one stone – organising! Organising is a great way for me to destress. It’s a time that I carve out for myself to reorganise my home as well as my mind.

I’ve gathered some great tips from fellow mumpreneurs, stay-at-home mums and my own experiences that have worked well for me so far, so if you’re a mum looking to get organised and reduce stress, check them out below!

Declutter Your Home

Decluttering is my first step to getting organised. Toys, clothes, books – all things that children grow out of very quickly and if you’re not on top of things, you can find them piling up and cluttering your home really fast.

For me personally, reducing clutter helps me clear my mind as well. I also see it as a way of being kind towards my future self, reducing her stress when she’s looking for something urgently.

The most effective way for me to declutter my home is to first take stock of what I have, need, want and can do without. After that, I sort those into 4 different piles – things to keep, donate and throw. Anything that I haven’t reached for in the last 6-8 months automatically goes into the donate pile. This helps to keep the things in my house down to those that we actually need and use regularly.

As a mum of three children under 10, the toy-pocalypse hits my house quite regularly. I’m constantly tripping over toys that my children somehow grow bored of very quickly. What I’ve found is that regularly rotating the toys that my children play with every couple of months helps keep them “new”, even though they might have had them for a while. This also helps them understand the value of the toys and they’re in turn more likely to play with them longer. Their playroom and the rest of the house is also kept clutter-free, which makes me a very happy camper!

Jordan Page productivity planner, funcheaporfree

Set up a personal space wherever I am

Personal time and space are something that you get to enjoy once in a blue moon when you’re a full-time mum and co-founder. The pandemic and the resulting home-schooling and increased time spent at home has resulted in my personal study being very lovingly invaded by my kids. I try to work around it by having a set of items that I always take around with me wherever I am in the house, to help me keep track of my day.

My most important item is my productivity planner, from Jordan Page’s funcheaporfree. I refer to it constantly to see what’s next on my task list for the day. Next are my budget planner, work notebook and laptop for work-related activities. Lastly, it’s my pencil case. I like to go old-school with my note-taking and task lists, so I use coloured pens and pencils that I dedicate to each entity e.g. my children, my company etc. This way, at a quick glance, I am able to see who and what I need to work on next.

Taking these items with me around the house helps ground me in whatever tasks I’m doing at that moment.

Planning my day

As a working mum, sometimes my days tend to melt together, between school runs, meetings and social responsibilities.

A couple of disastrous mix-ups early on very quickly taught me the importance of planning ahead. Before the start of the week, I do a “brain dump” and populate my to-do list with everything I need to do for the next few days, and I mean, everything – from organising board meetings to ordering cat food. I then assign these tasks to myself to be completed during specific “hour-blocks” throughout the day and week. I group similar tasks together, in terms of location, type or difficulty level. I personally was not able to follow a timetable with specific timings for each task, because the extremely dynamic nature of my work and life meant that things inevitable got delayed and spilled over and ended up adding on to my stress instead. I found that visualising my day using this hour-block method of organising my tasks gives me a lot more breathing room and freedom to rearrange them to my convenience.

Every night, I double check my calendar for the following day’s events and set reminders on my phone for important tasks. It’s a ten-minute task right before I head to bed but really helps me start my day right. I also get to avoid any unnecessary stress and anxiety that I have to face.

I love using Productivity Planners from funcheaporfree (disclaimer: they do not ship to Singapore). They’re incredible useful and super handy to carry around the house and office. If you’re more tech-inclined, there are many productivity apps like Todoist, Notion and Evernote that can help you keep your life neatly organised on the go.

However, no matter how much you plan, the universe might have other plans and mess things up. I admit, I do get very flustered when things go off-track and I’m caught unawares. I try my best to have a Plan B and C for such days, but that still requires a lot of self-reassurance that I might not always be able to summon.

By no means is this a definitive guide for reducing stress through organising  After much trial and error, I’ve found a rhythm that I personally have seen work best for me, and I hope some of it, if not all, resonates with you and everyone who can relate.

Some days are good and some days can be bad, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you find yourself struggling to manage. Pick yourself up, ask for help and restart. Everyone’s on their own journey and we’ll get there eventually!