Well hello again and Happy New Year! You might have noticed I took a bit of a break over the Christmas period. Blogging is naturally a very present thing in my mind and life and I wanted some time to switch off from everything. I’ll be honest that it was wonderful and was a real chance for me to reassess and regroup.
Are you planning on making any New Year’s resolutions? Many of you may be and if you aren’t officially, there may still be things you would like to achieve but just without the label. Either way, I’ve decided to take a few of the most popular resolutions and give my take on ways to help you on your way!
Drink more water
An obvious one, I’m sure you’ll agree but this is something I’m sure we could all do with more of in our daily lives and considering it’s free, definitely an element we can easily do. Other than reducing fatigue, water helps flush out the toxins in our body and keeps our skin looking a lot better due to replenishing our skin tissues. Being hydrated also helps prevents headaches and in general leaves us feeling a lot more energised. If you are struggling to get your two litres a day, I’d definitely suggest a HydrateM8 water bottle which helps you monitor your water intake through markers that reminds you to drink at different times of the day. Simply fill up the bottle twice and day and that’s your lot! Easy, right?
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
I’m a planner by nature so this is something I’ve done for a while myself. I’ll make some time to plan what we’re having for dinner and as such, create a shopping list of what we need for these meals. I plan up to two weeks of meals so it’s only something you have to do twice a month and having this all set up means we are less likely to choose something unhealthy just because ‘we don’t know what to have.’ We’re able to come in and get cooking what’s on our menu board rather than dithering about in front of the fridge. So as such, we make healthier choices without really thinking about it. This applies to lunches too, before we moved in together my boyfriend would buy a meal deal from the supermarket every day spending god knows how much every week! But now every evening I will put together both our lunches and it removes the temptation when you are hungry to reach for everything naughty.
Start smallGoing cold turkey and cutting out everything that contains sugar or carbs straight away is just going to make your life more difficult. Sure you might be able to handle it for a couple of days but then it gets really hard and you’ll find yourself reaching for the biscuit tin. The key is to start small. You’d be surprised how implementing a few little changes can make the world of difference to your health. For example, stopping using butter on toast or sandwiches and avoiding smothering your food in high-calorie sauces that you don’t need. Try swapping your white bread to wholemeal and go without sugar in your tea or coffee. You’ll find these small habits really easy to keep up and you won’t even notice them any more.
Get up earlier
If you are anything like me, life is hectic and managing to squeeze in exercise as well as work, meals, socialising, housework, pets etc can be hard. So the solution? Make more time. Set your alarm an hour earlier than usual five days a week. Admittedly it’s going to be painful to wake up even earlier but getting it over and done with as soon as you can is a lot better than doing something at the end of the day and dreading it. You’re also more likely to not go through with it and curl up on the sofa. However you spend this time is completely up to you. There is something really lovely about being up before the rest of the world so spend this peaceful time going for a run or perhaps stick on a few yoga or pilates videos on YouTube. If an hour is too early, try 20 minutes or whatever suits. The important thing is to get your body moving.
Invest in a tracking device
Admittedly these can be expensive but if you are serious about getting fitter, they are a real investment. There are also several different price points to suit your budget. A gentle reminder that you need to move more can be all the encouragement you need. I find that when it is more of a challenge, you’ll want to walk the recommended 10,000 steps each day and will gradually find yourself naturally taking the stairs instead of the lift or taking a lunchtime stroll.
Join an exercise class
Rather than joining a gym, why not check out your local fitness classes? Much cheaper than a membership, you just pay as and when you attend a class. Though if you find yourself loving it, you might find it works out better financially to join the Gym. Classes also gives you a chance to try lots of different things a try to find what suits you and what you enjoy most. Studies have found that people who mix up what they do fitness wise are more likely to stick to it in the long term. And with options including Zumba, Studio Cycling, Yoga and HIIT, there is plenty to try out. I’d also recommend taking a friend along as for me personally, this makes it a lot more fun and keeps me motivated.
Fall in love with stationary
Along the same vein as the water bottle, I personally find myself more likely to do something if it’s aesthetically pleasing. It shouldn’t work but it really does. And this is where stationary comes in. There is an abundance of attractive stationary at this time of year, so you can really take your pick. Whether you decide to go full hog and start a bullet journal (there are so many awesome posts on these – just google!) or just decide to invest in the likes of an organiser or even a simple diary, these are all great tools to help you organise your life better. I’d recommend these over a phone app simply because the act of writing and crossing something out is a lot more satisfying!
Get it out the way
Got a task to do? Do it straight away. If you’ve got a heavy job to get done, make it the first thing you do. Don’t let anything else get in the way or make excuses, it’s not going to go away. Think of it like ripping off a plaster, it’s so much better when it is done. If you don’t, it’ll be hovering in your mind, taunting you and you’ll be dreading it the whole day. Whether you apply this to work or housework, this makes everything better. Plus you feel fabulous when you’ve finished. Go you!
Allow yourself time to relax…
Make time for yourself at the end of each night to really unwind. And unfortunately this means going gadget free. This is because the blue light that is emitted from our technology like phones and tablets actually restrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep/wake functions. So without these around (as hard as it may be!), you’re going to find it a lot easier to relax ready for bed. I find the period before I sleep is when I’m most relaxed as during the day I’m wanting to use the time to do stuff. Use your time wisely and treat yourself to a long bath with your favourite Lush bath bomb or perhaps curl up with a book or some music. Just leave your phone alone!
Just say noWe live in a world where there is just so much going on and our lives are busier than ever. A lot of the times this can’t be helped, e.g. work, making meals etc. However just saying no every so often can do you the world of good. You are allowed to not join your colleagues for lunch so you can spend some time reading the book you rarely get to pick up and you are allowed to turn down a get together with friends because you’ve had a long week and want some pamper time alone. Quite often we can all be guilty of FOMO (fear of missing out) and as such, find ourselves attending occasions we don’t really want to be at when really we’d be happier at home with the dog watching a boxset. Do not feel guilty for being a little selfish now and again because after all, it’s for your own good.
I hope this post has helped you in some way, I’ll definitely be taking my own advice and taking small steps to achieve my own goals. I wish you all an incredible 2017!