We’re only a few days into January and already I’m fed up of all this ‘New Year, New You!’ bullcrap that’s jamming up my telly and Twitter feed. Although the start of January can provide the perfect opportunity to give ourselves a jump start and get back into good habits after a few weeks of over-indulgence, it’s never going to be the miracle answer to all your life dilemmas. I’ve never really been one for New Years Resolutions, mainly because January is the worst month of the year to start anything remotely taxing; it’s cold, it’s dark, we’re all broke and there’s more chocolate in the house than on the set of Willy Wonka. That doesn’t exactly provide the perfect environment for starting on an expensive health kick or putting your willpower to the test. Instead of setting yourself up to fail by over promising on what you can realistically achieve, try smaller and more manageable goals that will make a difference to your life over time – and are far more likely to remain part of your routine than eating 500 calories a day or running five miles a week. If you need a helping hand, try some of my easy-to-integrate ideas and see what benefit they can bring in the months to come…
UP YOUR WATER INTAKE
One of the main ways to achieve a glowing, luminous and refreshed looking complexion is to ensure you’re getting your daily recommended amount of water. Although you can slap on all the expensive creams in the world, drinking a generous volume of H20 will help to flush out toxins, plump the skin and ensure your body is functioning at its best. With so many apps and trackers now available to remind and motivate you to drink regularly, it’s the easiest and simplest resolution you can make – but it will make a big difference.
Resolution: Drink eight glasses of water throughout each day.
READ MORE BOOKS
There’s nothing I like more than curling up with a cup of tea and a great book. Although it’s easy to get distracted by work, the tellybox or a never ending to-do list, an hour out from your day to escape to another place is great for the body and mind. Make it a priority to regularly take a moment for yourself and completely immerse yourself in a book, getting through that big pile that’s often left on the coffee table after Christmas. (Am I the only one that gets enough books for Christmas to last me practically the entire year?)
Resolution: Read at least one book a month.
EMBRACE MEAT FREE MONDAYS
Vegetarianism and veganism have never been more popular than they are now, but if you can’t face leaving behind the bacon sandwiches then it’s a great idea to dabble in #MeatFreeMondays once a week. Ditching the meat for one day will not only encourage you to experiment and open your eyes to the endless meal possibilities that don’t rely on animal flesh, but naturally your fruit and vegetable intake will increase as you look for alternatives. It’s a simple way to ensure you’re enjoying meal preparation and getting to know the best ingredients, rather than relying on another microwave meal for one.
Resolution: Experiment with meat free meals on a Monday.
HAVE A DIGITAL DETOX
Too many of us are attached to our phones and electronic devices, relying on them for communication rather than making the effort to communicate with those in front of us. I for one am guilty of having my phone with me at the dinner table, or spending an entire train journey flicking through my social media platforms, but this year I want to make a concerted effort to have little regular digital detoxes. A weekend away from our phones (enjoying the moment, rather than worrying about documenting it,) could be just what the doctor ordered; promising to keep your device in your bag during dinner or leaving it at home for the day could open your eyes in more ways than one.
Resolution: Leave the phone alone at least once a week.
ENERGISE YOUR MORNINGS
During the darker months it’s harder than ever to motivate ourselves to stay late at the gym or undertake that yoga class, so start your day as you mean to go on and get energised first thing. I know I’m blooming awful at committing to exercise for longer than a few months, but my morning mini-workout benefits me two fold: it keeps me active and it wakes me up. Whether you choose to practice some yoga, get on your bike, lift some weights or dance like Davina, do it first thing so you don’t give yourself a chance to back out. A little movement goes a long way, so spend 15-30 minutes every morning working up a sweat and invigorating your mind. It’ll be far more effective than promising to go to the gym three times a week when that sofa is calling.
Resolution: Practice 15-30 minutes of exercise every morning before anything else.
MEET THE EMPTIES
How many bottles of cleanser are clogging up your bathroom? How many pots of moisturiser are sitting half used on your dresser? How many mascaras have you bought on impulse and yet to open? Rather than promising to stop spending or saving up for that one big purchase, make a commitment to use up all those bits and bobs that have cost you a fortune but remain unfinished. It’s an indirect way of reducing your spending, while helping to clear away some of the clutter that you definitely don’t need.
Resolution: Use up all your old products before buying any new ones.
BE MORE MINDFUL
Meditation may sound like a hippy and pointless way to waste away vital moments, but committing to ten minutes of mindfulness a day can help you to focus on what’s important and reduce stress. Releasing away all other thoughts and listening to only the sound of your own breath can help to provide clarity like nothing else, enabling you to be more productive and deal with the challenges ahead. It’s an incredibly calming way to start or end a day, as well as helping significantly with anxieties and troubles. If you don’t know where to start, then download the Headspace app which holds your hand every step of the way while making the entire process enjoyable.
Resolution: Take ten minutes out every day to be more mindful.
COMMIT TO A NEW CHALLENGE
If you’ve wanted to take up horse riding or learn how to code for the longest time, but have never managed to get round to it, use the new year as an opportunity to commit to that new challenge. The long and dark nights provide the perfect opportunity to try something different (and I don’t mean a new show on Netflix,) so book that course or Amazon the hell outta that equipment before you change your mind. I’m teaching myself modern calligraphy and brush lettering, as well as picking up those abandoned colouring books again, rather than spending my spare time flicking through channels and scoffing leftover chocolate. I also want to learn Photoshop and dabble in web design, rather than always relying on outsourcing to others. What new challenge will you pick?
Resolution: Investigate a new hobby and commit to learning a new skill.
Here’s to a fabulous 2017 and implementing small changes that will make a large incremental difference. What’s on your list of resolutions this January?