As the new year rolls in, you can expect all your Facebook feeds and real-life conversations to feature some reference to the infamous New Year’s resolutions. They range from seeing family more, exercising frequently, eating less fatty foods, extreme diets, unachievable life aims and probably the tattooing of some inspirational quote to help them ‘remember’ to improve themselves.
There are better tactics to improve your life than reeling off a list of aims. You need to remember that real changes will only happen if you prep yourself for them and change your way of thinking. We looked at some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and got hold of some great hacks to help make these resolutions become reality, and not something that you write on a poster to pretend that it will be implemented.
For those that don’t feature exercise as a regular occurrence in their lives already, the thought of beginning to exercise is quite intimidating. To begin scheduling runs, joining a gym or paying up for a 6 month BodyPump membership might seem an easy first step, but how likely are you to follow through? It’ll make you feel like you’ve achieved something by paying up for all these fancy classes and gadgets, but if you don’t actually get up at 7am to fit in that session before work, then it’ll all be for nothing.
A great way to start exercising is by fitting it into your daily routine. Whether it’s walking instead of taking the bus, taking the stairs instead of the lift, beginning to do push-ups every morning… it will all add up and give you a boost in your fitness. Then when you’re running up those stairs, pumping reps of 12 push-ups and walking to work without even noticing the distance, the gym and those classes will seem more achievable. There’s nothing worse than pushing yourself too hard and being in agony for days from an overexcited treadmill session.
One of the first ways of doing this is to ensure you eat balanced and avoid becoming obsessed with what you put in your body. Your body is a temple; that is correct, but to fill it with corrosive and obsessive thoughts is not exactly healthy. We only have one life so don’t be so hard on yourself!
Aim for 4 pieces of fruit and 6+ portions of vegetables. You will notice a difference in how you feel and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that the green natural produce is taking care of your body. For those that don’t like the taste of these foods, try a wide variety until you find ones that you do like, or get inventive with cooking to style it to your tastes. Stir fries are a great way to get veggies in. You have a duty to the body you live in to treat it right, as it’s the one thing in life that will be there from beginning to end!.
Remember, be healthy 80% of the time and allow for treats for the 20%. Without the odd treat, we’re sure we’d all go mad! The best way to enjoy these treats is to make them yourself. You’ll get to control what goes in and reduce sugar if needed. Get baking with our range of home baking products, such as, Dr. Oetker goodies. We’re the international distributor of the Dr. Oetker home baking so try making some delicious treats to balance out all the healthy scoffing you’ll be doing!
- Seeing Family
Our day-to-day routines and life can really eat up the hours of the day. Making the effort to journey over to a relative’s house or your parents town can seem like a mission that we never have time for, but how good does it feel afterwards? If this is something on your 2015 ‘To Do’ list, then there are ways to achieve this.
It might not work if you proclaim that you’ll go see them every week, but how about arranging a monthly dinner with them? Or even have them host a classic roast dinner one month, then they head over to yours for a brunch the next month? Before you know it, you’ll have regular visits and it won’t even seem like a mission to get around to fitting them in.
However, for all those expats out there who have family living far far away, it can be a lot harder than organising a monthly dinner with your loved ones. Perhaps set a monthly Skype date that you have to stick too so you get to see their faces and have a catch-up! Sometimes penning lengthy emails can be daunting, but at least with a Skype session, they’ll only need brief notes popped through their emails to show you’re thinking of them.
Other great ways to keep in regular contact is to download Viber or WhatsApp on your smart phone. These applications allow you to text and call for free when you’re in WIFI, so it will feel like you’re just picking up the phone for a natter like you did when you were all living in the same country.
- Drink more water!
Ok, so this isn’t a classic new year resolution but it should be on everyone’s list. your body is composed of about 60% water, so you need to keep hydrated to stay functioning as best as you can. Water energises your muscles, it does wonders for your skin and flushes out important organs, like your kidneys.
However, getting more water into your day can be hard. Sometimes the day escapes you and you realise you’ve only drunk a pint of water. Here are some great ideas on how to keep hydrated:
- Keep a water bottle near you at all times. you’ll be able to monitor your consumption easier.
Add a splash of ‘no added sugar’ squash, such as , Robinsons Orange Squash to your water to help you enjoy it more.
- Get more sleep!
We swear that this is the secret to success. Hands up who feels revitalised and ready to take on the world after a solid 8 hour sleep? We know we do, and if we only scraped a 5 hour sleep we can guarantee that the next day would be a haze of unfocused tasks that would weigh heavily on our computer keyboard.
Not only will you feel awake (that’s an obvious bonus), but you will have the motivation to fit in that exercise, feel energised to think about what you’re putting into your shopping basket, and you won’t find yourself hastily looking for a sugar hit to keep you awake in that 3pm slump that we all are familiar with.
Popular excuses include ‘there is too much to do before bedtime’. Here are some short cuts to make sure that you do get to bed and clock up that snooze time:
- Turn off that TV. If your favourite programme is going to be aired late, record it or watch it on catch-up. The stimulation from the TV will stop your brain from shutting down if you try to sleep immediately afterwards.
Get off that social media. Many are guilty for scrolling through Twitter and Facebook late at night, but it will keep your mind ticking and you won’t realise that time has flown by as it’s constantly updating with entertainment.
So this leads to your mobile phone. It will still be there tomorrow. Those texts can wait till the morning and those photos can be ‘liked’ anytime. Get it out of your hand by 9pm.
Make herbal tea and a good book a bedtime staple. Reading a book will unwind you and make your eye lids heavy, and the tea will also make you sleepy. A quality herbal tea will soothe you, so try some great blends like Pukka Organic Night Time Tea or Pukka Organic After Dinner Tea.
Check out all our other delicious herbal blends (and other teas!).
- Write a To Do list for the morning. It’s all written down, you won’t forget now.
So when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, the secret is to start small and aim high. Don’t apply too much pressure on yourself to achieve it all immediately, and focus more on how to organise yourself so they can be more achievable.
Good luck, and here’s to a happy 2015!