So, it’s officially 2017. The hype of Christmas, time off work and a brand New Year has come and gone.
New Years resolutions are in full force, we’re back in routine as we *glumly* head back to work and festivities settle down again.
Now what? After we’ve worked hard for a couple of days at ‘the new me’, when does the new feeling sink in? When do I get happier?
A friend of mine said that they we’re expecting things to be different as soon as January 1st hit. But the bottom line is, nothing is different except the year and possibly your attitude. As with anything, motivation and consistency is the only thing that will change your life and this takes time. It’s not an overnight cure. With that being said, here’s a couple of things you can do to keep yourself motivated throughout January and keep up with your own goals and intentions.
– Fitness. This is on everyone’s list of things they want to improve on in 2017, isn’t it? Keeping fit, exercising regularly and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is completely up to you and your own will power and determination, but it’s no secret that each and every one of us needs a little push and a shove every once in a while.
Most days I go online, usually Pinterest and Instagram, to search for some fitness inspiration. Whether that be to find a new challenge, a new recipe or to simply look at fit and healthy women that I aspire to be like (we all do it, right?). I also keep up with bloggers such as Fitness on Toast and Dan Carter who share a range of information and their own fitness experiences.
I am an absolute sucker for a good hashtag, and my new favourite and one I am taking absolute advantage of, is #newyearnewgear. What better way to want to work out than in fresh new workout clothes? I went to Covent Garden in London on New Years Eve and bought these new Nike leggings (I have no shame at the price), this new Nike bra, this new North Face base layer for the chilly outdoor runs and these new undies. (Side note – ladies, if your pet peeve is seeing your knicker line through your ever loyal yoga pants…buy these!). Once I had all of my new items home, I kid you not I put them all on, shook my booty in front of my Mumma to share my enthusiasm about the fact that you could not see my knickers, and then got in the car with my sister and went to the gym. We could focus on the fact that it had closed early because it was New Years Eve and some people had actual, real life plans but we’ll brush past that very quickly, the point is still there.
– A Book of Happiness. I strongly believe in the benefits of keeping a daily, weekly or even monthly journal. I also know that it’s extremely hard to keep it up on a regular basis and life’s little distractions can get in the way. That’s why I’ve started a new ‘book of happiness’.
Earlier in 2016, my Mum bought me a new diary because she knew I wanted to start recording my daily food intake, logging my exercises etc. I have since started a notebook for this because I found that I eat way more than the space I have on a diary page. So, the diary my Mum bought for me is now our family happiness planner and it lives in our kitchen. We started on January 1st, and every day either myself, my Mum or my sister will write at least one thing that has made us smile that day.
In addition, I started writing in The Happiness Planner. This was bought for me by a friend called Hannah after I helped organise and run her wedding in May 16 and it’s been sitting on my bookcase since, waiting for the perfect time to begin. And that is now. I have some goals set for myself and this book will help me keep focused and stay on track and I would definitely recommend it for someone who likes to have their thoughts organised.
You don’t need a fancy journal or an expensive diary to record your thoughts, you can create your own from an old notebook or you can simply write down positive thoughts on a piece of paper. Writer Elizabeth Gilbert shared her very own happiness jar on Instagram today which is another amazing way of collecting the happy moments throughout the year.
– Create some space for you. So, we all know that we need our own space. Having time to yourself gives you the freedom to set your thoughts and feelings free and listen to your own needs. For me, I enjoy going for a walk or a run to clear my head, sitting in a coffee shop with the aroma of coffee around me and watching strangers pass their time, and one of my recent favourites is the space I have created in my room for meditation and yoga practice. The space consists of a statue of Buddha, a zen garden, plants, two Himalayan salt candles, some shells and leaves that I have collected as memories and candles…lots of candles. And the beauty of it is that I can move things around all the time so I can put there what I feel most connected to at the time. I’ve always struggled to meditate and honestly don’t do it for more than 10-15 minutes at a time, but this playlist really helps me to unwind, relax and focus on my breath. Give it a try to really knuckle down on your determination this January.
– Create some fun, new recipes to help with the new diet. I’m pretty sure that most people have ‘eat healthier’ on their list of New Years resolutions. Doing it, isn’t quite as easy as saying it. Those cravings start kicking in a couple of days in and the left over Christmas food is just staring at you in the face…right? Rule number one – get rid of everything bad that the eye can see. Give it to a friend, donate it, good heavens even throw it out if that’s what will stop you from eating it. Rule number two – stay very, very strong. Go and do a massive food shop, fill your fridge and cupboards full of fresh, healthy ingredients and eat them till your heart’s content. I for one have a big appetite at the moment because I absolutely over ate at Christmas and now my taste buds are just craving constant flavour. That will reign in after a while. Plan your meals for the week and find out what sort of things work for you and stick with it. All that effort at the new gym you’ve joined this January will count for nothing if you continue to eat bad foods.
I hope the above helps you to stay focused this January. Please share what works for you too!
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new”.