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new year

If, like me, you have still not decided on a New Year’s resolution, or perhaps your ‘carb-free resolution’ has already failed and you’re looking for a new one to stick to, I may be able to help.

It may be almost a week into January 2017, but this doesn’t mean you have to wait until next year to improve yourself. However, you may like to be a tad more creative with your resolutions than the obvious ‘eat better’, ‘lose weight’, ‘join the gym’ kind of things. I’ve found these promises  seldom last, possibly because we’re not easing ourselves into the new lifestyle or routine – we’re just throwing ourselves into it and hoping for the best.

So, here are some ideas that are easier to work into a busy schedule, and most importantly, stick to.

To get a hobby 
Now that it’s winter where we wake-up to freezing fog blocking out the sun, and greeted by a blanket of darkness at 4:30pm, you may find yourself in a rut. Spending your days doing little more than going to work, coming home, cooking dinner, and going to bed. So, why not find a hobby you can do during the dark days of the winter months?

  • Yoga classes are in the warmth of heated studios, they’re social and don’t require the sun to be shining!
  • Exercise your mind – fill in the gaps by reading a book, or writing short stories.
  • Take lessons – archery, rock-climbing, karate, cooking… All can be indoor, after-work activities.

To try out new recipes
We got given a slow-cooker for Christmas with a Slow-Cooker Recipe Book to match. We have made broths, stews and yummy side-dishes that we never thought to make, and with very little effort. With a little fore-thought and preparation on food-shopping day, new dinners take no time at all, and fits into the work-eat-sleep winter routine easily.

Thank you Personalised christmas cardTo be positive

Say thanks for the little things, and speak positively. This is something I always try to work on. Complaining can be a pointless habit that makes you dwell on the bad. Moaning about the weather, about the traffic or that your train is late are all things that can’t be changed by complaining. So I’m trying to avoid doing this, to look on the bright side, and focus on something else. Although, sometimes these things are a go-to conversation-starters or small-talk topics, which isn’t terrible. But perhaps try to speak more creatively too.

To join a club
Perhaps sign-up for a cinema card to gain points and discounts on every visit, or join clubs for weekly viewings within the cinema. There are usually local clubs and activites to join within the community, so keep an eye-out in the local paper, council website, or Facebook groups that pop up.

To cut down how much time you spend on your phone
Reaching for your mobile phone can be a mindless habit – I find myself doing it when I’m daydreaming or thinking about something else entirely. I suggest logging out of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to make it harder to check it without purpose- having to log in every time will make you more aware.
Keeping your phone in your bag while sitting at your desk at work, or have a ‘phone-off’ rule at home from dinnertime onwards. This encourages you to be present at the dinner table, and to sleep without the screen lighting up the entire bedroom every 10 minutes.

Good luck, and best wishes for the new year.

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