10 habits you can implement into your lifestyle

We can be the best versions of ourselves and live our best lives, but only with consistent action. Here are some of the habits I’m trying to implement into my lifestyle this year lead a healthier life:

Wake up earlier – Make the most of your mornings, whether it be to get a headstart on your to-do list or to have a mindful morning and take time for yourself.

Practice discipline – Get into the habit of making your bed in the morning, picking up after yourself, and resisting those chocolates in your kitchen cupboard. Becoming disciplined with small things in your life helps you practice discipline for when you really need it.

Gratitude journal – Reminding yourself about all the amazing things you have in life sets everything else in perspective and helps you get through the harder days. I like using the 5 Minute Journal, which is available both as a book and app.

Recite affirmations – Show yourself some love by telling yourself how awesome you are and set the tone for the day. Sit quietly before getting ready or say them out loud in front of a mirror. affirmyourlife.blogspot.com is great for finding affirmations that speak to you on a whole range of subjects.

Have a productive commute – Wherever you’re going and however you’re getting there, listen to a podcast or read a book to keep learning and keep the mind inspired.

Plan your week – We all have big goals, but unless we take small actions towards them, they’ll always seem far away. Each week list the actions you want to take, no matter how small, and write them down in your calendar so you know when you’ll be getting them done.

Track your finances – It’s amazing to list all your expenses in a week, because you realise the places you’re unnecessarily wasting money. Something as simple as making lunch or coffee at home instead of buying out can save hundreds of pounds a year!

Meal plan – Eat more consciously by taking the time to plan out what you’re going to eat during the week. This will cut down unnecessary spending, reduce snacking and impulse eating, and help you nourish your body.

Schedule in relaxation – Whilst endless motivation and drive is fantastic, make sure to take time to yourself, to relax and rest, whether you have half an hour each day where you treat yourself to a bubble bath or having a leisurely Sunday in your pyjamas.

Get enough sleep – We hear it all the time, but it’s much harder to do in practice. We need sleep to recooperate and rejuvenate, otherwise we’ll burnout and crash somewhere along the journey. Sleeping is healing for both the mind and body.

What are you trying to do more or less of this year? Remember, you don’t have to change everything all at once!

(Image: Pinterest)

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How to stay on track with your goals

Focus on fewer goals – we often make the mistake that we want to change everything at once. And whilst there might be lots of things we want to achieve and change, we cannot do everything overnight. Pick a couple to really give your all to each month or each quarter. Once they’re engrained in your life, you can look at picking up more.

Break down bigger goals into smaller ones – our passion for our new year or life goals can slowly morph into overwhelm when we realise how long the road ahead is. That’s why we should set short rest stops along the way. Set weekly, monthly, quarterly milestones to give your journey more direction and make it more enjoyable.

Find your why – goals are nothing without the drive behind them. Make sure you’re setting goals that actually mean something to you and that you’re setting them for the right reasons. Create a vision board, even digitally on Pinterest, to remind yourself of your intentions and to push you when you need it.

Keep track of your progress – motivate yourself by tracking your habits and progress across the month. I like to note down what I’ve achieved and what habits I’ve stuck to everyday in a journal.

Improve your accountabilitytell a friend about your goals to help you stay accountable and get support when you need it. Plan out when you’re going to commit time to achieving your goals each week. Be realistic, but you have to make the time and stick to your schedule.

(Image: Twitter)

Have courage and be kind in 2018

Have courage and be kind. Who would have thought something to simple could be so powerful. Ella promises to follow these last words from her mother in a recent adaptation of Cinderella. In 2018, I’m going to follow them too.

Having courage is about believing in yourself and lifting yourself up, not being weighed down by the opinions of others, but pursuing your own passions and ambitions, dreams and inklings, ideas and paths. And being kind is about staying grounded throughout, by not forgetting where you come from, and being grateful for all that surrounds you – most especially those around you, from stranger to loved one. With a bit more courage and kindness, life can only be better. I’ll definitely be keeping these words close in 2018.

(Image: Pinterest)

Being proud of yourself

  
As the year draws to a close, we often take a look at the map of the journey we’ve plotted this year. There might be a few patches of uphill struggle. There might be a few circles, and even a few dead ends. Or maybe a lot. Nonetheless, we should be proud of ourselves and how far we’ve come. Because no matter where we are, our map shows that we tried, we conquered, we learnt something. We remained strong and determined. And sometimes we fell apart and it was ok. We should be proud of what we’ve achieved, no matter how small or how trivial, they seem, even if it’s just bring proud that we didn’t give up on ourselves. Because our achievements have made us into who we are today and who we can be tomorrow. Celebrate those moments and use them as your fuel to make yourself proud next year.
(Image: studiosjoesjoe.com)

The Rules to Good New Year’s Resolutions

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When making New Year’s Resolutions, it is tempting to make generalised, lavish expectations – “to be happier”, “to be fitter” – in hopes that anything we do throughout the year, even as our motivation dwindles past the first couple months, will contribute to the success of those resolutions. But resolutions shouldn’t be something we make half-heartedly, because when they lack thought, they will never work out. Here are a few of my tips for making resolutions that we can stick to:

  • Quantity will help us avoid generalised and vague resolutions. Set specific goals: for example, instead of “to be fitter”, try “to go to the gym three times a week” or “to run the local 5k marathon”, or instead of “to learn a new language”, try “to gain a beginner’s qualification in Italian”. Give yourself something to strive towards, rather than that which is hard to measure. Otherwise you will just feel lost and never satisfied with anything you do.
  • Make your resolutions realistic enough for you to actually be motivated to do them. I encourage you to have dreams in all aspects of your life, but don’t expect to become an expert at something in a year or to be able to go from 0 to 100 without any preparation at all. Be challenging, but make your resolutions doable, otherwise you will easily feel like a failure and rapidly lose interest.
  • If your resolutions are not controllable, for example “to win the lottery”, you are already increasing your chance of failure from the very beginning. Resolutions can be your dreams and goals, but make sure that a majority of its success can be achieved by you, without having to rely heavily on chances that are out of your control.
  • Reflecting on the past year is just as important as looking forward to the new, and this can be instrumental to your success in the New Year. For example, you may have found that your occasional yoga session really helped improve your outlook on life, such as reducing stress. So if you want to be happier in the New Year, why not make a resolution about fitting a yoga session in three times a week? Looking at what has worked for you and what hasn’t worked for you in the past can help you define what will work for you in the New Year too.

What are some of your tips for New Year’s Resolutions?

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Midnight Motivation: What is Motivation?

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With the New Year about to roll round, all of us are looking for a little extra motivation in our pockets. But we need to make sure that our ideas about motivation see us through the whole year and not just January. Motivation is finding the strength to reach our potential and to help us do our best. Motivation is getting lost in inspiration, dreams and ambitions. Motivation shouldn’t be staying awake all night, every night, taking energy pills and caffeinated beverages. Motivation shouldn’t be forcing ourselves to live a life we despise, which leads nowhere. Motivation shouldn’t be stress-inducing, battling migraines and stomachaches, constantly feeling exhausted and agitated. Motivation shouldn’t be sacrificing all relaxation and leisure or blowing up all our relationships. Life works best in moderation. A part of being able to keep going is to stop and reflect, to relax and enjoy, to think and sometimes forget. There may be moments of stress, late nights and missed fun, but balance is the key. If we play it right, the New Year holds no limits.

(Image: Addicted2Success)