As we quickly approach the end of January, it is about this time of the year where people start to realize just how difficult it can be to maintain a strong sense of will power. All those great intentions you had at New Years can easily be quashed by the ongoing fun of holidays or the back to work routine which feels like a big downer after the break. Well fear not; instead of sweating on keeping your new years resolutions why not set yourself intentions #goals instead. These can be extremely short term and achievable and don’t seem so momentous and scary as resolutions which tend to easily be broken (note: only a tiny 8% of us actually achieve our resolutions http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lodro-rinzler/how-to-set-a-new-years-in_b_13921922.html ).
For example, my work routine and family life meant that I would finally get some ‘me’ time at around 930pm. I would flop on the couch and continue doing social media and then roll into bed between 11.30pm or 12am. Now this doesn’t sound all that bad but as I need to awake to the pitter patter of little feet around 6am every morning, that was only leaving me 6 hours sleep. So my intention was to get more sleep to feel more rested and better able to cope with the day. Therefore I initiated the ‘Bedtime’ app on my iphone, this gives you the ability to set a bedtime based on the time you need to arise and the amount of hours sleep you need (7- 8 hours is ideal). I started this right after new year and now I find myself going to bed before the little sound alerts me its bedtime as my body has now fallen into the natural rhythm. This got me to thinking that the body and mind are very amenable if you just nudge them in the right direction a little.
So if you truly want to make 2017 one of your healthiest years yet, then don’t let the resolutions get you down, set some intentions (small goals) for yourself, here are some very easy to follow first steps to get you succeeding in feeling healthier and good about yourself;
1. Bedtime – set your bedtime and awake time using the Bedtime app http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/06/21/inside-ios-10-new-bedtime-feature-helps-you-get-a-proper-nights-sleep on your iphone, or many of the other apps offered via other phone providers, more sleep equals better mental health, more energy and clarity of mind
2. Read more – if you start going to bed at a more reasonable time you can start to read again, a few chapters each night before falling asleep is all you need to not only expand your mind through literature but your imagination, vocab and of course you prepare for sleep by having switched off from technology earlier so your brain can wind down http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/1090795/reading-before-bed-good-for-you
3. Make meditation matter – if you learn a very basic meditation technique to focus on quieting down the mind by focusing solely on your breath and pushing any thoughts from your mind then you are ready to combat whatever the day throws your way. Just 5 mins a day or a few times a week can improve your mental health significantly and leave you feeling able to deal with tasks at hand http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-42/Meditation-Techniques-for-Beginners-5-Easy-Tips.html
4. Be kind to people – this seems strange right? Wrong, this is actually the most basic but the most rewarding. If you start smiling at people as you walk down the street or saying hi to your neighbours or your work colleagues in the lift you won’t believe what kindness comes back to you. Be kind and watch your happiness go off the charts!!
5. Consume Consciously – this again is an easy to achieve intention once you really start thinking about it. If you set a goal for yourself in 2017 of becoming more aware of your consumption power and where you are willing to use that power for good then you alone can make a big difference. Think of buying local, fair trade, sustainable or reusable, and you could help reduce exploitation of people and our environment all from your pocket. Consume consciously https://www.wearethefreedomstore.com/
So why not try an intention on for size? As they are more achievable, you can set your small goals and make big wins for yourself. Once you have achieved your first set of intentions then you can move on to kicking bigger fitness and nutrition goals (more on these topics to be continued…..)