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1 Jan 2017

New Year Resolutions 2017

Setting goals can feel like a futile feat, with the reality that most years, the 'resolutions' have been long-forgotten come mid-Jan. There's nothing more motivating than a fresh start/blank page situation ('I'll start on Monday' springs to mind), and setting goals is a healthy and necessary way of challenging yourself, progressing and achieving what you want. Like most years, I'm at least aiming to start the year with these good intentions..



POWER UP

For me, fitness and 'being fit' comes in waves. I'm a creature of habit and typically, once in a healthy routine, I can stick to it until something like a holiday or trip gets in the way. Once the 'I'm on holiday so I can do this, eat this..' sets in, I find it difficult to get back on track and un-do all the hard work, balanced eating and disciplined workouts. I don't, for one second, think that indulgence is a bad thing; we all need to let ourselves go (on a regular basis, really), but finding the balance isn't always easy and not being happy with myself (whether it be what I'm eating, how much exercise I'm doing..) can be detrimental to my mood. This year has been a slippery slope; starting well but gradually feeling the effects of sitting at a desk all day and having less and less motivation to exercise, has not been a great combination of factors. It really is all in the mind, and this year I'm focusing on having a balanced mind-set, trying to not be so much of an all-or-nothing person and implementing little, achievable changes into my lifestyle to make this do-able. I'm also going to swap a splurge in Zara for one on gym-kit every so often, as there really is nothing as motivating as new gear to get you up and out, especially if you're gonna be spending a few hours a week in it.




GET EXPERIMENTAL

I've never been one for adventurous cooking, eating or sometimes even tasting, living off bowls of carbs at university and, even now, having the fear of ordering something I won't like in a restaurant has made bland and beige food more than a regular occurrence in my diet. I get a huge kick out of cooking, if I ever get round to it, but the time-consuming nature of knocking up an actually good meal (not to mention the clearing up afterwards) has proved a big deterrence (alongside my fussy palette). I think now is the time to stop messing around and actually become domesticated, twenty-three years in. Starting simple, the plan is to begin leafing through the aesthetically-pleasing cookbooks that are currently lining the shelves of my bookcase (gathering dust) and actually put them to good use..




EXPLORE THE WORLD

2016 was a good year in terms of travel; finally venturing out of Europe, first time on a long-haul flight to see the sights of New York, camping in the Sahara and snowmobiling on a glacier in Iceland were all amazing experiences, and this year has a lot to live up to. There are a lot of places on the doorstep that I am still desperate to visit (Stockholm, Budapest, Montenegro to name a few), but hopefully a few places further afield will be in there too. Sri Lanka and Cuba are both places I am constantly SkyScanner-ing flights to, and if it wasn't for the hefty airfares, I'd be there now. Especially since starting a full-time job, travel and planning trips has become important to me, finding time to escape the everyday and experience new places (and re-visit the old) is what keeps me going.






READ MORE, WATCH LESS

Shutting of the laptop off at least half an hour before bedtime and giving more time to books, be it a Scandi thriller or easy-read chick lit, is at the top of my to-do list this year. A break from the technology can only be a good thing, so even if it's just a few nights a week, I'm planning on getting back on track with my bookworm roots and ditching the likes of Netflix and NowTV (which have taken over my life as of recent). I would also like to spend more time in bookshops, especially the classics section; eyeing the shelves and immersing myself in all those books that are beautiful both inside and out, such a valuable way to spend time when shopping that often gets overlooked by shoe shops..





BUY LESS, CHOOSE BETTER

I am notoriously guilty of buying things I already have.. cleansers (I think I have a life-long supply), ankle boots, foundations, coats; you name it, I tend to buy it on impulse rather than necessity. Not only does this amount to storage problems, it can be pretty wasteful and an expensive habit, draining money that could be used more purposefully, say on a flight or towards things I really need.  Whilst I am under the ethos that treating yourself is important, I am going to attempt to channel my money into more meaningful, investment items opposed to throw-away impulses that occur on my doorstep away too often. Less online shopping altogether would be pretty miraculous for the new year..


SMILE MORE AND REAP THE BENEFITS

It's easy to get caught up in the little things; encountering someone with bad manners, sitting in traffic or getting frustrated at work, these things have a way of overwhelming us, making a detriment on our mood until the next thing occupies our mind. But really, taking a breath and thinking, will this affect me this time tomorrow, this time next month or in five years..? More often than not, the answer is no and you've wasted precious time being annoyed about something mundane, inconsequential and forgettable. We're all guilty of sweating the little things and it takes one hell of a mind to overlook life's annoyances, but when you can manage it, you gain so much more time being happy, and don't miss those precious moments where you could be smiling or laughing. Not easy, but extremely important. Now time to practise what I preach..!



BE KIND TO YOURSELF

Such a simple notion but so easily-overlooked; treating yourself well is a mantra that is forgotten by busy, occupied and caught-up-in-life individuals that could use some downtime, a face-mask and a long soak à la bath-tub every once in a while to feel human again and take life off from fast-forward. Treating yourself well doesn't have to be expensive or fancy, but doing more of the things that make you happy is fundamental in well-being and can be as simple as buying your favourite breakfast cereal, picking up a coffee before work or taking a walk when you'd usually be inside. January's notoriously bleak nature; an abnormally long month without any source of vitamin-D intake and mostly spent being skint requires ample self-care to get from one day to the next in one piece. Putting some of the bath and skincare gifts to good use that came my way over Christmas will undoubtedly make a low day more bearable in the next few months to follow New Year.


Life inevitably has it's ups and downs, and this past year has been no different, but the universe works in it's own mysterious ways and trusting it to take you on your path is one of the bravest, most satisfying things you can do.

Happy new year!
xx

Photos taken from Pinterest
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