By the middle of January, many people have broken their New Year resolutions, usually because they set goals which were too big or too numerous, making them hard to stick to.
Committing to being healthier, happier or fitter doesn’t need to start on New Year’s Day. You can just as easily start today.
Thanks to personal trainer Mollie Millington, here’s some great motivational advice.
1 Take time for yourself
Do you struggle to say ‘no’? If you give all your energy to others, there’s nothing left for yourself. Build “me time” into your routine. Set aside 10 minutes a few days a week to be by yourself – enjoy a coffee, read, quietly listen to your breath or write in a journal. Gradually increase this to 15 minutes, then 20. It works wonders!
2 Drink water
Caffeine (or wine) may appeal but water is better for your body as it hydrates your skin, helps digestion and makes you feel full. Carry a reusable water bottle with you and sip regularly.
3 Small swaps
Rather than cutting sugar out of your diet completely, make small swaps. Instead of a chocolate bar, put some almond butter on a banana or enjoy a handful of almonds and raisins. If you need something crunchy at lunch, eat carrots not crisps.
4 Help Someone
Good karma is SO rewarding. Take the bins out for an elderly neighbour, buy a coffee for the person behind you in the queue or offer your seat on public transport. These small gestures will change someone’s day. If you have time, volunteer to help a charity.
5 Be Thankful
Aim to say thank you several times a day – and mean it! When you can, WRITE a thank you note – by letter or email – to someone who has helped or treated you. Being thankful feels good: keep a gratitude journal and a few times a week, write down the things you’re thankful for to keep things in perspective.
Read non-fiction, visit exhibitions and museums, see a theatrical performance and visit new places. Experiencing new ideas, philosophies, cultures and theories will fuel your personal growth.
7 Switch off!
Meet friends for coffee and leave your phone in the car. Play family games and turn the television and wifi off. Live in the moment, rather than what is curated online.
8 Try Something New
Learning and discovery are sources of happiness. Pick something that interests you – whether that’s cookery, fitness, a new bike route, singing or creative writing…
9 Create a Vision Board
Search magazines and newspapers for images and words that call to you. Mount them on paper and hang it where you’ll see it every day to remind you what you want in your life.
10 Go for a Walk
Nature gives us so much: silence to clear our head, sunshine for Vitamin D and movement to strengthen our heart and lungs. Even if you just have 10 minutes, head out of the door and feel the wind in your hair and fresh air in your lungs!
Try one or two of these tips at a time and note how you feel. Remember, “If you always do what you have always done, you will get the same results.” You have to change to change. Good luck!
Mollie Millington is a London-based personal trainer and fitness blogger at www.ptmollie.com. As the Happiness Personal Trainer, her ethos is a holistic approach to coaching by encouraging people to do what they love. Her website provides training advice, product reviews, race reports and active travel tips. She is also available for in-person and online coaching, and teaches indoor cycling classes in London. Her new book, “52 Weekend Challenges: Cultivating Health and Happiness” is out now on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback.