As it’s the start of the year, I really wanted to share with you a few lifestyle changes I started putting into place last year that have completely transformed my life.
I had a really tough few months toward the back end of last year. I was exhausted all the time, had no energy to do anything even with a plentiful sleep, and lost the motivation to go to the gym, eat well or anything social after work.
I lost myself for a little bit. For me, it all boils down to energy. When I have had enough sleep, I feel on top of the world. I am motivated, focussed. But take sleep out of the equation and I find myself losing all the things that make me, me.
This is how I got them back:
Start exercising more
We may as well start with one of the obvious lifestyle changes you can make and what can be a huge focus for many at this time of year and that’s exercise.
For me, I find exercising is a catch 22. When I exercise I feel great and because I know I am at the gym regularly, it helps me to eat well and not have the “what the hell” effect where I know I’m not training so think what the hell, I’ll have that brownie with my coffee or that big meal at lunchtime.
There is no secret that gym membership sales have their biggest figures during the month of January as many people feel that they may have overindulged during the festive period.
However, going head first into some sort of exercise regime will be too much too soon, and many just give up. So instead take a different approach and just make a promise to be more active.
It might mean going for a walk each day. Stretching first thing in the morning or going out for a run. The small changes that you make that remain consistent in your routine will go on to have a greater benefit in the future.
I’ve started walking more, doing bedtime yoga and am planing on taking one of the new yellow hire bikes for a spin during my lunch break in Sheffield.
Think about what you put into your body
Following on from that “what the hell ” effect, when I am feeling rested and energised from exercise it undoubtedly helps me to eat a well-balanced diet too.
Have those little indulgences, but increase the amount of good stuff you eat. Combine it with a more active lifestyle approach and you will strike the right balance that so many of us find hard to maintain.
Get a pet in your life
Getting a pet can be a big decision to make, so it isn’t something you should rush into. You have to ensure that you can commit to the responsibility, can afford it, and have all of the right space and things that pets may need.
But with that being said, my little Frankie has transformed my life for the better and is a lovely companion for me as I live on my own.
I would recommend using VetIQ pet products which will help you decide on whether you can afford what they need. However, a pet can transform your home life. It can be a great way to encourage you to be more active, for example, walking a dog. But it can also help combat other emotions that can have a serious impact on our mental health like anxiety, depression or loneliness.
Consider different ways to calm your mind
Another thing to consider would be your mindset. The brain can be one of the most overworked organs in your body if you count not only the good emotions we feel, but also the bad things such as worry, stress, and anxiety.
So make it your mission to calm the mind this year and you may see some great improvements in other aspects of your life.
Yoga and meditation are great things for this, but you could also think about trying a positive approach to life and feeling grateful for all the things you do have. A gratitude journal is a great way to inherit the behaviour of feeling thankful for all the good things in your life.
Get more sleep
There is no hiding from the fact that so many of us would like a little more sleep in our lives. Of course, you can do the obvious thing that would mean going to bed a little earlier, but is it really going to be the right thing fo you? I know I struggle to get to bed early as I feel there aren’t enough hours in the evening so for me, what was crucial was learning how to get a better quality of sleep.
That means developing a bedtime routine just for you. Shutting off the technology at least an hour before bed. Relaxing in a warm bath and drinking a warm drink instead of something alcoholic or caffeinated. Getting better sleep can drastically change your mood and energy levels, which ultimately could have a positive effect on other aspects of your life.
Say yes more
Could you say yes more? Are you one of those people who are afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone or taking that leap of faith? If this sounds like you then maybe a good approach to the year would be to say yes more.
Yes to that night out. Yes to that night in. Yes to a holiday, or yes to more responsibility in work. Yes, yes, yes. Of course, Don’t do things that feel forced. But if it is a situation that you think you may regret it if you don’t say yes have the courage to just do it.
No when to say no
Finally, on the opposite end of the scale you have people who just can’t say no. They say yes if it means inconveniencing them and they don’t want to do it. They say yes when they don’t want to do something.
So a good lifestyle change for you would be to decide whether you should in some cases be saying no. Think about yourself and your family instead of others. It could really change the way you approach life.
I hope these approaches help you as much as they have me and let’s smash our goals this 2018!
As always, thanks for reading.