I hope you all had a lovely Christmas surrounded by the three F’s (friends, family and food) and are looking forward to the New Year. 2016 didn’t exactly go as well as it could have done (Brexit followed by Trump’s election was a double dose of disaster) but in spite of negative events such as these, I feel really positive about what the New Year will bring. For me, 2017 will involve turning 18, taking my A levels, leaving school, doing my personal training course and hopefully going to uni to study nutrition. I am interested in both nutrition and fitness (as you may have gathered) and therefore I want to achieve qualifications in both so that I can offer more of a holistic approach in the career that I intend to pursue.
The other day someone asked me what my New Year’s resolutions are, and I realised I hadn’t thought about it yet. I am often guilty of setting the bar a little too high and then feeling like a failure when I don’t achieve what I had set out to do, so this year I’m going to try and be as realistic as possible. Writing them out on the blog should also help to make me more accountable and more likely to stick to them.
I find the mnemonic SMART very useful for setting goals:
- Specific – If you use more detail in your goals and you know exactly what you plan to achieve, you’re more likely to achieve them.
- Meaningful – Make sure your goals have a clear purpose; why are they important to you?
- Action-orientated – State how you’re going to achieve your goals, particularly planning your first step towards it.
- Realistic – Make sure your goal is achievable- there’s no point setting yourself a goal that you’re unlikely to achieve, you’ll just end up feeling like a failure when you don’t complete it.
- Time-bound – Give yourself a deadline – when do you want to be able to achieve your goals by? (My goals are mostly ongoing, i.e. things that I want to maintain throughout my lifetime).
My New Year’s resolutions for 1017:
1.) Meditate for at least 10 minutes at least 4 times a week. When I meditate, I feel noticeably much better, and the science revealing its benefits is hard to ignore. I have often started meditating regularly, but I just seem to get out of the habit. There’s no good excuse for me not to devote just 10 minutes out of my day to it, so this year I am determined to stick to it. With the upcoming stress of exams, I believe it will be very helpful. (You can find out more on the benefits of meditation here). I will use my Headspace app and set reminders for myself to meditate until it becomes a habit and as important in my routine as brushing my teeth! I also have Andy Puddicombe’s book, which I’m determined to read and use to become more mindful.
2.) Practise yoga more. This is pretty similar to my first goal, as yoga is a true stress-buster. I used to practise yoga quite regularly, and I loved it, but over the course of a few months, I began to practise less and less. I prioritise working out, particularly HIIT workouts, which I enjoy, but as a result I have been neglecting yoga, which is beneficial for both body and mind. I’m going to commit to practising for (at least) 1 hour per week. I know it’s not much but my schedule is pretty packed. I prefer to go to a class, so I’ll try and book an hour-long class once a week and try to practise at home too. I’m going to achieve this by writing it into my diary as I would with a regular appointment (except that it’s less of a chore!)
3.) Start every single morning with a mug of hot water with lemon and fresh ginger or apple cider vinegar. This is really beneficial for the digestive system, and I don’t do it often enough due to busy mornings (or my hunger-driven impatience). I’ll achieve this by boiling the kettle before I do anything else.
4.) Spend less time on screens (especially Instagram!) Over time I have noticed that I’ve become increasingly addicted to Instagram and find myself just mindlessly scrolling, particularly when I get bored. Or worse, I feel the temptation to check my phone when I’m out with friends or family, or trying to revise. It’s an annoying and time-consuming addiction, and one that I’m determined to crack. This goal is linked to mindfulness as I want to live in the moment more and focus on enjoying the experience or the company I’m with. I’m going to do this simply by imposing more discipline on myself – I don’t need to keep checking my phone. I always leave my phone out of the room when I’m revising too – if I can’t see it, it’s less tempting!
5.) Read more. Specifically for at least 1 hour a week (which I’ll break up across the week). I used to be such a bookworm – I’d be glued to a book wherever I went. I was always reading, but then school started to become more intense and homework and revision took up my time and energy. When I finished that, I wanted something passive to do, like watching TV. I’m not giving up TV by any means, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to be in bed at least 20 minutes early and read a good book before I go to bed. I’m planning on buying a stack of good books so that to encourage me to get stuck in.
6.) Get some more sleep and have a more regular sleeping routine. School starts early and fitting in workouts before I leave means less time spent in bed. I’m going to get into the habit of preparing my breakfast the night before so that I have a little longer in bed, and I’ll make sure I’m in bed on time. I’m going to aim to be in bed by 10pm at the latest. Then I’ll read for a bit if I’m not too tired. It’s so easy to get into a cycle of sleep deprivation by finishing work late, staying up and going to bed to late and waking up too early. I’ll set reminders to be in bed (and not ignore them).
Thanks for reading! If you have any of your own resolutions that you’d like to share then I’d love to hear them – just comment below.