The New Year is upon us, and with it a flurry of resolutions. What will it be this year? Hit the gym more often; learn a language; go on a diet (again)?
The truth is that while it may feel great to make New Year’s resolutions, their success rate is dismal. In fact, a mere eight percent of us actually stick to our resolutions, with most lasting a meagre eight days. Whether it’s a wane in motivation or a lack of time and money, there is no end to the reasons why resolutions are doomed to fail.
But the good news is that you don’t need a set of New Year’s resolution to enjoy a happy and healthy year. Simply adopting a mindful attitude towards your body can have a huge impact on your lifestyle, making it far easier to adopt change.
Armed with a mindful attitude – plus a few helpful tips and tricks from us – you can create endless positive change for yourself and those around you in 2017. Without a resolution in sight.
Self-awareness is key to making positive change in your life. And being aware of your habits is an important part of that. Whether it’s reaching for your phone as soon as you wake up, or eating takeout when you can’t be bothered to cook, habits die hard.
In fact, the only way to fight them is to understand the habit loop – the vicious circle of triggers and rewards that perpetuate habits. So take some time to identify it in your own daily life, and then commit yourself to breaking it.
No matter how determined you are to make a positive change, sometimes there’ll be days when you slip up. And that’s okay. An important part of mindfulness is the idea that we start afresh every single day, giving us a new opportunity to try again. So the next time you lose focus, go easy on yourself – we’re all human after all. Just make sure you get right back on the horse tomorrow.
Choosing a word of the year is a great alternative to making a resolution. Instead of listing the pounds you want to lose, the books you want to read, or the languages you want to learn, you simply choose one word.
Whether you go for peaceful, focused, brave or determined, this word should define who and what you want to be in the next year. So pick a word, stick it to a mood board and remind yourself of it from time to time.
One of the most common reasons resolutions fail is because they’re unrealistic. However much we’d like to workout every day or eat a purely organic diet, sometimes it’s just not possible. Instead, aim to follow a routine you know you can stick to. It might involve only 15 minutes of yoga in the morning instead of an hour, but adopting small changes everyday is better than setting too high standards and failing at the first hurdle.
Resolutions don’t have to mean extreme diets. Sure, you may feel bloated from all those weeks of festivities, but drastic action is not necessary. Instead, take time to look at your diet as a whole. You might find that you need to cut back on certain foods and more of the good stuff. Or perhaps you’ll decide to incorporate more vegan or gluten-free foods into your diet.
Once you’ve identified the areas you’d like to overhaul, it’s time to make lifestyle changes that you will actually stick. So try out some delicious and simple recipes; stock the cupboard and freezer with healthy ingredients and superfoods and educate yourself on the nutritional benefits of healthy foods. Little additions like swapping a sugar and fad-laden hot chocolate for a turmeric golden milk drink will bring health and wellness benefits without demanding huge adjustments on your part. Small changes such as these will help you adopt a completely new attitude to your health, without you having to suffer through any crash diets.
From food to exercise, your body will tell you what it wants – you just have to listen to it. So slow down and find time to take stock. More often than not, being present and mindful gives you the clarity to move forward in the direction your mind and body want to go.
It might seem simple, but taking time to listen is so important.