New Year resolutions may still be a few weeks away, but there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t start putting changes in place to improve your overall health and emotional wellbeing.
Making changes is about implementing achievable, step by step tweaks to your life. This slow but steady approach is overall more sustainable, and more likely to succeed in the long term, than attempting to do everything all at once. By starting small now, you will already be further along in your journey to better health come the start of 2024, which means you start the year on a more positive note.
To set you off, we have highlighted a few small actions you can implement that are simple to start, but will make a significant difference to how you feel about yourself. Don’t think that you have to do them all at once – instead simply cherry one of them. Once you start to build that momentum towards bigger change, you can always weave in another one.
Give up added, processed sugars
Nutritionally, our modern day diet is full of sugar – and it has been proven to be one of the most insidious and addictive ingredients. Make a pact with yourself to cut out certain sugars and start to feel the difference it makes to you. It could simply be the sugar that you put into your tea or coffee, or the chocolate bar you ‘treat’ yourself to after lunch.
Don’t forget that there are also many hidden sugars in every day processed foods, such as ready meals and sliced bread. The more you eradicate from your every day diet, the more your taste buds will change.
Take up a good cause
There have been many studies that demonstrate how ‘doing good’ has a dramatic effect on our overall emotional wellbeing. Volunteering a few hours every month will both get you out and about and meeting new people, and putting yourself in an potentially uncomfortable situation – and through discomfort comes great transformation.
However, for many people time is a huge factor in how they choose to support charitable causes. No matter how much they want to, simply balancing work, childcare and other domestic duties means that too great a strain is placed on their shoulders, which has the reverse effect of improving wellbeing.
If this situation sounds familiar then there are other ways in which you can contribute. Setting up a small but affordable monthly direct debit for programs which allow you to sponsor an orphan, or adopt an endangered animal will ensure you are still making a change.
Introduce more movement into your daily routine
How many of you start the new year determined to hit the gym – only for your resolve to falter within a few days.
The truth is, that all or nothing approach is not a good way to start the year. You’re pretty much setting yourself up for a fall.
Instead, ease yourself gently in by simply adding a bit more movement into your normal daily routine. This could simply be by taking a stroll round the block over lunchtime, taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, follow a simple 10 minute morning pilates routine off Youtube.
Small changes are powerful, but make sure you make a note of how you felt, and how those changes affect the way you feel about yourself. Once a particular action has been incorporated into your daily routine, you are more likely to stick to it over the long term. And don’t be afraid of feeling uncomfortable. It’s only temporary, and its through the discomfort that change happens.