Beating the January Blues: Five Realistic Resolutions for 2018

Beating the January Blues: Five Realistic Resolutions for 2018

Every year around this time, we are all bombarded with advice on what our New Year resolutions should be and how to achieve them. To us, it seems there’s a lot of pressure to shift from the excesses of the festive season into the self-denial phase of early January – and the effort to make ‘New Year, New Me’ a reality makes it quite challenging to stick to our goals. Between that feeling and the return to our routines after the holidays, it can be easy to slip into the January Blues.

That’s why we want to focus on those achievable steps that can help us become our best selves in 2018. Studies show it can take anywhere from 21 to 66 days to form a new habit, so don’t get discouraged by minor setbacks! Small wins add up, so plan to set realistic aims to start the year off with a positive mental attitude. Don’t forget that January can also be a time for reflection, a month for setting goals and creating bucket lists, a month for trying new things and breaking bad habits, a month for setting resolutions and starting fresh.

So to help you to ward off the January blues, the team here at Littlewoods.com have rounded up our best tips for achieving the most common New Year resolutions, hoping to inspire you to feel positive about the year ahead… 2018 will be your year, we just know it!

The most popular resolution of them all has to be getting fit in the New Year – and with good reason too. As much as it is about getting in shape physically, exercise is also great for every aspect of your well-being. It can reduce stress, boost your energy levels and productivity, improve your mood and reduce depression and anxiety, increase your self-esteem and confidence, and even help you sleep better! When you look at it that way, rather than striving to fit into a certain dress size, we think it sounds much more positive! So don’t throw yourself in at the deep end, be realistic. Set achievable goals and time limits to start. Try holding a plank position until you can get to 30 seconds, then keep trying for a minute. Grab a pal, the kids or the dog and go on a half-hour walk every other evening, then boost it to 45 minutes. Using a fitness tracker, aim for 5000 steps a day. The main thing is, each time you meet a goal, you should set a new one and constantly set the bar a bit higher. Whether you have always wanted to try yoga, join a netball team or even just want to start at the gym, now is the time and don’t forget to do it in style in stellar sportswear. Many gyms and personal trainers will be putting on January offers – so you will be getting fit and saving some money too! For our top tips on getting motivated to exercise in winter, click here.

 

While we love all the sweet treats and glasses of fizz around the holidays, the fact is, it can leave us feeling a bit…toxic. Think of the body as a complicated machine, like a race car that needs high-quality fuel. We all need protein, fibre, and vitamins in our daily diets, so a few times a week, try swapping out spuds for sweet potato, brown rice or pulses, or adding in extra veg when you’re cooking. If you need that extra boost there’s also a range of supplements to fuel your ambition. Like exercise, it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition – a few healthier choices here and there can make a big difference! Another easily achievable goal that is super good for you is increasing your water intake. Fill up a water bottle like this smart bottle with hydration tracker and keep it at your desk or in the car – having it to hand is half the battle! To help kick off the new year in a delicious and nutritious way, why not invite friends or family round for a healthy home-cooked meal?  There are plenty of simple, scrumptious, and satisfying recipes online you can try for free. Finally, if you are a snacker (and who isn’t?!), bring some fruit or nuts to work with you to snack on throughout the day, and remember not to skip breakfast!

 

Everyone struggles with this one to some degree, and it can be hard to see where to make cut-backs. That’s why this year, we have decided to write down everything that we spend each day, and work out where our money is going – and how we can make the most of it. Most banks offer online services and smartphone apps now, so it’s easier than ever to track what you’re spending your hard-won wages on. For example, those daily coffees (or three) add up pretty quickly. Even if you buy only one a day, and only at days you’re at the office, that’s at least £60 right there. One quick fix is to buy a travel mug like this Royal Worcester and make your own coffee or tea at the office and save the posh coffees for special treats. Keeping a money bank at your desk or kitchen counter at home is also a great idea: every night when you get home, drop in your loose change watch the pennies add up and visualise the thing you want to save up for, maybe a new car or a beach holiday! Packing a lunch rather than going out to a restaurant can save a bundle of cash too. Come to think of it, this ties in nicely with Resolution number 2: every time you don’t get a little treat in the canteen, drop the change you would have spent into your money box. Ka-ching!

 

The holidays are loads of fun but let’s face it, most of us emerge on the other side feeling a bit depleted of energy. Experts say that most adults need 7-9 hours’ sleep, but for many of us this isn’t always possible. After a busy and stressful day in work, looking after the children, and doing whatever household chores need doing, it can be hard to get your mind to rest. But our fourth resolution is to make time for yourself this year to re-charge your batteries. Being sleep deprived can lead to stress and a lack of productivity and concentration, which in turn can mean more stress! It’s a vicious cycle, so this year, aim to get your zzz’s! Here’s how:

Firstly, leave a couple of hours between eating and going to bed, to allow time for digestion and to reap the maximum benefits of a good night’s sleep. Secondly, don’t play on your phone or tablet before bed! The blue light from screens can affect your ability to sleep and it just distracts from what you need to do: relax completely. Thirdly, make your bed your sanctuary from the outside world. Invest in a good mattress and pillow and it can’t hurt to settle into a fresh set of pjs like this Pour Moi pair. Once you’ve set the scene, create a bed time ritual to wind down  – practice deep breathing, yoga or stretches, or try reading a book. If none of the above works, why not try ridding your mind of any negative thoughts by writing down any of your troubles or worries of the day before putting your head down to rest.

 

Our last (but certainly not least) resolution for 2018 is about the urge to purge. We are all surround by so much… stuff – especially after Christmas when suddenly there are loads of new toys and jumpers and all sorts of things to organise and put away somewhere. Yes, this is the year we de-clutter; after all, a tidy home is a tidy mind! It’s a great time to re-organise your home and live a simpler, uncluttered life. Not only will your mind feel clearer, but fewer possessions means less to clean, less to put away, less stress and more money and energy for your greatest passions! Here’s how to start: grab two bin bags and pick one spot of the house to tackle – maybe a bedroom wardrobe or the kids’ room. Fill one bag with things to donate to charity, and one with things for the tip – you will be surprised how much stuff you have lying around the house that you have never used or never will use again! Try not to be too overwhelmed; focus on one room at a time before moving on to the next. If you’re pressed for time, set aside an hour every week to fill two more bags. Once you have finished de-cluttering and have a sense of what you’re keeping and how much space you need, you can move on to considering storage solutions that work best for the different rooms of your house. Begin the new year with a clean slate – literally and symbolically!

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