Simple & positive life improvements for 2017*
So 2017 is here, much sooner than many of us anticipated, and it’s time to take a look at a few changes we’d all like to make this year. But rather than making unrealistic promises to ourselves about transforming our diets and exercise regimes, why not make a few mini changes that won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated? It’s no secret that resolving to become a vegan in 2017, to run a marathon or lose three stone is likely to end in disappointment, but there are many realistic, simple changes you can make that will help to improve your life in subtle ways.
It doesn’t actually matter what day you choose to do this on, but it’s hard to resist a hashtag. While huge diet transformations are very tempting, especially when we’re looking for a quick fix to our health worries, they usually last for a few weeks before we’re back on the takeaways and puddings. The same goes for reducing the amount of meat in your diet, which has become a very popular way of becoming healthier and more environmentally conscious.
Resist the temptation to go from meat eater to fully fledged vegan in the space of a day, as it’s highly likely that you won’t last long! Instead of going for the dramatic transformation, opt instead to reduce your intake of meat just a small amount. You’ll still reap all of the benefits and it’s highly likely that you’ll keep it up throughout the year. If you’re a “meat for every meal” kind of person, go for one meat-free day every week, or if you don’t eat much meat as it is, try eating it only at weekends or on special occasions. There are plenty of vegetarian recipes around that will spark your imagination.
Mini home makeovers
Just like lifestyle transformations, dramatic home transformations can be very tempting moving into the New Year. Although the entire of a complete home makeover might be alluring, in reality it takes much longer – and much more money – than television would have us believe. Consequently, we take on more than we can handle and end up disappointed when we only manage to do one room.
So why not bypass all of the worry and only take on one room to start with? Whether it’s your bathroom, kitchen or even your garden that needs a makeover, by focusing all of your energy on that one space you can really make it special. If you want to open up multiple rooms, try adding internal bifold doors, which will allow you to make a room larger when you need to. You can also make a room seem more spacious with lighter colour schemes and clever storage solutions.
The most common change we’d all like to make is to exercise more, often with the aim of losing weight or improving overall health. But many of us start with such high expectations that we’re setting ourselves up for failure. Rather than making a plan to go to the gym four times a week or run a marathon when you can barely do 5km, why not set the simple intention to move more? The easiest way to do this is to walk more and take the stairs instead of the lift, but if you really want a boost you could commit to one or two exercise sessions every week.
The best thing about this resolution is the myriad of ways you can fulfill it. You can pick any type of exercise you like, be it running, swimming or lifting weights, or a class such as yoga, pilates or dance. Perhaps sports are more your thing, in which case you should look for local football, tennis or basketball teams, or simply take a friend down to the park. By doing this just once a week, you’ll reap the benefits and ensure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew.
More family time
We’d all all like to spend more time with our loved ones and less time in front of a screen, but you might come up against a few challenges along the way. This is likely to happen if you have teenage children, who might be a little reluctant to take time away from their own screens. When it comes to focusing on family time, we have a tendency to succumb to high expectations, believing that we’ll be able to spend an entire weekend together when this is unlikely to be the case.
An excellent place to start with family time is meals, as there is certain to be at least one where everyone is together. If you can start a routine of eating together whenever possible, you’ll find it much easier to grow your family time from there and to maintain it throughout the entire year. Who knows, you might find yourself with a weekly family day out before long!
*This is sponsored content