So the year is almost over and one look at the first page of my 2017 diary will tell you that most of my New Year’s resolutions were long forgotten and here I am, two weeks away from the New Year, once again putting those same things back on my new list. Possibly only to be forgotten again. So let’s try to make the rest of 2017, a training ground for an amazing 2018! We still have two weeks to start some habits that will help us hit the ground running, come to New Year’s Day. Also for the obsessive planners out there, yes the New Year begins on a Monday! What better day to kick-start the year with?
Health and fitness
1-Find a workout plan
“Get healthy” or “Workout every day” or “Lose x kgs” or some other variant of them sneakily sits on almost everyone’s resolution list year after year. We begin with a lot of enthusiasm and maybe even buy a gym membership only to lose all motivation by March. This probably happens because we try to go cold turkey all of a sudden. Until 31st December you were out partying and eating desserts and drinking and suddenly from 1st, you stop everything all at once. This leads to cravings which lead to indulgence which then leads to overcompensation and very soon you encounter what is known as “What the hell” effect. It goes something like this, “I haven’t worked out in two days and I’ve already had a large cheesy burger so might as well get the large fries and coke too. What the hell, my diet is already ruined!”
But guys, this is NOT what’s going to happen this time. What you have to do is really simple, YouTube search ‘workout videos’ and just do one. Every day. And I mean every single day. You’re going to spend hours on YouTube anyway, why not just spend ten minutes from that and do a workout? Maybe you’ll come across a workout you really like and then you could religiously follow it from the New Year!
Just a suggestion, check out Blogilates, the YouTuber has an infectious positive energy and you’d hardly notice your abs dying!
This is related to the first point. Instead of trying to cut out every imaginable piece of unhealthy food all at once, let’s start small. Okay? Most of us already have our Christmas and New Year plans in place, or will soon do so. Instead of pushing all your healthy eating plans straight to January, let’s just eat healthy for all those days leading to the party week, shall we? And we could try eliminating one junk food at a time. It will seriously help you in starting your healthy lifestyle come 2018 because you’ve always been doing this for a couple weeks! The party days were your treat days and you’re back on track. Your body will thank you!
3-Learn to make your favourite meal
Okay I know with Swiggy and Zomato, we literally do not need to cook at all. But wouldn’t it be so awesome and get you major Insta cred if you could whip up your favourite dish? Cooking is not rocket science guys. Just follow the steps in a recipe and voila! You have something that you’re going to be super proud of and save a lot of money too.
4-Learn to make a healthy breakfast
Think back to all those times this year that you woke up late and rushed out the door without grabbing breakfast. You spent the whole morning hungry and ‘hangry’ and gorged on whatever you could lay eyes on, later. That’s no way to get those abs or lose that muffin top and it gives you a host of digestive problems. So look up recipes for quick and easy breakfast ideas and you’re going to thank yourself later. Have a small notebook with these recipes and have all the items ready the night before. For cooking inspiration, check out Pinterest and Yummly, the opportunities are endless!
Here’s a really easy overnight oats recipe.
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yoghurt
- 1/2 cup (heaping) rolled oats
- 2/3 cup unsweetened milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax meal
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 0-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
Mix all of the above ingredients in a jar with a tight lid and keep it in the fridge overnight. You wake up to a beautiful morning and a healthy, filling breakfast. Now that’s a good morning!
5-Start to wake up early
I know, I know. Its winter and there’s nothing more enticing than your warm bed right now. But you’re lying to yourself if you didn’t admit that you can get a lot done if you wake up just maybe an hour earlier. You won’t have to rush to work or college, you get time to eat your breakfast, and you can squeeze in a workout and maybe even some reading. So instead of putting yourself through the ordeal of suddenly waking up an hour earlier and feeling groggy all day, start waking up a little earlier each day. Start by setting your alarm ten minutes before your usual wake up time. This will help you ease into your mornings and make you more productive all day.
Head to the sales, ladies! All the stores are running major sales right now and you can be on point with all your winter OOTDs at an affordable price. Get your dresses, shoes, bags, and jackets in line girls!
7-Netflix Binge Party
For those of us who are looking for ways to save some money and not miss out on the fun, house parties are the answer to your prayers. Not only are they cheaper but also, with the mercury dropping, they will keep us warm. Make it a potluck; BYOB and binge watch an entire season of your favourite show.
8-Head over Heels
Shoe bites are almost synonymous with party season. Those long hours of dancing on our heels leave us with blisters and sad soles. The easiest way to avoid that is to wear socks and then wear your heels. Blow dry on your shoes for a while and walk around in them. After you managed to break-in your heels, round up your squad to go dance the night on your happy feet!
9-DIY Spa day
In case you ended up dancing all night and can barely feel your feet anymore, look no further!
Fill up a bucket with lukewarm water and put some Epsom salts in it. Soak your feet and relax. You can exfoliate with a pumice stone and finish up with a coat of your favourite nail paint. Your feet are healthy and happy for no money and in very little time.
This little activity will get everyone gifts for Christmas and also it will be interesting to see how well your friends know you. If you meet your friends daily then just write your names on pieces of paper, whoever draws your name is your secret Santa. In case your friends don’t live in the same city and you’re meeting on Christmas, then you can use an online secret Santa generator. The website takes in everyone’s name and email address and assigns a person to you.
Organization and Mental health
The end of the year, a lot of crap has piled on. You have tons of apps on your phone and use only five, so delete the others, come on! There’s a stash of bills that have made a home in your purse, take them out, see what you need and throw away the rest. Look at your clothes, donate the ones you know you’ll never wear and put everything else in piles of work clothes, home clothes, and occasions. Sort out your jewellery into neat boxes and containers. If you’re confused, here’s a mantra for you, ‘When in doubt, throw it out!’
12-Buy a planner
This is the most important thing! You see the whole plethora of diaries and organizers right? Just pick one which gives you a month view. It will let you look at your whole month at once and help you plan better. Make it a habit to plan your day the night before. Write your to-do list and note down your top three tasks of the day. Practice getting into the habit of planning before the New Year and you shall never miss another deadline!
Resolutions are a joke, let’s just admit that. We hardly ever follow them. So let’s change things up, shall we? Look at all the avenues of your life, career, education, interests, health, business, etc. Make a list of whatever it is that you want to achieve in each avenue in the next twelve months. Now break down each of those goals into small steps. Here’s an example, If a major goal in the career section is to get a promotion, then look at your current responsibilities and look at the responsibilities of the profile you want and take stock of all the things you need to do to get there. Like they say, dress for the job you want, not the one you have.
14-Learn to meditate
This one sounds a bit weird. Everyone says meditate all the time but most of us fall asleep about ten minutes into it. There is way, Headspace. Its an app which provides free guided meditation, a person will talk you through it and I can assure you, you’ll feel relaxed and energized and won’t doze off at all. This will help you deal with all the stress and help you sleep better too.
We have been asked to stay away from our phones before bed and as soon as we wake up but we have tried and failed! So let’s try to do it one step at a time. Detox from all technology before bed first. No TV, no laptop, no phone. Pick up a book and keep the phone in another room. The quality of sleep will be so much better and seriously, why would anyone forego sleep for aimless scrolling on Instagram? A week of tech-tox and you will laugh at yourself for not doing this earlier. Just one step at a time and you will make lasting habits to make your new year truly happy.