We all know that when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, most people fail to stick with them. No matter how good your intentions or the goals you set yourself, chances are that by the time January’s over you’ll have given up or slipped back into old habits! I’ve been thinking, and I really believe that there is a way to break this cycle and make New Year’s Resolutions a far more positive, life-affirming and long-lasting experience!
The secret is to think smaller rather than bigger. When it comes to our wellbeing and happiness, it’s often the smallest things that create the biggest change. Think about it, just looking at your bigger goals can be overwhelming or even a little scary, when the time commitment, willpower and end result can seem far out of reach at the beginning. Instead, making a few small changes to your daily habits can make a huge difference and you’ll find these kind of new year’s resolutions much easier to stick to. Chances are, you’ll end up achieving your bigger goal anyway but through smaller, manageable steps!
The best place to start is by creating daily healthy habits. Today is the day when you can start to create habits which you can keep in your life, which will be helpful for you to consciously create the life you want to live, every single day. Think about your routines – what’s your morning routine? How can you add to that so that you get more from your day, or more enjoyment? What do you do every evening? And what is your routine around eating?
It’s the routine stuff that matters and the big things will just fall into place. Most importantly, remember what you want out of life – keep the picture big to keep the impetus to practice your small habits daily. If you want big things, you will get them with small changes. For me, my ‘big picture’ things that are important to me are a feeling of vitality, lightness, energy, mental energy and creativity and good health. So it’s really important that I keep doing the things that keep me feeling vibrant every single day. I know that when I don’t do my small daily habits, I feel low, overwhelmed, heavy and I lack energy and optimism. It really is so simple.
Here are my top five healthy habits and easy new year’s resolutions for you to keep after January has passed!
Move every single day. Some days you’ll be ‘stuck’ in the office. Often I’m taking long road trips, or have back to back meetings for days on end, or attending shoots. For me, the beginning of the day can be frenetic for doing my daily practice. But it’s the end of the day when I can gather myself in. If all you do is 10 minutes of deepest breathing and stretching before you roll into bed, you can do that. That is my absolute bare minimum, if I’ve had the busiest of days. But make sure that you can make up for these frenetic days and carve out time where you can explore your practice more fully. It really is no coincidence that I created Movement for Modern Life. I needed daily practices that I could fit into my life to keep me feeling great, and thought that others might enjoy their top teachers too. So my ‘I’m exhausted and have had a long day and can’t move class’ is Andreas’s Restful End to the Day.
2. Get Outdoors
Get out in nature. Every. Single. Day! Again, many of us work in offices, or are backed up with meetings. So we don’t feel we’re able to. But even when I was a solicitor working in the city, up early, back late – I created this practice for myself by choosing to live in the West of London and working in the city, so I had to get through London to get to work. I chose to cycle to work, and go through Hyde Park so that I could see the trees every single day. There is nothing more beautiful, more naturally healing, than being in nature. There have now been studies done which show that being around nature restores a sense of wellbeing and reduce stress perhaps more than anything else. So if your daily routine doesn’t involve being outdoors, make the change. And monitor how your brain changes when you’re in nature, and how this daily habit will help you. I now have moved into the countryside because I know that when I am in nature I’m most relaxed and happiest, and I know that when I’m relaxed, I’m creative and can give so much more to others and to Movement for Modern Life. Many of us don’t need to live in nature like I do, but every single one of us needs that daily connection to the trees, to woodland, grassland, the coast or whichever environment you are in. But nothing heals like nature heals, so get out there!
Nourish your body with deep breaths. Throughout the day, take the time to notice your breath and breathe more deeply.Your body needs the extra oxygen to thrive. Also pay attention and notice the times when you forget to breathe properly, so you can try to change your habits. Studies have shown that many of us forget to breathe properly or even inadvertently hold our breath when doing things like reading emails. It might seem small, but disrupting your breathing pattern affects your body’s oxygen balance which can affect your stress levels and health! Try Dan’s 10 day breath challenge.
4. Eat well
And eat delicious food which is home prepared. ‘If there’s an advert for it, don’t eat it’ is a good general rule. Mostly eat plants and fruits, and supplement that with beans and lentils, and try not to eat too many carbohydrates. See if you can cut meat and dairy as much as you can, as animal products are terrible not only for the animals and the environment, but are really bad for your heart, if you value longevity. Treat your body like it’s the rare and beautiful machine that it is, that the only vehicle you have for now, so really nourish it and treat it well.
5. Be grateful
As well as treating your body right, it’s so important to treat your mind right too. One of the easiest ways I’ve found to adjust your mindset and increase your happiness is to practice gratitude. Just taking a moment each day to think about, or even better write down, just one thing you’re thankful for that day can make a huge difference to how you feel, how much you appreciate others and the world around you, and how you appreciate yourself. You’ll probably find that once you think of one, you’ll realise there are many more reasons to be grateful too – by all means write them all down! Today’s world is so busy, with so much pressure on doing more and doing better, that it’s too easy to get caught up in a ‘not enough’ mentality. Taking the time to be grateful and recognise what you have and reasons to be grateful for the world, the other people in your life, and yourselves is the easiest and quickest way to start living a happier life!
What are your New Year’s Resolutions?
So there you have it. My 5 easy new year’s resolutions that I hope you will be able to take inspiration from and create your own daily habits to stick to for the year. I’d also love to hear what other people’s daily habits are, isn’t it great to learn from others? Let us know your resolutions, or your tips on small daily habits that can make a big difference! Members of MFML can inspire each other daily on our Facebook Movers group, it’d be wonderful to hear your daily practices on there!
This post was written by our fabulous founder, Kat Farrants