Simple New Year’s resolutions for a happier, healthier, more organised and more efficient 2018
This is what we all want really? Isn’t it?
For our lives to be happy, our bodies to be healthy, our minds to be organised and to generally be more efficient so you can finally get through that to-do list that’s longer than your leg! And then maybe even have a little time to relax.
There have been some years where I’ve set myself a million and one resolutions (and obviously never stuck to any of them because I’ve been totally overwhelmed by them all) some years I aim for one big change and other years I don’t set any at all. But this year I am setting myself 10 simple goals. They’re all small things and easy to achieve but I already know they’re going to have a big impact.
Find your capsule wardrobe/minimalist wardrobe
I’ve almost managed to find my perfect capsule wardrobe but it’s taken me a long time. Apparently, I’ve been dressing myself since I could walk so we’re talking about 29 years of trial and error in the wardrobe department. And there have been some errors. Oh boy, have thee been some errors!
Now that I’ve finally found the styles I love and what suits my body shape, I’ve managed to eliminate about 75% of my wardrobe and it feels amazing. I don’t have clothes spilling out of every draw and coats hidden all over the house in the hope that I could hide the fact that I had about eleventy billion of them.
I used to have SO many clothes. I spent a fortune on them but never really felt comfortable in what I wore. I eventually realised that among my 20+ pairs of jeans there was really just one pair I loved. I realised I HATED wearing uncomfortable heels and oversized tops make me look five sizes bigger than I really am. (I know, it sounds so simple doesn’t it – why on earth did it take me so long to figure this out!?)
Now that I’ve pretty much found my capsule wardrobe items I’m spending a lot less money on clothes, I spend less time deliberating over what to wear but, most importantly, I always feel happy in what I’m wearing.
Tip for finding your capsule wardrobe: Don’t think about fashion, labels or even price tag – think about the clothes that make you happy. If you feel happy in them, you’ll look good in them.
Find a simple way to keep track of your expenses
This is something I’m going to be talking about more later in the week because I’ve FINALLY found an easy way to keep track of what I’m spending. This is a terrible thing to admit but I’m terrible at keeping track of my money. It’s so easy to bury your head in the sand when it comes to your spending habits, but if you properly keep track of what you’re spending your money on you’ll probably see areas where you could easily cut back.
I’ve been using the Starling Card recently, a card I set up for when I’m travelling as you’re not charged for using it abroad, but I’m now switching to use this for my everyday current account too. The best thing about Starling is the app connected to your account. Whenever you use your card you get a notification to your phone telling you what you spent and where. Each transaction is then categorised so you can get a summary of how much you’ve spent on groceries, eating out, transport, entertainment etc. After using the app for a month I realised I spend WAY WAY too much on groceries – something I was sort of aware of but I was conveniently ignoring – but it’s hard to ignore when an app is telling you you’ve spent £800 at Tesco!
Which leads me on to my next point….
Batch cook freezer meals + reclaim your evenings
I know, this is such a mum thing to do but there are a couple of reasons I want to get into the habit of batch cooking freezer meals. It’s partly to save money on that extortionate food bill – which is only so high because it contains so much convenience food (nothing to do with all the Prosecco, honest).
It’s also to have healthier meals packed with veggies and homemade goodness.
But it’s also to free up some time in the evenings. I do quite like cooking but I’d rather not spend an hour in the kitchen every evening.
Pin point your goals for the year
Does anyone else suffer from SOS? It’s Shiny Object Syndrome and is a real thing!
I’ll set myself a goal like, ‘I want to decorate the living room’, so I’ll start researching décor ideas on Pinterest. And then I’ll get onto gorgeous office spaces, then amazing garden offices, then office cabins and, before you know it, my plan to decorate the living room has turned into an epic project to create an office cabin with huge outdoor BBQ area suitable for summer and winter. True story.
I love my office but the living room is still looking very bare and unfinished! This year I just want to stick to one goal at a time so I’m going to be writing down my goals and pinning them to the walls to make sure I don’t forget or get distracted.
Book a holiday…or two…or 10…
Of course, this one was obviously going to make the list!
Holidays make us happy. Fact. And there’s nothing better than having a holiday to look forward to during the cold, miserable winter months!
Organised evenings to start the following day on the right foot
In 2018 I really want to spend some time each evening getting myself ready for the following day.
I want to be able to breeze through the morning with no hassle and no stress but, at the moment, mornings are the most chaotic, noisy and disorganised times! I want to sit down at my desk and know exactly what I’ll be working on that day, rather than sitting down and staring blankly at my computer while feeling completely overwhelmed by my bulging inbox and epic to-do list.
My plan is to make sure the house is tidy, that we have milk and bread for breakfast (avoiding the 6.30am run to the Co-Op!), all my devices will be on charge, my gym kit will be ready for me to put it straight on, shoes bags and coats will be where they’re meant to be (and not in the microwave where I found one of Joseph’s shoes yesterday!) my office will be spotless and I’ll have a short and concise to-do list so I’ll know exactly what I should be working on that morning.
That’s the plan anyway!
Commit to a daily HIIT workout
High Intensity Interval Training has become really popular over the past few years – and for good reason. It’s basically a short workout made up of high-intensity explosive exercises with a short rest between each set. It gets your heart rate up and keeps it up so it’s great for fat loss and overall fitness.
But, for someone like me who will avoid going to the gym at all costs, it’s a type of exercise that’s much easier to mentally prepare for. If I think, ‘I’m going to go to the gym for an hour and a half and do EVERYTHING..’ I scare myself and end up avoiding the gym completely because I’ve intimidated myself with such a huge goal.
But if I think, ‘I’m going to do a 15 minute HIIT session in my PJs in the living room using a YouTube video…’ I’m much more likely to do it! I can manage 15 minutes! And if I don’t even need to get dressed to do it then even better!
Top Tip: My favourite HIIT workouts are by The Body Coach and Kayla Istines on the Sweat App.
Workouts next to swimming pools are always much easier!
I know ‘being a minimalist’ is the latest trend but this is seriously something I can get on board with. I haven’t gone ‘all out minimalist’ but I’m on the fringes!
After reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up I adopted a few of the strategies suggested – with the main one being to simply get rid of a hell of a lot of your stuff!
It’s another one of those things that sounds so ridiculously simple but it really has had such a massive effect on my life. I started in the kitchen, a room that is a complete mess about 99% of the time, but the reason it’s so messy is simply because we have too much stuff.
I chucked out so many pointless things, decluttered the cupboards and made space for the things I actually love and it feels like a different room.
Not only is the kitchen much nicer but throwing out so much stuff made me realise what a hideous waste it is to buy pointless things I don’t really need. I feel like I’m much more aware when I’m buying things and no longer make those rash impulse purchases when you spot something cheap and kinda cute and think you just have to have it until you get home and realise it’s the last thing you need so you squeeze it onto a shelf and it sits there gathering dust for two years before you finally send it to the charity shop.
This one might sound like a contradictory tip but, seriously, working less can lead to higher productivity. And let’s not forget that you’re going to have a better quality of life and probably be happier too!
I used to work over 40 hours a week on The Travel Hack. Then I had Baby #1 and that dropped to about 30 hours. Then I had Baby #2 and it dropped to about 20 hours. But guess what, I was still producing as much content and my income only increased!
I’m a firm believer that if you have 10 hours to complete a project then it’s going to take you 10 hours. But if you have an hour to do something then you magically find this superhuman level of concentration and you amaze yourself by getting it done in an hour.
Now my goal for 2018 is to work about 12 hours per week (more on this in next week’s post).
I know it’s much easier said than done – especially if you don’t work for yourself so don’t have the flexibility. But I urge you to keep this in mind when you’re working. If you have a task that you’d normally allocate half a day to, set yourself a goal to get it done in an hour. I bet you’ll amaze yourself and get it done – and then you can choose if you’re going to sit back and relax for the rest of the day or get some more work done and get yourself in line for employee of the month.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2018?