It's really quite silly that we pin all our self-improvement efforts on the turn of the year. Honestly, I'm pretty sure we can do these things any time.
On the other hand I'm not dissing New Year's resolutions entirely because making an event of it, and having everyone around you do the same thing really is motivational.
In the past mine have included giving up Maryland cookies (I was around 13 and ate a pack a day, I succeeded in my goal however, and to this day I still avoid the addictive devils), applying Johnson's tanning moisturiser day and night (that led to a very tanned 6 months) and giving up crisps as part of my packed lunch box - I didn't even look back on this one, they aren't all they're cracked up to be I swear.
This year, as an adult, my goals are...
1. Save more money.
It's more my mindset that I need to improve more than anything - a few tricks that help are thinking of the task in small chunks, so for example, sometimes I tell myself I just need to get to the gym, and if I still really cannot be bothered, I can then leave, but just to get there will be an achievement (lol it works). And remembering how crap you feel when you don't go, compared to how good you feel when you do. Alongside the obvious of looking at VS models and what not.
I'm probably going to narrow these things down into more specific tasks because I think you're definitely more likely to achieve something if the boundaries are clear. Like the cookie thing - it was pass or fail really and I did not want to be a failure.
As much as I love squandering my hard earned cash on social events, clothes and food, I would also love to own my own industrial loft type apartment at some point, and I really want to go on some amazing transatlantic trips soon too. To save for these things an ISA is a must - if you don't have one, find out more about them here, I would definitely recommend getting one, mine helped me save for my car. Thinking about the small things really makes a difference. Set a budget for the week - it will mean you really think about what you're spending and there are limits so you can't just have everything, if you have the burrito you can't actually afford the shoes - so which do you choose?
2. Eat healthier
This is a strange one because I actually do eat quite healthily in the main - I love salad and veg. However, I also have a ridiculous sweet tooth. To be able to give up sugar would be the dream, but I don't think that can happen overnight, so I am going to limit the amount of chocolate I eat, swap it for vegan fruit bars, only purchase small chocolate bars if I really must purchase some chocolate (yep, I always go for 100-120g - it's just much better value!). Apparently if you give something up for 21 days you won't want it anymore, so I may just do a 21 day challenge and see what happens.
I am also going to try to eat more clean, vegan foods life the delicious looking Buddha Bowl above (by The Vintage Mixer)
3. Actually attend the gym
This one is definitely easier said than done. I've found that, since starting full time work it is increasingly difficult. Like to the point of impossibility. Once work is over, all the good intentions I had to make that 6:30pm spin class have evaporated along with my energy.
It's all about figuring out what works for you I think. I've tried going before work - almost every day for a whole week I awoke at 6am to get in a workout - the result? Come Sunday I was wiped out with some sort of flu. This may have been a coincidence but that didn't stop me from using it as an excuse not to attend before 9am again. That and the fact that doing so led me to eat two breakfasts and remain super hungry for the rest of the day so despite popular opinion, a morning workout wasn't beneficial to me, it was pretty pointless as I probably consumed triple the amount of calories than I burned.
For more motivation and ideas, read this post I wrote almost two years ago when I was a gym addict who attended at least 3 times per week.
4. Mindfulness/inner peace
I'm not even entirely sure I know what mindfulness is, but I'm pretty sure on a scale of 0-mindful AF I am somewhere around -10. In my view of mindfulness it's being calm, zen and basically feeling in control and at peace (inner peace then really?!). I have colouring books but I think what helps me achieve this kind of inner peace that I'm confusing mindfulness with, is going to the gym and having time to myself to relax, clean, tidy and get organised. Honestly, after a day of doing these things I feel way more happy than if I had been out socialising. Sad, but true, sorry people. In 2017 I am going to make time for myself and spend more money on spa days and less on alcohol.
5. Stop overthinking and be confident
I literally worry and obsess over the most stupid things. I have overthought myself out of relationships, many an hour of sleep and into bad skin I'm sure. I mainly overthink about how I come across to people, how I compare to others, my career, where I live, where my life is heading, if I should be doing more, whether or not I should buy that £70 pair of boots, if I should be writing a novel rather than scrolling through Instagram... Honestly the list goes on and on but in the end what matters more than enjoying life? And I'm not going to enjoy it while panicking over every detail and decision. It's so unhealthy to compare ourselves to others and to worry about what people think of us. We would all probably benefit from trying to free our minds of these pointless thoughts. Improve yourself, be productive and focus on what's best for your own health and happiness.