The second instalment of our 2 part blog on why you might not be reaching your goals….
Whether your motivation for change is at an all-time high at New Year or you think resolutions are a waste of time, there’s no denying that the start of a blank calendar leaves many of us reflecting on the 12 months that just passed. New Year is natures way of drawing one chapter to a close, helping us to let go of anything we want to leave behind and giving us a clean slate for new habits and experiences. It’s undoubtedly a natural time to set intentions about what we’d like to be, have and do over the next year. This blog details a simple exercise to help us assess how happy and successful we feel we are in various different areas of our lives at the current time, and consequently to identify any areas we may wish to make changes in.
Whether you enjoy reading or not there’s no denying that books are an excellent way to learn and expand our knowledge on an endless number of subjects. Even if you’re not a bookworm like myself so many books are now available as audio books as well as in hard copy, there really are no excuses not to benefit from their invaluable content. Many authors also have social media accounts and/or channels and even share their work through other mediums such as podcasts. One genre for which all of the above is certainly true is that of personal development/self-help. The self-help industry has experienced huge growth in the past few years and is now undeniably more popular and accessible than ever before. Both our mental and physical health can benefit greatly from books and for those who may not know where to start, this blog gives an introduction to two of my favourite personal development books, who they might be for and how they can help.
Whilst Winter, like all seasons, brings plenty of things to look forward to, many of us find that some aspects of these months affect us negatively. Dark mornings and evenings, colder temperatures and cravings for comfort aren’t always conducive to optimal physical and mental health. Some people even suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), sometimes referred to as winter depression. Other people may not suffer from the condition fully but may notice some of the symptoms discussed below having a negative effect on their everyday life. This blog highlights some of the ways this coming season can affect our health and wellbeing and discusses ways to help deal with these potential obstacles.
What is a vision board and why should I try one? A vision board (or dream/goals board) is a collection of images, words, ideas or other items that represent our desires for our life and our future. It can include examples of things we’d like to have, be or do and can help to inspire and motivate us to work towards these dreams and goals in our everyday life. Vision boards can support the practice of visualisation as explained in the previous blog for those who prefer to see physical images rather than simply imagine them.
What is visualisation? In the context of this blog, visualisation describes the use of our imagination to form mental images of an event, situation or anything else that we desire. Visualisation can also be described as mental rehearsal, where we create images in our mind of us having, being or doing something that we want for ourselves in the future. Whilst on one level we may know it’s a mental trick, the mind and body react similarly whether something is real or imagined and so visualisation can have real physiological effects. You can see this in action for example when we remember something funny that happened long ago and can’t help but laugh, even though it’s not happening now and is just in our mind. Similarly, if you think of an amazing meal you once ate and imagine the smell, taste, texture and use all of your senses, you may start to salivate or even feel hungry. The body can react as if a situation or object is real simply from what goes on in our mind.
Do you take care of yourself as well as you do your loved ones? Do you think self-care is self-indulgent and/or you don’t have time for it? The truth is, we actually all NEED self-care to be able to function in our everyday lives and to be everything we want to be for everyone else. If you repeatedly neglect your self-care, your body and mind will be negatively affected and they’ll make sure you know it too! Try some (or all!) of the mini challenges below, maybe one a day, to up your self care game. Your mind, body and soul will thank you for it!
The idea of getting fitter or leading a more healthy lifestyle can often feel overwhelming and leave us not knowing where to start. The feeling that we have to make huge changes or set life-changing goals can be so intimidating that we end up doing nothing. It really is true that getting started is the hardest part of any task and so by starting with some simple, easily achievable mini-goals you can build momentum and confidence in yourself whilst getting started on your journey to a fitter, healthier, happier you. Try out some of the ideas below – you could try one a day for a month or choose a couple a week. Set a target that feels manageable for you and let’s get started.
I want you to think of something you’ve always wanted to be, have or do – ‘one day.’ Maybe you can think of more than one thing and that’s even better, but try and think of at least one. Now I want you to think about what you’re doing to work towards having, being or doing it at this time in your life?! What are you doing regularly and consistently to progress towards that goal or desire? And when do you actually plan to achieve being, having or doing it? The problem so many of us make with goals is that we have a vague idea of where we want to be at some point in the future but don’t connect the dots backwards from there to where we are now. As a result, we have no roadmap or timescale for the journey to our goals and so days, months and even years pass by with very little progress.
When we think of health and wellbeing our minds often turn to our diet and exercise habits but very rarely do we consider sleep and rest in as much detail. In a society where doing plenty of exercise and eating healthy foods is admired, it sometimes feels like running on little sleep makes someone reverd as almost superhuman. Phrases such as ‘burning the candle at both ends’, ‘ no rest for the wicked’ and generally discussing how busy we are are such common parts of our vocabulary we rarely give them a second thought. If you’re keen on making changes to your health and fitness, especially if you’ve tried and failed in the past – this blog aims to discuss why such changes may even start with your sleep habits. Sleep has very many health benefits, both physical and psychological and it’s about time we prioritised it as a basic health habit and not a luxury or afterthought.