So we’re three days into the New Year and I don’t know about you guys but I’ve already failed drinking more water, I’ve spent money I don’t have, and I definitely have not started on coordinating a decent sleeping schedule, basically, a bit of a fail as far as promising to better myself….which reminds me, I should really grab a glass of water.
Sometimes when we make ‘new year, new me’ promises, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and that comes from internal and external factors. The socio-cultural norm of ‘making a resolution’ almost creates a done thing, forcing us into either achieving a goal, or eventual failure. Now, I’m not being pessimistic, but over 60% of people who set new years resolutions, do not achieve them for various reasons (as mentioned in my other blog post, here.) Usually it is a simple case of biting off more than we can chew, not really having the intention to try, or simply setting unrealistic goals. All in all, setting goals for the new year and the new you can be a little bit daunting, and most major milestones that sound doable when said out loud or written down on pretty inspiration boards, don’t always work out when you’re juggling two jobs, a study load, kids, a social life, half a hobby you keep stuffed in a cupboard due to being time poor, all on a minimum 6 hours sleep at night.
Some blog posts recommend going to bed the same time every night, or walking more places, or mediating daily – while I encourage mediating daily, I have friends with kids who physically can’t even pee by themselves; how are they supposed to get 3 minutes for simple mediation? Don’t get me started on the resolutions about sleeping patterns, no phones at night, or sleeping for X amount of hours each night – shift working makes that impossible and anyone who has worked night shifts know what I am talking about; can’t reset a body clock when you don’t have one! Basically, some of these ‘self-care, self-love’ inspiration resolutions to me, are a little…well, fake. So I put my thinking cap on, and thought what do I know I can do on a busy 14 hour shift in a hospital…. So now that I’m better hydrated (and less hypocritical, yes I really did get that water), I’m about to lay down some some really simple, no BS, real easy resolutions you can add to improve your daily self with little to no effort at all!
- Keep a journal: one of the sure simplest ways to encourage self love, growth and acceptance is by keeping a journal of any kind. Sure it seems silly when you’re a busy adult in corporate offices to spend 20 minutes in the evening writing down your daily problems, but sometimes those 20 minutes are all you need to really figure it out or at the very least, feel better about the situation; and trust me, a lot of evidence says it works. Forbes magazine listed ‘Gratitude Journals’ as the big IT thing in 2017 for company executives and CEOs globally, with much evidence supporting the intention of finding positives in a huge day, can really help improve overall life satisfaction, reduce stress, and improve self worth. And hey, who doesn’t want a bit of that?
- Do something the night before: this is a bit vague but perhaps it will be as simple as making your lunch the night before, or preparing breakfast (slow rolled oats anyone?) or maybe you work in an office and laying your clothes out the night before may help you catch an extra 20 minutes of sleep, or more importantly, make you feel more prepared, organised and refreshed in the morning. Maybe that sandwich you whipped up may save you $10 on a canteen lunch, or perhaps setting your takeaway coffee mug out the night before means you may actually have your morning coffee, be at work without ducking into Starbucks, and save $140 this month by simply taking it with you!*
- Wash your face before you go to bed, and after you wake up: this will take less than 3 minutes and my gosh, I can promise your face will love you for it! During the day external pollutants like dirt, gases, carbon dioxide, and various bacteria sit onto the skin – you then smack that bad boy onto a pillow, and BAM you’ve given it a loving warm place to breed (not to mention it ruins a good pillow!) Fast forward and contaminants from home like dust, sweat, skin cells, and whatever bacteria is living in your pillow; is now on your skin. It may seem so simple it is silly, but by removing external pollutants you reduce the damage done by free-radicals and by simply washing your face morning and night you can reduce signs of ageing, create healthier skin reduce acne, and simple feel better. Try finding a specific facial soap or a pH neutral soap for best results; or on the drugstore side, try baby soap as it is usually moisturising and pH balanced.
- Invest in your skin: I’m not encouraging you to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on skin care, but if that is something you can and want to do, then you do you boo! Invest in facial soap (it costs less than $3 from the drug store), buy yourself that $1 sheet mask, or grab some moisturiser! Part of the reason facials have that immediate glowing effect is the sheer effort of facial massage reducing lymphatic fluid and exercising tissue in a way it doesn’t normally get stretched. Does that mean you need to go and get an $80 facial? No! When you cleanse, or moisturise, simply take your time and massage your product in circular motions. Skincare products do not have to be costly despite what Instagram models may tell you, but after two weeks of adding, tweaking, and just caring for your skin, you will feel a huge difference; and yes, guys are totally included in this one too! Of course skincare refers to the whole body but often that is overlooked as we tend to focus on the face alone – consider adding a body moisturiser, or body scrub once a week to improve circulation and blood flow to the skin that gets stuck into a chair 8+ hours a day! Your skin is an organ and it needs constant love and support, so make 2018 the time you do!
- Reach your water limit: we all know we need to drink two litres, and everyone swears black and blue they do. But if you really measured it, and I mean, really really measured it, you’d be shocked at how little you may actually be drinking. The two litre rule or ‘8 glasses’ is how much water the body needs to sustain itself – so cups of tea and coffee may count, but they won’t give you the same benefit. There are so many ways to keep on top of drinking water its almost ridiculous – there is a new app called ‘Plant Nanny’ that reminds you how much to drink, how often, and if you input your drinking volume for the day a cute little plant grows! Amazingly, a lot of reviewers claim they drink water purely so that plant can ‘survive’! I find it bizarre that a generation of people feel more attached to digital plants than they do their own health, but hey, if it works it works! There are water bottles with markings, colourful drop lines and illustrations encouraging water consumption all available from Kmart, through to eBay and Amazon. If you’re an ‘El Cheapo like me, simply count how many times you refill a Mount Franklin water bottle!
So, those are my super simple, real easy resolutions for you to consider adding this year that take minimal time, effort or money! What do you think? What did you make for your new years resolution? Did you in fact make one? Let me know in the comments below and hey, if you think of anything super simple to add, let me know!