Why I’m Making My New Year’s Resolutions All About My Partner

Because what’s more important than your relationship, really?

December 22, 2016

Let’s Not Forget Mental Health When We’re Talking About Dieting

Should we be forced to sacrifice our mental health for physical?

September 7, 2016

Why You Need A F*#k It List And Not A Bucket List

It’s likely that you’re already familiar with the bucket list, but have you ever considered creating a f*#k it list? While the nether is great for listing all the goals and dreams that you hope to one day fulfil, it doesn’t take into consideration the now – which, according to numerous spiritual gurus, is where all of our power lies. So, dear reader, what exactly is a f*#k it list and why should you be ditching your trusty bucket list in favour of one?

RELATED: Throwback Thursday: Hidden Treasures To Add To Your Bucket List

The FU list is ultimately about letting go of anything that might hold you back from reaching your full potential and achieving your goals. This could be anything from caring too much about how others perceive you, to not saying how you really feel. In essence, it’s about taking back control of your life in order to get to where you want to go; saying “f*#k it” to the things that really don’t serve you a purpose.

Let me ask you this: how many times have you withheld an idea or a comment in fear of being wrong? How many times have you not acted on something – like giving that cute stranger your number – because you were afraid of looking foolish? And how many times have you looked back on that moment only to be filled with some type of regret? The point is that if you act out of fear, doors are less likely to open up for you and you’re less likely to be open to life. As the saying goes: it’s better to say ‘oh well’ than ‘what if.’

So, on that note, ladies, here’s the top 5 f*#k it’s to include on your list!

  1. F*#k it, I can’t be liked by everyone.

It’s a fact: you can’t be liked by everyone. And if you were, it would be a damn exhausting job people pleasing 24/7 – because let’s face it, that’s exactly what you would have to do. According to an article by the Huffington Post, if “about 85 percent of the people you meet like you, you are probably doing something right,” and on the contrary, “if much more than 85 percent of the people you meet like you, you are probably doing too much to get along.”

This isn’t to say that you’re not a likeable person, it just means that not everyone has the same likes or holds the same values as you do. If you find that you rub people the wrong way or vice versa, let it go. Instead, cherish the wonderful friendships that you do have.

  1. F*#k it, I’m going to say what I feel.

This is something that a lot of people struggle with, and surprisingly, it can do a lot more harm than good. In an article by The Guardian, a palliative nurse who had counselled the dying revealed the most common regrets that they had in their final days. Interestingly, not saying how they truly felt was among the top five.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others,” the article read. “As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

  1. F*#k it, it’s okay to fail.

Getting knocked back or failing at something is a part of life. But just because you fail once doesn’t mean that you’re destined to fail for the rest of your years. Some of the most successful people in the world, including Walt Disney and J.K. Rowling, were told no several times – and low and behold, they found their way to a big fat yes.

Let us all take some advice from Thomas A. Edison the next time things don’t go according to plan: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

  1. F*#k it, I’ll worry about it if and when it happens.

Did you know that 85 per cent of the things that we worry about never happen? Let me repeat that number: 85 per cent! Yep, research conducted by the University of Cincinnati proves it. What’s more, the study found that 79 per cent of us actually surprise ourselves in our ability to handle the 15 per cent that does happen.

This is incredible considering we spend a good part of our lives worrying about all of the things that could go wrong. Can you imagine what could happen if we were to put that energy into thinking about all of the things that could go right? Oh the possibilities!

  1. F*#k it, it’s okay not to have all of the answers.

Life is full of uncertainty. You’re guaranteed to keep your job no more than you’re guaranteed to live for the next fifty years. So, why is it that we feel control over circumstance equates to stability and happiness? Because quite often, as I’m sure you’ve experienced, it leads to frustration and disappointment.

It’s okay to make the wrong decision, adjust it or learn from – you weren’t to know the outcome. Besides, sometimes it’s the wrong decisions in life that ultimately lead to the right ones. As Tony Robbins once said: “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.”

What would you put on your list?

June 17, 2015

Coach Yourself To Better Health

Have you ever decided to make a change towards a healthier lifestyle, then found yourself returning to your old ways within a week or a month? This often happens because the goal we set for ourselves is too ambitions and we’re trying to change too much, too fast. There’s a gentler way to better health – taking one little step at a time and celebrating your wins along the way.

RELATED: A Shortcut To Changing A Habit For Good

While the cold-turkey method can work for some people, it leaves most of us disappointed and feeling bad about ourselves. Lifestyle food and wellness coach Magdalena Mandryk shows us how to coach ourselves to better health from a place of gentleness and self-love instead. So grab something to write with and follow along!

What would you like to change in your lifestyle?

Magdalena believes that a happier and healthier life starts in these three areas: good nutrition, regular physical activity and positive mindset. It’s important to create good habits in all three, but without being too strict on yourself. It’s okay to enjoy a bit of chocolate or a glass of wine from time to time!

What area do you feel needs most attention right now? Pick one positive change to focus on: it could be drinking more water, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep. It’s always better to define your goal in positive terms and move towards something you want rather than away from something you don’t want. For example, losing weight has an element of loss attached to it and what do you do when you lose something? That’s right, you want to find it again! Instead, focus on eating healthy food that nourishes your body and all of a sudden your goal seems a lot more attractive.

Why is this important to you?

Your motivation is everything. If you’re doing something just because your friend or an expert told you it was a good idea, the chances are you won’t stick with it. Imagine yourself achieving the result you want. How is your life going to be different? How are you going to feel? Is that what you want for yourself? If not, now is the time to go back to the first step and make adjustments to your goal.

What are your strengths?

List 3-5 of your innate strengths (your strengths are activities and qualities that come naturally to you and bring you joy). They don’t have to be related to the goal you’re setting for yourself, but when you’re stuck for inspiration you can always get creative and draw on your strengths to overcome obstacles.

What could get in your way?

Make a list of the challenges that can come up along the way: work emergency, losing motivation, kids getting sick, all the things that can happen to distract you from your goal. This list can get long, but don’t let that discourage you. It’s better to be prepared than to fall apart and forget all about your goal at the first sign of something not going to plan.

What are some possible strategies?

Here’s where you brainstorm strategies to achieve your goal and overcome your obstacles. It always helps to have a list of strategies ahead of time – in the heat of the moment you may not be able to find a solution and you might not even remember that you need one.

Are you having a hard time coming up with strategies for some of the things that could get in your way? Now is the time to call on your strengths. How can you engage your strengths to overcome your obstacles?

For example, you may be trying to get enough sleep, but you’re struggling to detach yourself from your computer at night because one of your strengths – curiosity, is always driving you to look for more answers online. You can consciously send your curiosity in a different direction and get curious about interpreting dreams. Then you’ll need to dream first before you have something you could interpret.

Choose a task for next week

Finally, it’s time to make your goal a reality. Choose a small, doable task for next week. It has to be achievable, measurable and attractive, something you want to do. For example, you could choose to go to bed 15 minutes earlier, exercise every day for 10 minutes or drink one glass of water. While it doesn’t feel like much, it’s easy to do and you’re far more likely to succeed than if you decide to stick to a bed time of 9 pm and exercise for 45 minutes a day.

Magdalena recommends that you focus on each task for at least a week before you move on to the next step. Once the week is up, review how you went, do something to celebrate your success and set a new task for the following week. When you succeed week after week, you start feeling great about yourself and you build momentum, so it’s much easier to keep going. One little step at a time and you’ll see that better health is well within your reach.

Image via Pixabay

March 11, 2015

How To Supercharge Your Life In 2015

Time moves quickly and before you know it another year will have passed. So, if you’re looking to seize each day and supercharge your life in 2015, here are some top tips:

Make a career change

Bored of your new job? Fancy a bigger and better challenge? Then why not make that much-needed career change? With recruiters such as Call Centre Jobs in Manchester and companies looking for talented individuals to fill top positions you can land the job of your dreams, so it’s well worth seeing what’s out there. And don’t forget, you don’t always have to change companies to enjoy a more fulfilling occupation.

Applying internally for any exciting opportunities that crop up could be the right option for you, so keep an ear to the ground for information. If you’re really keen you could even shadow a different department, take work-based training courses to improve your knowledge or head back to university/college for additional qualifications.

Travel the world

We all need a break from time-to-time, so how about leaving the 9-5 for a week or two and going on holiday? Either that or taking a career break and exploring the globe one country at a time. Travelling is one of the best forms of education, so whether you’ve always wanted to learn more about the pyramids of Egypt or the ancient ruins of Thailand – it’s never too late to do it. Moreover, if it’s all-year-round sunshine you’re looking for, many parts of the world can offer you just that! From the Caribbean island of Barbados to the sandy desserts of Dubai you won’t be short of sensational destinations that are worthy of a place on your travel bucket list.

Spend more time with your family

With so much to do on a daily basis, it can be easy to lose track of the things that really matter such as spending time with your family. So, if you have that nagging sense of guilt that you’re away from home too much or are missing out on your kid’s childhood, try to prioritise your loved ones a little more. Of course, we all have to work and run errands but how about checking out cool places to visit during the weekend or making time in the evenings to spend with your family? Eating dinner together, for instance, is a great opportunity to catch up on each other’s news or you might decide to dine out at a restaurant once a week or go on a family swimming outing. The options are endless.

Get fit and healthy

If you overindulged during the festive period, you might be looking to lose weight and get fitter this year, but it’s important to set long-term goals rather than quick fixes. Yo-yo dieting and getting so stiff at the gym that you never want to go again isn’t good for anyone, so set yourself realistic targets and battle the bulge steadily. To keep your mind focussed it might also be worth embarking on a particular challenge such as a 10K run as this should help motivate you to succeed. Sign up to different runs and events throughout the year and you’ll be in tip-top shape before you know it.

With a new year just begun, now is the perfect time to make exciting changes in your life and enjoy every second.

January 22, 2015

Weekend Wit: The Bizarre Reality Of Resolutions

New year resolutions are a bizarre phenomenon aren’t they? Millions of people wait until the dawn of a new year and resolve to change something about their lives. In theory, it sounds like a great idea. But reality and theory can often be a bit of a mismatch!

First, the global party which happens New Years Eve doesn’t exactly set people up for success. Most of us stay up late, drink alcohol (yes, sometimes too much) and for many it’s the best night out of the year.

Do people really expect to get up the next day and change who they are and what they do? Ah, yeah. That’s what New Years resolutions are supposed to be all about aren’t they, or am I missing something? Plus, some of us resolve to make not only one change, but a whole heap! Seriously how wasted were they? You have to ask the question; if it were that easy why haven’t they done it before?

Anyway, instead of bouncing out of bed at the crack of dawn with vigor and vitality ready to confront the challenge ahead, most of us would be quite content to sleep until noon. When we get up at such a leisurely hour, what time do you think we’ll even be out of our PJs?

Some of us might also be experiencing a bit of a hangover. Others are totally worn out from staying up till the wee hours after the insane rush of the past few weeks. In reality New Years Day is usually spent hanging out with family and friends or kicking back for solid day of r and r in front of a screen.

Plus, I don’t know about you, but how many people do you see pounding the pavement, jogging past your home New Years Day? I often see people walking, jogging, cycling and even skateboarding past my home, but New Years Day it’s like a ghost town. There’s no-one around doing much of anything.

Now, when you consider the amount of resolutions which center around weight loss and getting fit, shouldn’t we expect to see them all out there? In theory New Years Day should be the most active day of the year but in reality it’s the total opposite. See where I’m heading with this bizarre tradition?

So day two of the new year lots of people are still in holiday mode. Maybe New Year isn’t the best time to initiate a vital life change? People who vow to give up smoking, drinking or other drugs, who did start on the intended day of change are now beginning to climb the walls, argue with their loved ones and generally become a huge pain in the butt! Oh the joy of addiction! Someone hand them over a fix so we can get back to  reality.

This is when some will give in and others remain staunch in their resolve to quit. There maybe some people beginning to getting active and the traffic of joggers, walkers and skateboarders resumes. It seems resolutions aren’t a total loss after all! Maybe there’s some hope?

When you look at little closer, you’ll notice these active people are the regulars who are out there day after day anyway. Look at them. They don’t need to drop 20kg. So, where are all the people who do? Maybe they’re exercising their right to get to it later?

Day 3 to 30: By now almost all resolutions are being realised as the fantasy they are and have been tossed where they belong – in the too hard basket. Unless something immediate is threatening life like a dinosaur chasing after them to gobble them up, how many people are really going to change on January 1?

We all know we shouldn’t smoke, eat crap, drink too much, take drugs, blah, blah, blah, but people who are serious about change just do it. New Years resolutions are like many other bizarre outdated traditions. We have no idea why we do it, but we do. We kid ourselves into thinking we can achieve something life changing before the strike of midnight and then annually set ourselves up to fail. It confirms the fact that if aliens are watching us, no wonder they haven’t announced their arrival!

Image via legacy.samplestore.com

January 10, 2015

Scrap Those Resolutions: 4 ‘Better You’ Goals for 2014

With it being halfway through January, most of us have already made our New Year’s resolutions – and promptly started to neglect them. So rather than sweating over the guilt from breaking our own half-hearted promises to look like Lara Bingle by March, why not use this year to improve yourself in a less predictable fashion. Here are my top suggestions for self development – no diet required.

Read more
From making you more empathetic to staving off Alzheimer’s disease, regular reading does wonders for your brain and state of mind. Studies have shown that reading can be therapeutic by assisting in the reduction of stress, while improving your mood; so rather than trying to switch off after a big day by watching telly, curl up with a good book – evidence suggests you’ll sleep better for it too. And it’s not all rest and relaxation, despite being a super soothing pastime, your brain is actually hard at work. Reading improves your memory, expands your vocabulary and builds your analytical skills – all while you’re chilling out. So for a brain boosting resolution, get between the covers.

Learn to cook
For me, learning to cook not only established my independence once I had moved out, but also became a creative outlet. Learning new dishes expands your knowledge of cultures and tastes, but is also a great way of gaining an understanding of nutrition and health. Nurturing yourself and the people around you with home cooking is a wonderful way to bring people together, but also expand your skills. Currently I’m loving When French Women Cook, a gastro-memoir by Madeleine Kamman.

Create a savings plan
Savings is an essential element of a working life. Whether it’s about putting pennies aside for a dream holiday, or starting your own nest egg, savings can make a huge difference. As a general rule, putting ten per cent of every paycheck aside is a perfect start; it’s too little to feel you’re depriving yourself of your hard earned funds, but enough to build upon. It’s a fact of life that there will be unexpected costs, having savings works as a security net to save you from hitting the credit cards too hard if things do go belly up, and are a brilliant motivator to help you achieve your goals. Try setting up an automatic transfer every time you get paid, then before you know it you’ll have a reserve.

Learn a language
Besides being somewhat sexy and exotic, a new language can give you an all-round better brain. Studying a language means you’re better able to understand the subtle nuances of words that can sway our feelings. This means you’ll be able to make more rational choices and, as studies have shown, build more sophisticated decision-making skills. Bilingual people have been shown to be superior at multitasking and focusing too, so odds are you’ll be better and more effective at work (and play). You’ll have a sharpened grasp of your first language too and significantly reduce your likelihood of dementia. Organised and sexy? Can’t wait.

What new goals have you set for yourself this year?

Kate Jones blogs about writing and pop culture at Calvicle Capitalism.

January 16, 2014