Because what’s more important than your relationship, really?
Let’s be honest here, New Year’s resolutions are pretty damn hard to keep. It doesn’t matter how many gym sessions you promise yourself you’ll do or how much money you’ll put aside for a rainy day, the motivation wears thin for most after the first month or two.
According to Forbes, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. For many, most of these goals aren’t realistic and thus, it makes it near impossible to achieve them. For others though, it’s simply a matter of setting New Year’s resolutions that they don’t enjoy enough to complete. Here’s a set of goals for this year you will actually enjoy – and want to make them happen!
1. Create a skincare routine
Skincare regimes should already be part of your daily routine but let’s face it, life gets the better of us and just like those New Year’s resolutions it gets shoved to the side. For this year, make it a goal to create a skincare routine that works for you. Whether it’s a fresh routine because you’re old one just didn’t cut it, or you try a new range of skincare products – it’s an easy way to feel and look fantastic.
Different skincare routines work for different people so if something isn’t fitting for you and your lifestyle, the New Year can be a great chance to try something different. If you do decide to test a new range out, it may take a while for your skin to adjust – so be patient. Sometimes a change in one or two items in your make up range or skincare products can add a little excitement into that daily routine.
Because there’s so many products out there, it can get a little confusing what’s best for your skin type. Trial and error tends to be the most common way to test products, or speak to a day spa or skin and makeup professional to get some tips. As a rule of thumb, there’s some ingredients you should avoid altogether – especially if you have sensitive skin. This article provides some great tips about what your skincare should include to keep you glowing and looking beautiful.
2. Live and eat a little healthier
Healthy living and weight loss is one of the top five most common New Year’s resolutions. Every year we promise ourselves we’ll get a gym membership, quit smoking and cut back on alcohol and sugar. The reality? A bunch of empty promises and a “don’t worry, there’s always next year!”
The best way to live and eat a little healthier is to not over commit. By creating a healthy goal that’s realistic for you, you’re more likely going to want to do it. Start by making small swaps as opposed to waking up one day and believing you’re never going to touch a candy bar again. Swap sugary treats that give you empty energy for smarter choices like sweet cacao powder nibs. As you start to feel and look healthier or have more energy, you’ll find it easier to commit to bigger health goals.
3. Book frequent massages
Sounds horrible doesn’t it? Massages aren’t just some luxury item you can only treat yourself with once in a blue moon, it’s actually the perfect way to relieve stress. And it gets better! Once your stress levels are maintained, you’ll have more energy and look and feel fantastic. Plus, they feel great too.
This year, boko yourself a massage every month. Make it part of your ‘me’ time or pamper yourself on a date night with your other half. For many, massages are one of those guilty pleasures, but the therapeutic benefits it offers should make it a priority for everyone.
4. Indulge in a new experience
Everyone thrives on indulging in something new. Whether it’s as simple as new dinner spot, a different hobby or an adventure to make you feel alive, new experiences can be really refreshing. Whilst most people will complete a new activity throughout the year, it can make your New Year’s resolutions even more rewarding to make a goal of it.
Perhaps there’s a band you’ve always wanted to see, but haven’t yet or a sports game you’ve been hanging to watch but always too busy. For the thrill seeker, trying sky diving for the first time can always make for a fun New Year’s resolution. Maybe you want to learn a language, attend a dance class or participate in a cocktail making or cooking class. Whatever it is you chose make sure it’s fun for you!
By changing your New Year’s resolutions to ones that are enjoyable and stimulating, you’ll be more likely to tick them off throughout the year.
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
With the New Year many of us are looking to bring something new into our lives, a change that will make us healthier and happier. Yet, we often go about it in the same old way. We set a resolution, we get excited about it, we might even stick with it for a few weeks and then we forget about it until the next year. If this is a cycle that’s been happening to you, do something different this time and choose just one word for the year. Here’s why:
It gives you focus
One word instead of a bunch of (sometimes conflicting) resolutions is easy to remember and easy to use for every decision in your life. Struggling with a choice? Remember your word and choose what would be most in line with your theme. As easy as that.
It can’t be broken
The problem with resolutions is that once you break them, it can be all over. You see yourself as a failure and even if you bring yourself to start again, it’s not the same. It feels like you’ve wasted your effort, you’re starting from scratch and it’s just too much work. Unlike resolutions, your one word is not something you have to do to be successful. It’s your guide, your North Star. You know you’ll never fully reach it 100% of the time, but it’s there to show you the way.
It makes you happy
Resolutions are often associated with hard work, no wonder we don’t stick with them. Your one word, on the other hand, is a feeling or a quality you want in your life. When you say your word, your imagination will usually draw positive, uplifting images (if not, you need to change your word!) instead of struggle.
How to choose your one word
Imagine accomplishing your goals in the New Year. What got you here? What qualities does the future you have that helped you reach your goals? Write them down. Then ask yourself what feelings would you like to have more of in your life? Joy, love, peace, fulfillment? Add them to your list. Then pick the word that calls to you most.
Don’t worry that you’ll leave something important out, everything is interrelated. You will find that the other qualities and feelings from your list show up to support the one that you’ve chosen as your guide. To have fulfilment, often you must have courage. To feel more joy, you may have to allow more ease into your life. Plus you can always focus on something else next year.
Now, your turn. What word is calling to you to be your theme for 2015?
Image by jill111 via pixabay.com
I could safely say that most of us know why we celebrate Christmas Day and Easter, but what about New Years Eve? Why do so many cultures across the globe farewell the passing year and welcome in a new one with lavish celebrations, fireworks, kisses at midnight and that weird song, “Auld Lang Syne”? I wanted to find out what it’s all about and share what I’ve discovered.
The first New Year’s celebrations
According to history.com, the first celebration to mark the new year began about 4000 years ago in ancient Babylon. It wasn’t celebrated on January 1st, like we do now. Their New Years Day was celebrated in late March with the arrival of the first new moon after the spring equinox (which was based on the movement of the sun).
They developed a religious festival call Akitu (Sumerian for barley) which lasted for 11 days. Behind the festivities was the belief that good powered over evil, which served a political interest when either a new king was crowned or current ruler’s mandate was renewed.
In other cultures, such as Egypt and China, the new year was marked by agricultural or astronomical events. For example, Egypt’s new year was when the Nile flooded, bringing new life to the province.
Celebrating New Year’s Day on January 1st
It wasn’t until 46 B.C. when Julius Caesar pronounced the Julian Calendar, which similar to the Gregorian calendar used today across many cultures, including our own. This was when January 1st initially became New Years Day. They celebrated by giving sacrificial offings to the God Janus (the Roman god of beginnings), exchanged gifts, placed laurel branches in their homes as decorations and had parties. The parties were quite an event where things apparently went a lot further than the humble smooch! Noise was encouraged to ward off evil spirits.
With the rise of Christianity in Medieval Europe, New Years day celebrations were replaced in lieu of Christian events such as Christmas Day. This is how it remained until 1582, when January 1st was reclaimed as New Years Day by Pope Gregory XIII.
New Year’s resolutions
The first of the traditions which were celebrated, date back to the instigators of New Years Day; the Babylonians. Their resolutions were in the form of promises to the Gods, like paying back their debts and returning borrowed farm equipment. To them, this was important stuff. Ultimately they wanted to get in the good books with the Gods for the upcoming year.
Consuming certain foods
In many countries foods plays an important role in celebrations, but not so much in our own culture. In Spain and Spanish speaking cultures, they consume a dozen grapes just prior to midnight to secure good fortune for upcoming months.
Legumes like lentils in Italy and black-eyed peas in the southern United States also symbolize good fortune because of their coin like appearance. Pork features prominently in places like Cuba and some European countries. Ring-shaped cakes and pastries, feature in the Netherlands, Mexico, Greece and other places. The Swedes and Norwegians hide an almond inside rice pudding and whoever finds it should expect a fortunate upcoming year.
The Chinese are the traditional creators of fireworks and therefore most celebrations included them. Their loud noise is said to ward away evil spirits. These days we celebrate with fireworks because they are enjoyed by so many people and cities put on marvelous displays for the masses.
Auld Lang Syne
Auld Lang Syne was a poem written by Scotsman, Robert Burns in 1788 and sung to the tune of a traditional folk song. In many English speaking countries, it’s sung at midnight on New Years Eve to farewell the old year and welcome in the new one. Many people know the tune, but by midnight the words often get a bit muddled!
Kissing at midnight
Giving and receiving a kiss at the strike of midnight New Years Eve began out of superstition. The ancient Romans were believed to have been the first to pucker up to ward off loneliness for the upcoming year. It’s also rumored that things went a wee bit further than kissing and there were possibly a few orgies going on in the prominent homes. Now, they really wanted to make sure they weren’t lonely!
The English and Germans elaborated on the superstition, believing that the quality of the kiss would indicate the quality of happiness experienced for the remainder of the year. This may be why the New Years Eve kiss is believed to be a special kiss, particularly for couples.
The Time Square ball drop
1904 was the first New Year to be welcomed in at Time Square. By 1907, Adolph Ochs, owner of The New York Times, commissioned Artkraft Strauss to design and construct an electrically lit ball which would drop at the stroke of midnight. He wanted something other than fireworks to wow the growing crowds.
Since then the ball has dropped each year, except 1942 and 1943 due to WW2 blackout restrictions. It has been reconstructed over the years and millions of people, world wide look forward to the famous Times Square New Years Eve ball drop.
Image via http://up.arthuriusmaximus.com.br
On 1 January 2014, I promised myself I would become an expert yoga practitioner over the coming year (or several). I promptly enrolled in a yoga class and bought my very own mat, which I immediately put in my car so I would have it with me whenever I felt the need to zen out. Almost a year later, that mat is still on my backseat, rolled up in its original packaging.
Yes, life happened, work happened, I got lazy, blah blah blah… But was it ever going to work? If I was actually resolved to become a yogi, wouldn’t I have made a Right Now Resolution? At the risk of sounding like my mother: why put off ’til tomorrow what you can do today? Perhaps this is why it’s December and I still can’t do a downward facing dog.
But in the spirit of this totally futile tradition, I will make a 2015 resolution just because I can. This time, I asked 10 women to share their New Year’s resolutions in hope of finding some inspiration to kick start my motivation.
“My new year resolution – aside from the usual get fit, eat healthy etc. – is to find balance. I want to spend more time being happy with the simple things. I need to stress less and invest in being calm and spiritual.” – Jessica
“To eat an oyster.” – EJ
“This year I need to save money, stop swearing and be less judgemental. Oh, and lose weight.” – Emily M
“Learn how to say more than ‘una manzana’ in Spanish, do more yoga, read a book before the movie is released and try to cut back on my 3pm Nutella time.” – Oleta
“Remind myself how lucky I am, everyday.” – Elise
“I would like to work more structured hours, have better daily routines and try new things more often.” – Elizabeth
“Eat less Dominoes and try not to get so hangry.” – Rebecca
“I’m going back to university, so I need to save money!” – Emily D
“Keep my indoor plant alive.” – Amy
What is your resolution for 2015? Tell us in the comment section, below.
If you are like almost half of the population, you will be thinking of making New Year resolutions. The sad fact is that most people don’t achieve their resolutions, but with a bit of planning you can be one of few smug few who can make your resolutions a reality.
A study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol in 2007 showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail. Another study by the University of Scranton showed that it has a lot to do with age. 39% of people in their twenties achieved their resolution each year while this dropped to 14% for people inTo achieve New Year resolutions you need to understand a bit about how your mind works and how to remove obstacles to success.
In his New Year resolution book A Course in Happiness, Frank Ra maintains that “resolutions are more sustainable when shared, both in terms of with whom you share the benefits of your resolution, and with whom you share the path of maintaining your resolution. Peer-support makes a difference in success rate with New Year’s resolutions”.
Chris Noone, co-founder of www.PromiseLocker.com, supports the view that sharing your goals with others improves the chance of success. After a few unsuccessful solo attempts he and a few friends promised each other that they would lose weight and enter competitive sporting events. Importantly they also told all of their friends.
“Because we publicly declared our commitment we had the support of friends and family, plus a bit of peer pressure from the rest of the group. We were all able to achieve results that we had only dreamed of previously”.
James Brodie, a strength and conditioning Coach for the Manly Marlins Rugby Union Club and owner of J-Train Athletic Performance, works one-on-one with his clients to achieve their fitness goals.
“The ones who really succeed are those who make public pacts and get ongoing encouragement from their friends and family. This holds them accountable and puts the responsibility on them to work harder to achieve these goals”, said James.
Here are some more tips to help you achieve success in 2014.
A big goal sounds impressive, but is hard to achieve. Start by setting small goals so you begin to understand how you can best achieve results. Once you have a few successes under your belt and understand your potential, take a step up to a bigger goal.
We all need help to maintain our motivation. Set your goals so that you can celebrate the small achievements along the way. Short sprints are much more effective and enjoyable than a long, slow slog.
Share your success with friends and family so they can congratulate you along the way. Don’t be afraid to let them know if you slip up too! You’ll find that encouragement from others can be really motivating. At the very least, the risk of public failure will make improve your dedication. Set up a blog to share your progress or use Facebook or Twitter. Websites like PromiseLocker and apps such as Lift and Everest make it easy to record, track and share your commitments.
Plan for Setbacks
Nobody is perfect. Life has a habit of getting in the way of New Year resolutions. Accept this as normal and don’t aim for perfection all of the time. Think in advance what setbacks you may encounter and how you can mitigate them.
Check Your Progress
Measuring, recording and sharing your progress are all positive steps that will support your achievement. If your progress has been good, it provides positive reinforcement to keep going. If you have fallen behind, take some time to reflect on why and what you can do to improve.
Think ahead about things that may tempt you to stray from your path and try to get them out of your life, at least for a while. This could include staying away from people who reinforce your bad habits, removing sugary foods from the cupboard or avoiding certain activities.
Make it Real
Your New Year’s Resolutions should be based on actions that are obvious. Vowing to get fit or lose weight are quite vague, instead try to commit to walking to work twice per week or not drinking sugary drinks.
Manage Your Willpower
You can’t do everything all at once. According to Roy Baumeister from Florida State University your willpower is a finite resource, so ration it for the goals that count and let some other things go. Recent research shows that willpower can be increased with positive attitude. Perhaps achieving some small goals will help you to improve your willpower.
Are you making any resolutions in 2014?
Diet fads come and go, but proven weight loss programs stand the test of time. The Biggest Loser past contestant and special guest trainer at The Biggest Loser Retreat Sharif Deen shares his best weight loss tips for summer and how to keep the weight off for good – just in time to help you achieve those new year’s resolutions.
1. Take advantage of the early light
With the sun shining early during summer, take advantage of the extra hours of daylight to get outdoors and start the day with a workout.
2. Stay hydrated
Water is the ultimate cleanser and allows your body to function more efficiently. Aim for 2-3 litres per day and remember to step it up before, during, and after exercise. Try adding a wedge of lemon or lime for a refreshing twist.
3. Reevaluate your goals
Make sure your fitness goals are still relevant to you heading into summer.
4. Create a summer training program and keep records for accountability
If you’re really serious about achieving your goals, establish and commit to a training plan. Tracking your progress will also allow you to assess what’s working for you and what’s not.
5. Eat a balanced diet that’s nutrient rich
Make sure you eat a balanced diet that’s loaded with the good stuff like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.
Sharif is a walking, talking example of achieving lasting weight loss. When he signed up for season four of The Biggest Loser, Sharif weighed in at 178kg and was the heaviest person at the outset. By the end of the show, he had lost over 70kg and has since become a special guest personal trainer at The Biggest Loser Retreat in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Since opening their doors in June, the dedicated weight loss retreat has assisted guests to lose a combined fat loss of more than 855kg through their proven weight loss program which combines education, nutrition, exercise and mentoring.
Christmas might be the time of year we look forward to the most, but it’s also a stressful time with family issues, money woes, anxiety for the year ahead and much more.
Blackmores Director of Education, Pam Stone, says: “Stress can affect people in different ways and it is important to know that there are also different things you can do to help prevent and manage its symptoms – to start to take control.”
Pam shares her top 10 tips to prevent and manage stress over the holidays, and find balance in the year ahead.
1. Prioritise your own wellbeing
Take some time out for yourself daily to do something you love and nurture you. It could be as simple as a quiet cup of tea, a long bath, massage, reading a book, taking a walk or catching up with a good friend. It can be anything you enjoy and helps you to feel good. This will keep your ‘bucket’ topped up and help you to feel refreshed and happier.
2. Manage time before time manages you
Do this by taking control of your plans and deadlines. Learn to say “no” – taking on more than you can handle is a recipe for stress. Keep a diary of your commitments and don’t forget to schedule some important free time for yourself daily.
3. Adopt a healthy lifestyle
Reduce your caffeine, sugar and alcohol consumption. By reducing these from your diet, you will feel more relaxed and grounded.
4. Eat right
Proper nutrition can ensure you are getting adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to maintain energy, health and general wellbeing. Supplementing your diet with a multivitamin can help provide nutrients that a busy lifestyle sometimes doesn’t allow.
5. Rest and digest
A healthy digestive system powers feelings of calm instead of stress and anxiety. Give your gut some added help with probiotics which help support digestive health and wellbeing.
6. Take a deep breath
This will help to increase your oxygen levels and can calm and relax.
Exercise releases endorphins which are feel good chemicals for the body. Exercise also helps use up hormones that are produced when we feel stressed, creating calm and promoting better sleep and relaxation at night.
8. Practice meditation
A quick 5-minute meditation can have a great impact on lowering your stress levels.
9. Ensure you are getting enough sleep
Adequate sleep rejuvenates your mind, as well as your body. If you have trouble getting to sleep set aside 30 minutes before going to bed to wind-down and relax by writing in a journal, reading a good book, drinking herbal tea or taking a warm bath. You can also take a herbal supplement containing valerian that supports your body’s natural ability to sleep soundly. Other beneficial ingredients include lemon balm and magnesium.
10. Avoid comfort foods when you’re under stress
Remember that refined carbohydrates can spike your blood sugar levels leaving you feeling more frazzled, exhausted and unable to concentrate. Focus on eating a well-balanced diet including fresh fruit and vegetables, low GI carbohydrates, lean protein, dairy and drink lots of water. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. A multivitamin can also help to provide essential nutrients to assist you through the day.