I am proud to say I am more than content with my life. I am not one for massive changes, grand gestures or packing my suitcase and moving away. I do however try to change little parts of my day to day routine which I know will make me feel better in the long run. Changes which are cheaper than an around the world ticket, or expensive presents to myself. This year I made small changes to make 2017 a better year. These are the ones which really stuck with me.
- Eating breakfast at home – I use to get to work at least 30 minutes earlier than needed. In that time I would rattle through my emails whilst the office was quiet and eat my breakfast. Due to the office refurbishment, I began eating my breakfast at home, instantly noticing a difference in my morning. The additional time to myself at home in the morning made me feel a lot more relaxed than eating whilst reading. It gave me time in the morning to think of other things than just work and has given me a much more positive outlook on my day.
- Not putting pressure on myself going to the gym – Over the years I have always put pressure on myself to try and achieve everything to look like a successful all-rounder. One of those was to go to the gym. I have always in parts enjoyed the gym, I love the feeling I have after a good work out. This year, however, for reasons unknown I was struggling to fit work, horses, Dougal and the gym in. I do feel it is a little bit of a waste paying for a membership which is not used enough but instead of putting pressure on myself I ensure I remain active whether its a run with Dougal, a long walk, yoga. As long as I am active I have tried to worry less about making it to the gym. My membership is there if needed but I have been able to maintain a happy weight without guilting myself into pointless gym trips.
- Being truly happy for the success of others – I don’t feel it is unhealthy to be truly happy for someone without having a pang of jealousy of where they are in their lives. I think it is perfectly normal. This year, however, I have managed to let go of that tiny bit of jealousy I ever felt and just accept our lives are all different. This has really helped me this year and I feel now my happiness for others is a lot more genuine because it is not clouded with, will I ever reach that point?
- Not letting the success of others cloud my own – following on from the above point this year I have learned the importance of being pleased with someone else’s success without it clouding my own. As they say, comparison is the thief of joy. We all move and work in different ways. Learning the direction one person is going doesn’t reflect my life in any way has helped me so much this year. Being pleased with others success is now motivating and I always learn what I can from people instead of shying away because I feel they are doing better.
- Not wearing makeup to work – Onto a completely different matter. This year I stopped wearing makeup to work. It felt wasteful, I rushed to do it in the morning. With a combination of foundations and powders along with air conditioning my skin was drying out and I really saw no point. I am happy with how I look without makeup. Now I have five days a week where my skin is able to breathe. I moisturise up and let it soak in and feel so much happier for it.
- Buying more staple clothes and less disposable fashion – For the first time ever I have begun reining back on clothes I buy. Done mainly by avoiding shopping centres entirely but I try to recycle clothes I use to love. And not worry if I have worn something a lot. If I am confident in it and I like it I no longer feel bad for wearing it.
- Double Cleansing – Changed skincare for me in 2017. I didn’t realise how important this was to my skincare routine but it has made a difference to my complexion.
- Experiences over materials – It is difficult to reason with yourself on what to spend disposable income on when you always feel as though you need to save. This has always been a bit of a battle with me. One half of me wants to see the world, the other half wants a dreamy looking house with hundreds of cushions. Whilst a nice house, and clothes make me feel better in the short term, I know travelling and experiences offer me so much more long term. This year I have pulled back on unnecessary purchases and said yes to more holidays and days out. Not only have I had the best year it makes for much better conversation than ‘ooh I got this new bag’.
- Saying no when I am feeling a little burnt out – Last year I really struggled with burn out. I was taking on so much and trying to cram everything in because I truly believed that frazzled was what success looks like. I said and did things I regret now because I felt so tired. This year I have been a lot kinder to myself. If at the weekend I feel as though I need a night in that is what I will do. I now know I need to look after myself better and rest when I am feeling a little overwhelmed. This has been so much better for my relationships with others.
- Worrying less about clean eating – in 2015/16 I hit the #eatclean trend as though my life depended on it. I swapped spaghetti for courgetti, wholemeal for rye, and tried to ensure my food was as ‘clean’ and instagramable as I could. Don’t get me wrong there were so many benefits I gained from this diet. Not only was I so pleased with my weight and figure I felt more energised and happy but for someone who now loves their food, it is bloody hard and quite frankly boring. I love bread. This year I made sure instead of ‘clean’ my diet was balanced. If I needed some chocolate or fruit juice, fizzy pop or 1000,000 chocolate hobnobs I have allowed myself them without feeling guilty. I have eaten out to my heart’s content but tried to always pick a reasonable option. Firstly this has saved me so much on food, I don’t spend hours trying to poach the perfect egg. I feel much better about my relationship with food and do you know what? Potatoes and bread don’t make me fat.
These are the ten little changes I am going to carry into 2018, excited to see where this year goes.