My year of more and less

Perhaps you kicked off your new year with resolutions to overnight change your life as from 1 January and perhaps you have made some real progress - well done!

That is no small feat. Take the time to acknowledge just how hard it is to change.

But perhaps you are like me. I make resolutions every year, with the best intentions to transform who I am with a radical change.

And it works....well, for a couple of days or 10...

So this year, I would love to share a couple of changes I am making because I am simply tired of always aiming and never hitting my goals or for that matter giving up. I am not going to tell you what you must be doing, because you have free choice of your own life and what you want to do. But just maybe my journey helps you and if I can help 1 person then this blog post will be worth it.

My Guiding principles

Lasting change isn't an overnight fix

I haven't formed my habits within the last 24 hours, so I am not going to change that quickly. For example, I cannot start exercising every day if I am a total certified couch potato. My habits I have now formed over time, and new habits will need to replace these over time.

So I am making small weekly changes to form lasting habits that will last for the long run.

One of my goals is to become healthier and lose weight, but there are too many things I want to change which makes my head spin. I lose focus simply because there is too much to focus on.

I don't have time for more

Exercise more, do more, more more more...

That's exhausting! The last time I checked time didn't become more at the snap of my little fingers. So I have to create more time.

That means I need to let go of stuff. Less TV watching, less mindlessly scrolling social media (gasp, what?!), less sitting thinking about stuff and less tv watching.

Don't get me wrong, a good binge watching sessions is great, but I don't want to look back on another year and say Wow! My biggest time was spent watching all the latest series. I would rather say I got stuff done, stuff that matters to me. Stuff I have been meaning to do. I prefer that above tv bingeing. So do less of what doesn't bring me closer to my goals.

My mind is my biggest ally

I am only as strong as my mind tells me. For that I need to keep it in tip top shape.

Less negative words and less putting myself down for the benefit of others. Less "no" and less excuses. E.g: replace "Sorry I am late" with "Thanks for waiting for me", replace "I am so silly for doing that" with "Next time I will do it differently".

Would you tell your best friend how bad she is at every corner? Probably not, so why do it to yourself?

Less Toxic

I need to create time for me and for those who matter most. I can't be wasting it on toxic relationships that do not support my mentality, my optimism and my goals. I would rather invest my time in those who positively influence my life. They just suck the time out of my day, time I spend thinking about how their negative words impact on my life.

Less drama Mama!

Forgive yourself

We are so quick to forgive others, yet we hold ourselves to a different standard.

I am especially bad on this, it is ok for others to stumble, but I want it simply perfect. And when I stumble I get off the wagon and it takes me forever to get

back into gear. So the simplest is just forgive myself, regroup and get back on with a pat on the back - "You will do better next time, it is OK! No one is 100% perfect all the time". And in the words of the wise Anna of Arendelle: "Do the next right thing".

PS - I took inspiration from the Panda Planner in shaping my goals. If I consistently hit my goals then I will reward myself with it to enable my future goals.

So here are my goals and steps for 2021 from one busy work from home mama with a husband, a toddler and a baby, a zoo of animals together with a pandemic shaping our worlds.

Here in short are my goals:

1. Care about my health, inside out

2. Be more connected with those who matter

3. Use my time efficiently and wisely

4. Less junk

I would love to have a greener footprint and all such other lovely things, but let's start with these and work our way up.

  1. Care about my health inside out

Let's get the big one out of the way.

I would love to lose a toddler in weight, but that is unrealistic and when the goal is unrealistic you can't see it and when you yourself cannot see the outcome how can you believe in it enough to achieve it?

For me weight is a by-product of healthy food, exercise and other healthy choices in lifestyle in general.

My body needs to last, so making a quick fix simply isn't good enough for the long run.

Breaking these up into manageable steps:

Drink 2litres of water every day. That means one on waking and tracking how many 500ml water bottles I drink a day. This also means reducing my coffee intake. I will miss my caffeine fix, but I found that green tea makes a great substitute. I like these Tegreen capsules that doesn't leave a horrible taste in my mouth and because they are virtually caffeine free and safe to use during breastfeeding. I use 1 a day and my mind is razor sharp and focused. It also helps boost metabolism, now who doesn't like that?

Go less carbs. I would like to reduce my human made consumption of carbs. Note, this is not a gluten war and I am not saying I will never have carbs again. I am saying I want to be better at this. BUT to make this change I will be breaking it down in steps.

First focusing on breakfast, then dinner and then lunch. This way I don't have too much to focus on all at once and I build a strong foundation. Including veggies and protein at every step.

On those days that life just gets out of hand, my plan is to substitute with Yummy Mummy Protein Collagen Shakes and Booby Bars as they contain all the goodness for health and wellbeing whilst encouraging good breastmilk production.

Including more fruit, more fish and less sugar in my diet. Mind you, these will not happen all at once but over time focussing on changing one habit per goal per week and staying on a habit until I am ready to move on.

Move more. Initially focus on increasing activity. Walking the dogs, taking a walk with my daughter on her bike etc. Becoming more focused with time. Same as with carbs, taking this one step at a time. First start walking 3 days a week. Then include arms, then include other problem areas so that I have a focused approach for my own body. I am a certified couch potato, so leave me to work this way instead of thinking I would unrealistically do 5km anytime soon.