Sticking to New Year’s resolutions beyond January isn’t just about will-power – it’s about forming unbreakable habits…
We’re all guilty of overindulging at Christmas, which is why many of us feel a slight sense of relief to throw ourselves into a health and wellness routine in January. But the concept of ‘self care’ isn’t just about hitting the gym as hard as possible every day – it’s about listening to your body, taking take time out, paying attention to your surroundings and listening to the needs of others. Self-care comes in many different shapes and sizes, so here are a few self-care habits that will set you up for success in 2020…
1. Discover the power of meditation
We teamed up with Headspace recently, which means that many of the Urban Sports Club team have started making a habit of meditating every morning. I’ve personally found the experience transformational. With just 10 minutes of meditation per day I am thinking more clearly, making better decisions, concentrating for much longer and am being kinder and more thoughtful towards other people. When I go a day without meditating I can really feel the difference in my mood.
Many people are afraid that they’ll ‘fail’ at meditation, that they’ll somehow ‘do it wrong’ – but with guided meditation from Headspace you’ll be led through each exercise, step by step, and you’ll quickly find that it’s impossible to do it wrong. Just the act of meditating is correct and beneficial in itself, regardless of how focussed your mind is.
2. Keep a gratitude journal
A lot of people wake up and immediately reach for their phones, starting their day by scrolling through Instagram or liking Facebook posts. I definitely used to be guilty of this. Although social media is an inevitable part of modern life, we begin our days by looking outward at other people’s lives, rather than inward at our own. Keeping a gratitude journal each morning means that you check-in with yourself on a daily basis and start every day on a positive note. No matter how negative you feel, when you list the things and people in your life that you’re grateful for, you instantly start thinking positively.
I was given the gift of a Six Minute Diary this year, and it’s transformed my mornings. Now, over breakfast, I write down three things I’m grateful for, three things I can do to make my day great and one positive affirmation. I always list my exercise plans and the work I must complete for the day, and seeing those plans written down makes it far more likely I will do them!
3. Get moving
In my opinion, the best thing about Urban Sports Club is the variety – you don’t need to stick to just one sport and the app is by your side even when need a rest. If you’ve hit CrossFit hard, you can check-in to a sauna, or if you’re stiff from bouldering you can recuperate with Yin Yoga. There’s no better way to boost your mood, confidence and social life than by staying active, and once you get into the habit of factoring in a little movement every day, you’ll feel so good you won’t ever want to give it up.
4. Eat that frog
Mark Twain once said “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” ‘Eat that frog’ might seem like a strange thing to say – but it actually makes a lot of sense. The idea is to get the most challenging and unpleasant task of the day out of the way as soon as possible. In fact, Canadian-American public speaker Brian Tracey has written a book about the concept. The idea is that your motivation is at its highest first thing in the morning, which means there’s no better time to get that challenging task out of the way. Try it yourself – just choose one task each day and make sure you get it done before anything else. It’s the ultimate procrastination-buster and is guaranteed to make you more productive, positive and efficient.
5. A daily act of kindness
It might seem strange, recommending this for ‘self’ care, but doing something for somebody else is guaranteed to boost your mood and make you feel fantastic. It’s just like Barbara de Angelis says – “Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.”
Get into the habit of performing a daily act of kindness and you will see your mood lift and peoples’ reaction to you change. An act of kindness could be small, like telling your boss that your colleague has done a fantastic job on a project – or it could be big, like helping out in a food bank. You could give a stranger a compliment, buy a friend a gift or simply tell someone you love them. Whatever it is, no kindness will ever go unnoticed. And you always get what you give, so the universe will bring it back round to you.
6. Get out of your comfort zone
Is there one thing you’ve always wanted to try but have been too afraid to do it? It can be something as simple as trying a new class or making new friends. In January, make a habit of trying new things. It’s terrifying at first, but magic truly happens outside of your comfort zone. Whether it’s rock-climbing, parkour, trampolining or meditation, there’s no better way to kick start a year of healthy habits than by getting out your comfort zone with Urban Sports Club. You can try something new every day with your membership as well as make new friends, get fit and learn what you’re truly capable of.
Sign up to Urban Sports Club and start forming happy, healthy habits today.
Header image: Photo © Bruce Mars on Unsplash