“It is never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck, do better.”
Before I start this post, let me just say that I’m not one of those tumblr girls who drink skinny lattes with soya milk and have avocado on Rye bread for breakfast, and have absolutely all of their sh*t perfectly together. BUT my life has changed for the better, and I’m proud of it, and day by day I feel closer to what I’m out to achieve because of these.
We all have bad habits, and we often know that they are in fact – bad, but it’s so easy to tell ourselves that it’s just part of who we are now, and one of those things. I’ve been there, I still have my bad habits, but we CAN change. After the age of 35, I read that it is nearly 7 times harder to change a habit because it’s been so engrained into us, that I decided at 20, enough is enough. It was time to reenforce who I wanted to be, and how I wanted to live. It takes 28 days to form a habit, and over the past four months I have really focused on trying to become the best version of myself. At first it won’t feel natural to change what you’ve always done, but change is good, though it feels scary, and now it would feel completely unnatural if I ever reversed these habits to how I previously was.
“A good laugh and a long sleep, are the best two cures for anything.”
Below are some habits which I’ve really worked on, and honestly feel transformed by them.
PILATES & EXERCISE
A lot of the aspects of yoga appealed to me. The calmness, mindfulness and the way that it solely depends on your body’s strength, but after giving it a go previously it just wasn’t for me. I wanted something more physically strenuous (not to discredit Yoga, I was probably the problem), and stumbled upon Cassey Ho’s Pop Pilates Programme. Following her beginner programme, I can’t tell you how much she tires you out, but you know what? You really do become stronger. By the day I was finding moves that were a killer, to be easier and easier, I was seeing my body change, moving onto the advanced calendar, and bizarrely, I found it… FUN! *gasp* Two stone down and I do less Pilates now, and more strength training but I really enjoy Pilates and it has built up my strength and love for exercise undeniably, and after a morning workout I feel rejuvenated and ready to kick off the rest of the day as productive as my morning.
“Be the energy you want to attract.”
USING MY PHONE LESS.
In a world where everything is visual, you go for dinner and people snap their food, you walk your dog and you’re monitoring your texts, on the go I’m planning my latest blog post, I forget to buy something for filming, and it’s at my fingertips on Amazon Prime; absolutely everything is instant. And yes, it’s amazing, but it can also be harmful. As humans, myself included, we have become so dependent on the instant gratification of social media, and the internet. I’ve really tried to focus on putting my phone down when I walk, living in the moment when I’m meeting friends, and on a weekend when I’m with my boyfriend, to use my phone as little as possible (though to be honest, 99% of my phone usage is talking to him anyway). By focusing on living in the moment, as cheesy as this sounds, I’ve noticed it particularly on walks. I find myself really listening to the surroundings and enjoying myself, I get lost in my thoughts instead of my phone, and find myself inspired. It’s like being in the shower, of course there’s no phone and there I always lose myself (mainly in bad singing of ABBA but that’s not the point). Sometimes it’s good to be out of touch, whether it’s temporary or not.
WAKING UP ONE HOUR EARLIER.
I have written a blog post on the benefits of waking up earlier, but by saying rise and shine at 7am I have so much more time in the day, and hours to prioritise to something that previously I couldn’t have afforded. It allows me downtime and reflection, before my morning workout, time to go for a morning walk, and time to allocate, that before I wouldn’t have even seen. It also gives me more time on an evening for self-care and to spend with loved ones, because chances are with my extra time, I’ve finished my daily tasks earlier.
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
As an absolute childhood bookworm, I can safely say I read books by the hour. I was always learning and filling my head with tales of the Famous Five, or Harry Potter, and the Enchanted Wood. Nowadays, my books are somewhat different, but reading really does enrich you. In a world where we’re always so busy, and no one stands still, it’s hard to sit down and read. It can often feel like ‘a waste of time’ (that pained me to say it), but by allowing us to unwind and escape into pages for even 10 minutes a day, it improves your brain activity, relaxes you (unless you’re a Stephen King lover) and can even improve our vocabulary.
LEARNING TO SAY NO.
I have struggled with this for so so long. I want to help people, and I love being able to do people favours, or fix things for them, but often it can be at the expense of ourselves. Whilst making sacrifices for others is important, and what makes us human, it is really important to also prioritise ourselves when needed. Often people can see the temperament that you have, and use it to walk over you, knowing that you’ll say yes, and take advantage. Finally after 20 years of doing things that I’ve felt like I had to, or putting myself out because I felt impolite, I’ve finally understand that it is perfectly acceptable to say no. Kindness is a commodity that shouldn’t come at the expense of yourself. Of course helping people is wonderful, I am all for doing for others whatever you can and more, but you CAN help others, and yourself, at the same time.
PLANNING THE NIGHT BEFORE.
Planning my day from my alarm, my workout, my daily tasks, studying, work, self tapes etc has really allowed me to be able to fully reflect on the day ahead, and prepare. By having a list to aim for, I wake up with purpose, and aim to check off all my list by the time the evening draws in. It means that I never forget anything that I have to do, and depending on time constraints, I am able to prioritise what is needed most importantly. By doing this, I also never feel guilty because I am able to look back at what I have done that day, and be proud.
“To change your life you need to change your priorities.”
DRINKING GREEN TEA & WATER.
I drink 3-4 litres of water a day, and I’ll admit at first it was a task, I’d set an alarm every three hours to have a litre, and have a glass with every meal, but now it’s second nature. I carry my Chilly bottle around everywhere with me, and constantly fill it. My skin has never been better, my hair never shinier and I really do feel so hydrated and rejuvenated by it. Who knew the stuff everyone said about water was true eh! I also drink three cups of green tea a day. At first, I absolutely HATED it, but for me it was better than trying apple cider vinegar or any other ‘health’ drink. If normal green tea isn’t for you, I highly highly recommend Jasmine Green tea, and Pomegranate, they’re delicious. Green tea is the healthiest drink in the world, the benefits are honestly insane, from weight loss, antioxidants, nutrients, brain stimulation, metabolism increase, and even known links to decrease the risk of cancer, it genuinely makes me feel so much better. Since drinking green tea I’ve noticed myself being less immune to illness, and colds and flu too!
I’m very lucky to live in a small village in the countryside. I always used to want to be somewhere else, in the big city, or far away, and I never stopped to look outside my window and realise how lucky I was. By walking my dog, whether it’s for an hour in the morning, or even 20 minutes on an evening, it feels so good to breathe in the fresh air, and be alone in the rural fields. It gives me a real chance to clear my head and enjoy the quietness in such a loud world.
“The best way to appreciate someone, is to picture your life without them.”
Linked to the last point, I have been really focusing on appreciating what I have more, trying to moan less, and look after my things, and relationships with more care. It’s so easy these days to go on instagram, and wish for what you don’t have. It’s so easy to forget that what people post, is what they want you to see. Everyone has bad days, and are human. I’m really trying to show gratification for the things that I do have. All that I have, I have worked for, but being able to work, to walk, to wake up in a beautiful village, to have someone who loves me, despite the miles and miles between us, and to have an education to even be able to write this post, it isn’t a given. It isn’t what everyone is lucky enough to have, and for that I will constantly remind myself of how fortunate I am.
“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
Surround yourself with positive people, that you admire, that reflect who you want to be. You can’t escape all negativity, but you can escape negative and toxic people. Who you spend time with the most, is who you will become. As an Empath, being surrounded constantly by toxic people really gets to me and takes all of my energy, by choosing who I let in my life, it really has made me happier.
What I’ve learned the most is that life really is one big lesson, of ups and downs and self discoveries. I’d love to hear positive habits that people follow, or would like to follow. There’s many more that I’m striving to do!