Setting goals, no matter what time of year, can be so incredibly difficult because often we go for glory—setting huge aspirations and overlooking the daily habits needed to make these goals happen. But New Year’s Resolutions stopped me from doing this because it forced me to make conscious goal-setting a habit.
Every December I sit back and reflect on the past year, thinking about what I liked, what I didn’t and what made an impact. Then I look at where I want to go in the next year, whether that’s in my personal or professional life. This started as a subconscious habit but it’s now turned into a tradition. A way to review the previous year and set me up for the next one so I can hit the ground running. And over the years of doing this, I’ve noticed one thing: I thrive when I focus on daily habits over yearly goals.
The mindset shift that focussed on the now and making every day a bit better changed the game for me! And so as we’ve just begun a brand new year, I wanted to share the daily practices I’ll be focussing on over the next 12 months.
Goal: Improve my fitness
Daily Habit: Incorporate exercise into my morning routine
I’m not a natural morning person and the thought of exercising first thing is just not my thing. It’s why I’ve always stuck to evening workouts. However, last year, I found that as things got added to my to-do list throughout each day, I lost the motivation to work out. Instead, my mind became focused on my to-do list and as a result, I never consistently made it to the gym.
As someone that has a sedentary job and autoimmune diseases, I need to make sure I’m getting enough exercise. Movement is really important (to us all), and so I have made a promise to myself to make a small change to my morning routine and get my workout in first thing each morning. This way I get to start my day with some me time, and I know that it’s done—so no matter what’s added to my to-do list each day, I’ve had that space to take care of my body.
I started this one a little while ago, and I’m not going to lie, it was a struggle. Some days I’d sit on my exercise mat and I’d have to talk myself into it. But it gets easier each day—and hopefully, when I check in and review my goals at the end of the year, I can confidently say it’s become a natural part of my routine.
Goal: Increase gut health
Daily Habit: Add a probiotic to my daily supplements
I haven’t been feeling the healthiest recently. Between flu and feeling run down, I’ve been lethargic and not feeling my best, so I spent some time researching the human body and how I can help mine to live a healthy lifestyle. What I found is that a lot of the symptoms I was having seemed to be caused by gut imbalances. Whether it’s bloating, nausea, fatigue or acid reflux—they all pointed to the same thing. And my research showed that essentially, our gut is the foundation of everything. It aids the fuelling of our bodies by absorbing nutrients and digesting foods and so if there’s an imbalance, there’s a knock-on effect. It doesn’t work properly, which can have an effect on your immune system, your serotonin and hormones—making it even more challenging to stay healthy.
I’d taken probiotics before but I wasn’t very consistent. So, I’ve started taking Symprove and this has been the most efficient one for me. It’s a liquid which works really well for me and I’ve been taking it for about a month so far. They suggest that it takes 12 weeks to receive the full effects but I will say that my bloating issues seems to have disappeared, which is amazing as this is something I’ve always struggled with!
I have a discount code too! Use: SONYA15 for 15% off the 12-week pack.
Goal: Practice gratitude
Daily Habit: Resume journaling
It’s been scientifically proven that journaling is good for your mental and physical health. But for some reason, I find that I stop journaling when life feels a bit heavy. Which is counterproductive, I know, as that’s exactly the time I need it most!
But this year I’ve made a point to start again with my trusty Five Minute Journal! It’s a journal I always go back to and repeatedly buy as I love the simplicity. If you’re new to journaling I highly recommend this one, it’s what I started with.
Journaling helps to set intentions and keep you accountable to yourself. It can also be a great stress reliever when you’re having one of those days. Having a dedicated space to list the things that were good in a day you may have felt was a bad one, can transform your mindset, alter your mood and shift your perspective—showing you the good in every day. I’ve also started keeping a notebook on my bedside table, along with my journal, to document those moments I won’t want to forget, after being prompted by a dear friend of mine (thanks Amy!).
And last, but by no means least, is a classic:
Goal: Increase savings
Habit: Increase my standing order
In 2023 I want to increase my savings. To do this, I sat down and reviewed my monthly budget, looking at which costs I could eliminate or relocate. I reduced my subscriptions and cut out some luxuries that I would miss, but was willing to miss out on (not my skincare!!) and that was hard, but with the cost-of-living increasing, my priorities have changed and now I want to create more of a financial buffer to help me feel secure in uncertain times.
And that’s it for 2023! I’ll check back in next year with a progress update. What are you aiming for this year?