mental health Mandy Kloppers

How to make the most of the new year

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1)Don’t make new year’s resolutions

Instead, start making small steps toward the things you want to change. I want to lose weight but putting immense pressure on the 1st of January would be a recipe for failure. These are the small adjustments I am making, and I have been working on these steps since October:

I have made a start by cutting down my sugar by one spoon per cup.

I have reduced carbs but this one is harder to maintain

I have introduced exercise – dog walking and chair yoga and I need to increase my muscle mass.

 

Think of your goals as a work in progress – you never arrive at the ultimate place – you work your way toward improving and keep trying.

 

To get you started, I have included below great goal-setting questions to help you:

Goal Setting Worksheet:

 

  1. Let’s “dream” a little; if I could guarantee that there is absolutely no way you will fail to live the life of your dreams, what would it look like? What are you doing? Where are you? Who is with you? Close your eyes and “see it,” “feel it,” “smell it” and “touch it.” Make it real in your mind and write down every detail.

 

  1. What will you need to know to reach your “new life?” Will you require special training, a college degree, specific talents or skills? Do you know anyone that might mentor you along the way? Do you need to make some special “contacts?”

 

  1. Is there an area in your “current life” that is dragging you down and holding you back? Debt, education, a relationship, depression, your past? How can get a handle on it? Do you procrastinate? Be totally honest with yourself. Remember, no one is going to see this but you.

 

  1. What is the first, easy small step you can take today to address something you identified in the last answer? When will you take that step?

 

  1. What obstacles might pop up along the way? Can you anticipate all of them? Can you determine solutions for each problem you might encounter?

6. How will you know you’re on “the right path?” What will the first “milestone” be where you can say “I’m getting there! I’m on my way!” When will that be?

 

  1. What will you do for yourself when you reach that “milestone?” How will you “reward” yourself?

 

  1. After that first “milestone,” what will your next step be? And the next? Then the next?

 

  1. Picture yourself saying about your life’s goal “I did it!” When will that be? What is the exact, realistic date?

 

 

2) Stop comparing yourself to others

 

Delete the social media accounts that make you feel ‘less than’ and follow accounts that inspire you. What’s the deal with that – do what works and don’t torture yourself. I am so fed up with all the fakery on social media. We are all people at the end of the day – no one is better than you unless you allow them to be.

Improve on who you were last year not on what others were doing – all that does is dilute your focus. Stop that. Stop wasting your time. Your power in making the most of what you have.

 

3) Create long-term goals

 

What do you want more of? What do you want less of? You don’t need to know it all today – just find a direction that you are happy to go in and put one foot in front of the other.

Is this the year to study again? Or do you want to find more leisure time? Or is it time to be more vulnerable in your relationships or change jobs? Whatever it is – what’s stopping you from moving forward?

TAKE ACTION

 

4) Feel the fear and do it anyway

Stop making excuses, take on a small task per day and do it – no excuses. It’s the only way to get stuff done. No one else will do it for you and the longer you leave it the worse you will feel about yourself. Please don’t let fear keep your life small. People who are fearful avoid – don’t fall into that group. Be brave – try new things. It’s the best way to gain confidence. Start small though – if you know you need to go to the gym, but know that getting there will be 10/10 on the difficulty scale, try exercise at home, to begin with. I follow exercise accounts on YouTube and they do the trick!

 

No more excuses. N.M.E …

D.I.N. – DO IT NOW

 

You’ll feel so happy with yourself and that feeling feels GOOOOOOOD

 

5) Attend to your self-care EVERY day

 

Start with you and work outwards. Take that shower – it clears your mind and sets you up for action Don’t slouch around in pyjamas – psychologically it’s not good for your mental health. Your brain needs positive biofeedback to feel good. Bio-feedback is the actions of your body and the chemicals they create in your brain.

When you smile, you release serotonin in your brain. When you do exercise your brain releases endorphins.

So – smile, stand up straight, attend to your hygiene, if you spend a lot of time at home as I do – you don’t have to wear a suit but wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and ready to leave the house.

Deep breathing when stressed or standing with your feet apart, shoulders back, and chin up can add to feeling confident without any difficult ‘brain work. Get out of that char regularly and jog on the spot, do a few squats, or dance to your favourite song – it resets you throughout the day and will help you stay cheerful. I do it – it works!!!

Try this one – I guarantee your mood will feel uplifted

 

 

 

So remember – do more and think less. The less time you spend stuck in your head worrying about things that might never happen, the better. If you must, make a list of your worries and problem-solve each one and then get back to your jog around the room.

 

Summary:

  • Get out of the house
  • Don’t stay in your pyjamas all day
  • Give social media a break
  • Write down your goals and the small steps you will take to get there
  • Don’t overthink or catastrophise,
  • Take action

 

The secret to success:

Rumination leads to fear and fear leads to paralysis. Live life in the moment, stop every now and then to take stock, problem solve and refocus on values and direction and then get back to living.

 

Read my post on IMAGGINE for more inspiring ideas:

IMAGGINE

 

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

 

 

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

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