10 good habits for the year ahead

Posted on Dec 26 2018 - 9:00am by Samantha Clark

Prepare for the next day, the night before

I am not a morning person. I stay in bed for as long as physically possible. Which can make my mornings extremely stressful.

Since the start of the year I’ve been getting ready the night before. I prep my lunch, which usually entails making soup or piecing a salad together; putting aside the things to be packed into my ‘work bag’ and includes utensils, snacks, water etc.; pick out the outfit I am going to wear;  wash my hair (so I have refreshing shower in the morning rather than rushed); and it’s made such a difference. I don’t have to make impulsive decisions half asleep, things don’t seem as rushed and has made the start today and easier transition rather than manic.

Take technology breaks

Technology interference

As we talk about in technology interference, technology has a way of impacting our relationships and ability to be in the moment more. Take a FOMO approach because you might be missing out. Make a change before it becomes too late. Set technology boundaries in the house; ban them at dinner, when watching movies, in the bedroom, for a period of time in the day e.g. 7-10pm. Or why not take a social media break for a week, month or year. Actually make plans to see your friends rather than snapchatting or IMing, engage in conversations with those around you (at work and at home) and when you’re out and about take time to appreciate where you are and what you’re doing before taking a photo.

Wear sunscreen everyday


Whatever the time of day, year, whether you plan to go out or not, make it a habit to wear sunscreen. The sun dries out our skin, causing it to lose it’s elasticity and makes us look older and haggard; sometimes the damage is irreversible. If you’re looking for more reasons why you should and they type of protection you need, take a look at our suncare, why bother feature.

For your face, I’d recommend Lancer, favoured by Victoria Beckham herself,  as it’s an excellent primer as well as giving you the necessary protection.

Be kinder to yourself

Many things happen each and every day that impacts on the way we think and feel, especially about ourselves. Sometimes, we criticise ourselves unfairly, too harshly. One massive way to impact your life is to change the way we see and think about ourselves, try these:

  • Say one kind thing about yourself each day
  • Write down your achievements, goals, experiences etc. and frame them
  • In your diary write down something you’re grateful for each and everyday.

Drink more water

Raspberry infused water

We all know drinking more water is better for us. So let’s make this the year to increase our intake. It only takes 21 days to form a good habit so do it continuously for 21 days and it’ll become second nature. Here’s our top tips:

  • Set yourself reminders to have a glass every hour
  • Don’t like water? Mix it with natural flavours
  • Look to high water content fruit and veg

Take a look at our water debunking article  for reasons why you should increase water consumption and how.

Become more mindful.


Life is chaotic and we’re expected to be mother, partner, daughter, good neighbour and make advancements in our career all in one day. It leads to multi-tasking and not really being present; we’re more stressed, tired, overwhelmed and increasingly unhappy.  Mindfulness could be key, if we team this with number 10 and we could be onto a winner combo.

Of course taking a mindful approach doesn’t just happen overnight. Start small; when washing up, having a bath/shower or preparing dinner for example, focus on the task in hand. You can then start to focus on your surroundings when driving (it’s surprising how much you miss on a journey in a car), stop multitasking and tackle one item at a time. Take in every aspect of what you’re doing, if other thoughts or things pop into your mind, push them to one side for now and return to the task. Check out our article on mindfulness here. It’s said to be a key to happiness.

Read more

It doesn’t matter what it is; magazines, biographies, fiction, historical. Our reader’s corner writer doesn’t have to tell you that reading more opens up endless possibilities; it inspires your adventures and goals, you learn an awful lot about subjects you care about (and some you didn’t even know about but enjoy) and characters you can relate to, it might lead to new hobbies, passions and careers. Plus, it’s a great way to switch off from technology and is likely to help you sleep better.

Buy and electric toothbrush


It’ll change your life.

I’ve been using an electric toothbrush for many years and it always leaves my teeth squeaky clean. But it’s more than that. When I go on holiday, I revert to an ordinary toothbrush and after a couple of days my gums bleed and swell and my teeth don’t feel as clean. My dentist is usually very pleased with me too, they recommend them for a reason. Use one of these twice a day and you’ll see what I mean. Oh and don’t forget to floss!

Take the stairs

Every little change makes a difference. At every opportunity take the stairs rather than elevators or escalators. Why not take it a step further and when using your car, park in the farthest place possible. You’ll feel better for it, burn calories and if you’re struggling to fit exercise into your day this is a key to it (elevating your heart rate will keep your heart healthy).

Plan your time

Work out what you want to do each day and set out a plan to achieve it; don’t make it too rigid in case something crops up that needs your urgent attention. Highlight what is essential and tasks that have the greater flexibility to give you more freedom. You could also apply this to the year ahead and where you want to go and do and make a plan to do it.

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