After the season of excess, the New Year is just the time to set healthier habits and plan new experiences for the months to come. However, it must be said that some of the new rules we set are easier to keep than others. So, on that note we've set out ten easy, more realistic New Year's resolutions below.
Above all, we're keen to make 2018 count when it comes to family, friends and making special memories here in North Devon. Here's to a wonderful year ahead!
Ringfence quality time
Many of us meticulously plan our working hours and obligations, so why don’t we do the same with leisure and family time? This year, change that habit by reserving time in your diary or planner just as you would for other tasks. A great start is to earmark an afternoon or evening each week purely devoted to quality time with loved ones. Be as firm as you would with your most important daily work tasks: no excuses or interruptions are allowed.
Lose the screen
Our mobiles and tablets can be a slippery slope to wasted time and added stress. One way to cut down on this is to introduce at least one period daily when no screens are allowed. The hour before bedtime is perhaps the best place to start- swap that phone for a book and your sleep quality is certain to improve. If you find it hard not to check and fiddle, get that phone switched off and use a simple alarm clock.
Get outdoors more often
For a natural mood boost, little beats getting out into the natural world. Whether it's the coast or countryside, make it your mission to discover somewhere new this year. Remember, a hearty walk is every bit as good as many more strenuous forms of exercise, not to mention a great way to spend quality time with loved ones. If you're venturing out near to us, our recent blog has some ideal coastal walks to try around Woolacombe and North Devon.
Choose quality over quantity
This is an excellent rule for modern life in general, whether you are buying a joint of meat or a bar of chocolate. Less is so often more when it comes to taste, and consuming less but making it better quality avoids that nasty feeling you are “missing out”. Smaller plates and more exciting ingredients are also great ways to control portion sizes while still enjoying your food.
Lose some booze (but don’t go teetotal)
Everyday drinking is another easy modern age trap so many of us fall into. You don’t have to be a binger to get into the habit of a glass or two most days. Whether we kid ourselves it helps us to relax or destress, it’s unnecessary. The easiest route to better health is to stop drinking in the working week and to limit that glass or two of something you fancy to weekends and special occasions. Easy to remember and good for wallet and waistline alike.
Invest in your health!
Isn’t it crazy how low health tends to be on our list of spending priorities? Money spent on your wellbeing and health is seldom wasted, so be kind to yourself and make that massage, gym or spa trip a regular fixture, not a rare treat. And whether it's your feet, your back or another particular sore point, make 2018 the year to attend to it.
Establish a realistic exercise routine
As with diets and other resolutions, exercise is another area where the post-Christmas sinner tends to go OTT, before giving up. The much safer route to progress is with small steps and common sense. Few of us are great at exercising alone for one thing, and the absolute easiest way to better health and fitness is to join a local group, period. Whether it’s a running club or a yoga meet, make it a social experience and a solid routine every week and you are far more likely to keep it going.
Cut down your caffeine
Another easy trap, caffeine is particularly habit-forming for anyone who works in an office or from home. We use it as a crutch too, whether to compensate for tiredness or offer comfort. We all know too many cups can make it harder for us to relax later, or even cause irritability. A little caffeine is harmless though, so you don't need to be draconian and cut every cup out. Instead, try a limit of one cup of tea or coffee in the morning, while replacing the rest with something healthier, whether it’s green tea or plain water.
Simple routines rather than seismic changes
We can all dream up amazing programs of exercise and eating that will transform our health overnight; unfortunately too many of these are unrealistic and try to make too much change too quickly. Instead therefore, make small changes and as much as possible make these habit. Replacing that calorific office snack with an apple or building ten minutes of mindfulness into each morning are both good examples of small changes that make a big difference.
Do something kind
So many of us work our socks off these days but lack a deeper sense of purpose in our lives; and sometimes it can be this feeling that fuels other bad habits. Why not use some of your time to help others this year? Wherever you live there are sure to be worthwhile projects and organisations, whether it's for wildlife or the elderly. Or perhaps you simply know someone lonely or stressed who could use a friendly face? It's amazing what a little kindness can do, not just for others but for our own sense of wellbeing.
Idyllic spa breaks and seaside escapes at Woolacombe Bay, North Devon
Could you use some quality time away this year? Whether you spring a last minute getaway, or plan for a week on the coast this spring or summer, Woolacombe Bay makes a wonderfully peaceful location. A family-run hotel for many years, we offer guests a taste of relaxed luxury, with excellent food, first class spa facilities and so much to enjoy for all ages.
Whether you stay at our award-winning hotel or opt for a self-catering beach retreat, we offer excellent facilities and one of the warmest welcomes in Devon. Be sure to bookmark our special offers section and Facebook page for our latest hotel deals and promotions.