6 questions to ask yourself to make a healthier, happier you in 2016

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We all know what happens at the beginning of January; we make our New Year’s resolutions, promising ourselves that this year we are really going to stick to them; that it’s going to be different.

We put our heart and soul into them, feeling on top of the world for the first two weeks, four if you’re lucky. Then, it happens. The fire burns out. Our old ways creep back in to our daily lives. And come the middle of February, we can’t even remember what half of our resolutions were.

Why does this happen, year after year? Why is it that we cannot simply stick to something we want to achieve or make better in our lives? Goal setting is an art, requiring research, planning, accountability and a lot of thinking. Simply saying to yourself that you want to do something will not help you on your road to success. It takes more than that.

So, this January, let’s all do something a little different and approach our ‘new healthy me’ resolutions from another angle. Let’s sit down with a paper, pen and a cup of your favourite tea and ask yourself some powerful questions. These questions will make you think about what you truly want to achieve this year with your health and wellbeing. Becoming healthier in yourself will give you more energy, that brain fog you get on a Monday morning will disappear and you will glow.

So read the following questions and write things down that come to mind for each one. Don’t think about it too much, just make some notes to start with. Once you have brainstormed your ideas, spend a little time on each question individually and cut it down until you have your one thing that you want to do for each question. Write it out on a big piece of paper but this time, instead of just letting it fall to the bottom of the pile, getting lost and forgotten about, pin it up somewhere you will see every day like the fridge or your bedroom wall. Constantly being reminded of your answers will keep you on track with your healthy resolutions. Seeing progress week by week or even day by day will keep you motivated.

So let’s begin

1. What should I be doing more of?

Do you want to spend more time with your family? Do you want to put aside a night a week purely for you? Sometimes, it’s incredibly healthy to be selfish. What do you want more of? More time to cook? More love and happiness? More sleep each night instead of checking work emails? Think where your health or wellbeing is lacking and jot them down.

2. What should I be doing less of?

Do you find yourself making a nutritious healthy meal, only to then go to the biscuit tin and scoff a handful of biscuits, ruining all the goodness you’ve just put into your body? Did you spend too much time on something in 2015 that you really shouldn’t have done? Or did you sit in front of the television, zoning out and wasting too many evenings when the next day you wished you’d read another few chapters of your book or prepared a really healthy lunch for the next day? Did anything make you anxious in 2015, that you want to do less of?

3. What should I continue to do?

Was there something in 2015 that made you really happy? Did you start a class or cut back on binge eating that really made you feel great? Make this answer the one thing you were proud of doing in 2015 and promise yourself to keep doing it this year.

4. What should I start doing?

What do you want to add in to your life? Do you want to start eating more green vegetables? Do you want to start doing yoga, or practicing mindfulness? Do you want to learn a new skill such as a language, attend a new CPD workshop, or start travelling more? This can all be done. You just have to start doing it!

5. What should I stop doing?

There most likely is something that springs to mind that you’ve wanted to stop doing, maybe for a while. Do you want to stop having a glass of wine a night and cut it back to three a week? Or do you want to stop snacking in between meals or quit smoking?

6. What should I be grateful for?

How often do you say thank you? Or comment on a thing’s beauty, or really look at something and say how glad you are you have it in your life? It’s important not to let the days slip by without saying thank you. By doing this, you will start to realise just how much good you have in your life. This one is incredibly powerful. It makes you stop, think and appreciate things you may have been taking for granted before. Be grateful for your health, your limbs, your vision, your home and food you are able to buy. Sometimes the little things go the most unnoticed, when without them you realise just how important they were. Remember to say thank you each day.

Here’s to a healthier you and a happy, fulfilling 2016.

Chloe McGuire is an AAT student and health blogger.

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