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When it comes to making changes the biggest mistake that I see people making (and I've been there myself) is to try and make big changes overnight. Which often leads to feelings of overwhelm, disappointment and failure. My favourite way to avoid this is to create small habits that move me in the direction of the change that I want to make. At first they can feel too small to really be significant but the compounding effect is amazing and helps you to create many new positive changes. Here are a few to help you get started...
Set Daily Mini Goals
What could you do every day that would help you towards creating the life that you crave? Maybe it’s more time for yourself, more time with your family or starting something that explores your creativity. Set a mini goal for each day; tracking it makes you much more likely to follow through and so here’s a 30 day printable sheet that will help..
Learn to Say No
This is a big one, and it’s one that some people have trouble with. But, do you find yourself ever saying yes to things and then instantly regretting it? I think we’ve all been there. Learning to say no to things that you either don’t want to do or don’t have time for shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable (or guilty)! Saying no once in a while will help you create more time to nurture yourself and your self care is essential to keeping your mind, body and spirit in balance. Here are a few tips on how to say no with a little grace and a lot less guilt.
Clean up Your Diet
I can’t talk about changes without mentioning food because it’s something that I feel so passionately about. Having made the transition to a gluten free diet myself, I really understand what a challenge it can be to start cooking and eating differently. Whether you want to cut down or target a particular area in your diet like sugar, refined ingredients or processed food the first place to start is your mind. Be clear about your reasons behind the change and then look for the positives. I’m over the moon to have so many new gluten free cookbooks to wander through and a host of new ingredients to explore - reframe the changes and they become much easier, I promise.
Find Time To Pause
Even if creating a moment of pause sounds like a challenge, there are natural pauses in your day that you can use to check in with yourself and ground your emotions. Look for the time that you spend waiting for something, like in the morning traffic, queuing for coffee or even waiting for the kettle to boil – you get the idea. These are small pauses that you can use to check in with how you’re feeling and help you feel more present. And, the more you use these moments the easier it will be to find more.
You’ve heard it before but I think this one’s worth repeating - find time to unplug. Leave your phone behind when you go for a walk with the dog and stop checking emails before bed; talking of bed try switching the TV off a little earlier at night. You don’t have to unplug for long, start with a few minutes and slowly build up until you feel comfortable being away from your devices for an afternoon. Read more about how and why to unplug.
This is so cleansing and can be done at any time of the year to help refresh and welcome new energy into your life. Start wherever you like; your wardrobe, kitchen cupboards, your phone - even your friends! If something (or someone) doesn’t bring joy and happiness into your life then why do you need it? Start with a plan and create a ritual from it, being sure to donate and recycle everything that you can because things can very often go on to create happiness for others. Read more about how decluttering can help clear your mind.
Focus on the Positive
Last but not least. Stay positive. Yes, some days will go better than others. But, even on the most challenging days when nothing seems to have gone to plan, look for something bright and positive in your day to celebrate. Hold onto it, express gratitude for it and feel your mood (and life) change!
I told you that they were all simple, didn’t i? But, don’t be fooled by that because small habits carried out every day can really make the most difference over time - choose one thing (or create your own) then print off a copy of my 30 day habit tracker and take a step forward today - you won’t regret it.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.