Although I aim to live a healthy lifestyle all year round, small bad habits do tend to creep in. But with January here, I’ve decided that this is the perfect time for me to take a step back and look at simple ways to improve my health and wellbeing.
In fact, in the past I’ve found that it was making small changes to my lifestyle that has gradually led to me becoming fitter and healthier. For example, when I first took up running I never intended to run a marathon – instead I just wanted to be able to run for 10 minutes without being completely out of breath! So I started out small, only aiming to run a mile a couple of times a week, then I gradually built up my running to eventually running marathons and having my sights set on completing an ultra.
This is why I’m a big believer in focusing on making small changes, rather than a major lifestyle overhaul during January. And this month I’m focusing on making just three small, simple changes that will improve my health and wellbeing during January.
Although during an average week I don’t drink to excess, I do like a drink and use it as a way to relax and unwind after a busy week. But this month I’ve decided to ditch alcohol altogether and try dry January for the first time. I haven’t actually had a drink since Boxing Day, so by the end of the month I will have gone alcohol-free for well over a month. This would have been the longest I’ve gone without drinking for years.
I didn’t really know what to expect from not drinking, but some things have surprised me – most notably how I’m actually not missing drinking at the moment. I don’t know if this will last, but I’m planning on writing a post at the end of the month with a full update on how dry January went.
One of my 2020 goals that I highlighted in my previous post was to develop my meditation and mindfulness practice. This month I’ve made a start by taking the time every day to meditate. Previously, I would only meditate on weekday morning as a way to deal with a stressful working day, so never felt the need to practice during the weekend. I found that doing this meant that I wasn’t able to develop a strong meditation habit, which is why I’ve decided to incorporate meditation into my life every single day. So far I’ve been enjoying starting my day with my morning routine of stretching, meditating and then a cup of coffee.
Cutting back on coffee
Talking of coffee, one of my bad habits is drinking way too much coffee. This month I’ve decided to have a maximum of 3 a day (4 on days I’m really tired) and instead drink more tea, especially decaf green tea. Cutting back on coffee is probably the biggest challenge for me this month, but so far I’ve been good at sticking with it and I’m hoping that it will lead to me breaking my caffeine dependency.
What changes have you made to improve your health and wellbeing this month?