2017 Goals and Monthly Challenges

I’ll admit, I’m terrible at sticking to things. I find it easier to quit than to continue, so this year I’ve decided to challenge myself and hope some of you join in with me. 2017 can definitely be a positive year if you only let it, so let’s get right into it and set ourselves some goals! Let me know if you’re going to join in with me, as I’ll be doing related posts throughout each month of each challenge which should be fun. All of these challenges are supposed to be habit forming so you won’t just do them for a month and forget about them, you’ll consciously think about them throughout the year (and next!).

My main goals for 2017: to be able to do a pushup (srsly I’m that pathetic) and to get my feet flat in downward dog in yoga (damn hamstrings), to save as much money as I can, to be more grateful and aware, to improve my blog and photography, to practice yoga three times per week, to eventually own a Gucci Dionysus bag and to get our future flat looking the way I (ok, fine, ‘we’) want it.

Simple, right? Use up as many products as you can in a month. We typically get so much for Christmas (and are skint in January!) so it’s a great month to challenge yourself to get rid of half empty products or that mascara that only has a few uses left in it. Put all of your products to use in a box and see how many you can get through. You can do the same for your cupboards (or freezer) if you want to too. You should save money and make space all in one go!

Everyone seems to start their new exercise regime in January and finds, due to the wrong mindset, that they quit by Feb. So, this Feb, add an extra 30 minutes of exercise to your daily life. This could be high impact or low impact, going for a walk, doing some yoga (Yoga by Adriene will have a new 31 days of yoga for 2017 up), making sure you get off the sofa more. 30 minutes isn’t much time to think about in a day, but see how you feel by the end of the month.

Similarly to exercise, we often forget or quit when being more conscious of drinking water. Try to drink 2 litres of water per day every day in March to see what a difference being properly hydrated makes. I know when I haven’t had enough to drink, I feel like I’ve got a hangover or a fuzzy head so I know it has an impact on me personally. By the end of the month, your skin should be glowing and you’ll be more productive! Hopefully you’ll keep it up too.

I’ve eaten so much crap over the festive period that I am literally craving a salad! This April, make it your aim to eat all five portions of fruit and veg (or as many as you can) throughout the day. Or, alternatively, if you want to, go vegetarian or vegan for the month. So, instead of a chocolate bar, take some fruit as a snack. Make sure you add a salad or yummy roast veg to every meal, or opt for a side salad instead of chips every once in a while. Have avocado on toast or a vegetable omelette for breakfast, or add spinach, banana, half an avocado, an apple and some shredded coconut to a smoothie. Incorporate more fruit and veg in any way you can!

This may be the toughest month, but May will be devoted to not spending unnecessary money. This means making your lunch or breakfast to take to work, brewing your own coffee at home and taking a flask and not buying items you really don’t need. Take a look at what you have (you don’t need that new eyeshadow palette when you already have 20, c’mon) and that we don’t permanently need ‘treats’. So, for this challenge, make extra for tea the night before so you’ve got lunch and spend an hour on a Sunday deciding what your plan is for the week. You can obviously buy the essentials, such as household items (food, cleaning products, not a copper lampshade!) but really think about what you’re buying. If you really want, you could put aside the money you’d usually spend on unnecessary things to see how much you’ve saved!

This may just be a blogger thing, but we really do have a lot of makeup, don’t we? Taking inspiration from January’s challenge, switch up your makeup every single day to see what you love and give away/donate/sell what you don’t. Unless you go through things regularly, I feel like beauty collections tend to build up and we go months without using particular items, so try and swap your foundation daily or pick a different eyeshadow or blush to really work your way through your stash. You should rediscover old favourites, get rid of nearly finished products and cut down on your collection by getting rid of ‘meh’ items. You might get inspired for blog posts along the way, too!

Are any of you guilty of hitting snooze 2, 3 or 10 times before actually getting out of bed? I know I am. I wake up at the last possible moment because bed is my favourite place, but I want to make a change this July. So, when your alarm goes off, get into the habit of getting straight up. Don’t hit snooze, don’t set your alarm until later so you’re still getting up late, just keep it at the normal time and get straight out of bed. Hopefully, you’ll feel less rushed in the morning and go into work (or uni, or wherever) feeling calm and hopefully fed/watered.

This may be a bit of an odd one, but I’m hoping being more conscious will make a difference. Understand where your food comes from and buy organic, shop local if you can and support small businesses, spend more time with people who need help and volunteer if you have the time, be aware of what you’re putting into and on (like skincare) your body, be more thankful and grateful for things and people and be satisfied with what you have. Think about every action you take and be aware of your mental and physical health. These may be small actions and it may not feel like you’re doing much, but consciously thinking about your impact is not a bad thing to practice.

Yes, I am obsessed with cutting down, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to actively keep up. We’re so obsessed with buying things and being surrounded by stuff that I think a lot of the time we’re not even sure what we want and what we need. For the start of the month, go through your possessions and give everything a good tidy, throwing away/donating/selling the items you don’t really need and really taking stock of the items you have. For the rest of the month, operate a one in and one out policy. If you want a new top, see if there’s an old one you could remove, if you want a new book or magazine, see if you can recycle or donate the old one.

I don’t know about you, but I never set myself any time to read (unless I’m on train to London, weirdly). So this month, with it being Autumn and all, get a pile of books that you’ve been meaning to read for a while and actually get them read! Even if you do 20 minutes before bed every night, it can only be a benefit, right?

We spend a lot of time infront of a screen. I know I spend at least 8hrs infront of my laptop and then more on my phone every single day. It can be really hard to switch off, especially when you work online or with a computer, but let’s all set a challenge this month to spend a little less time infront of a screen. Set a time, ie 8 or 9pm to put your phone/laptop down and completely take yourself out of the online world. Everything will still be there in a morning and I promise you won’t have missed anything, but you might gain a lot on the way. Talk more to family members, catch up on that tv series you’ve been meaning to watch, read a book or get an early night. We can totally do this!

I feel like we’re super busy at the start of the month and sort of fall apart after the 2nd week as we get into holiday mode, then treat January as some sort of do-0ver to compensate. So this month I’m challenging myself (and you) to get stuff done this month so 2018 can be a great year, so have a clear out and enter the New Year feeling accomplished and refreshed. Make a to do list of things you want to achieve, get a start on your 2018 goals and try to make December a productive month! If you get all of your tasks done before the xmas break, then there’s no reason why you can’t have this time off obviously, I’m not saying give up cheese boards ladies and gents.

Helen x