Overindulging at Christmas is something that isn’t ground breaking news; we eat and drink too much and then January rolls round and suddenly everyone gets obsessed with improving their way of life. Whether that be through cutting out alcohol, going to the gym, or going on the newest diets, people think that life needs to dramatically change to make them happier. Despite these efforts, February soon arrives and the gym membership isn’t used anymore, and eventually the habits come back again causing you to make the same changes all again next January.

This vicious cycle of disappointment only causes you to feel bad about yourself. It is because of this stereotype that comes with the cliché ‘New Year, New You’ that people feel the need to go extreme, but it doesn’t to be that way.

Smaller changes to lifestyle means you are more likely to keep them. Rather than focussing on things you’re bad at, look at what you can improve on. Not only because it’s more positive all round, but the word “improve” is much less daunting!

So here are 3 things that I think improving on can make the world of difference in terms of your health and happiness (and nowhere in here do I tell you to join the gym!)

Be more proactive…

Losing motivation is the feeling that can only really be summed up with a sigh and everyone can relate to it. It happens all year round, but January can be a popular time for that sort of sigh because the weather is rubbish and the festivities are over. I swear by lists, but it doesn’t always need to be this detailed. However, so often people have something they want to do, and that’s all it ever is, something they talk about doing. Get on with it! Easier said than done I know, but that first push tends to be all you need to get the ball rolling. Set yourself a date you want it done by and crack on. If no one in the world was proactive nothing would ever get done. So ask yourself what you want to do this year, and start planning so that this year is the year things happen, rather than putting it off.

Be more open minded…

I have met so many people that can be summed up with the phrase ‘the less you know, the more you think you know’. Technology now means that we are incredibly well informed on everything, which means that people form their opinions on a lot of topics ranging from politics to parenting. There is nothing wrong with having your own opinion, it’s what you do with it that can soon cause problems. You may have your own opinion on a topic that comes up in conversation, but forcing it down people’s throats, or failing to see their opinion at all just shows a narrow-minded and ignorant character. So often technology is blamed as being the reason that we’re apparently unable to make conversation anymore, but I think some people just like the sound of their own voice, and therefore conversation breaks down due to the lack of cooperation. Being more open minded around topics means that you not only learn more, but you’re less likely to have an argument with someone. I’m not saying be a pushover, stand up for what you believe in, but let other people talk too and respect that you can have different opinions.

Be more selfish…

This sounds misleading, but bear with me. Focussing on yourself more is a good thing. Learning to say no to things so that you can have some chilled time to yourself is needed. That idea isn’t too hard to get, and although saying no is difficult (depending on the person asking) it has to be done. However, this isn’t my focus. So often people feel the need to comment on other people in how they look or what they’re wearing….be selfish in this respect. Who cares?! If you don’t like what someone looks like or something they do, get over it and move on. You’re allowed your opinion (sounding familiar?) but if you haven’t got something nice to say then what is the point, because all it will do is make the recipient feel upset/uncomfortable. You may be thinking that telling someone something negative to their face is rare and something you wouldn’t do, but the amazing invention of the

computer means that people use the screen as protection. Once your words are out there, you can’t get them back (as Jack Maynard has shown by how long he lasted in the jungle a couple of months ago). Instead of judging others, focus on improving yourself, because it feels so much better and makes everyone happier.

India Wentworth

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