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Health & Mindfulness - How to Achieve Your Goals in 2021

25th January 2021

We’re all aware of just how much the pandemic has impacted our lives. But despite the huge challenges created by Coronavirus, we are big believers that out of every negative comes a positive. So, we’re taking the opportunity to focus on those positives and look at ways to help you achieve your health and mindfulness goals.

The one thing this virus has forced people the world over to do is slow down - a concept that was often out of reach in our busy, modern lives. With many of us now working, learning and educating from home, travelling less and isolating more, we’re living slower paced, simpler lives. At the moment, we’re not aware of what the future holds past the pandemic and this has led us to spend more time living mindfully in the present moment - experiencing less stress, taking joy from the little things and ultimately feeling happier.

This also gives us space to focus more on our health. Millions have used their time at home throughout the pandemic to find ways to eat cleaner, live healthier and have less of an impact on our planet. With all this in mind, let’s take a look at 5 ways you can go about achieving your health and mindfulness goals in 2021…

1. SET A ROUTINE

Creating a simple routine that works for you is vital to achieving your health goals. Routines help provide the time and headspace to practise mindfulness and take better care of yourself. Mornings are key to loading your body and mind, determining your mood for the day and kick-starting your motivation. Allocating more time in the morning means you can pay closer attention to the little things that get your day off to a good start. From waking up on time to making your bed, deep breathing, drinking water or maybe even an uplifting song to brighten your mood – these small repetitions help bring balance and structure to your day. Lifehack.com has a great list of suggestions to help establish a morning routine that works for you. Winding down after a long day is also crucial. Creating an easy-to-follow routine that fits with your lifestyle will help you to workout, de-stress, relax and help lead to a good night’s sleep.

Image Credit Left to Right: Pinterest, Unsplash & Urban Outfitters

2. FIGURE OUT YOUR ‘WHY’

We set ourselves health and wellbeing goals for a wide variety of reasons. For some it’s to gain muscle, improve diet or boost mood. For others it might be to keep busy, enjoying the thrill of a new challenge, in memory of a loved one or to learn something new. It could even be a combination of these things. Maybe you want to be able to run 10k without stopping, become more flexible or simply prove to yourself that you can do this? No matter your aim, it’s important to take time to figure out ‘why’ you want to do this. This realisation will be your key motivator as you progress towards your goals. “Think about it really carefully. Why is it important to you to achieve, and importantly – how will it feel when you do achieve it? On the days when you’re tired and you’re just not feeling a workout, remembering your ‘why’ and how that feels, that will get you moving again.” - Lisa Fiitt, personal trainer and founder of fitness app Strong & Sxy. Once you’ve figured out your ‘why’, be sure to make a note of it. It could be kept on your fridge, a reminder on your phone or a post it on your desk. Try to keep a visual and mental note that you can keep coming back to.

3. BE A REALIST

It’s easy to set goals but not so easy to achieve them. The reality of work, family, social commitments, long hours, busy inboxes and our lifelong nemesis stress can create barriers on your path to achieving your goals. Add in a global pandemic with lockdown restrictions and the situation becomes much tougher. But that’s just it - tough yes, but not impossible. By setting yourself realistic goals within your means, you stand much more chance of succeeding. For busy parents juggling home schooling and working from home, why not look for online classes and fitness groups or try exercising at home (maybe once the little ones are in bed or busy playing)? Yoga, dance, weights and HIIT can all be done from home. And be willing to flex – you may have to shift your plans around your day-to-day commitments. Keeping an open mind on ‘how and when’ will help. For those of you that are child free, try to keep it local. Think runs, rides, walks and hikes but on your doorstep. Take the chance to combine your favourite exercise with discovering the beauty that’s just outside your door. There’s no need to splash out on all the gear either. They’re shiny we know but you don’t need a Peloton to workout, feel good or take care of your wellbeing (we know, they’re great – but with an eye watering price tag to boot). There’s a whole host of household items or workouts that require no equipment whatsoever. Take a look at Self’s equipment free full body workouts for a dose of inspiration.

Image Credit: Unsplash (remember the importance of stretching and water)!

4. LITTLE REWARDS

The road to better health doesn’t have to be all timetables, routines and sweat. After all, what’s the point of pushing yourself if there’s no reward? It’s important to take a step back to acknowledge what you’ve achieved so far (remember even baby steps are progress). Be kind to yourself and have a little ‘yey me’ moment. These can be anything from an indulgent soak after a hard workout (checklist: bath pillow, candles, luxury salts and a good book), to a yummy treat that’s still clean. Check out these low and zero sugar sweet treats from Eatingwell.com. If a real-life medal is what you have in mind, why not try one of this year’s virtual running challenges? Great Run Solo offers weekly and monthly accumulators that cost just £10 to enter and come with a shiny medal once you reach your goal! #medalselfies here we come…

5. REACH OUT FOR HELP & SUPPORT

We may be having to distance ourselves from one another right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reach out for support. Inevitably when trying to reach your goals, there will be times when you may feel overwhelmed, too tired, or totally lacking motivation. It’s in these times that it’s so important to ask for help – you could try reaching out to family, friends, your partner, a colleague, online groups or forums. If you struggle to stay motivated, why not team up with someone (a friend, a loved one, your kids or even your pooch for those rainy day runs)? Together, you can work at a distance to help motivate and support one another. Whatever way works for you, the key is to be kind to yourself and don’t feel guilty when you need to reach out when you’re finding it tough or need a motivation boost. You could also try keeping little reminders in your notebook or on your phone of why you want to do this. On the tougher days, take time to remember just how great it feels each time you take a step forward and achieve one of your goals – no matter how big or small!

Image Credit: Unsplash

Still in need of a little health kick? For a whole host of clean recipes, workouts, health inspiration and more take a look at our New Year, New You collection over on Pinterest.

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