Staying positive: Top tips to make home and lifestyle changes
Did you make a resolution to reduce your carbon emissions? Have you promised yourself that this will be the year you clear out the clutter and get organised?
Well January is coming to a close and whilst you may have kicked off 2018 as you mean to go on, it’s important to keep those goals on track. We bring you some top tips on how you can easily keep up positive changes in the home right through the year.
Words by Christine Toner
After the Christmas period when most of us have had extra people in our houses, decorations in our already cluttered rooms and, depending on whetheror not you have kids, a tonne of unnecessary yet extraordinarily expensive plastic tat that we now need to find storage for, it’s not surprising that decluttering becomes a goal for many of us. It needn’t be as difficult as you might think though.
Tip: Set aside 10 minutes each day. Any major task often seems impossible because we’re all dealing with a lack of time.
From working to looking after the kids, dealing with family and generally trying to keep your head above water, few of us have a solid three hours every week to sort through the house.
By breaking the task down into 10 minutes each day you can make progress. At the start of the week, list which room or area you will work on each day.
Resolution: Cut Carbon Emissions
There’s never a bad time to cut carbon emissions in your home so January is as good a month as any to begin.
If you want to actually take some positive action this year rather than just lament at the damage to the planet there’s some simple steps you can take.
Tip: Make one change each month. Start by reducing your thermostat, then next month make it your mission to get your property insulated if it’s not already.
The month after, vow to replace all the bulbs in your home with LEDs which are much more efficient than halogen lights. And so on.
Resolution: Get Organised
Let’s be honest, there’s really no better feeling than being organised – that smug sense of satisfaction you get from realising you have all your affairs in order.
Well, you can achieve that on a long term basis if you make some simple changes.
Tip: Stationery! When you want to get organised stationery is your best friend.
It needn’t be fancy or expensive – this isn’t the first day back at school when pencil cases mattered. Just find a few binders and some dividers and spend an evening organising your bills and life paperwork into neat little sections. Honestly, it’ll be more enjoyable than it sounds!
Resolution: Sought out your finances
December is a weird month. We go through every other month knowing full well that by around the 21st we’re going to struggle until payday – and that’s from just paying for the necessities.
Yet December comes along and we’re all expected to find some miraculous money pot to cover the cost of Christmas too, meaning January is a lean, mean month.
If you’re tired of making ends meet and want to make 2018 the year you sort your money situation out, it can be done.
Tip: Make a monthly budget. It sounds ridiculously simple but most financial advisers will tell you this is the first step to getting on top of your finances.
Make a spreadsheet of all of your outgoings and incomings so you have a clear idea of your available spends each month.
Then open a second bank account and when you get paid transfer the money that will be left over once your necessity payments are covered into this. If you only use this account for the rest of the month there’s no danger of you accidentally spending your rent!
Lacking in willpower?
We ask the experts how you can maintain your motivation in 2018.
Remember why you’re doing it
“Viktor E Frankl, a psychiatrist and author of ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ suggests that if we have a strong enough ‘why’ to do something then we are more likely to reach our goal,” says coach and NLP practitioner Terry McCoy. “Do you have a strong enough ‘why’? If not then perhaps you could create one or review your reasons for wanting that particular outcome.”
Change your habits
“To make changes in your lifestyle, you need to ‘let go’ of certain mindsets, thoughts and behaviours,” says Jaqui Temperley, managing director and coach at training company Veritas and Associates. “In a way, you have to say goodbye to old habits and change your mindset.
“We resist endings, and hope to skip them and go to creating new things. Probably because endings cause pain/hard work so we skip/avoid them.
“The void between the old way and the new way is where you need to develop a plan and a support network to help you stick to your resolutions and achieve your goals.”
Pay attention to your mind
“We need to pay attention to how our brain works,” says Temperley. “Every year, we create millions of new connections in our brains.
“Some of these hardwired connections show up as beliefs and habits; much of our daily routine becomes the norm and, in a way, ritualistic. We are faced with a need or desire to change and assume we can override years of hardwiring with a simple decision.
“Sadly, change does not come so easily. Focus and attention actually help create new wiring in the brain.”