10 Ways to Make Sure 2016 Gets Off to a Good Start

Sunday, 3 January 2016

It's the 3rd of January, the Christmas decorations are coming down, the empty Quality Streets tins being used to house leftover Christmas cake and the dread of heading back to work tomorrow is thick in the air. As sad as it is to say goodbye to the festive season, it brings a new year and with it, a fresh start. I love nothing more than fresh starts, and as I'm feeling positive and happy about 2016, I thought I would run through 10 ways to make sure you kick off January in the best way possible...

1. Set some goals - A new year always brings with it the endless unrealistic resolutions that none of us will actually stick to. This doesn't, however, mean we can't set ourselves achievable goals to work towards during 2016, in order to motivate us for the year ahead. I think it's a great idea to write down some key goals on what you plan on achieving in 2016, as I did in my New Year post, as it's great to refer back to them in order to move yourself forward. You might want to keep them in the Notes app on your phone, or perhaps stick them up by your desk so that you are constantly reminded of them. You could even keep a 'Goals' diary and whenever you do something that leads you further towards your goal, write it down. It's the best motivation ever.

2. Have a spring clean - If there's one thing that's guaranteed to put me in a bad mood, it's when my house is a mess. Especially over Christmas, it's so easy for the washing to pile up, to neglect the dusting and hoovering, and just generally for the house to be in a bit of a state. I made sure I resolved this when I took the decorations down a couple of days ago, by giving the house a big spring clean, getting rid of all the Christmas rubbish and making sure everything is nice, clean and tidy for the year ahead. Even little things like hoovering out and dusting my car interior so I head off to work in a good mood tomorrow have really helped. I totally recommend whipping out the marigolds and getting some cleaning done to put you in a better mood this January.

3. Cook up a storm - I'm really not big on cooking, but I want to really try and push myself a bit more in the kitchen in 2016, to make myself happier and healthier. Especially after the fortnight-long binge that was Christmas, it's nice to start of the year with some tasty, healthy meals that are actually really satisfying to both cook and eat. Even if you're not a whiz in the kitchen, there are so many quick and easy recipes out there - it's just a case of making the effort to get the ingredients you need and plan everything out. I've drawn up a list of go-to healthy meals on my phone that I can refer to when I'm in the supermarket, so it's worth doing some research, saving some healthy recipes and then giving them a go yourself.

4. Give yourself some TLC - You might have spent Christmas with your feet up on the sofa enjoying some 'me' time, but how well did you really look after yourself? All those Christmas parties and late nights have probably taken their toll on you and your body, so for a new year, why not make it your mission to really give yourself some TLC and get your beauty regime back on track? I find having a bit pamper session - face mask, nails, tan etc. - a great way to start of a new week so why not have an epic pamper to kick off the year? You'll feel refreshed and ready to face the world again, I promise.

5. Clear out the clutter - When you're doing your spring clean, why not get really into it and clear out a lot of your clutter too? If your wardrobe is fit to bursting with clothes you don't wear (mine certainly is) take some time to sort through it and either whack the clothes you don't want on Ebay or pop them down to your local charity shop. The same goes for makeup - empty out those Alex drawers, work through what you actually use (and isn't 10 months out of date) and hold on to the goodies, getting rid of the things you really don't need (and making room for more makeup goodies, obviously).

6. Plan ahead - Planning ahead is something I really struggle with, and it's why I spend a lot of my time feeling stressed/rushing around and just generally not getting anywhere. This year, I'm putting a stop to all that though and making sure I always plan ahead - whether that means ensuring I make a healthy pack-up for work, pick my outfit out the day before or know what I'm making for tea. When I'm organised and know exactly what I'm doing and when, I always feel better, and a lot less stressed!

7. Have a digital detox - No, I don't mean ditching all things digital (I love social media far too much for that), but why not have a big clear out of junk emails, organise your files or sort through all of your photos? I love arranging things into folders and I think doing this at the start of the year is a great way to set you up for the year ahead. I like to make sure all my emails are actioned or otherwise filed, clear my desktop of any junk and run through my documents ensuring everything is in the right place. It's so satisfying once it's all done!

8. Discover new music - I'm already bored of the samey music in the charts recently, so I'm making it my mission to try and discover some new music that will hopefully make up the soundtrack for my 2016. I usually refer to Spotify to find new music - either through playlists or by looking at similar artists to the ones I already follow. I'm excited to set up a new gym playlist too - another great way to set the year off to a good start.

9. Get into a routine - Oh my god, I suck at routines. Mainly thanks to my disorganisation and lack of planning ahead (see above), I always end up messing up my routine, going to bed ridiculously late and waking up late, rushing for work and forgetting to have breakfast/make my lunch/put my shirt on the right way round. This is why a routine is important, and why I'm going to try my hardest to stick to one this year. Even taking simple steps like going to bed earlier and making sure I make my lunch the night before instead of in the morning all work towards getting into a better routine.

10. Don't beat yourself up - Finally, and probably one of the most important ones - don't beat yourself up if the first few weeks of 2016 don't turn out to be the nice, shiny, brand new triumphant days you wanted them to be. We all slip up and if that means you sneak yourself a Terry's Chocolate Orange instead of an actual orange, it's not the end of the world. The best thing is to make sure you try and keep a positive attitude and understand that nothing is perfect, so it doesn't matter if your January isn't the perfection it's always made out that it should be. Just concentrate on being happy and good things will happen - I promise!