Life often seems pretty simple on 1st January. With the excesses of the festive season still fresh in our minds (and quite possibly a hangover as an extra reminder) we feel ready for a change. 365 long days are spread out in front of us and we feel sure that THIS is the year we'll make some serious changes. We resolve to go the gym, lose weight, earn more money, find a better job, move house, get that promotion, spend more quality time with the kids, etc., etc.
Unfortunately, what we often forget is that we already have lives stuffed full to the brim with Stuff To Do. As soon as we start back into our everyday jobs and chores we realise that we have barely a minute to spend on the goals that seemed so achievable at New Year. And of course, before we know it the normal routine has well and truly taken hold and our cherished resolutions fall by the wayside... until the following New Year at least.
So this year, before you resolve to start cramming even more in your already busy life, why not first consider ways you can free up some of your precious time by doing less? Here are a few ideas:
Watch Less TV
It's very tempting to finish work, put the kids to bed then settle down to watch TV for the evening. But time in front of the box can add up and apparently the average Brit watches 24 hours of TV a week! If you cut down on your viewing time by just 1 hour a day that would free up 7 hours in your week - nearly the equivalent of a full working day. Just think what you could achieve with all extra that time!
Spend Less Time On Your Tech
The figures for the amount of time we spend online each day are even more of an eye-opener! According to research, the average adult spends nearly 9 hours a day connected to the internet via various devices. That's more time than we spend sleeping!
If you find that you constantly reach for your phone or tablet during the day, think about whether you could cut down. Consider turning your devices to airplane mode at certain times of the day or turn your phone off at a set time each evening. Without the constant ping of updates and messages you can concentrate on other things. You may also find cutting down on phone use, especially in the evening, helps to improve your sleep. It might help you to avoid the dreaded 'tech neck' too.
Spend Less Time Worrying
How often do you find yourself lying in bed at night with your worries keeping you wide awake? Worrying can sometimes be a positive thing if it helps us problem-solve our way through a difficult situation but many of us end up with a bad habit of worrying about all kinds of things that have already happened or things that may happen in the future.
It's a difficult habit to break but why not begin by considering various relaxation techniques or maybe start a relaxing evening routine to try and break the cycle and claim back the time and sleep you're loosing to worrying.
Commit Less Often
Many of us find that we get into the pattern of saying 'yes' to every request and social engagement that comes our way. Before we know it we've volunteered to head up a new project at work, take part in numerous PTA fundraising activities and we have plans every weekend for the next 6 months.
If this is you then maybe it's time to start claiming back some time for yourself. Think carefully before agreeing to each commitment and don't be afraid to say no if it's a project or plan that you can't comfortably fit into your schedule. As I often say to my clients, self-care is not selfish. We have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others.
So once you've freed up some of your precious time you can then start thinking about all the ways you can use it to start fulfilling your dreams, goals and ambitions. I wish you well with whatever you have planned for your future!
I am the founder and owner of Calme Therapies, based in Colchester, Essex. I am a qualified aromatherapist, massage therapist and relaxation therapist and I specialise in working with clients suffering from stress and tension.
If you would like to find out more, make an enquiry or book a treatment please contact me.