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Charlotte Hawkins in fitness clothes

Charlotte Hawkins On More Me-time

2 MIN READ • 31st March 2023

Our wellness columnist reveals why she’s sidestepping traditional goals and scheduling more time for herself this year

By all accounts, 2019 is set to be a good one. It’s the Year of the Pig in the Chinese Zodiac, a year of fortune and good luck, which certainly sounds promising! I don’t usually make a list of New Year’s resolutions, as they are easy to make and easy to break, but the arrival of a new year is a great time to spur yourself into action to make positive changes.

Every year, my one recurring resolution is to try to be more organised, to deal with things straightaway rather than adding them to my endless ‘to do’ list. This year though, I’ve decided to go bigger and really make changes to set aside the time to be healthy and happy. I’m determined to protect quality family time, and recognise the need to be able to say no to things when it gets too busy. I’m going to put my phone down, stop constantly checking emails and social media, and make room for a bit of me-time – reading a book, having a bath, going for a massage.

I already try to squeeze in exercise when I can, but with a busy schedule it’s not always as frequently as I would like. So, I’m going to set myself the daily step challenge and make sure I do 10,000 steps a day. This is almost five miles, so it helps you burn up calories without even noticing. One fitness challenge I’m really looking forward to this year is an upcoming skiing trip, I haven’t been for more than 10 years and it’ll be a great motivator to work towards, making sure my fitness is up to scratch.

I’m also going to look at my diet and eat more meat‐free meals. I’ve realised I tend to add meat to a meal for the sake of it, so for health reasons, as well as environmental ones, I’m going to set myself a challenge to have three meat‐free days a week. I’m hoping, after all that, I should be feeling great in no time! Here are some tips for achieving your health and wellness goals this year.

1. Set your targets

Not just exercise targets, but think about what will make a real difference to your quality of life and make you happier. Make room for me-time and record your progress so you can check how you’re doing.

2. Be determined

Have the willpower to see goals through. Talk about your goals, or rope others along with you for support to keep you going. A sponsored challenge is great not only for your wellbeing, but also for raising money for a good cause.

3. Think beyond fitness

Take a close look at your life and have a real think about what you’d like to change. Are you happy? If not, what needs to change to help you get there? Focus on reducing or managing the stress in your life. Cut down on phone time and time spent on social media

4. Make time for the things you love

It might be gardening, going to the cinema, having a bath, a massage, or spending time with friends. Schedule this in the same way that you would make time for work or regular exercise.

5. Look at what you’re eating

Changing your diet can help make you healthier and happier very quickly. Ditch the junk food, and think of your body like a high performance car – the better the fuel you put in, the better the results you will get out.

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