After what felt like a very long 2020, we're optimistic about what the next twelve months will bring. Looking forward to the coming year has been challenged by the onset of another lockdown, which we're managing by focusing on our mindset. Boudavida ambassador Naomi Lake is a wellbeing and beauty writer, and here she guides us through some top tips for setting positive goals this January.
At the start of each new year, we can’t help but begin filled with hope, harbouring grand plans of change for the better. This year for me started like no other, even with the events of last year. Aspirations were dancing around my mind, plans started to flow like each yoga pose, my mind was swimming with emotion as I looked forward to new challenges. Fitness goals, personal goals, life goals.
But then everything changed. Lockdown No. 3. Yes, it was expected, but no more welcome for being so. The closure of so many fitness facilities feels harder this time. We so desperately crave the contact and support of others, it’s cold for outdoor exercise, the light is scarce... Did I also mention that it’s really cold?
We must stay grateful for the coping mechanisms we developed over last year, and also for the adaptions made by our incredible fitness industry. As much as I’m fed up with zoom, it does amuse me that 50% of its use is for fantastic fitness and yoga classes, and much like chalk and cheese, the other 50% is me drinking wine and nattering to my friends.
So, taking these things into account, let’s see what we can we do to keep on keeping on...
Keep In Touch With Friends
I’ve just mentioned it, but it’s so important it bears repeating outside the realms of zoom drinks. Create a shared goal with a friend and motivate each other. Sign up to the same class and help each other to keep on track. Yes, you can’t grab that signature coffee together after, but instead, how about staying online to discuss how you found the class and what you enjoyed, and pop the kettle on instead?
Instead of a taking a catch-up call at home, walk and talk. You might find the time of gentle exercise passes quicker, or that you walk further with the distraction. It might just be that you feel better overall for the fresh air!
If you’re feeling really brave and want the giggle, I even had a call with a friend whilst I was out for a run recently. It might not have been my best recorded time on Strava for that route, but it was a lovely catch up. It definitely took my mind off the savage inclines of Bristol’s topography.
Sign Up To A Completely Wild Class
I won’t lie. I miss seeing the usual faces of my yoga class. They know I squeak with every push up because my upper body is still so weak, we laugh along together. I learn from them and we share the victories of each new advancement of our practice.
One of the great things to come over the last year is the huge influx of online classes. That little nervous feeling when going to a new class alone? Well, now you’re in the safety of your own home. Did Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga feel a bit too intense for you, despite your interest in some of the postures? Sip a cup of herbal tea during class if you fancy, it can be your little secret. Last week I found a class so hard and I was so premenstrual that I sobbed the whole way through. Nobody knew and actually, I felt so much better for it afterwards. If that was a face to face class, I wouldn’t have even made it to the studio, let alone finished the class.
Another thing about online classes is the access it grants you. Over the last few months, I’ve enjoyed classes with an instructor friend who lives in another city. Despite knowing her for almost 5 years, our schedules had never matched up to catch a class when I’ve been in town. Before that, I jumped onto a Pilates class with a trainer based in Dubai. So much better than a YouTube workout, the live class was engaging and broke up the routine. All this was through the wonders of Instagram. Keep an eye out for gyms or fitness centres offering live content and workouts and shake things up with a fresh class or trainer. Many of them have moved to social media during lockdown.
Inspire Yourself With Some New Kit
Frankly, I’m earning less at the moment. However, I’m also spending less. Without the temptation of an impromptu evening out for drinks with friends or a long date night dinner, every meal is cooked at home and we all know a bottle of wine from the shop is cheaper. While I’m watching the purse strings, I’ve still tried to allow myself a few little treats. A new cookbook, Bish Bash Bosh, has invigorated my home cooking with an injection of new ideas.
New workout kit also feels great. The Motion Leggings are great day-leisure-to-workout piece, boasting a wide and comfortable, yet supportive waistband, a cropped leg, and pockets. We like pockets. Something new to wear is always a lift, and besides, my activewear has had a good run over the last 12 months anyway.
Take Small Steps
Wherever you are with any of your goals, remember to be kind to yourself. Big changes won’t last, little changes will. At the start of 2020, I had never run 5k. In December, I ran a half marathon. Gradually increasing my distance got my confidence up, adding on an extra but one road at a time so each run was a tiny little bit longer. Don’t go all in, it’s not poker, but what you do risk to lose is your confidence. Take it one step at a time.
Create A Routine, But Change It Up
The good thing about routine is that it keeps your focus, especially in times of change. You’re working from home, but try to wake up at the same time each day. Have a good breakfast. Change into your day pyjamas. Work. Workout. Rest.
The best thing about routine is how having it allows you to break it positively. Use the time you previously had to commute to lie in from time to time, take a longer walk with the dog, or read a book. Personally, for me, it's crosswords over coffee. We’ve already assessed that it’s cold outside, and dark early too. If you’re working at home make the most of that lunch break by using it for a run to catch the sun. If you’re still in and out for work at least online content is opening up new classes to access to work to your schedule.