At the beginning of the year I sat down to think of my New Year's Resolutions - I usually pick something to give up (this year is fizzy drinks - Coke!) and a word to focus on (Truth)... besides that I'm not particularly good at keeping them! After thinking about it for a while I realised that what might be easier for me is to make small changes throughout the year - a new one every week. I had planned to blog weekly in detail about each change but as you can tell it is now the beginning of March (how did that happen?) and I have not yet done that... So, I decided to list them all here as a list of 50 ways to change your life for under R50!
I hope you will find a few here that might inspire you to change your life in little but not insignificant ways...
1. Write your bucket list - a list of things you want to do before you "kick the bucket". This might include places to see, people to meet, things to do or achieve. Sit down and spend some time thinking about what it is that will make you most happy or what it is you don't want to regret not doing... A very useful exercise in identifying what is more important to you.
2. Go on a "date" night with your partner - this doesn't have to cost the earth you just have to remember what you you used to do when dating as students - or ask a student what they do for dates when on a budget.
3. Arrange with a friend to swop babysitting duties on a monthly basis and
4. Pack a picnic and stop somewhere with a beautiful view - ideal as a date or for the whole family.
5. Go out for a glass of wine at a new bar. Rose Bay at the Alphen Hotel is our new favourite venue for this!
6. Pretend you are tourists in your own town and enjoy a Sat morning breakfast of coffee and croissants sans kids (if you can convince granny to have them overnight better still!)
7. Go to a movie and see something slightly different from your usual rom com or action. This might lead to a new found love for art or foreign films, at the very least you'll have something interesting to discuss afterwards. Most have nights when tickets are cheaper than usual.
8. Search through your recipe books and cook something different for supper - try to include pulses or beans! Red kidney wraps are one of our new favourites. Ask a friend what their favourite (and easy) meal is and make that. We can so easily fall into a routine of what meals we make every week that it's great to be a bit more adventurous once in a while.
9. Stop drinking fizzy drinks - the amount of sugar alone is slowly killing you! This is one I tried recently and I can't say I miss it too much...btw so called "diet" drinks are even worse for you. I have made a small loop hole to allow soda water and Appletizer so I don't feel deprived of the fizz!
10. Forgive someone - holding a grudge from last week or 20 years ago? Now is the time to forgive them and move on. They most likely don't even know you are still angry with them... Unforgiveness has been proven to lead to health problems so ultimately you are the only one suffering.
11. Go for a ride on your bike - take the kids! Exercising in nature is just so much better for you physically and mentally!
12. Clean out your "tupperware" cupboard - or any other one in your kitchen that causes you stress! Mine is def the plastic cupboard - a thousand tubs all balanced on top of each other and do you think I can ever locate the right lid - NO! Time for a sort out....
13. Plant a few herbs in tins or pots on your windowsill or near your back door and begin adding fresh herbs to your meals - you'll only have to pick what you need instead of throwing away half of the shop bought packet! My favourites are sweet basil, lemon thyme and rocket or lettuce leaves for salad.
14. Create something - make a card for your friend's birthday present, paint a picture, sew a cushion cover in that fabric you bought and stored because you loved it, start drawing or knitting or writing poetry or gardening. Find a creative outlet that you love - you don't have to be good at it yet! Having a way to express yourself is so beneficial to your mental health and can only reap good things!
15. Switch to a natural washing powder and save the environment! My kids struggle with very sensitive skin so this is a must for our family. You can also try alternative methods such as the green Icon washing ball for washing your clothes.
16. Start reading a book on the classics list - or one everyone is talking about if Dickens is not your style. Getting lost in a great book is a wonderful way to forget about the cares of this world.
17. And you don't have to buy the book....Join your local library and have access to books, dvds, cds and plenty of resources for your kids' school projects all for free!
18. Organize your wardrobe at the start of each season to reaquaint yourself with what you own. Ditch anything you haven't worn in a year (besides formal wear). If you have lost or gained weight remove items that don't fit you. Donate your old clothes to a charity shop, not only are you helping those less fortunate you will also benefit by feeling a sense of freedom whenever you look in your cupboard and realise you like everything you see and have plenty to wear! If you're feeling brave you could organise a clothing swop with friends too...
19. Go on a "mommy date" with each of your children. Start with once and then see how you can fit it in once a month or so. The time might need to be flexible but it is vital to do this while they are still little and want to spend time with you. Solidifying your relationship with one-on-one time can happen anywhere. Take your eldest with you when you have to do the grocery shopping and chat as your wander the aisles, take your little one to the park while their sibling is at a party or extra-mural, drop your kids at school and "bunk" off the morning with the middle child if you can tell by their behaviour that they are needing some time with you...
20. Cut down your sugar intake, if you have 3 spoons in your coffee - try 2 to start with and slowly eliminate a spoonful every few weeks. Aim for none! Substitute with honey or a natural sugar alternative such as xylitol or stevia. Sugar is very bad for your immune system so remember as soon as you start feeling sick cut out all sugar from your diet.
To read the next 30 click over here to Becoming you
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