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Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year's Resolution Suggestions

   Want to make a new year's resolution but aren't sure what to do? It may be January 2nd but just because you haven't come up with anything doesn't mean you can't make a late resolution. As long as you make a positive change, it doesn't matter when you make it, and by making a resolution right now, you can avoid the intimidating run-up that many of us get in the final two weeks of December, and avoid over-thinking it and making it all seem much harder than it is.
   But if you're having trouble coming up with a few simple changes, here are a few suggestions:

   Swap coffee for tea. Unlike coffee, tea does not have a diuretic effect, though it does contain caffine. It can keep you going for longer, too, as coffee has a bigger depression rate, meaning that, while it gives you the energy high, the crash comes on much quicker. With tea, that crash is slower to occur, and more gentle, so you may not even notice it. Some people act like zombies without their morning coffee. Tea can give you the same energy boost, but without leading you to rely on it so much. It's also a higher percentage of water per serving than caffine.
   Green tea is always the best option, but if you're simply looking for an easier alternative to coffee, ordinary tea will do. Green tea can take a bit of getting used to - though its benefits (which are not all hearsay or myth) are worth making that change. You get used to it. I've come to love it!

   Take up yoga. You can do it with a copy of Women's Fitness magazine, or, more easily, with FitnessMagazine.com which is where I find a lot of my own workouts. You can find great beginners' moves, and it's a lot easier than you'd think. It's great exercise for lazy people, or people who prefer to breathe deeply rather than be short of breath.
   I don't subscribe to the spiritual side of yoga, I'm in it purely for the health and fitness benefits, but even I have to admit (and I have a personal dislike for things like 'chakra healing' and other spiritual mumbo jumbo, so for me to say this, I really do mean it with a level head) that I feel seriously more chilled after a yoga session, even one that lasted 20 minutes in my bedroom. There really is something to be said for the calming effects of yoga - probably partly all the deep breathing - and I highly recommend it. The other thing that surprises me, personally, about yoga, is the sheer sense of accomplishment. Starting out isn't hard, but as you progress you will try harder and harder moves. They will be ridiculously hard initially - I struggle with the Crow - but when you nail it, it's a bigger sense of 'fuck yes' than moving up a notch or two with weights. There are a number of different kinds of yoga, too, and as a fitness freak, I'm all for ashtanga.

   Start a blog. Make an account on Blogger (entirely free, entirely customisable, and as it's the biggest blogging platform out there there are loads of tutorials for help and design out there specifically for Blogger) and just blog. You can change your name somewhere down the line easily enough, as well as your free blogger domain name (USER.blogspot.com), you can even apply a purchased, personal domain at a later date if you really want. But don't put it off until you 'know' what you want to blog about. A Blackbird's Epiphany started out as a means of promoting my shop. Yeah, that didn't work. Why? Because I was determined to stick to that, and I had little to say, and as a result no one wanted to know. It wasn't until I started blogging more casually about myself that people paid a little more attention, and more still when I started getting creative and/or helpful. If there's something you enjoy doing, blog about that, whenever you want, even if it's three different subjects that don't mix. Fitness, crafting and fantasy writing don't mix, but I don't care. They're my three biggest passions, and if someone isn't interested, they simply won't read. I blog for me, not for anyone else, and I suggest you do, too. Don't be intimidated by it, it's really dead simple.

   Take up a new hobby and learn something. A language, a craft, a skill, whatever it might be, it's bound to be valuable. And there are thousands of tutorials for just about everything scattered across the web, so you may not even need a class! You've got nothing to lose by trying, and there are forums for everything, from learning Japanese to customising My Little Ponies. Try something whimsical you've always wanted to do.




   If you've written a blog post announcing your resolution, be it one of the above, something more thought-out or something completely different, add it to the 2015 Resolution link up, open until January 29th!







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