We asked wellness experts to pick their most effective and simple life tweaks to improve all aspects of your life. Trust us, they work!
Use a motivation mantra
“Just 10 minutes,” says Talane Miedaner, author of Coach Yourself To Success. “When we’re tired, the thought of doing an hour’s workout or a whole afternoon’s detailed book work is so daunting, we opt out altogether. Take the pressure off by telling yourself that doing only 10 minutes of your chosen activity is okay,” she suggests. “Most of the time, once you’ve started, you’ll want to finish. If you don’t, stop. 10 minutes is a lot better than nothing!”
Turn a big idea into reality
Big plans can be intimidating, leading you to procrastinate. “Forget the plan!” says Talane. Instead, focus on one small thing you can do daily and overlook perceived imperfections. “For example, if you want to write a book, write three pages, without editing yourself, every day. This works for weight loss too. Making small changes increases momentum and gets you closer to your goal better than constant planning.”
Clear away the clutter
Instead of asking, “Will I ever use this?” Talane suggests asking, “Have I used this in the last 12 months?” “Be ruthless, as the more clutter you clear, the more space you create for new experiences.” There may even be a link between clutter and excess weight. According to Dr Pamela Peeke, a US fitness specialist, chronic disorganisation causes over-stimulation of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which can increase appetite. A great incentive for a clear-out!
Take time to visualise
When you’re crippled by nerves, try this exercise. “Sit down somewhere quiet, close your eyes and think of a tranquil place,” suggests psychologist and stress management coach, Sue Firth. “Allow all your senses to see, smell, taste and hear the scene. The brain can’t tell the difference between a real event and a vividly imagined one, so it’s like a five-minute mental holiday.”
The secret to motivation is removing pressure, says Talane. “It’s important to remind yourself that ‘Good enough is good enough’.” We all want to be perfect mothers, bosses and wives, but perfection is impossible and overrated.
Complain but stay charming
Start by informing, says Talane. This means pointing out the problem in a neutral tone, and focusing on the facts.
For example, if you’re in a restaurant: “I’m sure you’re not aware but this soup is cold.” Most recipients will respond by rectifying the problem and you’ve no need to proceed any further.
“If they don’t, step two is ‘Request’,” says Talane. “Ask them to fix it by bringing you a hot soup, please. Again, be specific. If that meets with no reaction keep your cool and take step three: Demand. Explain clearly and calmly what you will do if what you would like to happen doesn’t; for example, leave the restaurant. If that doesn’t work, take step four: Action, by following through on any consequences you outlined in step three.”