It’s May. Nearly half way into 2014. Time to re-evaluate our New Years Resolutions and make sure we are on track and happy, or rather, what are we doing that is NOT making us happy, and what can we do to change it?

I came across a post on Refinery 29 (my homepage and latest obsession) about how to ‘change your life in 2014’ and it had some great points. I wrote them down in my notebook and wanted to post them here so I can always refer back to them and keep check to make sure I am following my own guides. Not just at the start of every year, but all the way through. Sometimes we all need a bit of a reality check to keep us on track!

1) Be optimistic. This is a big one for me. I always try to see the positive in a situation, but it can be hard at times. If I have had a rough day, I try to focus on the little things that are good; nice weather for the day, a beautiful sunset (it helps that I work in the middle of Terrigal and the beach is right across the road!), a rainy day perfect for getting home to a warm shower, PJ’s and slippers, a yummy lunch. Focusing on the good things can help the brain to outweigh the bad. Or at least try to make them seem not-so-bad. And why not, life is pretty great!

2) Step away from the sugar! Now, anyone who knows me will know this is my biggest weakness. Yes, Cadbury Marvellous Chocolate I’m looking at you! Sugar is a drug to the body, just the same as nicotene and will produce withdrawal symptoms. Studies have shown people with diets high in sugar and fat produce more corticosterone, a stress hormone in the body. Cut it out gradually, and replace with healthier alternatives, like home bakes healthy muffins, cookies or fruits like dates

3) Take a minute to meditate. Another big one for me, as I have recently started to really enjoy yoga. Something I used to think of as silly and ‘not exercise’ I can now tell you, if you’re doing it right is definatly exercise and is also wierdly relaxing at the same time. But, it has also taught me how to be still, even just for one minute, how to focus on my breathing, and how to calm myself down. Find just one minute in the day; lying in bed when you wake up, on the train on the way to work, on your lunch break, in the kitchen while you are waiting for dinner to cook! A minute is all you need to relax a little

4) Girl Power! Spend time with your girlfriends. We can talk to, and vent to them, and rid a lot of stress or underlying issues just from a quick chat or stopping by for a cup of tea.

5) Don’t get hangry. I don’t know about you but I can;t focus on anything when I am hungry! It’s great for your metabolism to eat small meals every 2-3 hours. Even just a piece of fruit or some nuts to get you through until lunch time and stop you pigging out on the extras and un-needed sugar hits that I know will end up leaving me feeling bloated and sluggish in an hour anyway

6) LOVE. In a relationship? Spend too much time running around after the kids, at work, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, checking facebook…the list goes on. Take 10 mins each day to shut off everything with a screen. Spend time with your partner or family and enjoy the time with them. Take time to make conversation about each others day and you may find that 10 mins turns into 30 mins or an hour of re-connecting

These were my favourite points from the article, here. And something I will always come back to and re-assess myself. We all need a little push in the right direction sometimes!