Health and Wellbeing, Mindfulness, Minimalism, simple living

Hygge and Mindfulness

For those of you who don’t avidly Pinterest or Instagram, or follow a number of the more hipster types on twitter (or you’re Danish)  hygge might have bypassed me up to now. Let me introduce you.  Visit Denmark puts it far better than I can…

A hygge definition

‘Hygge is as Danish as pork roast and cold beer and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, hygge means creating a nice, warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people around you. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. And let’s not forget the eating and drinking – preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and small things in life. ‘

Essentially hygge is simple living Danish stylee. Friends, family, candlelight, food, warmth, cosiness. All the ingredients for an experience that money does not buy.

Why hygge?

So why is everyone getting obsessed with hygge over here all of a sudden?  Because actually that kind of life, with no pressures, no deadlines, long leisurely dinners with candles, lingering over a glass or two of wine (rather than a bottle or two) is just not the average Brit’s lifestyle these days.

We’re obsessed with more, more, more, faster , faster, faster. There’s no doubt that the simple living and mindfulness movements are gaining ground in response to this as people like me step off the treadmill shouting ‘enough already’.

Actually hygge is just another way of slowing down and experiencing, just like mindfulness. Of being present, of lingering in cosy surroundings and not putting pressure on yourself about tomorrow’s problems or worrying about yesterdays slights. Of being here, now.

Isn’t it interesting that so many people are turning towards ideas that involve less buying, less time beavering away at work, less time trawling social media and the internet in exchange for time spent with yourself and a good book, with your loved ones and supper?

I think we’re actually fed up with the fast life and are desperately looking for solutions that give us an antidote. For those who shiver in  horror at the thoughts of meditating or moving mindfully around a bit like a Tai Chi master, hygge offers a more down to earth alternative.

Hygge and mindfulness

It sits very much with the mindful concept of being compassionate to yourself and others. What greater gift can you give someone you love than to spend quality time with them? Embracing comfy pyjamas and a night of the Archer’s omnibus is a great way of showing compassion to yourself in an otherwise hard edged week. So let’s embrace this latest craze. I’m off to light my candles.

If you’re interesting in exploring hygge for yourself here’s five ways you can get started:

  1. Turn down the lights – a big part of hygge is cosiness. Harsh overhead lighting does not make a cosy atmosphere, so turn off overhead lamps, change your lamps to soft lighting, and light some candles. If you’ve got a log burner, light it or turn on your gas fire. You don’t even need to have it on heat, but the flickering light of the flames will create the look you’re after.
  2. Use lots of different fabrics – Part of hygge is about blankets and cushions and getting wrapped up warm. Try a faux fur blanket, with a wool cushion for extra warmth, or mix Scandi colours such as slate, ice blue and heather.
  3. Get into your comfiest PJs or invest in some lounge pants. However you dress down, hygge is giving you permission to do so! Put on the PJs or if like me you have dogs to walk, get a pair of comfy jersey lounge pants and a woolen jumper. The wool will keep the heat around your body, and you’ll be able to curl up with a book or a movie and feel really comfortable.
  4. Cook up some winter food – Get some big stews on the hob or roast some vegatables. Hygge food is all about sharing, and comfort food, so pick your best winter comfort food, invite some friends and have a hygge party!
  5. Take time out – our busy lives mean we often struggle to make time for others, let alone ourselves. Hygge gives us permission to do that. Turn off the phone, take a Facebook break, read a book, invite some friends over and have quality time. Step away from busyness to relax and enjoy the important things in life.
Mindfulness, Minimalism

The biggest minimalist challenge I’ve undertaken

For more regular readers of my blog you’ll know I’ve decluttered and rid myself of immense amounts of stuff from the bits of paper and detritus that fill our drawers to more extreme items like our TV. We’ve got a way to go in our guest bedroom where it’s the antidote to minimalism right now but once we’ve completed that, there will be very little left in our home that doesn’t serve us or bring us joy.

There is one area though that I have struggled with over the last two years and one I’ve never resolved and I’ve decided now is the time to address it. My wardrobe.

I’ve tried everything from following the fabulous Unfancy’s 37 piece capsule to trying a personal uniform to bulk buying and now I’ve got to the point now where I buy one or two things at least every month if not more. Yet I still went into my rack of clothes this weekend and declared ‘I have nothing to wear’. This is ridiculous. Whilst I don’t have that many clothes anymore I probably have enough to wear for at least a month or two without washing anything. I cannot get past this and it’s debilitating me. It’s causing me stress because I can’t resolve it, financially it holds me back as I try more and more different styles and items. So I have decided it’s time for a different tack and one which is very scary for me – a clothes buying ban for 6 months using mindfulness. By using mindfulness I feel I can identify the feelings I connect with clothes buying, and the anxiety that I am just not getting my outfits right and work towards loosening my grip on the belief that buying clothes is going to make me happy.

There are a couple of things I know I need – a new winter coat for dark early mornings ( I haven’t bought one for a few years and the one I have is coming apart at the seams -literally)

A navy T-Shirt dress which I have been looking for, for months, and cannot find

Possibly a pair of gloves- I haven’t seen any in my winter stuff as yet.

These are my ‘allowed’ purchases over the next six months. Other than that I am going to go cold turkey. During this time I am going to journal and see how it feels. I can tell you now I feel fear. How will I cope with no new clothes? What is my wardrobe going to look like? I can answer this one…very much the same as it does now. I have enough cardigans and jumpers to get me through the winter. I know all about layering so I can stick a vest under my clothes. I am going to have to delete all email newsletters from retail stores tempting me like a magpie with the funky prints and jewel bright colours. Why would I do this? Because as I am I am using a scattergun approach to buying and wearing, and it still doesn’t bring me happiness and I can sense there’s something much deeper to this persistent buying of clothes. That I am linking it to a sense of identity in some way and tying my internal happiness up with an external gratification that I am just not getting anyway. I’m looking forward to spending the next six months identifying and connecting more with this. Mostly anyway. Part of me is actually terrified at the thought of not buying anything.

So that’s it. Aside from the parka, and possibly a navy dress if it crosses my horizon I am going to live with what I have and explore what that feels like. I am planning to adapt a couple of the items I have to make them into something slightly different. I’ll report back each month, and if anyone identifies with these feelings and is brave enough to join me, let’s link up and report back together.



Why Liz Jones should leave the countryside alone

I was browsing Facebook today and saw an article shared by a friend who lives in the Yorkshire Dales – an article from that bastion of fact (please notice the irony) the Daily Mail, by columnist Liz Jones about her experience of living in the Yorkshire Dales.

I myself lived in the Yorkshire Dales for 8 years as a teenager and couldn’t wait to get out, to hit the bright lights and big city. Funny that now I spend an awful lot of time there with my family who all live across parts of it. At that time I felt constricted and strangled by it. Cue 20 years later and an ability to drive and now I see it as it is a beautiful location that is lovely to visit,  right for some to inhabit and not so for others. No-one can argue that on a sunny day it’s one of the most breathtaking places to be but upping sticks and living in the country, particularly somewhere that’s at least an hour and a bit from things like a hospital and miles in some cases from a town with all the amenities that brings takes some thought and consideration.

The glorious Dales in the 3 days of annual fine weather 

Liz talks about how in the Yorkshire Dales it’s a 500 mile round trip to London (so far so good right?) the broadband’s crap (it is- very frustrating), there’s no Waitrose (this is when it started to get even more than slightly ridiculous) the Co-op doesn’t stock tofu (sigh), and the one decent bakery is 15 miles away. However these are things that the average country bod does not expect or desire halfway up a mountain. There’s something to be said for growing your own and never having been to Kensington. It’s precisely this that winds the Yorkshire folk up (and I consider myself now one of the  Yorkshire folk albeit an incomes). We like it this way. We don’t want a Waitrose in Leyburn, or a crossrail link in Hawes that will connect us to London in 35 minutes. People move to the country to leave all that nonsense behind. By the way for those of you who haven’t experienced Liz’s country diatribes, this isn’t the first time she has lived in the country – in 2012 she fled back to London from Somerset claiming that she had come to the end of a prison sentence. Yet now she finds herself lonely and isolated in the Dales. Clue could be in the fact you love the idea of the romance of country living, but don’t actually like the reality Liz?

As someone who has considered (and decided against) a return to the Dales, I can identify with some of what Liz Jones talks about; the job market in the Dales is poor to non existent meaning many must travel a good distance to work. This is one of the key things that put us off moving up there. There are large areas of rurality where you are miles from anything, and actually that isolation that some desire wasn’t right for us. I actually like a Waitrose, I admit it. Although it wasn’t the dealbreaker – travelling an hour and a half each way and spending most of my money in petrol and Band C Council Tax was. However we did our homework before making that plunge. We thought about the massive journey, the trek to the nearest conveniences that we take for granted and weighed everything up, and we decided against. We found an alternative to such extreme country living by moving into a village with a little shop, where York is just 20 minutes away, yet you still wake up with the bird song and silence in the morning, and the cows are just a couple of minutes away.

What annoys me about Jones’ article is her vitriol to an area that others choose precisely for those reasons she lists as abominable. Don’t get me started on the gross exaggeration. Will people who read the Daily Mail actually believe people do set out to hit every hedgehog in their path and skin every rabbit they come across? Probably. The reality is actually there’s so many of us city dwellers living there now, we wouldn’t do anything to a rabbit but admire it’s little white tail. The rural life is one of survival. Whether you agree with it or not some people farm animals, some people eat rabbits, and they don’t often eat tofu. That’s why co-op don’t stock it by the way.

It strikes me that Liz Jones is running from something in London and looking for something in Yorkshire which she cannot find. She speaks of loneliness…it can be incredibly lonely wherever you are if you’re not happy. Sometimes you have to accept what’s within you, and stop blaming the external environment for that which you cannot solve. And for those of you who have never been to the Yorkshire Dales, as long as you don’t mind being 100 miles from the nearest branch of Boots that sells Clarins, give it a try, it’s a beautiful place.


Mindfulness, Minimalism

The valuable lesson(s) I’ve learnt from dropping my phone down the toilet

You might think this is going to be one of those posts with helpful, practical advice on what to do if you drop your phone down the toilet…sorry to disappoint. This is more of a deep and meaningful realisation about the phone as a tool and how I’ve allowed myself to disappointingly buy into the big sell on phones.

However I can share with you that apparently everyone other than me knows the rice trick for if you submerge your phone in water (turn off your phone if you can, place it, submerged, in a storage container full of rice, leave for at least 48 hours) . Apparently many people I know have resurrected phones in this way. Not such a happy ending for my phone.

So back to my phone, RIP. Sadly on Thursday whilst I was holding it on the way to use the loo (I am one of those people who use their phone whilst on the loo – another lesson learnt there) I managed to drop the phone in the toilet (pre-use thankfully). Although I rescued it pretty quickly, the screen srarted flickering and it went black. Submerged in rice, it’s still flatlining and will need to be removed shortly for burial.

However even though I have only had the phone five months and I am still paying it off (Samsung S6. – bought sim free so rather expensive) I am actually really glad this happened. It’s woken me up to where I was at with the phone.

You see I’d bought into this materialist mantra that the latest, most up to date phone from one of the two lead phone manufacturers is the only way to go. I believed the hype…I justified, my phone is my diary, my camera, my notebook. It’s OK to buy the most expensive. It’s an investment…and I guess it could be if you don’t drop it down the toilet after 5 months if having it.

During the 48 phone-less hours I lasted before giving in and getting a new phone I had a pretty amazing experience. I wasn’t connected to the rest of the world any more. Adrift and alone I ended up alone at a dinner where my wife’s train was cancelled followed by a tearful wife who had imagined a catastrophe after not being able to get hold of me for a couple of hours. I had time to really think, rather than ‘just quickly checking on Facebook’ or Pinteresting before bed. However I also couldn’t remember a thing on my task list, and I couldn’t connect as easily to people and places.  It’s given me an insight into just how much we rely in our phones for so many things nowadays. I rely on mine to get me up in the morning, to remind me of what to do, to capture photos of moments, to bank, to shop, to meditate and and even that old fashioned thing of keeping in touch with people. It’s become, I believe, a necessity now. Certainly in York on the fateful day of a delayed train and a dinner eaten alone I couldn’t find a phone box to make contact. The mobile phone is now as much a part of our infrastructure as roads and electricity.

The other really important life lesson for me was that I hadn’t realised how much I had bought into the hype about branding. I speak so much about our materialist culture that to find I’ve fallen prey to it is a little disappointing. When I got my last phone I never asked myself, what do I need a phone for? What’s the best out there for me?  Can I find something that will do the job that doesn’t cost nearly £500? My feeling then was if it’s one of the top phones and that expensive it must be what I needed.

So picture the scene.. without a phone which I have found I need and with £300 still to pay off my other phone that has dearly departed there is no option but to get a cheaper phone. So I start looking and here’s the thing…there are much cheaper phones out there that have similar functions and I could have bought outright. There’s a whole range if good quality budget smartphones I wasnt even aware of because their advertising hadn’t reached me. £160 later and I have a phone that does everything I need it to. Granted it’s not all glass and I can’t wirelessly charge it. It only has half the memory of my old phone but I can use a memory card and it’s affordable for me. I could have bought it outright without being in debt. That’s what I’ve learnt and that’s what’s invaluable and why I am glad I dropped my phone down the toilet!


Why live a simple life?

There’s a growing movement of us in the UK who are rejecting mainstream lifestyles (particularly in the West) of consumerist culture, 24/7 news, and the ‘have it all be it all’ world that has become the norm for so many of us.

For me it started about four years ago. I lived in London, I had a job I loved, a great lifestyle, lots of friends, I ate out every week, went to bars and lived life to the full. I lived in one of the greatest cities on earth, but underneath it all all I wanted was to up sticks and to live in a caravan away from it all. When you live in a city like London you are assaulted with sights, sounds and smells constantly, and that is something many of us thrive on. Indeed when I got there about three years before this feeling hit, I loved the fast pace, and the amazing lifestyle on offer. There is so much choice, so much to do and see, so many people and places to connect with. But there’s a downside to this lifestyle. It’s exhausting. It causes frustration. Look at anyone on a tube at rush hour and you can see it . Everyone is head down, force on before the doors clothes. no-one stops to look at each other, or have a chat. People are squashed together, head to armpit.

After three years of living there (and before that seven of living in Manchester, one of the other largest cities in England), I just felt wrung out. On my days off I would sleep or stay at home, too tired to do anything. There was lots of choice  of ‘things to do’ but I felt overwhelmed by it. I wanted simple. Firstly I realised I wanted to be nearer my family. This was pre-wife and so I felt the pull of being nearer to my Mum and Dad and siblings. That was a great start, I moved back north, but still to a city, moving to York, a very beautiful city. York is a city full of tourists, but a lot of simple living can be done. This week I spent a lovely lunch break eating ice cream by the river, watching the geese and the tourist boats up and down the river. There are lots of beautiful walks, and the countryside is but a 10 minute drive away.

Then I met my wife in 2013  (6 days after moving-  noted as an occurrence of fate) and I just went about the business of falling in love.

At some point I realised that I had a lot of stuff. A lot. I think it was around the time we moved in together, which obviously you end up with having two of everything, but I found as we sorted and threw I wanted to go further. I wanted to live with less. Did we need a teapot? Did we need a CD stereo when we never really used it? The feeling of clearing the clutter was liberating. I didn’t miss it. I felt more at peace. So we carried on. We think we have rid ourselves of about 50% of our possessions and furniture up to now.

It didn’t stop there though. Although minimalism in the house is great, there were lots of other things that I wanted to change. I stopped reading newspapers a few years ago because they’re all negative news, and hearing and seeing that day in and day out is no good for a persons soul. This year has come the TV. We both realised a lot of it is just a time stealer, we spent a number of hours watching not very good TV because that’s just how it was. We’ve also started eating simpler, fresher food and cutting back on sugar and additives. Although I am still on social media, I limit it to Facebook to see friends having fun and Pinterest for pinning lovely stuff. I don’t wear a watch, and I don’t buy anything much but clothes really which is my last buying vice.

Now we’ve moved out of the city into the country. The village has one small shop which is great and a pub we haven’t even been to yet. We spend our time walking with the dogs, heading to York for dinner by the river, or exploring the countryside. We don’t have enough room to grow our own veg so the Good Life it’s not, but there’s a sense of peace of being disconnected to the ‘real world’ with all it’s stresses. I think there’s a bigger sense of peace and wellbeing for me which has really benefitted my mental health (more on that in future blogs). My caravan dream was scuppered in the main by UK planning laws. It’s not easy to live on a piece of land with a caravan. I still harbour dreams of narrow boat living though and am working on the wife with this one slowly!

I realise it’s not for everyone, but I think the simple life is about finding what works for you and using that to enhance your life. You might be city dweller and still be a minimalist and a simple live-er using experiences to enrich your life, and growing cauliflowers on your balcony. You might live in a caravan out in the wilderness with no dinners by the river and your own wind powered turbine with only grow your own food and think I’m talking tosh.

Simple living for the majority of us is more about choosing the few things that enrich your life and rejecting the rest. It’s about rejecting what the media tell us is right or most socially appropriate and about getting out there and having experiences that enliven us. it’s about choosing well, both materially and experientially and paring back on everything else.

Are you living simply, or trying to? Let me know of any tips? We will share our journey as we move on to living more and more simply




Mindfulness, Minimalism

Making mindful time for you…

Something we struggle with as busy, always connected people is making time for ourselves. Yet every self help guide, mindful course, book on wellbeing, article on ways to avoid depression and increase wellbeing all point to a key area to develop; making time for yourself.

Easy said right? We all have some pressures in our life, whether that’s work, study, family, friends, pets, a project we’re committed too, or a never ending commitment to posting selfies. There are always things we could, and we feel we should, be doing.

That’s one of our first issues; guilt. Guilt at spending quality time with ourselves. Whether it’s ‘I’m not worthy’, or ‘There’s a million other things that I should be doing’ or ‘I don’t spend enough time with the people I love so I don’t even have time to spend on me’, we all have narratives in our head that stop us making time for ourselves.

Well it’s a myth. We can all make time for ourselves, whether it’s 15 minutes a day, or carving out an hour of time on a weekend. Sure if you have commitments such as children or pets, it’s a lot harder, but it’s a discipline, and it’s hard to create the habit but so worth it if you can.

First comes acceptance: you deserve this time. It will give you a sense of peace if you let it, a chance to recharge your batteries, let go of things that are bugging you, take a few deep breaths, allow yourself to miss those that are normally around you demanding your time and energy, and give you time to be you. So accept, this is part of what you need to be happy and healthy, for your wellbeing, and part of a routine to build in, as much as time at the gym, or Facebook is part of your life.

Secondly schedule: If you know you’re going to struggle to find the time, or allow yourself the time, put it in your diary, stick it on the family planner, even put it in the work calendar if you’re going to take it on your lunch break. It will be much easier to stick to if it’s there in black and white. If you’re going to stick to the same time every week then make it a recurring appointment.

Tell everyone: Set expectations. Tell your family you’ll be taking an hour out on a Sunday morning. Tell your colleagues you will be having a 30 minute lunch break, explain to your partner you will be taking half an hour after work each day and carve out and protect that time. At first people might find it hard to accept, they may even call you selfish for daring to look after yourself, but persevere and it will become their habit as well as yours. In the mindful course I went on, our tutor told us about someone who had attended, who had worked all the hours known to mankind, and never taken time for themselves. As a result at some point everything had come crashing down. Now every lunchtime, they take a lunch break for themselves. Everyone knows and respects that that is what happens. It even encourages others to know the importance of lunch breaks.

Find things you love to do: This is the fun bit, what are you going to do with your time? If you’re going to take smaller breaks due to commitments such as having to fit in with a baby sleeping, or a caring role then finding bite size things to do could be part of starting your alone time; a meditation, a read of a magazine, painting your nails, a short walk, even sitting out in the garden and noticing how beautiful the flowers are. There are lots of things you can do in small slots of time.  If you give yourself more time then you can explore the city, take a picnic, go for a drive, read a book, get out in the garden and do some planting, go for a run,  a longer walk, go for a coffee, take up some craft, make something, bake something. Get in touch with old hobbies, or catch up on all those things you’ve wanted to do but don’t have time for

Turn your phone off or onto silent and put it in a drawer: unless you absolutely need it on, and in all honesty, apart from if you were waiting for the call of a lifetime, or there’s an emergency situation going on,  there aren’t many reasons why you should need it on 24/7. It’s likely to be a distraction and if you do answer it during your ‘me time’ you’re not respecting that time, so others won’t either. Getting on apps like Facebook and instagram isn’t making you time, because you’re still connected to hundreds, if not thousands of other people.

Finally enjoy it: At first when you start having alone time it can be strange, you’re not used to it, other people don’t like you not being on call all the time, you don’t know what to do with yourself, you feel guilty for putting yourself first, but over time you’ll learn to enjoy and treasure the time you give yourself. You can always use some of the first times you have for yourself to think of activities or things you’d love to do for yourself and make a note of them for future.

I can’t function without alone time now. I’ve got over the guilty feeling that I should be doing things for others. I do all sorts of things, I volunteer at a cat rescue, read books, go for a coffee or an explore, I am trying to learn to crochet necklaces (but failing miserably), I meditate, look at the world outside. Afterwards I feel a sense of piece, and I am all round a much nicer person to live with, I think my wife would tell you that too!

Let me know if you are new to making time for yourself, and how it goes if you give it a try.

Mindfulness, Minimalism

Breaking old habits

I am on habit breaking this week. As part of my quest to become more mindful (as well as more of a minimalist in every way) , I run a practice group in York where we peer support each other on our mindful journey. The topic of conversation this week was habit breaking, and boy did it raise lots of issues. I wanted to share it with you because I am pretty sure most of us have bad habits we want to break, and every single person round the table had at least one they wanted to change. So why do we have bad habits, and what can we do about them?

Probably the first disclaimer to make is not all habits are bad. The habit of flossing for example is definitely a good one. Getting yourself into an exercise habit is also positive, but bad habits, those that make us feel unhappy, unhealthy, guilty or negative are the ones that have got to go! Bad habits range from smoking to eating junk food, to telling yourself you’re not good enough, to picking your cuticles to over working, to sitting on the sofa all night watching TV. We all have habits we don’t like, and want to break, but why don’t we like them? Usually they don’t make us feel good. One of my worse is eating junk food. I know it’s bad for me, it makes me feel crap, yet every day I continue to do it, and then I beat myself up about it. Great cycle hey? So that is the habit I want to break.


One of my favourite bloggers Zen Habits has a great guest blog with tips for breaking habits and so I am going to challenge myself to follow these over the next three months to help kick my junk food habit. Many people say takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Some say 30 days. I think three months is a really slow and stead period of time to turn a lifetime’s bad habit into a healthier one.

Here’s some ideas that I am going to be trying, for you to try to ditch the habit you want to break…

Use positive language – The brain apparently doesn’t recognise the word no, or not in a sentence . So instead of saying I am not going to smoke, say I am now smoke free – your brain will have a far easier time believing you. Repeat this often, even if you don’t feel it’s true to how you feel initially. The brain is a funny thing and will actually start to believe what you tell it. This is one you will have to try for yourself to believe it

Meditate – I have a great meditation I have been using to re-train my brain on my bad habits. You can try it here. Meditation helps provide calm, more of a focus, and can help to build positivity and mindfulness. This might even be the good habit you want to create. I think it’s vital alongside trying to break bad habits.

Don’t go cold turkey- Although if you like me are all or nothing – this isn’t likely to work – I have decided to change my habit limit junk food to weekends. That way I am only eating junk food for a small proportion of the week , I still get treats but I also have five days of clean eating. If you’re a TV addict, maybe cut down by half hour increments. Swap a night of TV for a one and a half hour film. Try a book instead, or start a box set, with just two episodes a night.

Change your bad habit to a good one – so if you like me eat junk food – rather than not eating anything, find something you like that you can eat; fruit, yoghurt, smoothies, nuts. Swapping your junk for some thing else yummy will mean you don’t feel deprived. Similarly if you’re a nail biter, or a cuticle picker, start really looking after your nails; regular manicures, massage and hand lotion so you start to love your hands and will be less likely to want to mess them up.

Write it down – A great book I would recommend, The Monk who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma, talks about changing the way you live, and suggests you will only ever achieve what you want to change if you write down. Set it in stone, what are your goals? Do you want to be smoke free in a month? Do you want to be couch to 5k in 2 months? Do you want to lose a dress size, eat more portions of fruit.? Write down your goals, and also write down how that will fill and what you will see. So with my junk food habit. I might write that I am going to limit junk food to weekends, and I will drink more water so that when I wake up I have loads of energy, I feel fitter, and healthier, more able to exercise. My clothes will feel looser, and I have shinier hair and better skin. I am starting to visualise the change which is going to give me more to go on.

Get help – Enlist an app, there are loads out there, below are some I’ve found. I am going to use Habit Bull as it has lots of functions for setting good habits, and I always think it’s better to create a good habit to replace the bad rather than just trying to stop a bad habit.

HabitBull (Android) – an app that helps you break bad habits or create good ones

Balanced (iOS) – Track the things you wish you did more often. Be motivated to do them again and again

Couch to 5k – If you’re interested in getting fitter and breaking your bad habit of not exercising,  couch to 5k is helps beginners to get from couch potatoes to 5K distance runners in 8 weeks.

Drink more water – If you want to get into the good habit of drinking more water, apps such as Waterlogged and Hydro Coach and your water intake and remind you to drink more. There are lots more apps like this, so you can find one to suit you.

Tell friends and family if they’re supportive, keep a journal.



So who is going to join me in breaking bad habits? I would be really interested to hear what your bad habits are and the goal you’ve set yourself to try and break them. Let me know and good luck!