4 ways to nurture a new you
Over the course of any year, many of us put healthy eating, regular exercise and ‘me time’ on hold to meet the demands of our busy lives. A new role, renovation, house move and caring for aging parents and pre-schoolers can rob us of precious time we need to stay healthy and happy.
While a new year presents a fresh start – or a clean slate – to make some changes to your life and the way you live it, like New Year resolutions, it can be challenging to make and stick to them! With this in mind, we’ve found four handy services that can provide guidance, motivation and support to help you nurture a new, improved you who can competently tackle whatever this year has in store – and greet December 31 fitter, healthier, and happier.
Become a better organised, goal achieving new you
You don’t have to be a celebrity, elite athlete or corporate high flyer to enlist the services of a life coach. Just like other coaches, life coaches consult clients from diverse backgrounds and all ‘walks of life’ to help them identify their goals and provide the support and motivation required to achieve them. Goals can be personal, such as getting fit or handling a challenging relationship, or professional, including being able to better manage day-to-day role demands and forging a career path.
So, if you have ever felt unsure about the direction to take in your personal or professional life or struggled to get organised or secure a promotion or new role, a life coach could help you not only clarify and achieve your goals but better manage your commitments and challenges.
The Coaching Institute says a life coach can also help you nurture a sense of wellbeing and help you overcome fear, procrastination and self-doubt by giving you the tools to focus on what’s important, deal with challenges and set meaningful goals so you can ‘close the gap’ between where you are and where you want to be. The Institute advises that a life coach should build a strong rapport with you by being supportive, a good listener, trustworthy and non-judgemental, and recommends you find a coach with these qualities plus the skills and qualities that you lack. It also recommends discussing fees and availability with your potential life coach, such as providing support by phone or emails between one-on-one sessions.
Become a fitter, healthier new you
Motivated by New Year’s resolutions to get fit, lose weight or get into shape, gyms typically get the highest number of new members at the beginning of the year. However, many who join a gym in January don’t use it much past Easter! According to personal finance app Pocketbook, of the 35,000 surveyed members who signed last January, the majority didn’t continue going after just a few months, with half not turning up by June.
If you’re this type of gym member (and you’re obviously not alone!), there are two alternatives to getting fit, building muscle and reshaping your body: ‘lifestyle’ exercise and online personalised exercise and nutrition programs – both of which are fast becoming popular choices for those who don’t enjoy working out at a gym or the expense of hiring a personal trainer.
Lifestyle exercise is simply moving your body doing an activity you enjoy. The Victorian government’s health initiative Better Health recommends choosing a physical activity that fits into your lifestyle as this reduces the chances of you giving it up. They also recommend visiting your doctor for advice, support and a medical check-up before starting any new activity. Lifestyle activities can include team sports such as netball, volleyball, hockey and football, dance classes, bush walking, swimming, bike riding, paddle boarding, surfing, tennis, and squash, which you do solo or with friends.
If, however, you’re the type who needs a little motivation and structure to get active, a tailored health and fitness program you can do when and where you like might be the solution. There are a few free online fitness programs such as Free Trainers and ABC of Fitness, and a wide choice of fee-based programs including 8fit, Workouts For You and Changing Shape. In Australia, programs by local celebrity fitness instructors including 12WBT (12 Week Body Transformation) by Michelle Bridges, 28 by Sam Wood (based on a 28-minute workout for 28 days) and Tim Robards’ The Robards Method, are growing in popularity as they tailor exercise programs for each client and provide recipes and meal plans using easily accessible, fresh local ingredients.
Be a calmer, less stressed out new you
Like to be a calmer, more focused you this year? Mindfulness, which involves taking time out of your busy day to focus on the present, can help improve your ability to manage stress and the daily demands of life. Mindfulness can reduce anxiety, help with management of pain and stress, improve focus, help build resilience and compassion, increase body satisfaction, and nurture creativity and collaboration.
Reach Out, Australia’s online mental health organisation, recommends practicing mindfulness by taking some time out of your busy day to focus on your breathing and a word or phrase which you repeat softly to yourself.
You can learn mindfulness and mindful meditation with guidance from your health professional such as a psychologist or GP, from not-for-profit organisations such as the Mindfulness Training Institute, private training companies, free apps such as ReachOut Breathe and the Smiling Mind, free tutorials on YouTube, and online advice and tips from the Mindful Organisation, which also publishes Mindful magazine.
A stylish, on-trend new you
Fashion or personal stylists don’t just offer a service for the rich and famous although we often read about them preparing celebrities for red carpet events and magazine photo shoots.
A personal stylist may be just what you need to help you create a new look for 2018 by either reviewing and revamping your existing wardrobe and suggesting new ways to mix and match what you already have, or helping you select new pieces from the current season’s styles. Some stylists take you shopping to help you choose new items while others can provide ‘inspiration’ photo boards with a selection of outfits for work or play.
In addition to clothes, shoes and accessories, hair and makeup makeovers are often suggested with reputable stylists often having a team of talented hairdressers and makeup artists on speed dial.
Just like many fitness professionals, some personal stylists have created handy online styling services, which are perfect for busy people. Fashion stylist Shannon Johnson runs Living for Style and offers in-person styling sessions. Shannon also offers E-Styling, an online styling service which includes a consult via a 30-minute phone call, email or Skype session, a style board tailored specifically to suit each client’s individual body shape, style and lifestyle needs, and a shopping list with advice on the best places to shop. While Shannon is based in Sydney, E-Styling enables her to style clients all over Australia.
We hope all or some of these services can help you nurture a new, improved you in 2018 and we enjoy receiving comments and feedback on this article or any of the services mentioned.