Here we are, well into 2017 and life is so far, so good; Donald Trump hasn’t got access to the nuclear codes just yet, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is on Netflix and David Attenborough and Maggie Smith are still with us. *Touches all the wood*
With 17th January just around the corner, the date we apparently all begin to fail with our good intentions and the resolutions we made at the start of the year go to shit, now is a good time to evaluate things and take a second to remember to stay on track.
So if you’ve sworn that 2017 is going to be the year you finally sort life out, here’s everything you need to master to get your shit together and achieve your goals over the next twelve months. I’m assuming you’ve already purchased your Scouse Bird Diary of course
Health & Fitness
Urgh, January diet talk. I’ve had enough of rolling my eyes at celebs flogging their fitness DVDs, deleting emails from my inbox about the latest juice cleanses and I’m especially sick of the sight of Joe Wicks AKA The Body Coach. Joe Bloody Wicks. Could I sleep with him, I find myself wondering. Would I actually be able to fuck a grown man who refers to broccoli as ‘Midget trees’? He’s very handsome but could I? Maybe if he promised not to speak?
Anyway, I digress. The whole ‘New Year, New Body’ narrative can be incredibly tedious but it’s actually a great time to take advantage of all the offers and deals available. You may have spent every week at school blagging you were on your period to get out of PE but as an adult you’ve got to move your arse now and again and keep fit.
It’s the perfect time to join your local gym on the cheap and improve your fitness levels (annoying all the regulars by daring to be a newbie in ‘their’ sacred workout place – well guys shut up and put up, we didn’t moan when you were clogging up our pubs before Xmas having your cheat meal of vodka, lime & soda). With the money saved on joining fees etc, treat yourself to some wireless headphones, like Motorola Verve Loop ones, and make sure you’re never irritated by tangled wires or them coming unplugged as you’re running ever again. We all know that once you’ve got a decent running playlist on, you’re 300 calories deep on the treadmill before you even know it and that’s MORE THAN 2 large slices of Dominos Farmhouse Italian crust. That’s maths I can get on board with [source: Dominos UK corporate nutritional info].
If you’re already at one with meal prepping, working out and all that jazz, perhaps take it up a notch and get yourself a DNA analysis which is an assessment specific to your body that provides you with a program tailored to your genetics, giving you that extra edge to be able to achieve those final Instagram #fitfam worthy goals). It’s all very CSI – it involves taking a sample of DNA from your saliva and sending it of to a lab – the only issue you might have is that you can’t eat for 30 minutes before taking the sample, and who has that window of opportunity???
Make 2017 the year you’re all about the positive vibes. Not sure how not to be a miserable cow all the time? Here are some tips:
Start a gratitude diary It’s a bit cringey but once you’re into the habit of jotting down three things or people that you’ve been grateful for in the past 24 hours at the end of each day you soon start realising that not everything is as bad as it seems. You can even just join in with The Scouse Bird digital gratitude jar on Instagram
Give back When I’m having a particularly crap day I like to do a good deed secretly i.e. not post it on Facebook for people to tell me how amazing and selfless I am (I prefer to wait until I can shoehorn mentioning my philanthropy into an article rather than just a measly Facebook status – I play the long game). Whether it’s buying a meal for a homeless person, making a random anonymous donation to a stranger’s Just Giving page or even just something as little as doing some little thing to make my friend smile, carrying out a little act of kindness for someone else really helps improve my mood at times. (This doesn’t make me a good person by the way – this is all for a selfish motive; that eventually karma will return the favour to me. As the wise Joey Tribbiani once said, there is no such thing as a selfless good deed.).
It’s alright getting through the day on a few hours sleep now and again due to a one off Netflix binge on a school night but when the bags under your eyes become a permanent fixture, then it’s a problem. You’re hardly going to be a little ray of sunshine and all about the positive vibes if you’re constantly trying to function without any kip.
If you’re someone who struggles to drift off then you’ve probably had all the useless ‘helpful’ advice from people before; cut down on caffeine, no TV in bed, meditate, blah blah blah – like you’ve not heard, and tried, it all before. So if you’re looking to try something new to help you get your eight hours this year then I love this Lumie Aromatherapy Bodyclock . It lets you drift off to a gradual sunset, wake to a sunrise and all with aromatherapy – lavender is an absolute godsend if you’re looking for a peaceful night’s sleep. It can help you naturally unwind at bedtime, is a useful complement to a lightbox in treating SAD and is also a good old fashioned alarm to boot too. It’s certainly worth a try even if you don’t have any sleep woes.
Nothing will get you a good nights sleep like having a fab chill out & wind down routine before bed (and sorry, it does mean putting down the phone so you can sit up until 3am refreshing insta) – try a hot bath & a pamper. Skin Yoga (I mean how zen is that even to start with??) do an amazing range of face masks and body care products that’ll have you in a state of bliss, ready for bed AND with that next level glow skin. Plus the smell and the packaging is sooooo gorgeous.Shop the range here.
Everyone will have money woes at least once in their life. Christ, even the Queen tried to sneakily apply for a poverty grant to heat her palace once. Whether it’s never being able to budget until payday or getting into so much debt that the bailiffs come knocking, money matters can be hard to get your head round at times.
Here’s my advice (as someone who has once been in a LOT of debt and buried her head in the sand so much someone could have started building a sand dog on her on Church St) on how to get to the point where you can check your account without having a panic attack.
Get online banking, apps, monthly statements emailed – the lot. Always witness the damage even if it hurts.
Get into the habit of just withdrawing what cash you need for the day rather than using your card – it’s easier to keep a track of how much you’re spending that way.
If you have debts that have been transferred to collection agencies, make sure you speak to them. It can be easy to ignore the red letters coming through your door but they do catch up to you and more fees will be added on the longer you leave it. Take a deep breath, make the call and arrange a minimum payment. Sometimes just £10 is enough to keep them off your back for a while.
If your head’s pretty much above water, look at a savings plan. Don’t set a ridiculous amount up as a standing order because you’ll only end up dipping into it the week before payday. Look as something realistic like £5 a week – you won’t even notice it leaving your account and this time next year you’ll have an extra £260 to see you through January and you’ll be able to eat more than just Aldi beans and Koka noodles.
Look at how to cut back. Can your phone bill be reduced? Check your direct debits for ones that can be cancelled. Do you need to be paying for Sky when you’ve got Netflix? *cough* or Kodi *cough* Streamline those outgoings.
Listen to Martin Lewis. Christ, he’s a bit insufferable but he’s got some good advice.
Have you ever gotten dumped by a fella and been heartbroken for a few days but then realised “Hold up, I’m actually way better off, he’s done me a favour here”? It’s like the rubbish has taken itself out; which is ironic given the useless bastard could never manage to do that any other time.
We all know not to waste time with useless lads and be stuck in miserable relationships but we should also look at our friendships in the same way. Have you ever known someone just seem to sap positive energy wherever they go? Even worse, they seem to view being down in the dumps as some kind of competition? If you’ve had a bad day guess what? They’ve had a bad week. You’re skint? Well they’re practically bankrupt. Had a bad date recently? You’ve guessed it – they’ve got a horror story to top it.
Make 2017 the year you don’t waste your time on toxic friendships. If you don’t enjoy someone’s company then let me tell you a little secret – you don’t have to hang out with them. Leave (or mute) whatsapp groups that stress you out, phase people out, actually avoid drama and bitching rather than just posting memes about it and quit stalking your fella’s ex – what’s the actual point?
Rather than waste energy on people that don’t matter, or ones that don’t care about you, put your effort and focus on friendships with those you actually love and like being around.
Clear house, Clear Mind
As well as clearing your mind spiritually by getting rid of toxic people, get a head start on your spring clean and clear out your physical clutter. You can’t ever truly feel like you’ve got shit together when half your shit is scattered across your bedroom floor.
Be ruthless when it comes to your clothes. If you haven’t worn it for over a year, lash it in the pile for the charity or sell it – Hello Depop, Goodbye Levis that haven’t fit since the 00s
Organise storage solutions that will help you keep things tidy easier; get hooks on the back of doors, use vacuum bags for stashing away out of season clothes, invest in clothes rails if your wardrobe can’t handle the pressure – put things in place to ensure you don’t end up with a floordrobe again within days of your big sort out.
Clean your makeup brushes and organise your beauty products – the last thing you need in 2017 is a spot breakout due to dirty brushes and out of date powder. Do you really need that neon pink lipstick that’s been rattling around in your drawer for years still? Come on. If you’re not sure what to keep and what to ditch, here’s a rough guide:
Mascara – 3 months. (Some say 6 months)
Liquid Foundation and Concealer – 6 to 12 months.
Cream Blush and Eyeshadow – 6 to 12 months.
Powder Blush and Eyeshadow – 1 year.
Eyeliner and Lipliner Pencils – Up to 2 years.
Liquid Eyeliner – 6 months or less.
Lipstick – 1 year.
Moisturisers and Skin Care – 1 to 2 years.
And of course if you can’t be arsed, then you can always have someone come in and do it for you…
May 2017 bring you clear skin, good career news, good dick and all the positive vibes.