Now that 2016 is done and dusted, I’m keen to launch into 2017 and all the happiness it brings with a new attitude – to renew and refresh myself.

You see, instead of getting more stressed and overwhelmed with each passing month of the year, I have a plan to keep that January freshness, all year around.

I’ll explain this concept in the blog below….but it pretty much came to me when I was taking time out to reflect at the end of each year while we were holidaying in NZ.

Lying in the back of our camper van at the beach after a surf, I had the right head space to reflect on what I learned, what I did well, and how I can most enjoy life in 2017. Let’s face it, being in nature is a great way to unwind and a place where potent creativity can be unleashed!

Renew and Refresh | Downsize Me

Here’s the 3-step process that unfolded in the van, which helped me identify what I want for my life in 2017, and how I will renew and refresh myself through the year.

Lessons I learned in 2016

1. Writing (for work) is challenging and a bit stressful for me.

It is probably my #1 trigger for drinking too much coffee (well, seeing smiley faces is pretty enticing, too) – and looking for sweet, crunchy or fatty snacks.

Renew and Refresh | Downsize Me

In contrast, when I’m happy and relaxed, and take a good break from work and responsibilities, I feel calm and in control of my eating, and I sleep all through the night without waking.

It’s pretty clear that scheduled downtime is important for me – it’s getting scheduled in right now (in my January planning).

Also, setting boundaries around my time and say no occasionally means that I have healthier sleep patterns and drinking habits. I’ve developed a mantra around my boundaries:

A heartfelt no is better than a tentative yes

In other words, when people ask me for something, or to do something, I am going to get clear within myself as to whether I can do it or not, THEN respond.

Last year I got really stuck and busy because I was saying yes to all the work coming in, volunteering, plus trying to exercise/drink water and trying to keep up with friends, many of whom are struggling with major life challenges. And there was some travel in there too.

I’ve used a bit of CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) on myself to help me feel confident about setting and maintaining healthy boundaries around my time.

Do you struggle with boundaries, or with negative beliefs about food or yourself…or simply have a case of the ‘Shoulds’?

Here is a little video explaining the CBT process – practicing the technique I describe might help you shift some limiting beliefs and switch your mindset.

2. Exercise is my best way to feel mentally energized, confident, happy, calm and peaceful.

Exercise is a winner for me in so many ways. My favourite exercise is the kind of activity that I do alone, where I can connect with nature and be in the present moment, and take time out for myself.

For me, surfing ticks these boxes, even though I’m not very good at it (it’s not about that).

Refresh and Renew | Downsize Me

Even though I’m a qualified PT, I struggle with the motivation to exercise.

In winter it’s too cold to surf. So while surfing is great in summer, I worked out my best winter exercise is old-school gym workouts. There’s no gym nearby but our local women’s surfing club has access to the fire shed that’s stocked with fully functional gym equipment – with access available for $25 per year.

Why didn’t I think of that before? I was too busy to be creative! So I’m following that up now.

How can you get more activity in your life? Meet a friend, join a group, play some pumped up music, find inventive ways to move more?  Now’s a good time to experiment and see what you enjoy most.

What Went Well

Here are some things that went really well in 2016:

Firstly, I got to work with some AMAZING women this year who are powerful and inspiring and we got Downsize Me expanded in the Sydney and Melbourne markets. Thrilled! Our clients last year lost an average of 12cm off their waists.

We developed an online portal with extra resources, videos and info sheets for the Downsize Me program. It was a huge project that didn’t earn any income for me, but that adds real value to our program so I’m pretty excited to get it finished and start promoting this wonderful addition in 2017.

Plus, I got new covers Downsize Me Recipe Books V1 and 2 designed and ready for action. I am so in love with them, and Nora Wendell is the amazing artist who got them ready for me.

How I will Renew and Refresh Myself in 2017

I know that if I DO manage to renew and refresh myself through the year, I will achieve what’s important to me:

  • Work life balance
  • Lowering stress
  • Not sweating the small stuff
  • Letting go
  • Laughing more
  • Being creative
  • Loving live
  • Being happy.

There are two ways I will be doing it:

Firstly, I plan to spend most of my time (at least 80%) doing things that inspire me and spending time with inspirational people.

Inspiration will be my key decision making tool and will help me work out what I will commit to and take responsibility for….or not. Inspiration will give me energy and help me stay focused and motivated.

Secondly, I will be scheduling time out each month – even a day or two totally away from work, chores and daily responsibilities, to have pure unbridled fun.

This is an experiment to see if I can enjoy the year with energy, vigour, vitality and enthusiasm from January RIGHT THROUGH until December.

Let’s see how it goes. I’d love to know what your plan is for the year. Write below and let me know!

P.S. I highly recommend the Daisy Chain cafe in Whiritoa for their amazing coffee, delicious ice cream and heartfelt service.

Melanie White

Melanie White

Chief Inspiration Coach

I'm a quirky scientist and a Health and Wellness Coach who helps 35+ women to understand and eat right for their body type.