Happy New Year to each and everyone one you! I hope you’ve all all had a lovely festive break with your families and friends, and ready for the year ahead.
It’s that time of the year when we focus on the year ahead and what we want to achieve. I love it when the clock turns midnight on NYE, striking a new year, and we reflect on the year gone by and how we want to improve ourselves going forward.
The first thing I recommend, is write a list of your goals and dreams, and pin it somewhere where you can look at it daily as a gentle reminder.
To share some inspiration, here are my resolutions on what I want to achieve for 2017.
1. Refresh my physical & mental wellbeing
I regularly go to the gym and I’m in reasonable shape, however the one thing I really want to improve on is my flexibility. I lead a fast paced life, I would love to slow it down, so I’m going to start doing yoga. This will help me with my flexibility but it will also slow down my mind. Win-win.
What’s most important thing is taking one step at a time and not feeling overwhelmed. I suggest going with a partner or a friend as this will motivate you to commit for the long term.
2. Eat healthier & less meat
Studies have proven that consuming too much red meat (pork, lamb and beef) can increase the risk of heart problems and cancer. I started eating less meat in 2016 and I surprised myself by not missing it, and in fact, how much I loved eating vegetarian dishes. By this, I don’t mean boring salads… I’m talking about warming vegetable stews, delicious lentil curries and full-flavoured bean burgers.
I’m starting off January with Veganuary and then eating meat once a week from then on. There has been a huge increase in the number of vegans in the UK in the past decade, and now more than half a million people say no to all animal products, including eggs and diary.
Keep an eye out for my next TLL column, as I’ll be putting some tasty vegan recipes together for you to try.
3. Focus on less to achieve more
Is there something, whether it’s a new job, skill or sport you want to master? Make it your priority… and I believe we get much better results in life by doing a few things exceptionally well, instead of trying to do lots of things at an average level.
I’m no longer going to waste time trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, I plan to focus my time and efforts on a few things that I enjoy doing, and push myself. This way, it’ll help me achieve the results that I want, it’ll be more rewarding, and will take me less time and energy to get me there.
4. Get more sleep
Sleep is so important – and so underrated at times – for health benefits and in all aspects of life.
Everyone should aim to get around eight hours of sleep a night. This year, I’m going to make a purposeful effort to do that. Putting down smart phones and gadgets an hour before, so our minds are much more settled and rested, ready for a good night’s sleep.
5. Travel more
I loved being an international athlete and one of the big benefits for me was being able to travel all over the world. Before I retired, I promised myself that I would return to the cities I’d competed in so I could really see them properly.
I think exploring new places and cultures is amazing and really opens the mind. I definitely plan to travel more this year.
Action: What do you want to achieve this year? Whatever it is, write it down, commit to it, then go and do it wholeheartedly. Make 2017 the year that things will happen for you, life is too short… You’ve got this.
Jamie Baulch is probably most well known as a British sprint athlete and television presenter. He won the 400 metres gold medal at the 1999 World Indoor Championships. As a member of the British 4x400m quartet including Iwan Thomas, Roger Black and Mark Richardson, he won a gold medal at the 1997 World Championships, and silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games. He represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games where he won an individual silver and a bronze medal in the 4 × 400m relay. Jamie developed into one of the big personalities of the British athletics team, recognised by his peroxide dreadlocks for many years, which led to a promotional campaign with Vidal Sassoon. He has now retired from athletics and has several ventures including getting people fit and healthy. With all the knowledge he has has built up over the years, means he’s perfect for the job.