3 Things to Do, and Not Do, in the New Year

You can’t escape the new year barrage of emails, marketing, tweets, and spam regarding resolutions and new year plans. Growing up, I’d always make New Year’s Resolutions, varying from keeping my teenage bedroom tidy (failed every year – sorry Mum), or doing 100 sit ups every night (unaware of how properly to train my body), to cooking from fresh every night (and failing in the first week). I’d forget about them by February and probably make the same ones the following year.

These days I don’t make resolutions, but I do think of what I’d like to achieve over the year. Yes, that might seem like a New Year’s Resolution to you, but taking away the pressure of sticking so rigidly to something makes it a whole lot more encouraging, besides, labelling something a ‘fail’ if you don’t achieve it isn’t the best way to start a year in my eyes!

new year, 2018, blogger, fitness, lifestyle

(Photo: Elle Linton)

This year, I’m sharing with you 3 things you might want to do instead of making hard and fast resolutions, and 3 things you perhaps shouldn’t do as the new year begins.

DO review your personal goals

You might have 1 year, 5 year, 10 year goals etc. As each year passes, maybe take a look at your progress. Are they still SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant/realistic, time-framed)? Do they need adjusting? Maybe you want to change your direction entirely…that’s ok too. Write them down, or not if that’s too much pressure for you.

DO think about what you’re feeling, not what you’re doing
So many ‘resolutions’ are centred around doing new things. Joining a gym, going running, drinking less coffee, more water etc. This year I want to focus more on how I’m feeling instead of what I’m doing.

Feel more confident. Feel more settled. Feel happier. Then look at what you can do to feel these things. If getting more confidence means gaining strength then by all means join the gym. To feel more settled, I plan on logging into my Headspace app every day. To feel happier I’ll plan to see my friends more, or go on long walks when I’m feeling low.

DO have a clear out

There’s no time like a new year to have a clear out of your clothes, kitchen cupboards or under stair storage, right? It’s quite refreshing to start the new year with a clean, tidy house, and you can also do your bit for society by sending all your unwanted items to your local charity shop.

DO NOT feel the need to reinvent yourself

That includes crash diets, detoxes and anything that includes the words ‘New Year, New You’.

DO NOT pile on the pressure

A new year can seem daunting, especially when all over social media you see celebratory year-end round ups, all those ‘In 2018 I’m going to….get married, become a Mum, travel every continent, get my dream job’ proclamations. The pressure to say something profound, or have a grand plan can build up and become overwhelming. Take some time away from social media if needs be, remember that people choose what they post, sharing only a snapshot of their lives.

DO NOT disregard the previous year

Good or bad, you can take what happened in the previous year and learn from it. None of that ‘good-riddance 2017’ – even if it was the worst year of your life – find a tiny sliver of silver lining. If it was a tough one, then focus on the strength you had to get through it. If it was fuelled by heartbreak, try to remember positives, did your situation bring to light the support of a particular friend? Force you to make new friends? Never just throw last year into the trash pile, there’s always something that can be salvaged.

new year, 2018, blogger, fitness, lifestyle

(Photo: Elle Linton)

So there you have it. Not ‘resolutions’ in my eyes, but things to think about. What ever 2018 holds for you, I hope it’s an amazing one. I’m sure there’ll be ups and downs, that’s what makes life interesting, right?!

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My Year – 2016

I love reading everyone’s ‘Year In Review’ posts. They usually highlight the best parts of the year, and look on any negative moments with reflection and resolution. I find myself feeling proud of fellow bloggers for their achievements, and can’t wait to share my own.

So here’s what I got up to in 2016.

1. Turning the Big Three-Oh

Yes folks, I made it to 30 years on this planet! While I didn’t have any life affirming revelations the moment I woke up on my 30th birthday, over the year I did find myself looking sensibly into the future. Inspired by my best friend working super hard to get on the property ladder, I looked into moving house myself, still renting for the time being, and from that started planning a whole new side of my career in the fitness industry. I felt calmer in my own mind, happy to be single, and not settling for something that isn’t good for me (OK, I’m still working on the latter).

new year, 2016, blogger

Credit: Will Patrick

2. My First Yoga Retreat

As part of my 30th birthday, my very generous Dad sent me on my first ever yoga retreat with my favourite teacher; Adam Husler. Having practiced for nearly 3 years, I was super excited to immerse myself in a week of yoga in the Spanish sunshine, improving my technique and my practice. I not only achieved those things, but also made a whole new bunch of friends and had the best week laughing, practicing and being kind to myself.

yofa retreat, 2016, new year, blogger

Credit: Adam Husler

yoga retreat, 2016, new year, blogger

Credit: Adam Husler

3. My Nutrition Qualification

This took longer than I had expected, and required a lot of dedication and hard work on my side, but in the summer I achieved my Advanced Diploma in Nutrition and Weight Management. I learnt that online learning is something that I don’t always find the time to do, and I should have made it more of a priority. In doing so, I became more organised with my time when it came to starting my PT course at the end of the year.

4. Becoming An Ambassador

One huge achievement for me was becoming an ambassador for one of my favourite brands; Sweaty Betty. I used to work for the company many years ago, and it is because of Sweaty Betty that I found my current place in the fitness industry, so I owe a lot to them and the inspiration I found in my colleagues. Check out their #31DaysToFit challenge for January, and join me in making January 2017 your healthiest yet.

sweaty betty, fitness, yoga, 2016, new year

Credit: Will Patrick

5. The Big Holiday

A big 30th treat to me, from me, was an epic trip to New York with my best friend of 28 years (who also turned 30 this year). Although I’ve been before many times, this trip seemed special. I’ve never walked so far, seen so many things, laughed so hard…or wanted to move there so much!  NYC will always have a special place in my heart.

nye, new york, 2016, new year NYC. new york, 2016, new year NYC, new york, 2016, new year

6. Trying Something New

With my Dad living just 10 minutes from Nazaré in Portugal, one of the surfing capitols of the world, it seemed right for me to give it a go! Search Nazaré online, and you’ll see articles about 100ft waves and a Big Wave surf competition. Fear not, I’m not going to have a go on them, but I have been learning to surf with an amazing local surf school Surf4You. With expert 1-to-1 tuition from Miguel, both he and his colleague Henrique have made me fall in love with a new sport. It’s tough, and I ache all over, but I love it, and will be no doubt be popping by for a lesson every time I visit Dad.

surfing, travel, 2016, new year

Credit: Henrique Silva @ Surf4You

surfing, travel, 2016, new year

Credit: Henrique Silva @ Surf4You

surfing, travel, 2016, new year

Credit: Henrique Silva @ Surf4You

7. Moving House

I love my job at barrecore, but I make it no secret that my big plan is to have my own studio one day. Right at the end of 2016, I made a big move towards that. After 7 years in my little 1-bed flat, I decided to move, taking a risk by increasing my rent, to a 2-bedroom place. Why, you ask? Well, that spare room is to become my little PT room, so I can start to see clients in my own space. It’s a tiny step on the road to a fully fledged studio, but a brave one for me, and I’m so excited. Stay tuned for how I’m going to kit it out once I’m a fully qualified PT (because having that qualification is important to me).

new year, 2016, blogger

Credit: Will Patrick

So I’ve had a very lucky 2016, no major injures, lots of travel and achievements in my career. It’s not all been rainbows and unicorns of course, I’m still dealing with the constant pain of hypermobility syndrome, having other ailments investigated and let’s not forget, my major self-esteem slump in the last couple of months.

But I’m writing this post on New Year’s Eve, on a plane home from my Dad’s place in Portugal, with the sun setting on the horizon and looking forward to an awesome NYE night out as soon as the plane touches down. Life is good, and I’m super grateful for every opportunity I’ve been given.

Happy New Year Folks!!

New Year, New Goals, New Plans

Here we are again at the beginning of a new year. Is life flying by at a scarily fast pace for everyone else? No? Just me then. This year I turn 30, and while I’m not being melodramatic about turning the big three-0, I am certainly feeling like some of my plans are coming from a more mature, more focused version of me.

happy new year, lifestyle, fitness, beachNow before I go on, I don’t subscribe to the ‘New Year, New You’ theory. What was wrong with you last year? Absolutely nothing. Be the same you, but plan to be even more awesome, even more driven, and even more like you.

happy new year, dance, lifestyle, fitness, beach

I’m not one for resolutions, but I do have a few plans for this year, both personally and professionally. Writing them down makes me more accountable, and even if I don’t achieve all of them, it doesn’t mean the year has been a failure, it usually means that life has gotten in the way.

Get My Motivation Back

I’ve struggled since last year’s surgery to really feel like ‘me’ again. Just in the last couple of months of 2015 I started to get that drive to get to class again and I want that to continue into the new year. I’ll continue with yoga of course, and as a creature of habit, you’ll be seeing me in Rocket Yoga and Hot Dynamic Yoga most often.

2016, yoga, fitness, nike

Most of all, I want to get my butt back in the air again. I was just getting into aerial yoga and aerial hoop before I got injured, and now that I think my knee has improved enough, I need to get back up there. I’m even toying with the idea of getting back into a ballet class. I miss dancing, and while the thought of leotard and tights leaves me cold, I would like to feel that old familiarity of a ballet class again.

I plan to…er…plan my weeks properly and schedule classes and gym sessions into my busy life. That way, there are no excuses.

Get My Nutrition Back On Track

This might seem like a bit of a cop-out. Doesn’t everyone vow to do this every year? Well, being honest, I’ve become pretty lazy, and I’m not sure why. I know I can cook nice nutritious, non-complicated things, yet I just stick to the same few things or rely on convenience. I see it on my face, in my skin, and in my general body shape. Time to sort it out! Am I dieting, no, but generally looking after myself with better nutrition.

Stick To My Happiness Planner

I quite often start these mindfulness challenges, diaries, and the like, but not complete them. This year I’m determined to make the first 100 days count with my Happiness Planner, mindfulness cards from Lululemon and #100happydays instagram challenge. Let’s see what happens!

happiness planner, lifestyle, fitness

Start Planning My Future

Maybe this is the ‘almost thirty-year-old’ in me speaking, but I feel I have some important decisions to make. I make it no secret that my ultimate goal is to have my own studio, and my Dad has kindly drawn up some business plans and financial projections for me (isn’t he a doll?). My main thoughts are – WHERE? My mind wavers between staying in London, the city I love, and moving away in order to not become bankrupt very soon. I think I have to make that decision this year as part of my future business plans and really think about how I make this crazy dream of mine come to fruition.

This doesn’t only mean working through business plans, but also sorting my personal finances (ARRGGHH) and planning any future training. Maybe, if I get planning properly in 2016, I can finally put more of a solid date on my own business venture. Who knows?!

Happy Birthday Dance Flow Lift

blog, blogiversary, fitness, lifestyle, yoga

Yes! A new year means that Dance Flow Lift is now 2! Do I have big plans for the blog? Not really, just to keep posting, keeping going to events, and keep connecting with you lovely people. Do I wish my blog was bigger, more established, award worthy? Yes, but as I always say, life takes over….and I’m happy with that.

So there you have it. They might not be big plans, but they’re just a few things I want to keep in my mind as we begin 2016. Here’s to a wonderful year full of fun, fitness, love and luck.

happy new year, fitness, lifestyle

Plenty Of New…And Surgery Too!

How has your 2015 been? The end of the year is a great time to reflect on what’s been happening, and to plan for next year’s adventures.

2015review

2015 has been an odd one for me, it started with a fabulous new position at barrecore, opening up their Kensington studio as Lead Instructor. I loved the opportunity to take a more senior role, and opening a new studio was super exciting. Kensington is a gorgeous place to work with the palace and gardens nearby and, of course, Wholefoods Market just across the road. Guess where I spent most of my pay cheque?!

I also enjoyed an amazing Fit Trip to New York City!! Spending a week in my most favourite city, exploring the barre and yoga studios, as well as shopping of course, was just perfect. I’d do it again in a heartbeat….I even loved the cold and snow!

snow, yoga, nycFITtrip, yogabloggers

Not long after my holiday, it became apparent that the aches and pains in my knee weren’t getting better and were becoming an issue. Teaching 18 classes a week, with 2 or 3 yoga classes on top of that, was not good for my body, and it took a lot for me to listen to it and start to slow down. After a period of time seeing a knee specialist, and my physio, it was soon established that my knee would need some serious intervention.

knee fitness, injury, mri scan

This is where my year sort of went a bit pear shaped. CT scans shows that I not only had a Fat Pad Impingement in my knee, but that the cartilage underneath my kneecap was damaged, causing chondro-malacia patella. At first, my orthopaedic team tried a steroid injection in my knee (ouch) to try to reduce the swelling and pressure on my knee cap. After 3 months of gently testing the knee, it was decided that surgical intervention would be needed. I was booked in for a arthroscopy at the beginning of April, and prepared to take the summer off to recover.

Surgery was simple, but came with its own complications. I was to take 2 weeks of no exercise completely, then I was able to start gentle physio, and more importantly for my bank balance, take a few Private Training clients. After 8 weeks I started teaching again (more on the in a moment), 12 weeks I went to my first yoga class in 6 months, and now, 4 months later I back teaching and taking class almost as normal. I’ve had a couple of set-backs in my recovery, mainly because I’m trying to be quite highly functional and I have a tendency to push things a little too far…I’ll never learn.

arthroscopy, knee injury

Getting back to teaching was exciting in two ways, one because it marked a stage in my recovery that was very positive, but also because I was opening yet another new studio for barrecore! I’d handed Kensington over to a colleague at the start of summer, and happily took on the new barrecoreHAMPSTEAD studio at the beginning of October. Cutting my journey time in half, spending my days in leafy Hampstead has been amazing. I love the new studio, the clients are lovely, and it’s a great area to work in.

I’m now back at yoga twice a week, my old favourite, Rocket Yoga, and I’ve found a new teacher who suits my style perfectly. Happy times for me!

beach, yoga, travel, sunset

That’s my fitness year in a nutshell. In my personal life, it’s still me and the cat! The bigger news is that my dad re-married and moved to Portugal! I’m looking forward to some mini-breaks in his new home in the years to come.

I’m hoping that 2016 will being me less injury, more fitness and even more happiness, stay tuned for my 2016 plans very soon.