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8 Nonsense-Free Changes To Make This Year Better Than The Last

The last year didn't go so good? Forget it. With the risk of sounding like a motivational speaker – if we can do it, you can do it.

Contrary to the very millennial trend of having to declare your new year resolutions on social media, the idea of making them goes way back. It is in the name itself. January derived its name from Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, famously depicted as having two faces: one that looked at the past and the other into the future. So, that idea of looking back as you look forward has existed for a long, long time.

Whether you believe in making resolutions or not, January is the perfect month to take stock of what made your year, what didn’t and what you could have done better. It is the perfect excuse to hit refresh on everything, which is why we’re declaring it to be “Hit The Refresh Button” month here at Team KULALA.

Instead of calling them “resolutions”, we’re calling them “changes”, because the goal is to be changed at the end of it all. To motivate you to make this year better than the last, we asked the team about the changes they actually made in the last year that made their year better and will continue to do in 2017. So, we’re not talking about la-dee-dah resolutions here – we’re talking about things we actually did i.e. attainable things. What are the changes YOU hope to make?


#1: Get Smarter

Simplicity can be bliss, but oftentimes, the more you know about the world around you, the more fascinating it becomes. What is life without a little bit of wonder? If you can’t remember the last time you read a book, ask a friend for recommendations (we’ve got a couple here), read reviews and start on one. If a novel puts you to sleep, find a genre and an area of interest, say, a book chronicling Yves Saint Laurent’s years at Dior? Or consider listening to podcasts. There are so many great ones! Vogue, The Business of Fashion, TED Talks, BBC, Man Repeller and, a personal favourite of mine, Stuff You Should Know – pick your poison.


#2: Actually Start Working Out (Or Walk More, At The Very Least)

I’ll bet my new two-tone Chanel mules that this is on your list of resolutions, assuming that you made one. Speaking as someone who stopped exercising for three years, then started again one day out of the blue, the best tip to get moving is to just get moving. It’s obvious, but that initial hump is always the hardest to get over. And yes, having snazzy work-out wear definitely helps. Can’t make it to the gym? Buy an exercise mat, pick one of the countless work-out channels on YouTube and work out at home after work. Olivia Culpo, former Miss Universe, It girl and our most recent “Conversations” interviewee, swears by work-out apps. Start tracking your daily steps, too; it’s highly addictive. (You can do it via the “Health” app on your iPhone.)


#3: Eat Better

Team KULALA’s Natalyn is vegan, so we constantly have a diet coach in the office. Still, this one is hard, because good food is everywhere. Think about what you want to achieve – do you want to lose weight? Eat cleaner? Have better skin? – and set realistic goals. Take small steps if you must, as long as it is consistent. Team KULALA’s Shloka cut out sugar for a month and while hard at first, she is absolutely game to do it again. Don’t forget to check out the super simple and clean-eating recipes from our resident kitchen maestro Bella Koh!


#4: Clear Your Laptop (And Your Inbox…Your Life Online, Really)

Most of us do our work on laptops and computers and if it is chockfull of things you don’t need, it can be quite distracting. Clear your trash, downloads and desktop and, if you dare, clear your inbox. That feeling at the end of it all? C’est magnifique. On social media, unfollow the content that you’re no longer interested in anymore or people who are constantly negative – it’s YOUR feed.


#5: Streamline Your Wardrobe

Apparently, only 20 percent of our wardrobes are put to use most of the time. We’re all for the occasional splurge, but we’re also all for versatile pieces. If your wardrobe is close to collapsing and the amount of clutter is starting to get to you, streamline it. Figure out what you want to keep, give away or donate the rest. Find out where your local donation points are or give them to H&M. (You get a discount voucher per bag!) With your new streamlined wardrobe, you make decisions quicker, which means more time saved.


#6: Commit To A Skincare Routine

For most of us, good skin doesn’t just land on our laps – it’s about commitment. (Believe it or not, a third of the team was at the hands of acne for years.) When your skin starts to clear up and/or if you start feeling better about it, you rely less on makeup. That saves time and money, but more importantly, it’s a super freeing feeling.


#7: Don’t Lose It Over Nothing

The person in front of you who is taking too long to order his or her coffee. The kid that accidentally rammed into you at the mall. The changing room queue that doesn’t seem to get any shorter. When you sweat the small stuff, you waste time, energy and emotions dealing with something that probably will not matter tomorrow or even in the next hour, so don’t.


#8: All That Said, Just Take Care of Yourself

This one is again obvious, but sometimes we just need to see it to know it. When you’re working on that, don’t forget to take care of the people around you as well. Finally, if you want to know even more specific changes that will make your daily life better (read: life hacks) that go beyond using a waffle maker to make a perfectly-cooked omelette, listen to this podcast by Part-Time Genius. It’s hilarious, but oddly helpful.


What To Read Next: The Peanut Butter Broth Noodles That EVERYONE Needs To Try, Room Diaries: Park & Cube’s Shini Gives Us A Glimpse Into Her London Office and What Happened When I Switched Out Coffee For Matcha | Cover Image: YOYOKULALA.com

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