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How to create your “unwritten rules” for 2013

In 2007, I cut out soft drink for an entire year after half-heartedly committing to go fizz-free during a drunken New Year’s Eve.

While I’m back on the sugary, sparkling stuff today, that year proved to me that a little commitment goes a long way. What unwritten rules will you commit to in 2013?

To get you thinking about how to make some positive changes for the year ahead, consider some of the following commitments for inspiration…

“I will use the stairs”

Health and fitness advocate Lorna Jane Clarkson, founder of activewear brand Lorna Jane and author of Move Nourish Believe, says her number one unwritten rule is to move whenever possible. “I must use the stairs, even if there’s an escalator available — at airports, in offices in shopping centres, wherever I am,” she says. “It’s my unwritten rule and it helps me sneak in that extra bit of movement every day. You’ll find that if you make an effort to do this at every opportunity, it will quickly become an unconscious habit.”

“I will drink at least 1 litre of water per day”

Did you know that you could likely survive for weeks without any food but you can’t live for more than a few days without water? Water is essential to hydrate, rebalance and deliver essential nutrients to your system, which is why nutrition expert Amy Adams says you should prioritise sipping on H2O every day. “Water helps your liver convert fat into usable energy, and if you don’t drink enough, your kidneys become overwhelmed and they will make your liver do extra work,” she says. To help you squeeze in the recommended eight glasses per day, she suggests you “throw lemon in your water: It increases weight loss and acts as a natural cleansing process!”

“I will save 10 per cent of my salary each month”

Paying yourself first when you get paid each week is absolutely essential if you want to get ahead financially, according to Venn Williams, co-author of Rocket Your Way to Financial Independence. “Most of us spend what we earn, so what we must do is break the habit. Saving 10 per cent of your savings is a must,” he says. To work out exactly how much you can save each pay period, you must first sort out your budget; follow these tips to get started.

“I will sneak in incidental exercise”

Mother-of-two Rachel Simpson juggles part-time work with the demands of raising two small children and helping her husband run his business so finding 30 minutes to an hour every day to exercise is difficult. “I’ve decided to find ways to exercise during little bits of ‘down time’,” Rachel explains. “I can do calf-raises while I’m at the photocopier at work, butt squeezes while I’m making dinner, and I can walk around the room when I’m on the phone.” What little movements and activities can you do to ramp up your exercise throughout the day?

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