Halfway into the year, we can still get our act together. All it needs is willpower

Before we know it, we are well in June and half of 2014 has already passed. We started the year with a host of good resolutions; many probably have fallen by the wayside. Well, no matter, we can still get back on track. What we need is the conviction that those resolutions back there were good resolutions. And the resolve to get one’s life moving purposefully again. Like some sage said, it is the small steps that matter most. So, here’s a roadmap to incorporate some of those small steps into your daily routine. Don’t underestimate them for their simplicity; they work, and that’s what counts.

Fitness funda

It’s never too late, ever, to get fit. So, even if you have been letting that gym membership gather dust, even if you have been skipping more walks than actually walking, start your exercise regimen as of today. As of now. Just 20 minutes of working out will do, to begin with. Make it a habit, then ramp up your exercise time. Try something new; swimming is ideal in this weather. Just get moving and try to get moving every single day. Walk wherever and whenever you can.

Sleep well

More people are sleep-starved than ever, in these hectic times of ours. There are those who down endless cups of coffee in order to keep going; others skimp on sleep during the week, only to ‘catch up’ on the weekends. Studies say that stop-and- go sleep patterns just do not work. What you need is a minimum of seven to eight hours every night, so do try and catch that. Make your sleeping area serene, soothing, calm, dark, and entirely absent of electronic gadgets. Then, hit the pillows and sleep.

Electronic buzz

Wean yourself off those gadgets. Actually, you can live without your smartphone, iPhone, iPad, laptop, tablet, notebook, whatchamacallits. Life went on quite alright before they took over your life and difficult as it is to believe, there is life without them. A much more peaceful life, in fact. No one is telling you to stay indefinitely away from everything you are wired/connected to; what you need is to ascribe to yourself periods of abstinence. Turn the phone off, switch the computer off, permit yourself access to social media only for fixed periods in a day, slowly bring back restraint into your life. Your eyes, ears, blood pressure, your very body will thank you for it.

Smoke screens

You still smoke? Really? Well then, stop. Now. Unless you’ve been on a different planet all this while, you know just what cigarette smoke, first or second-hand, active or passive, can do to you. Employ whatever it takes, nicotine patches, (not electronic ciggies, though, they are as bad), willpower training, finding a new interest and passionately involving yourself in it, to quit.

Light up your house, and your workplace

A recent study revealed that people exposed to a lot of light daily were a cheerful, optimistic, resourceful lot. Pace yourself. There really is no cause for haste. Slow your pace down, slow down on your eating habits, slow your life itself. A slower pace is equal to increased mindfulness. Angry outbursts are now an inevitable side-effect of a life lived perpetually on the speedy lane. There is a correlation between a measured pace and the lessening of pressure-cooker emotions inside oneself. It’s time to discover that correlation.

Put that glass back

Scale back the drink. Latest studies have added one more liability to liquor: it thwarts one’s ability to fight viral infection. De-addict yourself slowly, but steadily. Take help from professionals if need be. Avoid places and occasions which will draw you back into the fold.

Find better alternatives, better lifestyles, better stimulants.