Well, it's finally here: the New Year! And I have decided to heed a little of my own advice: New Year = New You. Here's a New Year's gift to you: three simple solutions—not resolutions—anyone can implement in the New Year. Enjoy!
1. Regain control of the bedroom. No, it's not what you think! You don't have to make drastic changes to see positive results in both your sleep patterns and sex life. Take control by committing to a few bedroom basics: Keep chores like laundry folding out of the bedroom; leave entertainment in the living room by removing the bedroom TV; and attempt to retire for the evening 30 minutes before your typical bedtime. By moving your bedtime from 10 to 9:30, you're giving your mind and body a chance to unwind before it shuts down entirely. Keep the bedroom exclusively for what it's meant for—sleep and sex. You don't shower in the kitchen, do you?
2. Sneak in some added exercise. OK, you've all heard this one before: Take the stairs at work or park farther away from the store. But what about even simpler changes you can make at home? Try getting up during each commercial break and return out-of-place books, mail and what-nots to their places before your favorite show comes back on. The commercial breaks in a two-hour-long show equal an extra 20 minutes of exercise you didn't even think you had! Go even further by listening to upbeat songs while loading the dryer, emptying the dishwasher or wiping the counters. Housekeeping never felt—or sounded—so good! Before you know it, you'll be moving to the groove and getting more done just waiting for the song to finish.
3. Get your day off to a good start. Make a vow not to check e-mails and social media first thing in the morning. Many of us are guilty of this very bad habit. Before the advent of the Internet, your daily routine might have consisted of listening to the radio while dressing, drinking coffee and maybe flipping through the morning paper. But does this sound familiar? You pick up your phone or tablet to text your carpool, read a late-night e-mail sent by a cranky client and send off a quick idea to your boss, which requires a follow-up because she's checking e-mail early, too. Set parameters for checking e-mail, texts and social media. How about only after you've taken 15 minutes to prioritize your daily tasks? Don't answer e-mails and texts as soon as they come in; instead, set aside half-hour blocks like 12 to 12:30 p.m. for work e-mails, 3 to 3:30 p.m. for family and friends, and 5 to 5:30 for personal appointments. If something is truly urgent—which, honestly, it rarely is—whoever needs to find you can pick up a phone call you!
I hope these help. Here's to a better you! Simple solutions, not improbable resolutions!