10 Commandments for a Healthier 2016

Happy New Year!

I love this time of year because I feel like the slate has been cleaned and it gives us an opportunity to make a fresh start for the coming year. 

There’s nothing I love more than making lists and setting goals. I recently got this amazing planner from the lovely Nina at XO Planners. I haven’t written in it yet because I don’t want to make a mess in it – it’s too pretty! So I’ve been wracking my brains on how I’m going to fill in these pages with things I plan on sticking to. It has also encouraged me to think about my ever-growing bucket list. There’s a few things I am saving for this year including; a ski trip upstate, Coachella (eeek!) and Vegas!!! It’s good to aim high to try and stay motivated!

XO planners


All of these trips are going to require some serious saving and sacrifices when it comes down to it, so I am very thankful for the budget page at the start of each month. That will probably be the hardest resolution to stick to in this city full of temptations!

Below are another set of resolutions or ‘commandments’ that I am going to try and live by in 2016. It’s never easy to keep up with them after a couple of weeks but I’m going to really try and commit this year to see them through! I hope these give at least one person some inspiration…

  • Sleep – I’m going to start getting more sleep by making one small change; I’m plugging my phone in across the room and not keeping it under my pillow. I’m embarrassed to admit how late I will stay up just roaming around Instagram. It needs to stop, now!
  • Stretch – I mentioned before here that I really wanted to focus on my flexibility lately. I haven’t stuck to it and I feel stiffer than ever after a lazy Christmas break. My goal is to be able to comfortably touch my toes by the 1st of March. I am literally like an old woman!
  • Track macros for protein – in the past year I’ve been much more conscious about eating meat. I love meat so much but have a lot of conflicting feelings about it after watching some documentaries on Netflix (there were a lot of tears). I cut down on it a lot when I was still living at home, but now in the US, I am very very slow to trust where the meat we eat came from, what is actually in it, and the level of cruelty that was involved in the whole process. It’s completely a personal decision, but I’m going to (try) eliminate meat from my diet and see how I get on over the next few months. If I’m going to be working out as much as I intend to, then I know I need to try and get my protein in from other sources like beans, eggs, grains and anything else I can get my hands on! Keeping track of how much I’m consuming will help me to try and hit the amount I should be each day – because right now I definitely am not!
  • No Excuses – whether it’s calculating how many hours sleep I’ll get the night before or telling myself I won’t have time to wash my hair in the morning, I will literally not stop until I come up with the perfect “skip the gym” excuse. The next time I realize that I’m doing it again, I’m forcing myself to shut up. Because all the time I spend talking to myself is actually a complete waste of time. I realize that I’m beginning to sound crazy now!
  • Get organized – this is one I need to stick to. Every morning I wake up and am rushing out the door because I didn’t organize my clothes or my breakfast for that day, I get so mad at myself. Mornings are hard enough without the added stress of not being able to find a pair of socks!
  • Make more homemade snacks to cut down on sugar – I’ve been snacking a lot of Quest bars, dark chocolate and chocolate covered almonds (AMAZING). Not only are they expensive but I know that there is a lot more sugar in these than I want or need. At least with the snacks I make myself, I know exactly what goes in to them – which helps me with my portion control.
  • Portion control – I’m not going to be unrealistic or deprive myself. I’m living in New York, I’m not going to pretend that cutting out alcohol is realistic or that I will never spend another day being completely lazy and pig out after a big night. I will, however, try and manage my portions because everything here is huge! I’m going to start with eating takeaways off a plate rather than out of the box, and maybe not putting out the full serving at once… We’ll see how this one goes!!!
  • Lemon water – this is one that I talk about a lot but rarely stick to it. I’m going to try drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning and last thing at night to try help and detox myself a little bit.
  • Walk more – I am probably one of the very few people I know who can walk to work and not leave at a ridiculous hour to be in on time! It takes me 40 minutes if I want to stroll, and I probably have the best views in the city on my side (Central Park, Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue – depending on which I want to walk down). I need to start taking this all in a bit more while I can. It’s also my designated phone-home time every day so I really don’t like it when I’m rushing/lazy and take the subway.
  • Pay it forward – an old friend used to tell me such great stories about how she used to pay it forward and I remember I used to always say I would get into it. It’s basically an idea whereby everyday you do an act or a good deed that will make another person happy. You don’t tell anyone about it, or the person (unless its very obvious – like giving money/food to a homeless person), you just keep it to yourself and feel good about what you’ve done. I’m a huge believer in good & bad karma so the more good deeds the better in my eyes!

So there you go, these are the little changes I intend on sticking to for a healthy body and mind. I hope everyone has the best year yet!

Niamh x

XO Planner


  1. Hi Niamh – I recently found your blog, Instagram and snapchat via Erica and am now crazily reading everything you have ever written haha. Your blog is adorable and a nice mix of fitness and your life in NYC. I’m kickstarting 2016 with a six week fitness thing at my local gym so reading your recent fitness blogs have been great inspiration and motivation. I hope 2016 is a good one for you <3 xxx

    • cinnamonsoul Reply

      Hi Catherine! Thank you so much! I’m delighted you are enjoying the blog so far, and that the fitness pieces have been useful for your own fitness journey! I’m hoping to feature a lot more fitness posts in the coming weeks too. Good luck with your 6 week challenge and Happy New Year! x

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