a mother and daughter lifestyle blog

the journal

7 more ways to start the day - H.A.P.P.Y. challenge pt. II

it's week 2 of the alpro and sisterMAG H.A.P.P.Y. challenge! we hope some of you have joined us and downloaded one of the booklets to kick off the new year happier and healthier? and if you haven't - it's not too late to start now! every day is a great day for a fresh start or a little change, so what are you waiting for? you can read all about the program in our first post and start H.A.P.P.Y. right away. 

in our last post we shared seven ideas with you of how to start the day with a positive mindset, break routines and make change happen. today we'll share part II of seven ways to start the day for the second week of the H.A.P.P.Y. challenge. for the past week, we've really enjoyed sticking to the ideas ourselves and it's incredible how a little change of pace can affect your whole day - try it! we've also really enjoyed trying out the recipes from the booklet and have particularly fallen in love with the lentil bolognese and the healthy twist on a potato salad. also, the yummy green spread with yogurt, almonds and basil has been a great alternative to the classic avo on toast we usually have for breakfast.

the recipes are all beautifully photographed and so simple. they also come with their nutritional values, which - although we personally don't count calories - we know is very much appreciated by some. even if you don't plan on sticking to the meal plan strictly, we suggest taking a look into the booklet, if only for a little recipe inspiration.

as mentioned in our first post, the lovely amiena zylla created three amazing yoga programs for you to try at home, at work or wherever you want, really. we're often guilty of 'having no time for working out' when really we're just not willing to make time. the exercises are designed so that you can squeeze in a quick session anytime and anywhere. during the first week of the challenge we tried incorporating a short workout into our daily routine every day and amiena's videos really helped us stick to our goals. just taking the time to roll out the yoga mat for 20 minutes inbetween work is such a game changer and the perfect way to clear the head. the best thing is you don't even need a yoga mat - lots of the exercises you can do at your desk.

if you have trouble motivating yourself to work out, a little bribe can go a long way: treat yourself to something special afterwards, like your favorite snack or a soy vanilla chai!

we're so thrilled to have received amazing feedback from some of you guys who have tried out our seven ways to start a day and absolutely loved it. we hope you'll stick with us during the second week, too and enjoy it just as much!

day eight: take care that stack of paper work. we know, we know... mondays are hard to cope with anyway and this certainly doesn't make the whole ordeal any more tempting but: just think about how much future you will love present you for getting it over with! so whatever's been piling up on your desk and nagging at you for the past days, weeks or even months - do it today. answer those emails, pay those bills or sort out your drawers. 

day nine: have a dance party. on your own. turn up your favourite tunes and shake it all out hugh-grant-in-love-actually-style! if shaking your booty doesn't lift your spirits, we don't know what will. besides, you'll already get in your work out for the day without even realizing and isn't that just a huge plus? go crazy and dance like nobody's watching!

day ten: meditate. after such a wild start to the day yesterday, take a step back this morning and wind down. find a sunny spot in your house and really take the time to meditate and let your thoughts flow freely. if you haven't meditated before, there are plenty of tutorials online that can be of help. complete your slow morning with a hot cup of tea and re-charge.

day eleven: change something. this can be anything and it's completely up to you. how about moving some furniture around or redecorating a room in your house? even small changes to your living space like new flowers or rearranging your art can be a welcome breath of fresh air. or you could take the bike to work instead of the car, ditch your go-to pair of jeans for a dress, go for a different make-up look or try going au naturel if you usually don't or, or, or...what do you want to change?

day twelve: fridge clean-out. don't we all have those little jars, half-used cans and open tins of 'i-know-i-won't-use-you-up-but-am-too-lazy-to-get-rid-of-you-stuff' lingering in the very back of our fridge next to some sad forgotten veggies that have definitely seen better days? today is the day to finally say your goodbyes to them and while you're at it, take out all the drawers and give them a good spring-clean, too. make room for fresh groceries and reorganize so that you can see everything at a glance and nothing has to go to waste in future.

day thirteen: treat yo'self! it's the weekend and a treat is long overdue don't you think? what makes you happy? we'll probably head into town in search of a new favourite piece to wear this year, thinking a cozy knit or a new pair of jeans. or you could gather your besties and book a table at your favourite brunch spot, spend a day in the countryside or splurge on a mani-pedi and new hair-cut..

day fourteen: a letter to yourself. it's the end of your 14-day challenge and this morning, get comfortable, take pen and paper and write a letter to yourself. put your goals for the year into writing - at the end of the year, where do you want to be and what do you want to have achieved? is there anything that's currently bothering you and you want to change? what did you learn during the past two weeks and wish to maintain? keep the letter somewhere safe (where you'll be able to find it) and read only again at the end of the year. where you able to stick to your resolutions and goals? 

stay happy! love, kerstin & larissa