The Quiz: Do You Need a Life Change?
1. It’s lunchtime. You grab your…
a. Colleague. Lunch is always more fun with a gossip catch up.
b. Tupperware and sunglasses. You’re going to get some fresh air and enjoy your quinoa and chia seed salad in peace.
c. Purse or wallet. Spending during your lunchbreak is what makes work worthwhile.
D. Energy bar from the desk drawer. With 290 calories and 16g of protein this’ll see you through to the end of the day, no worries.
2. After work, a friend is late to meet you, so you…
a. Find a spot on a park bench and enjoy this moment all to yourself.
b. Think about how unreliable all your friends are.
c. Get to the pub and start drowning your sorrows.
d. Work more and make your friend wait.
3. Weekday evenings generally consist of…
a. Catching up with your loved ones, housemates, or furry friends, after a workout.
b. Get chopping vegetables! This chef’s got talent! If only you had someone to test out your recipes on…
c. Flop onto the sofa, remote in one hand, snacks in the other. Oh for a spare hand for your drink…
d. At last you can get some work done, without all those office distractions.
4. Finally, it’s the weekend! Time to…
a. Relax. Finally, you get a chance to put your feet up.
b. Get lost on the internet – maybe with a movie, or gaming, or reading…
c. Open the bar! It’s Wine O’Clock!
d. Make lists, plans, and charts. This weekend is going to be absolutely perfect.
5. You’re at a family event. You mention an idea you’ve got for your business or work. Your family responds by…
a. Listening, then putting forward some additional ideas to support yours.
b. Staring at you in horror. How could you – or anyone – even think of doing that?
c. Listening, then taking your idea apart one step at a time.
d. Talking more loudly. They just don’t know a brilliant idea when they hear one.
6. The clock says 7pm, on Sunday night. You think…
a. Wah-hey! Still enough weekend for a relaxing soak and Netflix before bed.
b. Next weekend, I’ll be more sociable. For now, I’ll stick the telly on.
c. Time enough to sink a few down at the pub. Got to milk the last of the fun out of the weekend.
D. Shizzlesticks! Why is my to-do list longer than on Friday?
Tot up which letter you’ve chosen the most, then scroll down to discover what it all means
Congratulations, your life pillars are looking pretty even and stable. The great thing about having this kind of balance is you can be more experimental with less risk.
Research from drinks company, Grace Say Aloe, shows only one in 10 Brits thinks of themselves as spontaneous – but you have the opportunity to change that.
Do something out of the ordinary – tell that complete stranger they look great; book yourself an adult sleepover at a museum (enjoy a three-course-meal and night at the Natural History Museum for £180), or even try your hand at flying trapeze (£25 with aircraftcircus.com). It can’t hurt too much…
You’re too fragile to socialise much – your heart is breaking before you’ve even considered going on a date.
Even your friends make you feel confused. That needs to change – to be open to love and friendship, you need to allow yourself to be a bit vulnerable, too.
It’s worth it though. ‘While poor relationships can also be a source of stress, good relationships allow us to be our true selves,’ says Lorna Cordwell, Head of Counselling at Chrysalis Counselling Courses.
‘Valuing those friends who value us for who we are means we are part of a strong support network that is there for us in times of difficulty, as well as those fun times together.’
HEALTH AND FITNESS
You really need to take a long hard look at yourself – because from where we’re sitting, it doesn’t look too good.
Lift up your top, go on, see that belly? If it’s not already showing the signs of your lifestyle – a disappearing belly button and extra rolls of flab – it will be soon.
And beneath your skin, your heart is beginning to stretch and droop (cardiomyopathy) and your liver’s surface is showing craters and pock marks. Make the change today to ensure you can continue being the social animal, while keeping your good looks and health.
Start walking to work, home from the pub, out with the dog or over to the supermarket. Aim for two and a half hours of brisk walking per week, breaking it up however you like.
That alone will strengthen your bones and muscles, keep your weight in check, lower your blood pressure, and even give you better coordination… which will come in handy at the pub when you’re carrying a round of drinks to your mates.
You’ve only got one life, and you’re spending it working! ‘Work is important to many of us, but it is only one element in our lives and we need to remember that,’ says Lorna.
Often people get sucked in to climbing further and further up the career ladder, when they’d enjoy more ‘success’ (i.e. overall happiness) by taking time out to explore other avenues.
Consider taking a year out and travelling. ‘Broadening our horizons helps us to be more open-minded and this helps us to understand ourselves better, and to know what is really important to us and what isn’t,’ she adds.
FIND YOU BALANCE
Ring in the Changes
DON’T GO CRAZY
Breaking your routine doesn’t necessarily mean quitting your job or taking a year off to go travelling. It might simply mean making more time for other activities in your life.
Just say ‘no’ to people or social events that don’t add much to your life, and spend that saved time doing something new and inspiring instead.
Minor changes such as getting up 10 minutes earlier to read in bed, having a bath instead of a shower (or vice versa), or even sitting on the other side of the dinner table can create a feeling of change that is invigorating.
MAKE MENTAL PIES
It could be shepherd’s, apple and blueberry, or even a pie chart. Each pie represents elements of a happy life – family, friends (including lovers), work and health.
Your aim is to get a finger in every pie. ‘Each pie could represent work, finances, romance, friends and family, spirituality, purpose, environment, fun,’ suggests Lorna. ‘Now ask yourself how much emphasis have you put into each one so far.’
Some pies get more neglected than others – and those are the ones to focus on now. It’s as easy as, er, pie.
New Year is almost here. What changes will kick start 2018 for you?