5 Big Lifestyle Changes I’ve Made This Year

5 Big Lifestyle Changes I’ve Made This Year

Every year is similar. On January 1st, I have all these really great intentions and I feel so motivated to build new healthy habits and break the old not-so healthy ones. Then BAM the 3rd week of January comes along and it all goes out the window. But not this year. For some reason the new rituals stuck this time and I’ve never in my whole life felt better. It’s something I’m actually really proud of. I made changes and stuck to them and although it’s only March and you may think I’m jumping the gun, something feels different. I’m actually enjoying it and WANT to keep this lifestyle going. That’s the trick. So for todays post I wanted to delve into the exact changes I’ve made to my lifestyle and why I think each of them have stuck AND worked. Looking back, certain things definitely attributed to making the changes stick and I thought it might be helpful to share them with you…


First things first, my habits. People always told me that it took 21 days to make or break a habit and I never full trusted that saying, until now. The first day I got back to New York this year, I decided I wanted to set myself little goals each day and thankfully these goals quickly turned into habits. At the beginning of each week, I made myself a chart which had a list of 5 things on it for me to do every single day – 1. Meditate 2. Drink 2 litres of water 3. Get 10,000 steps 4. Wake up at 6am 5. Vitamins. At the end of each day, I would sit down and put a tick next to each one I did. It’s crazy but it really was motivation to do each one every day and before I knew it, I was ticking them all off every single day. Whether it was getting up early, working out, drinking water or getting my steps in. I couldn’t believe how things I used to strive towards started feeling normal. The tracker with the list of things was key here and I actually recently saw Jen Atkin do it too. She shared a template HERE.

As time has gone on, I’ve also invested in items to make achieving these goals even easier. For example, I recently got my first Apple Watch (which makes tracking my steps a lot easier AND more chic ;)).  I never loved the idea of getting an Apple watch, mainly because I didn’t love how ‘tech-y’ it looked. However, I love to track my steps each day and so many people had recommended it to me so I thought I would give it a go. I also had seen a friend of mine wearing hers with the most beautiful band. I knew straight away that it was from a brand I love called, LAGOS. They are known for their caviar beading distinct design element which was the giveaway that it had to be a LAGOS piece. I couldn’t believe how it transformed the Apple watch into such a chic jewelry piece. The perfect way to make a functional piece beautiful to wear. I was instantly sold!

So when they got in touch earlier this month to collaborate on the launch of their new Smart Caviar band I couldn’t have been happier. I went for the white ceramic style and I love how versatile it is. Since getting it I’ve been able to style it with so many of my other LAGOS pieces and I’ve actually really enjoyed mixing the metals. It is made up of white ceramic and stainless steel links and is so comfortable to wear. I particularly love how it makes the watch look more delicate and allows me to turn the watch into a fine jewelry piece (it’s the first ever fine jewelry strap for the Apple Watch). It is suitable for the series 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 Apple Watch and it fits the 38mm, 40mm, 42mm, or 44mm size. I am so glad to have made the discovery and I know it’s a timeless piece that I will have and wear forever. If you have an Apple Watch already and are looking to elevate it or if you’ve been thinking of investing – definitely check out more about the Smart Caviar band HERE and as always, if you have any questions about it, just let me know. 


Then moving onto lifestyle change number 2. As I mentioned above, a huge change I wanted to make this year was getting up earlier. I’m definitely most productive in the morning time so I wanted to make the most of that and get more out of my days. The first week back this was very manageable thanks to my jet lag from Ireland but keeping it up definitely took some discipline. A huge change I also had to make was going to bed earlier. This was a challenge as I’ve always found it hard to switch off at night and I think when you work for yourself you struggle with cut -off times. Before I would work right up until 8 or 9pm and then end up staying up late in order for me to have some downtime too in the evening. I was doing it ALL wrong, so now I try to finish work at 7pm latest – eat dinner, sometimes get a workout it and then be IN BED by 9:30 / 10pm.  It’s the only way I’ve been able to consistently get up early. And when I can, I really do try to keep my routine going at the weekends too. Not always 100% possible but I try. This makes a huge difference too! Having those extra couple of hours each morning has honestly been life-changing. I love that quiet time to myself, I get so much done before my day officially starts and it has made me SO much more productive overall.


Probably my favourite change of all has been my fitness routine. This time last year I was barely managing to fit in two workouts a week, if even. I found it difficult to make time for exercising and prioritize it. I knew I wanted (and needed) to change that this year. So in January I signed up to the Rumble challenge. Rumble is a boxing & strength class here in New York that I had done in the past and enjoyed but was never consistent with. So when a new location opened near my apartment and I saw an email come through from them at the end of December promoting the 4 week challenge I took it as sign. The challenge was to do 12 classes in the space of 4 weeks. At the beginning, I STRUGGLED, but towards the end I was actually looking forward to each class. I truly believe that challenge set me up in the best way possible for the year. It threw me into the deep end and I just had to learn to swim! Since then I’ve kept up the Rumble classes ( I now aim for 2 a week) and I mix it with pilates. I now aim for 5/6 workouts a week in total and it feels great to be in such a consistent routine. I’ve 100% seen a difference in my body (especially my core) and it has also changed my whole mindset. So if you’re still trying to get back into a routine – honestly just jump right in. Set a challenge for yourself, stick to it and before you even realise it, it will be your new normal.


Pretty much hand in hand with my fitness change is my food adjustments. Like my fitness, last year I RARELY prioritized healthy eating. There were weeks where Tommy & I would skip grocery shopping because we were too ‘busy’, eat out all the time (& ordered in) and just weren’t conscious of what we were putting into our bodies. It wasn’t a good time. Tommy and I both decided together when we came back after Christmas that we wanted to completely change our habits when it came to food. We’ve started doing our grocery shopping consistently first thing on a Saturday morning and it’s changed everything. I literally put it into my calendar each week, haha! Such a simple little habit to get into, I know, but it really has made the world of a difference for us. We also bought a soup maker randomly enough and I cannot recommend it enough. We’ve been using it at least twice a week and it’s crazy how helpful we’ve found it. It has stopped us both from eating out for lunch and reminded us how quick and easy it can be to cook healthy food.  I also think its been so helpful that both Tommy & I are in it together. It’s great to have someone to motivate you on the days you feel like cheating. When you become more conscious of what you’re putting in your body, it changes everything. We eat at home now 80% of the time, I’ve personally cut down on dairy and I NEVER skip a meal. As the year goes on, I’ll definitely do more posts on what exactly I eat.


… And last but definitely not least, I cut back on drinking. Majorly! In the five years I’ve spent in New York I’ve seen a whole new side to drinking. Every event you go to, every time you want to meet a friend, every time you go for dinner – it’s. there. I truly felt like it was unavoidable and never thought I would be able to cut it out completely. That was until I did dry January. It was my first time doing it and I actually couldn’t believe how easy I found it. It’s all just habit! Well it was for me anyway in New York. I know January is a little quieter so that definitely helped but I was pleasantly surprised with the new perspective it gave me. Now don’t get me wrong I really enjoy a glass of wine or a fancy cocktail and I’m definitely not writing this post to make you feel like you need to completely give up drink. I will still drink here & there and I always believe everything in moderation is fine. I just think it was great to experience a long period of time like that without drinking (and the hangovers/tiredness!). I felt healthier, I saved money and it just made me think a twice about drinking ‘for the sake of it’. Oh and I also definitely think less drinking helps with sticking to a good sleep routine (for me anyway) so as you can see, all these changes go hand in hand with each other.



So hopefully by reading this post you will feel inspired to finally make any changes you’ve been wanting to make too. I honestly look back and wish I had done all of these things sooner so take this push if you need one. I’ve never felt better and if I can do it, you 100% can too!

Thank you so so much for reading – always love these chatty style posts.

Chat soon,

x Erika

*& Thank you to LAGOS for sponsoring this post – always such a pleasure to work together!


  1. Jenna

    4 March

    You should try to read the unexpected joy of being sober; it changed my relationship with alcohol and made me much more aware of society and how alcohol is portrayed! It’s also a fun read! Thanks got habit tracker link; I am definitely going to give this a go!

  2. Oh my Godness, I think I should do what you did to cultivate good habits. thanks for a wonderful post!
    Review Gloves

  3. Meghan

    5 March

    I feel the exact same as you did about the Apple watch! This band makes it look SO different so definitely loving its appeal!

  4. Sara

    6 April

    Great post as always. And really inspiring changes in routines. Had a year when I went to sleep at exactly 10pm and went for walks every day and I had never felt healthier or stronger :)

  5. Melanie

    1 August

    I’m looking into both the purchase of an apple i5 watch and the sterling silver or stainless steel Lagos band, 38mm-44mm style. I’m trying to decide on which size/finish apple i5 watch to purchase…40mm or 44mm. While I like the idea of the larger touchscreen face of the 44mm (function), I don’t want the size to detract from the beauty of the band (form). Any thoughts? What size/finish is pictured in your photos? BTW: That suit/color looks awesome on you!

    • Retro Flame

      5 August

      Hi Melanie – thank you for your kind comment. I am wearing a size 38mm :) x

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