to feel happier and healthier

5:2 is the part-time plan that helps you make amazing changes to your body – so what if you could also use it to improve your happiness, fitness, love life, family time, career and even your sleep? That’s the idea behind 5:2 Your Life: Get Happy, Healthy and Slim

5.2 Your Life

It’s an exciting and fun six-week programme of challenges, activities and inspirations, plus a six week 5:2 eating plan with all-new recipes.

Try it out right now – read on for a glimpse of how to 5:2 Your Life (and you can view Kate’s video diary of her 5:2 journey on the Watch & Listen page):

How to 5:2 Your Life

  1. Small changes make a huge difference. Just by taking small actions to tackle the things that will make you happier, you’ll feel like a success, not a failure
  2. Pick 2 days a week, and try one challenge on each of those two days.
  3. Become a time thief. Each activity takes between 10-25 minutes – easy to do when you’re picking up the kids, commuting to work or just before bed.
  4. Work against the clock: working at speed for 10 or 20 minute bursts feels energising and helps you make an impact in a short time.
  5. Let yourself be selfish now and then – the happier and more fulfilled you are, the more it’ll rub off, and the happier those around you will be too.
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5:2 your… dreams

  • Start by thinking big! Grab a notebook, set your alarm or kitchen timer for 15 minutes, and scribble ideas or drawings for your bucket list – all the things you want to do in your life. Where to go, what to see, who to meet, what difference you can make.
  • Then choose one thing that excites you most,  find a picture or photo to inspire it, and use it as a screensaver on your phone or computer to remind you to find ways to make it happen.
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5:2 Your Home Life

  • Having good relationships and friendships is one of the key factors in happiness. The smallest gestures can get you out of a relationship rut  but we stress about ‘quality time’ – so start small.
  • Commit to eat at the table with your family/partner- with the TV off – just twice this week. Talk about your days, the food, your plans.

5:2 Your  Social Life

  • We often take friends for granted, or make them a low priority, then get stressed about losing touch.
  • Check your phone, pick 5 people you’ve lost touch with lately and send them a text message, an email or even a cute postcard – nothing like getting something lovely through the post.
  • The trick is to send more than one so not too much is riding on one person’s response: just one positive response can make your day.

5:2 Your Happiness

  • Keep a good things diary  or jar to boost your mood. Just jot down three positive things at the end of each of your two days before you go to bed. It could be three things you feel grateful for – the perfect latte in your favourite café,  a great book – or things you did well– helped a colleague, baked a cake the kids loved, gave the dog a fantastic walk in the rain!
  • Either note them in a diary, or write each on a Post it and place in a jar – open the jar whenever you need a boost or a reminder of what’s good in your life.

5:2 Your Clutter

We don’t all want minimalist homes, but messy space makes your brain feel messed up too. The problem is where to start? On a 5:2 day, start anywhere!

  • Set a timer for 20 minutes. Pick your least favourite room to spend time in –  try to see it through fresh eyes, as though you’ve never been there before.
  • How does the room look? Is it cluttered, are things in the wrong place? How does it feel – too hot, too cold, airless, even smelly? Does it do its job – a bedroom should be relaxing, a living room welcoming? Is it the family dumping ground?
  • Now list as many solutions to each problem – the crazier the better! For example, to bust clutter: could you sell it on eBay, shut it in a cupboard, put it in a bag and set a date to take it all to a charity shop if you haven’t missed it, build a big bonfire?
  • Choose the easiest solution to all the problems – it could be as simple as lighting an aromatherapy burner in a musty room – and do it right now! Then schedule some of the other jobs for the next week.

5:2 Your Money

Do you have a drawer full of bills, bank statements and finance agreements you’re pretending don’t exist? Break it down into manageable 5:2 chunks:

  • Buy separate wallets for bank statements, bills, loans and household receipts. Then go through one each 5:2 day to find the best deals.
  • OR 5:2 your spending. Write down what you spend on a typical day – then on your 5:2 day, give yourself a budget of just 25% of what you’d normally spend – and seek out ways to enjoy yourself for free, like joining a movie advance screening website for free cinema tickets, or mystery shopping to get free meals!
  • Put what you save aside to spend on making  one of your bucket list dreams come true.

5:2 Your Bedtime

  • Do you use your phone as an alarm, or your tablet for bedtime entertainment?
  • Twice this week, ban anything electronic from the bedroom, have a warm (not hot) bath before bed, and go old-school by taking a paperback or your partner to bed to ensure the most relaxing sleep – and swap stretching for checking your Facebook when you wake.

5:2 Your Fitness

You don’t have to wear Lycra to get fit. Exercise is a painful word – make the effort to move more instead. Fitting in ‘micro-movements’ – small bursts of activity throughout your day – may be more effective against diseases like diabetes or heart disease than going to the gym. On your 5:2 day :

  • Get off at least one bus/train/tube stop earlier than usual.
  • Set the alarm on your phone to prompt you to stretch/walk along the corridor every half-hour if you do a desk job.
  • Try working standing up – prop your computer on a pile of books so the screen is at eye-level. Standing on the spot works more muscles than sitting!
  • Buy a ‘smart’ pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day. Mine lets me compete against my partner which is very motivating!

5:2 Your Worries

Worrying can be a waste of time – so make it productive by setting ‘worry o clock’ instead.

  • Whenever you start to worry about something during the week – stop. Write down the worry – a few words, no more – and tell yourself you’re going to schedule time to worry about it later.
  • Choose a specific time to worry – set aside 20 minutes on one of your 5:2 days to focus on that worry list.
  • Set a timer for 20 minutes – and work your way through your list. Try to move beyond simple worrying, and towards problem-solving.
  • By postponing worries, you can get on with your everyday life, but tackle the important issues when you’re in the right frame of mind. You’ll also be clearer about what really matters – like tackling debt or dealing with health issues – and the trivia you can live with, like the odd grey hair.

5:2 Where you Live

  • Loving where you live can make you feel happier and much more connected to where you live.
  • So on your 5:2 day, be a tourist – see the local attractions, take photos, discover a new cafe – maybe with a neighbour or your family. Make the effort to notice and appreciate more of the things that make your neighbourhood special.

Want more exciting 5:2 challenges and activities to help you live your dreams?

Check out the book, with a six-week plan and lots of recipes to inspire you.

5.2 Your Life