We love to make New Year’s resolutions. Every year millions of us put together a list of things we want to achieve, but a whopping 80% of us then go on to break them. From saving money to losing weight with bizarre new takes on dieting, our resolutions range from the lowly foothills of ambition to the depths of hubris. One thing is for sure, striving for unrealistic goals is the perfect way to set yourself up for failure.
We’ve compiled a whole list of New Year’s resolutions for the realists out there. How many will you try?
Do Something You Love For Five Minutes Per Day Many of us make resolutions around the theme of self-improvement, scheduling untold hours of time that we probably won’t be able to sacrifice when it comes down to it. Perhaps you want to start a new business, or write a novel… Instead of giving yourself a backbreaking timetable, try doing what you love for five minutes per day. Anybody can spare this amount of time and you’ll be surprised at how good you feel sticking to your task, even if it’s only for a few weeks.
Go For a Long Walk Once a Week Yes we would all love to have the chiselled body of a Hollywood film star, but we also know how much work this takes. This uphill battle can end up becoming so unachievable that we don’t do anything at all. Whether you decide to sign up for a gym membership or not, make sure that you fit in a long walk at least once a week – regular walking reduces the risk of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, asthma and strokes.
Learn a Joke or Two This is an easy way to have a little more presence in social situations – and it is a good way to improve your memory too. Learning a joke or two each week might not turn you into Ricky Gervais, but it could make you a few new friends down at the local pub.
Drink More Water
There are so many strategies on how to stay healthy these days that it can be hard to know where to start. One thing for certain is that drinking lots of water is really good for you. Make a promise to drink more water and you’ll feel great without having to dramatically change your routine.
Drink More Water After Drinking Alcohol This one’s pretty much self-explanatory. When you’re out at the pub try and fit in a glass of water here and there – and when you get back from a night out get a big glass down you. You’ll thank yourself in the morning!
Send Somebody a Handwritten Letter Getting in touch with people more often is another common resolution that many people make at the beginning of the year. We have so many ways of communicating these days but it still feels very special to receive a handwritten letter from a friend or family member. Make someone feel special with a few well thought out lines.
Need to Improve Your Organisation? Download an Organisation App As the New Year rolls around, it can seem like the perfect time to bring some order to the chaos of life. But, let’s face it, some of us are just never going to change! Embrace the mess and download an app to organise your life instead of doing it yourself.
Save Money by Changing Your Supermarket Now we come to saving money – another typical resolution that can stress us out if the plans we make are too draconian. Are you sure you are getting the best deals at your supermarket? Perhaps you have been sticking to a brand out of loyalty, while there’s a discount store just down the road. Give it a try!
Save Money by Cancelling Your Gym Membership Come on – we’ve all done it. Joined a gym with bundles of enthusiasm and weeks (maybe even just days) later failed to turn up at all. It’s OK, just cancel the membership. Spend the money on something you enjoy instead!
Save Money by Collecting Shrapnel
Buy a big jar and put it somewhere prominent. Every time you get home empty any spare change into it. Who knows how much you could save over the course of a year?
Save Money by Banking Small Amounts We can put pressure on ourselves to save lots of money for things, whether it’s a big purchase like a house, or just extra cash for a rainy day. Try saving small amounts, often, until it becomes a habit. You could set up a new savings account with your bank to incentivise the saving.
Give to a Local Food Bank It can be difficult to find the time, or the extra cash, to give as much as you would like to charity. One easy and very helpful way to give to charity is by donating to a local food bank. Foodbanks help people in your community and giving something back will give you a sense of wellbeing.
Have More Smoothies Eat 5 a day. Eat 7 a day. Argh! Get more of your daily fruit and veg intake by drinking more smoothies. They taste nice and they’re good for your mojo.
Spice Up Your Love Life by Switching Online Dating Accounts Some of us will be looking to find love in the spring – and this noble ambition can be helped merely by switching online dating providers. Instead of the more formal dating sites, why not give Tinder a try? Or the other way round if you’re a Tinder fiend!
Learn a New Language: The Language of Dance
OK so we all want to learn a new language, but it’s pretty hard. Forget grammar books and vocab lessons and give dancing a go instead. Getting your hips into gear might help you on the dating front too.
Subscribe to a Blog It’s not unlikely that you’ll get a few books for Christmas and you’re probably thinking about when you’ll have time to read them. There is always the danger that they’ll sit around gathering dust as you procrastinate further and further into the year. At least procrastinate with purpose: subscribe to a blog and get some light reading in.
Forget Therapy, Pat Your Pets More Often
You’ve tried lots of things to increase your happiness, but have you tried getting a pet? Patting your pets has been proven to improve mindfulness and reduce stress. Give your pet some love and get some good karma in return!