5 Worthwhile New Year’s Resolutions That You Can Keep!
We’ve all been there. It’s January, and you want to commit to that resolution. But deep down you know the truth: you’ll never stick it out.
Whatever New Year traditions would have you believe, self-improvement is a gradual process. A little at a time is better than nothing, and a lot of little things sure beats one failed promise. Here are our favourite easy-to-keep, maximum impact tweaks for every area of your life.
People who look after their health enjoy better mental health, stronger immune systems and improved overall happiness. And you don’t have to go to the gym every morning to get in better shape. Instead, make a few simple changes.
- Drink lemon water each morning, before breakfast. It provides a kick-start for your metabolism, along with numerous other benefits.
- Use cinnamon to sweeten tea and coffee, instead of sugar.
- Get off the tube or bus a stop early on your commute. Walk the rest of the way.
- Stand up and walk around the office once an hour, thus combatting circulation and static lifestyle problems.
- Take the stairs.
Pick any of the above, or all. Commit and reap the rewards.
TAKE IT FURTHER: Add a short morning workout to your day. Pick five bodyweight exercises – e.g. push-up, squat, crunch, burpee and plank. Every morning, before anything else, perform a minute of each. This five-minute workout will kick-start your metabolism, wake you up, improve your mood and, over time, improve your physicality.
Feeling stressed, overworked or under-appreciated? In this modern world, it’s easy to forget the things we should be grateful for, or even feel jealous of those we perceive as doing better. But if you have a bed, some form of family, a source of food, a job, an education and personal freedom, you’re already doing better than hundreds of millions of humans worldwide.
Don’t compare yourself to others. You don’t know the daily woes that other people deal with and never will. Instead, concentrate on the things you can be grateful for. Make a resolution that, every time you begin to dwell on a perceived personal failure or injustice, you’ll replace it with something you’re grateful for instead.
Studies show that people who practise gratitude are less envious, less materialistic and even get more sleep. So don’t take your fortunes for granted; learn to see what’s in front of you, and treasure what’s most important.
TAKE IT FURTHER: Keep a gratitude diary. Every day, before you go to bed, write down three good things from that day for which you are grateful. This three-minute practice could have significant positive effects on not only your personal happiness but your career and relationships too.
December can be a traumatising month, especially when the New Year rolls around and you finally peek at that bank account. Cutting back your expenditure is a failsafe way to conserve funds. But for a more long-term strategy, make this year the one that you start saving.
It could be £50 a month or £500. Just make sure that, as soon as that pay cheque comes in, you transfer a set amount to a separate savings account. Before you know it, you’ll have a nice little cushion building. And believe us, you’ll need that nest egg some day.
TAKE IT FURTHER: Invest. I know – the very word is enough to make you shiver. But there are plenty of online services which will be happy to do all the hard work for you, if you’ll only let them. Nutmeg caters for sums of all sizes, maximising your gains via a set risk factor and period. Although a certain amount of risk is inherent in all investments, chances are you’ll come out with more than you started.
Stuck in a career rut? Hoping to make big gains this year? It’s all about taking it one step at a time.
Whether you’re trying to move your career onwards or just to get better at what you’re already doing, resolve to do one thing every day to benefit your professional life. It could be emailing that contact at your dream company, or listening to an educational podcast. You can work it into your commute, or get it done in a lunch hour – whatever. Just keep yourself improving.
TAKE IT FURTHER: Begin cultivating your professional network in earnest. Attend one event a month, pick up contacts and follow up via email within a few days of meeting. Try out the 4×4 challenge! Stick with it and voila: this time next year, you’ll have a powerhouse of new contacts, ripe for that career shift.
We could all be a bit more conscientious in the way we live our lives. As a species, we have a duty to act in a socially responsible manner, whether it’s conserving energy or getting that recycling onto the kerb on time.
One of the greatest battles in the modern population is between meat-eaters and vegetarians. Livestock and the meat industry account for up to 50% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Even ignoring the ethical, social and health implications of our meat obsession, you have to admit that’s a convincing number.
“But… bacon!” is not an argument. If you value your planet and the future of the human race, you will slash your meat consumption. Choose one day a week to go meat-free. Who knows – if all goes well, you might even progress to two or three.
TAKE IT FURTHER: Take it all the way. Don’t cut yourself any more slack. Go vegetarian today, and feel safe in the knowledge that you are doing something tangible for your planet and your people.