There is always a certain fear associated with making resolutions on the first day of the new year. Putting a target on having to achieve a goal by Easter or the start of Summer tends to put unnecessary stress on you to achieve these goals and then more often than not a sense of disappointment when those great intentions aren’t necessarily realised.
So, instead of sticking to sometimes unrealistic objectives, we’ve come up ten small changes that you can make throughout the year that are more approachable and a lot more inspiring.
Every day people are going through difficulties that you are unaware of. So, remember your manners, a simple please and thank you addressed to someone who’s trying their best to help or serve you goes a long way. It will make the person receiving the gratitude happy and in turn you will feel better about yourself.
Do you have a stack of cookbooks gathering dust in a press somewhere and are you bored of the same old, same old every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Make 2019 the year to learn some new recipes. Keep your goals realistic and try to cook one new meal each week, by the end of the year that’s 52 potential new recipes you can add to your repertoire!
3. Learn Something New
Do you want to start running, play the piano or learn a new language? Now’s the time to do it! If you aren’t sure where to begin, look for a class or workshop in your area, online forums and social networks will also provide information on how to get involved in new activities or hobbies that you’d like to start.
4. Read a book
A lot of our downtime is now spent watching TV or binge-watching Netflix (we’ve all been there!) and while we definitely advocate unwinding in this way. May we suggest on occasions that instead of watching three episodes of an hour-long show, spend half an hour reading instead. Reading has been proven to reduce stress levels (by 68%), preserve brain power and alleviate anxiety and depression. If you’re not sure where to start, visit your local library or bookstore to check out the classics or keep an eye on the NY Times bestsellers list for new recommendations.
Are there far-flung destinations that you’ve always dreamed of visiting, but for one reason or another, life or finances has gotten in the way? This is the year to plan your bucket list trips. If you’re not sure how to start, do some research and assess the types of trips and destinations that excite you. Once you have drafted your list you can start to plan which one or ones you can feasibly visit this year.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on relationships, both the romantic & friend types. Is there someone in your life who repeatedly puts you down and undermines you or perhaps likes to take advantage of your generosity? If so, it’s probably time to reassess whether it's worthwhile keeping this person in your life. Your self-respect and personal growth are integral to your health and happiness, so it’s important to invest in the people who make you feel good about yourself.
With so much going on in the world, socially, politically (hello Brexit?!) and environmentally staying informed with current events should be one of your main aims this year. We know it can be hard to keep abreast of everything and sometimes negative media coverage can be both disheartening and overwhelming. But with that been said there are a lot of rewards in staying informed, so read articles that interest you and learn more about the world outside of your country or community.
That bucket list trip we mentioned above? We obviously need a way to pay for it, make 2019 the year you try to save. It’s not easy, we know! But even the smallest amount each week could be worth a whole lot more later in the year. Look at your budget and minus your fixed expenses, really scrutinize your daily outgoings and see what you can reduce or cut out completely (that daily cup of coffee, the takeaway sandwich?). Whether it’s the dream holiday, the deposit for a new home or even those new shoes you’re lusting after, sometimes little savings go a long way!
Following the festive season and the usual spending spree that goes with it, your wardrobe is likely to be bursting at the seams! January is the perfect time for a clear out. From personal experience we know you need to be both mentally and physically prepared to do this, so here are some handy tips to make the process a little easier:
- The first step is to remove all your clothes to one place, so you can sort through each piece. Yes, that means everything!
- Then make two different piles of what you want and don’t want. If you’re unsure, the basic rule of thumb is, if you haven’t worn it in six months then dump it!
- Once you’re done take the unwanted clothes to your nearest donation shop or local social services.
- Then re-organise what has survived to make future outfit planning a little bit easier!
Finally, while the new year brings new beginnings, it also brings new challenges and changes. If you are struggling with change, whether it be quitting smoking, losing weight or starting new challenges such as a course or new job role or life takes an unexpected and difficult turn. Promise to take better care of yourself this year and don’t feel bad about treating yourself and carving out some me time. You really do deserve it!
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