2016 New Years Resolutions

As we begin to wrap up the year that was, it’s difficult to ignore that nagging feeling telling us that this past year could have been better – we could have been ‘healthier’, ‘richer’, ‘kinder’, ‘more interesting’. Many look towards the New Year with a renewed sense of optimism, setting goals to achieve without a realistic plan to back them up. Renowned for their high failure rates, new years resolutions cop a pretty bad rap, the truth is however, resolutions don’t need to be lifestyle transforming – they can be as simple as painting a room, planning a vacation or agreeing to treat yourself regularly.

The main reason that resolutions tend to fail is that they are too vague. To say “I’m going to lose weight” is fantastic – but you haven’t actually made a realistic plan to achieve this goal. Instead say, “I’m going aim to walk/run 25kms a week”, and “I’m going to prepare my own, healthy meals to bring to work each day”. This is a much more realistic way to achieve the desired outcome of weight loss. Similarly, “I’m going to read more” is a healthy and achievable goal, but as one day slips into the next, and you get hooked on your next favourite TV series, this goal seems to slip further and further into impossibility until it’s April, you’ve read half a book, and you write it off entirely. Joining a book club, or agreeing to read a book alongside a friend or partner is practical and fun way to ensure you adhere to your goal.

A resolution can be as simple as changing a daily thought process. Instead of focusing on how stressed you are are and how life could be better, replace these thoughts with what you have to be grateful for. Wake up each morning and spend 60 seconds practicing gratitude – “I have a roof over my head”, “a family who loves me”, “friends to talk to”, “food to eat”, “legs to walk with”, “clothes to keep me warm” etc. Studies show that it takes 21 days to forge a habit; practice daily gratitude for three weeks and watch how your attitude towards life changes.

50 ideas to keep in mind as the new year rolls in…

  1. Stop putting off going to the doctor and dentist. Accept that it is expensive and important.
  2. Stop using your phone as a crutch in public, people watch instead.
  3. Read for pleasure every night before bed.
  4. Go for walks/runs without the aid of an iPod. Listen to, notice and appreciate your surroundings.
  5. Stop pressing ‘snooze’.
  6. Wake up and spend 60 seconds reciting in your head everything you are grateful for. Do this every morning.
  7. Take up yoga/practice mediation.
  8. Write a list of your qualities/skills/traits. What about you, are you most proud of? – Have you been a good friend over the years? Are you loyal? Are you kind? Are you hardworking? Let this list, and not others define you.
  9. Stop worrying about how many ‘likes’ you get on social media – if you liked the photo enough to post it in the first place, what else matters?
  10. “The only thing worse than being in a bad relationship for one year is being in a bad relationship for one year and one day.” It is better to be happy alone, than sick with someone else.
  11. Put away a little bit of money every week for a rainy day.
  12. Call people more often, rather than texting or ‘Facebooking’ them.
  13. Learn to be comfortable alone – go to the movies/eat at restaurants/go shopping at malls/travel alone.
  14. Declutter your wardrobe and donate unused clothes to charity.
  15. Write ‘to-do’ lists for the following day before going to sleep.
  16. Upload less photos to social media – you don’t need photographic proof of every social event you attend.
  17. Drink more water, less coffee and eliminate soda.
  18. Stop making an effort to catch up with people who don’t make an effort to catch up with you.
  19. Realise that the quality of your friends is substantially more important than the quantity of them. I’d rather have 1 amazing friend, than 100 acquaintances.
  20. Start up a vegetable garden.
  21. Be less argumentative.
  22. Accept that things don’t always go your way, and nor should they.
  23. Spend time making new memories with friends and family, rather than reminiscing about old ones. E.g. organise to go trampolining/bike riding/bush walking rather than just catching up over drinks or dinner.
  24. Buy a colouring-in book and really good quality pencils.
  25. Play board games with family/friends of an evening rather than watching tv.
  26. Use one screen at  a time – either watch the TV, use your phone, or gaze at your laptop.
  27. Treat yourself regularly. Pamper yourself with a massage, buy a new dress, or indulge in good quality ice cream.
  28. Reply to emails/phone messages/submit forms as soon as they come your way – don’t sit on them.
  29. Print photos off social media and make them into physical photo albums/scrap books.
  30. Paint your bedroom a new colour.
  31. Burn candles and incense more regularly.
  32. Sit down for an hour on Sunday and organise your menu/food shopping for the week. It will save a lot of time and stress after work.
  33. Cook for friends when they are sick.
  34. Thank people more often – text them, call them, or better yet thank them in person.
  35. If you hate your job – start looking for a new one (but don’t quit your existing one in the meantime!)
  36. Spend more time with your parents and grandparents. You will be tremendously thankful for doing so in the future, as will they.
  37. Learn to say “no” without feeling guilty.
  38. Worry less about what you wear, and more about how you behave.
  39. Watch more documentaries and less reality tv.
  40. Invest your hard earned money in experiences, rather than material possessions.
  41. Stand up for yourself and others more often.
  42. Commit to regular date nights.
  43. Spend your money buying things you don’t have, rather than replacing things you already own.
  44. Adopt a pet, and shower them with love.
  45. Smile/say good morning to a stranger once a day.
  46. Shampoo your carpets – it will amaze you how filthy they actually are.
  47. Plan a holiday – whether it is backpacking through Asia, a European vacation, visiting distant relatives or spending a weekend up the coast. Send postcards while your away.
  48. Swim in the ocean regularly.
  49. Take a healthy, packed lunch to work rather than eating out everyday, particularly if you are trying to lose weight,  you will be amazed how much money you save.
  50. Tell your partner, children, friends, parents, siblings, extended family that you love them and appreciate having them in your life.

Featured images: montgomeryfest.com; thyme-is-honey.com; thesarahjohnson.com






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