11 New Year’s Resolutions That Are Easy to Keep and Guaranteed to Make You Feel Good
Let’s face it; January is a notoriously miserable month in Northern Europe. The weather is usually terrible, we look though our fingers at our bank balances (wondering how Christmas could have cost that much) and it seems like an age until we can legitimately get excited about our summer holiday.
In order to combat the post-Christmas sense of seasonal doom, many of us use January as an opportunity to start over and make big changes in our lives that will make us healthier, happier and more useful members of society. The problem with new year’s resolutions is that we often aim way too high and end up adding disappointment in ourselves to the list of things to feel bad about until Easter, when the reappearance of the sunshine and the blooming of spring flowers naturally lifts our sprits instead.
However, with many of us facing one the most challenging three-month periods of our lives, the Wild & Fine team is resorting to new year’s resolutions to help us all through. But we won’t be training for ultra marathons or vowing to do five sessions of HIIT and achieving washboard abs by July. Nope. This time we are playing smart and looking to make small changes that we won’t struggle to keep, but will make us feel better about life each time we do them. We thought we’d share our list of potential resolutions on here, just in case they start making you feel better until the Easter Bunny arrives in April.
1. Do something small to be more green
Reading the statistics regarding global warming or the amount of plastic in our oceans can make you feel totally hopeless. However, if everyone made one small change to their lives for the benefit of the planet, all those tiny changes would start to make a huge difference. Just by making more of an effort to take your own bags to the supermarket, replacing your sticky tape with a plastic-free alternative when it runs out or vowing to pick up a bit of litter every time you go for a walk in your lunch hour, you can have a positive impact on the environment.
2. Be nice on social media
Social media is full of people who look a bit full of themselves and seem to need a reality check. Before jumping in and commenting to let them know, it’s worth remembering that they may be posting pictures of their baking or their children to cheer themselves up after a bad day, not to make anyone else feel inadequate. By letting them know their cake looks delicious or that their child is cute, you will make them feel better and being nice will lift your spirits too.
3. Buy your first birthday present of the year from a small business
2020 has been a difficult year for many businesses and, whilst it may not be practical to eschew Amazon and high street chains in favour of small businesses for the rest of your life, or even the rest of the year, you can show your support for independent producers by vowing to buy the year’s first birthday present for a friend or family member from a small business. It may be the start a small business habit, but even if it’s not, you’ve helped a small business and kept your resolution, which is bound to feel good.
4. Create a resolutions support team
Being determined and maintaining your resolve all year is easier with company. Enroll a few friends in your mission to make and keep new year’s resolutions and share your successes and failures with each other in a WhatsApp group.
5. Buy a succulent plant and keep it alive until 2022
Even the most inept of gardeners can care for a succulent. As desert plants, they are used to being deprived of water for weeks on end, so can survive being neglected on a window sill and even look like they are thriving on it. But you are still allowed to feel like a green-fingered houseplant genius when it is still alive in December 2021.
6. Do something nice for a stranger once a week
This can be something you do in person, such as footing a stranger’s coffee bill in a café, or something you do more remotely, such as buying an extra tin of beans during your supermarket shop and giving it to a food bank collection. At the end of 2021, at least 52 different strangers will have had a happier year thanks to you.
7. Drink more water
This won’t work if you just vaguely think you should drink more water. Resolve to drink a pint of water before your morning coffee, or to drink the entire contents of your 75cl water bottle twice over at work each day. By making the goal more specific you are more likely to stick to it. Your kidneys, your skin and your brain will thank you for it!
8. De-clutter your wardrobe
If you go by the adage that if you haven’t worn it for a year then you should send it to the charity shop, you may end up with nothing but pyjamas and casual clothes after 2020. Maybe extend the timescale to two years and prepare for the resumption of business as usual with a well-organised, pared down wardrobe. The clothes you take to the charity shop or clothing bank will benefit others too, so you get to feel good twice!
9. Don’t buy things you don’t need
If you are someone who likes to do their retail therapy in the shops, it should be fairly easy to keep to this one for the first few months of 2021, when restrictions and lockdowns are likely to be prevalent. If you are an internet shopping junkie it may be slightly harder to stop yourself pressing the ‘Buy’ button. However, you could turn the whole process into a game by transferring the money you would have spent on items you don’t need into a separate savings account. By the time Easter comes around, you may have enough for a weekend away somewhere exciting.
10. Make your bed every morning
In his book The Poetry Pharmacy, William Sieghart extolls the virtue of doing menial tasks, such as making the bed, having a shower or doing the laundry, to help combat feelings of hopelessness; ‘In their mundanity and repetitiveness these tasks give a rhythm, which in turn becomes a kind of structure, which, ultimately, will give you the ability to cope’. If you are looking for ways to see you through the rest of this winter, structuring your life around menial tasks in order to help you face the big stuff seems like a pretty achievable place to start.
11. The 10-minutes-per-day weekly cleaning schedule
Building on the daily tasks above, resolving to keep your home cleaner and tidier could help you face the weeks you may have to spend within its confines at the beginning of 2021. It is easy to feel intimidated by the prospect of taking on an entire house, so take seven quick cleaning and tidying tasks and do one on each day of the week. Our hit list would be:
1. Clean the toilets
2. Clean the shower
3. Hoover living room
4. Sweep the kitchen floor
5. Dust the TV and mantelpiece
6. Clean glass doors/windows
7. Clean the bedding
Some of these tasks naturally take longer than others and you can mix the schedule up to allow for busy days when you don’t have time for a bigger task.
Whether or not you choose to use new year’s resolutions to help you approach 2021 in as positive a mindset as possible, we wish you all the best for the coming year and hope that it is a healthy and happy one for you.
The Wild & Fine Team