It’s that time of year again – the one when we make promises to ourselves that we’ll do better, live better and treat other people better. Even if we only stick to these new year resolutions half of the time, it’s an improvement, right? Well, yes, but we can always do more.
One great way to keep to our resolutions is to make them part of our lives rather than a distant target. In this way, we practise them every day and by the end of the year, they’ve become ingrained habits – of the good kind!
Here’s some good ideas for resolutions and how to incorporate them into everyday living.
Put more money into investments
January is usually a month when money is foremost in our minds, mainly because we’ve spent far too much of it the month before! Even if you’re still paying down your credit card bill you can always find a few dollars to put into your savings account or maybe even into precious metals. You should find out more about bullion before starting out on this path, though, as it’s different to other investment vehicles.
Reuse and recycle more
It can be hard to find the time to sort out all your recycling and to source products made from reclaimed materials, so if you cultivate the habit of reusing things that you already have to hand, you’ll be closing some of the gap, at least. Turn your old Christmas cards into next Christmas’ gift tags, invest in a reusable glass or bamboo coffee cup and keep it at work or in your car and turn old two-litre drinks bottles into herb planters.
Get out and walk more
Most of us promise to hit the gym more after Christmas, especially if we’ve eaten and drunk too much. Putting this into practice isn’t as easy as it seems though; there’s driving to the gym, getting changed, getting showered, driving back, as well as cooking, doing the school run, working… The trick is to sneak in a workout among all your other chores. Walk to the gym once in a while and count it as half a workout, maybe. You could also hang out the laundry instead of hoicking it in and out of the tumble dryer. Keep an eye on your pedometer and pace up and down the garden if you’re just shy of your 10,000 daily steps target.
Eat fewer calories
This is the biggie for many people. There are lots of ways to reduce the daily calorie intake but too many people adopt the slash-and-burn approach, which never lasts because…arugula and mineral water. Take a look at your bad habits and see which ones you can tweak, rather than eliminate. If you have a mid-afternoon sugary soda habit, swap it out for fizzy water that you’ve infused with cucumber and lemon, for example. If you can’t resist donuts on the way home, restrict them to Mondays and Fridays and choose a healthier option in the midweek.
It’s better to make small changes that you’ll sustain for the entire year than impose swingeing new directives that will end in a gruesome and regretful rebellion!