Every year people set New Year's resolutions and every year the majority of people fail. Here are some that you can actually achieve.
Everyone has different levels of self-discipline and at different stages in life. We don't want to tell you to set your goals low so you won't be disappointed. But, if every year for the last decade you've said you're going to run a marathon and you've only worn your running shoes in January each year, then maybe it's time to re-think. This list will is achievable for most people.
1) Allow others joy
This first one I'm borrowing straight from GQ. in a world where we have unprecedented access to news, information and other people's personal lives, it's so easy to moan about what we see. That person who posts too many selfies or who shares motivational quotes on their Facebook three-four times a day. If that's what is making them happy and feel positive, does it really affect you that much? Scroll past, unfollow them, or ideally give them a like and support them. Knowing they're happy might just make you a little bit happier.
2) Keep a calendar/journal
This might sound quite hard. If like me you've tried it a dozen times in the past and after the first week, you forget to write in it. But a calendar/journal doesn't have to be a daily thing. In fact, it doesn't even need to be a written thing. Most people have access to a smartphone with a decent camera. Make your smartphone your journal.
Open up the notes app on your phone and every day/week/month, upload some of the pictures you've taken throughout that time period and write a little bit about each picture, what you did and how you felt whilst doing it. Miss a day? No problem! Just keep it up to date regularly. Feel like you're losing motivation? Look back at what you've done so far and it will motivate you to finish it and look back at the end of the year.
Whether it's a good day or bad day. Smile. Whether someone is being nice to you or being rude to you. Smile. You'll feel much better.
4) Think about money
In the world of contactless and one-click checkouts, it's far too easy to just spend (and that is coming from a company that relies on people to spend!). Think about what your income is now and what you need it to be happier. That doesn't mean earning millions a year. Do you want to save up and buy a nicer car? Go on a nicer holiday? How much more do you need to earn? Then take steps to earn the extra.
5) Cook once a week
Whether you live by yourself or with your partner, cook one meal a week. Use fresh ingredients, put your favourite Spotify playlist on and enjoy the experience.
6) Take up a hobby
It doesn't need to be expensive or hugely time-consuming. It could be reading, going to car boot sales or sailing. As long as it works your mind and body, it's worth doing. Bonus points if it makes your more social.
7) Read one more book than you did last year
In 2016 I set a target of reading 12 books (one a month). It seemed logical. However, up until that point, other than at school, I'd only read three books in my entire life. That year I read 3 books. The year after I read 5. If you're already a big reader and don't think you can read more books, then choose a different style. Maybe choose one educational book instead of a novel.
8) Call people
It's easy to text people. Make an effort to call someone instead. An old friend, your parents, the elderly lady from across where you grew up. They'll appreciate the effort and you'll feel better for speaking to someone.
9) Social media detox
DO NOT TRY GIVING UP SOCIAL MEDIA ALTOGETHER. I put that in capitals because too many people think that giving up social media is the key to happiness. We live in a digital world now and we should embrace it and use social media for good. But a good goal could be to cut down the number of hours spent mindlessly scrolling. So here are a couple of suggestions for your social media detox:
- No social Saturdays - Spend the day with real people instead
- Put your phone down after 9 pm. You won't miss much and you'll sleep better
- Unfollow people/pages that don't make you happy. You don't have to unfriend someone if you're worried about offending them, but you can choose not to see their posts.
Choose one or two that work for you and your lifestyle.