We’ve all heard it before. ‘New Year, new me’. It’s time we moved on from weight based resolutions, and aimed for something else instead.
When Christmas comes around, most notions of healthy eating and exercise go out the window. With festive parties, gift buying and rich Christmas treats, it’s not surprising that we gain a few pounds. By the time the new year starts, we see endless reams of ‘New Year, new me’ resolutions, and most of them are about losing weight.
It’s the same cycle, year after year. And do you know what? Most people will fall at the first hurdle. They’ll lose a lot of weight in the first few weeks, before their bodies adjust to their reduced diet. Then, it will become harder to keep up the weight loss. This is where most diets fail, and the weight inevitably comes back (sometimes even more).
So what are we going to do? Carry on as before? It’s time for us to make some different new years resolutions, and kick off 2018 with habits that will bring us sustained happiness that can’t be weighed on a scale.
Write to yourself
When was the last time you sat down and wrote a letter? Can’t remember? Not many of us can. We spend so long typing these days, and while it’s not a bad thing, it can be good to disconnect from our screens and put pen to paper.
So what should you write? Anything you like!
It can be a letter to your future self, where you outline your dreams and goals. It could be a letter to your younger self, where you can look back and see how much you’ve grown. These are great ways to practice self care and gratitude (which will also be big trends this year), and you can hold on to these letters to back on in later years.
Learn a new language
What’s more cultured than learning a new language? It’ll not only impress your friends, but it will also improve your health. By using your brain and focusing on speaking in a different tongue, you can learn how to multitask, boost your brain power and even lower your risk of dementia.
It’s not only helpful for your physical and mental health, but it can improve your job prospects too. Employers not only love seeing these skills on CVs, but it can even improve your first language and overall communication skills.
I started this process a couple of years ago using the Duolingo app, and it’s been great. I chose Dutch as it’s a relatively easy language for English speakers to pick up (here’s a list of other easy languages you can learn) and I’m a little bit in love with Amsterdam!
Rediscover old favourites
Do you have a favourite book, tv or film series? Rediscover and fall in love with it again!
There’s a sense of familiarity and comfort in this practice, as you’ll be rereading or rewatching something that you know you love. While you’ll know the overall plot, there’ll be small details that you may have missed or forgotten, and it will be like reading/watching with fresh eyes all over again.
We have favourites for a reason, so it’s important to go back to them as part of your 2018 self care regimen.
Try a new food
As you may have guessed already, I’m not necessarily saying that you should be trying a diet food as one of your resolutions. What I am saying is that as we grow and evolve, so do our taste buds. Foods that, even just a few years ago, you may have turned your nose at can become appetising. You just need to try them in a way that will help you get a taste for them.
Take soup. I never used to eat soup, as I struggle with hot liquids (I’m forever scolding my tongue). But, at a friends house, I was served a butternut squash and chilli soup, with an added dollop of crème fraîche. That cool and creamy addition helped me to enjoy my dish, and I’ve been souping ever since. I’ve even shared a favourite creation of mine here on the blog!
I’ve also been picky with my eggs in the past, often only enjoying them scrambled. Now, I find myself frying and boiling them to enjoy with breakfast or as part of dinner.
You can surprise yourself with how much you suddenly enjoy something you swore you hated. So take a step out of your comfort zone, and try something new. If you’ve been staring at something on a menu that you think sounds great, except for one ingredient. Be brave, and order it!
Set a schedule
This is a resolution that is easier said than done. Schedules are another individual practice. Some of us can’t seem to live with them, whereas some of us can’t live without them.
Personally, I’m still working on having a schedule at home, as I’m someone who needs to constantly have it in front of me in order to stick to it. At my work though, I’ve got a great Kikki K weekly planner that helps me organise my day. I’ve found this is the best way to keep me on track, and it stops me from forgetting important tasks that need to be done that day.
Go somewhere new
This is actually one of the most common resolutions, but I’m including this on my list because of one simple truth. You don’t have to go far. We all have to live within our means, so if you can’t afford to or can’t find the time to travel to exotic locals, don’t feel bad about it.
Going somewhere new could simply be a local park that you’ve gone past, but never stepped into. This is something that I’ve done, and when I finally took the time to go in, I discovered a beautiful park to lie down in with a book on a sunny afternoon. Bliss.
One day, I would love to travel to the far east and discover amazing countries like Japan and South Korea (and eat all the food). For the time being though, as I work on other areas of my life like building up savings, I’m happy to stick to the UK and Europe. There’s a whole world past your doorstep, so step out into it.