Three resolutions which won’t set you up to fail

Some people swear by them, some people refuse to engage. New Year’s Resolutions are, unsurprisingly, a popular topic at the start of the year, and having stuck to mine for the first time in 2021, I have a new-found appreciation for them.

Before, I was solidly in the ‘New Year’s Resolutions aren’t an effective way to implement change’ camp. In the past, setting myself an unrealistic goal for the entire year always meant giving it a proper go for a week or two, and then slowly losing motivation, leaving me feeling like a failure where I wanted to feel successful.

On the 1st of January 2021 I decided to go against my better judgement and set myself a New Year’s Resolution for the first time since I was about twelve years old. I challenged myself to read at least one book a month for the whole year. By the 1st of January 2022, I’d finished thirty-five books in total, making me a true convert on the topic of New Year’s Resolutions.

I’ve written up three similar Resolutions which are easy to stick to, will improve your day-to-day wellbeing, and actually stand a chance.

  1. Read more books

Now, you had to know this one was coming. It might make you roll your eyes, but whether it be on your phone, via an e-reader, by listening to an audiobook, or on proper paper with proper ink, reading a book is a great way to improve your focus, take your mind off of anxieties and stresses, and inspire your own creativity. If you haven’t read in a long time, it can be really hard to get your attention span to get on with reading. Don’t get frustrated, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Personal recommendations for flexing your reading muscles are Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin, The Circle by Dave Eggers, and The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

  1. Take yourself on more dates

Forget making a resolution to find a romantic partner– it’s much healthier and more productive to aim to develop a relationship with you. If you’ve never actively spent time alone, by which I mean real, purposeful time dedicated to hanging out with yourself, it can seem very daunting. My best advice for learning to enjoy your own company is going to the cinema solo. Being able to totally lose yourself in a film with no one around to distract from your reaction to whatever you’re watching is a wonderful way to learn to appreciate your own company.

  1. Choose the vegetarian option every now and then

For some of you, eating veggie and vegan foods is already the norm. This resolution is not so much for you as it is for those firmly in the carnivore camp. By no means am I saying to go cold turkey (joke truly not intended) on the hamburgers and steaks – but trying the veggie or vegan option 10% of the time will not only expand your palette and introduce you to new foods you might love, but it’ll help the planet. The Vegconomist did a study which found that if everyone in the country ate vegan meals one day a week, the UK would have the equivalent effect of removing 16 million cars off the road. That sounds like a worthy reason to make the swap to a Vegan Sausage Roll from Greggs!

Whatever you decide to do in regards to New Years Resolutions this year, make sure you’re prioritising your wellbeing and peace above all else. Flash diets, unrealistic fitness regimes, and expensive makeovers are not something you’ll remember fondly at the end of 2022.

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Maja Anushka

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August 2022
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