At this time of year, millions and millions of Brits will make New Year’s resolutions. And they’ll do so with the best intentions. But the achievement statistics aren’t promising. According to polls, three quarters of us will break our resolutions within the very first month. Oh dear.
Some people, however, do manage to turn their resolutions into lasting habits. How? By setting resolutions which are achievable. The easier it is for you to keep your resolutions, the less likely you are to give up on them. But what might ‘achievable’ resolutions look like? Here are some examples.
Sort out your sleep cycle
Good sleep is vital for good health. Take the time this year to learn how your particular sleep cycle works. Then do what you can to improve the quality of your sleep. If you’re sacrificing sleep, you’ll pay for it in other ways. But working to better your sleep will have excellent knock-on benefits in other areas of your life.
Use the stairs
Dedicating yourself to three gym sessions a week may not be as achievable as you think. But making smaller (but more consistent) fitness choices can have a more impressive effect than you may think. Things like choosing stairs over escalators or lifts may not feel like much at the time, but all that extra exercise adds up over the course of a week!
Park further from your destination
In a similar vein, parking a bit further away from your destination means that you’ll end up walking that little bit extra, and getting that little bit more exercise. If you’re a bus user, try disembarking one stop sooner than you would have done. Again, it all adds up!
It sounds weird, but there’s scientific evidence to show that people who take a moment each day to count their blessings are happier, mentally healthier, and more resilient than those who do not. Gratitude also enhances empathy and increases self-esteem. Best of all, practicing gratitude is easy. All you have to do is take a minute or so each day to consider things that you’re grateful for. They don’t need to be big things - something like having a roof over your head, or all your own teeth, or not being hungry at that point in time will do! The important thing is that you allow yourself to feel grateful.
Use your phone a bit less
Digital distraction is something we’d all like less of. But it’s easier said than done to break a smartphone habit. Working on it slowly, maybe by setting aside a block of time each day to turn your phone off, can help. There are also apps you can download to keep you from falling into your phone. Search around and find one that works for you.
Have one meat-free day per week
Going veggie is good for your body and good for the planet - but meat is delicious and hard to give up. Having one meat free day a week is a good start. Cutting down on meat is nearly as good as giving it up fully, and your meat free day will open your eyes to the veggie possibilities out there.
The benefits of settling down with a good book are phenomenal. People who read a lot are calmer, kinder, more empathetic, have better memories, have better vocabularies, are less stressed, are better at concentrating, are more imaginative, and are generally happoer than those who rarely read. Sounds too good to be true, but science backs it all up. The best thing is that you can develop all of these skills and attributes simply by reading a bit more yourself. So go on, treat yourself to a nose around your nearest bookshop in 2020, and schedule a date with a good book.