Are you a fan of New Year resolutions? Do you find them easy to stick to? Here are some suggestions for little actions that could make a big difference to your life. These top things to do for the New Year should ensure that you make the most of the months ahead.
Make a Realistic New Year Resolutions List
It’s tricky changing old habits and sticking to new ones. If you simply write a list of negatives that you’re not allowed to do, such as eating sugar then you may be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, create a list of positives that you want to achieve such as drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before meal times. Try to make SMART goals – i.e. those that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Tell a few close friends about your goals so that they can hold you accountable for them. Studies have shown that we’re far more likely to stick to a resolution when we’ve mentioned it to other people. It’s generally best to set one resolution only and to stick to that rather than a whole host of goals.
Focus on Healthy Eating
Are you getting your five a day – the minimum recommended intake of fruit and vegetables? It can be challenging to fit so many in but we have a few suggestions that may help. Rustle up healthy and delicious juice drinks to start the day right. Why not try a new fruit or vegetable every so often too. Jerusalem artichokes, Romanesco broccoli or dragonfruit are just a few examples.
If you find it hard to resist temptation when eating out, go to restaurants that only serve healthy food until you’ve achieved your ideal weight. For example, in London there’s Redemption which has branches in Notting Hill and Shoreditch. Billing themselves as the world’s healthiest restaurant, they serve sugar and wheat free vegan food and they’re also alcohol free. It’s pretty tasty and we particularly like their Buff Burger with shitake mushroom, black bean and ruby beet rather than meat in a gluten-free bun with lettuce, tomato and caramelised red onion marmalade. A jackfruit rendang coconut curry was another interesting option, and we finished with strawberry cheesecake and some Bliss Balls – a lovely blend of raw dark chocolate and medjool date truffles rolled in coconut. Their Shoreditch restaurant even has angel wings that you can pose in front of if you’re feeling virtuous after eating there!
Get Fighting Fit
It’s a popular time of year to join a gym but first ask yourself if that’s your favourite form of exercise. You’re more likely to stick to something that you really enjoy. Dance classes such as zumba are another good option for getting fit and they burn a lot of calories too. If you like being in the great outdoors then consider cycling, running or a bootcamp. Break your goal down into small, achievable steps for the best chance of success. For example, if you’ve always dreamed of running a marathon, start by alternating walking and running over short distances before working your way up to hill sprints to build up endurance. High intensity workouts are extremely effective – try our favourite plyometrics exercises if you want to see rapid improvement.
Apply the Pareto Principle
According to the Pareto Principle, 20% of your activities will give you 80% of your satisfaction. It’s also known as the 80/20 rule and holds that 20% of efforts give 80% of results. You might be wondering how this applies to things to do for the New Year – well, the rule can be applied to almost any element of your life. For example, you probably wear around 20% of your wardrobe most of the time. Therefore, think about decluttering your closet and keeping only the most frequently worn items. It’s a similar principle for your home and if you find getting rid of things difficult, ask yourself whether an item is beautiful or useful. If it’s neither and you haven’t used it in at least six months, then let it go. Objects that are in good condition will be welcomed by charity shops and old CDs or books can usually be donated to a local library. You can even apply the Pareto Principle to friendships – spend the most time with those who make you the happiest. We’re not advocating cutting all those who don’t fall into this category but simply focusing on those who are the most enthusiastic about meeting up with you and who contribute equally to the friendship.
Start Travel Planning
Now is the time to plan your trips for the year ahead. Whether you prefer to use a printed or online calendar, we suggest inputting key dates first like national vacations and school holidays. With careful planning, you can maximize your time away by booking off dates either side of some national holidays. Just make sure to reserve the flights and accommodation as soon as possible, since they’re likely to be expensive at these peak periods. Think about the trips that you’d like to make in the next couple of months – skiing is a must for all fans of Winter sports. If there’s a bucket list destination that you’re keen to travel to, start saving all articles about it that you can find online. One of the best ways to do so is on Pinterest, which is a mine of information for travel planning.
Each evening, jot down what you want to achieve the next day. It definitely helps to focus the mind. Don’t beat yourself up if your goals slip from time to time but give yourself a small reward each time you achieve one.
We hope you’ve found these suggestions for things to do for the New Year helpful. Here’s to a fantastic year ahead. What are you planning for 2018?
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