5 New Year’s Resolutions That Could Make A Difference (But Don’t Worry If You Break Them)
The turning of the year is a time for self-reflection, and that means resolutions. If you’re looking for ways to improve your life through simple changes, just keep reading. Remember, though, that New Year’s resolutions are something you’re doing for yourself, and if it doesn’t work out, that’s OK — you haven’t failed anyone. A little self-love and a lot of confidence go a long way in sticking to your resolutions, and also in being OK if you break them. We’re only human.
Improve Your Diet
Eating habits are incredibly daunting. The way you choose to fuel your body is informed by environmental factors, childhood examples, socioeconomic status, and myriad other things. Current media makes it difficult to maintain a realistic or healthy body image, and when that’s coupled with the ever-growing pursuit of perfection, that pressure only increases. New Year’s resolutions often focus on health and wellness, but changes should focus on personal health and not external pressures.
If you’re looking to change up the way you eat as your resolution, do so slowly and carefully. Rather than jumping headlong into a restrictive eating plan, pay attention to how you interact with food and identify sustainable changes you can make. For instance, you might make it a goal to eat foods that benefit your skin, or to swap veggies for chips when you eat out. For bigger goals, like switching to a vegan diet, be sure to do research and make sure you’re prepared to fuel yourself.
Stick to a Budget
With the holidays just passed, your bank account may be feeling a little sad right now, or you may have been operating on a strictly DIY holiday budget. While the feeling can be a downer, there’s no time like the present to start planning for next year.
It may seem a little over-zealous to be thinking about next December already, but instituting good financial habits will benefit you throughout the year. When you start examining your spending habits, you might be surprised at how much you can save by instituting a few frugal living practices.
Travel Somewhere Atypical
Vacations are amazing. Vacations by yourself are possibly even better. For those privileged enough to travel, consider it! Seeing new places and experiencing new cultures (or just unplugging for a few days) can feed the soul in ways nothing else can.
Once you’ve squared away the nitty gritty details like budget and time off from work, look for destinations that are as unique as you are. If you love animals, but zoos aren’t your style, look for places with rare or endangered species that you can safely observe. If you love history but aren’t a fan of crowds, look for off-season venues or underrated locales. If you’re truly looking to unplug and escape for a bit, explore the concept of technology-free vacationing.
An international trip may not be in the cards this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a trip. Play tourist in your own town, take day trips to neighbouring cities, or explore the local space you thought you knew with psychogeograpy.
If you’re a creative soul, nurture that part of you this year. Creativity is a muscle that can be flexed and trained, just like any other learned skill. While it may seem like you have to sit around and wait for inspiration to strike, the opposite can be just as true.
Set aside time daily or weekly — even if it’s only 5 minutes — to practice your craft. It can be as simple as writing a page a day or spending an hour of your weekend drawing. The idea is that your brain will get used to producing and will work on the creative process in the background consistently, making new connections.
Get to Know Yourself
It’s easy to overlook self-care from time to time. And don’t beat yourself up if you do. Self-care is about personal respite and release, not added burdens and pain. This year, plan to make taking time for yourself a priority. When you take good care of yourself, it’ll spill over into other aspects of your life and you might find yourself reaping the rewards in more ways than one.
Just like you have to learn what your friends do and do not like, you have to take time to find what makes you happy. You might surprise yourself! Take yourself on dates (even if it’s a staying-in date for a new Netflix series) and pay attention to what rejuvenates your spirit. Getting to know yourself better means that you can provide for yourself more effectively.
Whether your resolution is one listed above or something different entirely, go out there and have at it! If you don’t make it, that’s OK. The point of resolution is to improve yourself, and you may find that what you’ve been doing works better for you than your new routine. Embrace the knowledge you’ve gained about yourself and keep doing you — that’s more than enough to make a difference.
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