We’ve noticed that there are two kinds of people – resolution-makers and those who think it’s too unrealistic and it’s just setting themselves up to fail. What side of the new year’s resolution argument do you find yourself on?
Full disclosure: we are definitely resolution-makers. We love the ritual of setting goals for the year ahead, as well as reflecting on the year that’s coming to an end. If you’d like to make some resolutions but don’t know where to start, a fun way is to do it with friends or your family and to use a set of questions as a guide. This could be things like:
- What was I grateful for this year?
- What did I achieve in my work/ school that I’m proud of?
- How did I make connections with/ help other people?
- What would I like to do better next year?
- What wishes would I grant myself if I believed anything was possible?
- What would I like to achieve by the end of next year?
When you’ve been doing this for a few years it’s really fun to look back over your past resolutions and see what things you managed to do, and laugh about some of the things you didn’t. Somehow these things don’t feel like ‘failures’, they just feel like hopes that didn’t materialise and that had a definite time of their own. Some of your wishes and resolutions might crop up every year as you work towards a tough goal. Whether you want to set yourself ambitious goals or prefer Woody Guthrie’s more relaxed approach (one of his New Year’s Rulin’s was to ‘Brush teeth, if any’), here are some things you could think about for 2020.
Make your household more sustainable
The climate emergency is rightly top of many people’s agendas, and while we wait for politicians and businesses to take action we can also do our bit. Why not pledge to use only natural fabrics, like linen, in your home wherever possible, or to go plastic-free for a week each year? You could install energy meters to help monitor your usage, and insulate your roof to stop heat escaping. Switch to energy-saving lightbulbs and stop using your tumble dryer unless you really have to. If you have the money, consider installing solar panels to provide electricity for your home.
Volunteer to help those in need
Sometimes it can feel like we’re powerless to make a difference in the world. Volunteering is not only invaluable for the organisations and people you’re helping, it also makes you feel good. Sign up to deliver for a local food bank, drop into your kids’ school to hear children read once a week, get involved with your local hospital. There are lots of ways we can improve people’s lives in our own communities, as well as supporting charities that do brilliant work overseas.
Stop using disempowering words in your emails and communications
If you often write something like, ‘I’m just getting in touch to see if…’, take out the ‘just’ and see how much more direct you sound. ‘Just’ sounds apologetic and minimises what you’re saying. For 2020 try ditching it and see what response you get.
Be a friend to yourself
A bit like the airplane safety instruction to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help someone else, take some time to look after yourself this coming year. Whether that means having a candlelit bath after you’ve got the kids to bed, taking a quick walk in your lunch break or going to a local yoga class, try to find space to re-energise so you feel able to tackle whatever life throws at you.
Slow down your shopping
We’re not all lucky enough to live near a farmer’s market or to be able to afford organic food, but try making some switches in your shopping that will help your health, purse and the planet. Buy less meat and spend the money you save on better quality produce, like local grass fed beef. Instead of buying a sandwich for lunch, make yourself a healthy salad jar that’s packed full of nutrients and will save you money too. Cook in bulk at the weekend and freeze portions for busy evenings when you’re too pushed for time and tempted to reach for a Deliveroo.
These are some of the things we’ll be trying to do over the next few months. What’s on your resolution list? Let us know in the comments below – committing to things in public means you’re more likely to complete them!
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and a wonderful holiday season. Here’s to a fabulous 2020!