Last year, my New Year resolution was to join a gym – but then Covid-19 happened and closed them all. Believe in fate? It obviously wasn’t meant to be.
Some might opt to take part in Dry January following a month (or two – it’s been a tough year, we’re not judging) of excessive drinking. Others might join in with Veganuary and see if they really can go without animal products for a whole month.
The key to sticking to your goal is to make it past January 19 – they day people are most likely to ‘give up’ their resolution.
Now that January 1 is here and people adopt the ‘New Year, new me’ attitude, StokeonTrentLive have taken a look at some simple New Year resolutions worth keeping.
1. Read more books
Find a type of book you love, and set yourself a target of books to read by the end of the year. It might be five books – it might be one per month, or if you’re a reading whizz, you could read 52 books in 2021. Whether you prefer self-care books, fiction, autobiographies or cook books, or if you’re a paperback reader or a Kindle lover, find time to settle down with a good book and get back into reading.
2. Get your screen time down
Resolution one will likely help you achieve resolution two. Put that phone down! Dedicate an hour a day to putting it down – you’re only going to flick between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the StokeonTrent Live app and back to Facebook. I was horrified in lockdown when my screen time on my phone rocketed to around nine hours a day. IPhone users will be notified on their screen time each week, so aim to get the time you spend glued to your mobile down an hour or two!
3. Ditch fast fashion
If you’re like me, I’ve got clothes I had bought for me last Christmas that still have the tags on, due to Covid-19 scuppering all of our exciting 2020 plans, and with them, our outfits.
This year, shop your own wardrobe and wear the clothes you already own instead of being sucked into sales and the latest trends. If you’re absolutely desperate for something new in your wardrobe, buy investment pieces and staples – think a smart coat, black boots, or a white blouse. Or scour charity shops, vintage shops, or online marketplaces like eBay and Depop.
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4. Attempt a no-spend month
Since you’re not buying clothes, why stop there? For just one money, stop going through the Festival Park Starbucks Drive Thru every time you go past, avoid scrolling through Amazon and ordering things you don’t need at 1am, and no, you don’t need a new lipstick – you already have seven in practically the same shade. For just one month, buy only the essentials – soap, deodorant, food – and no, takeaways don’t count. See how much money you can save!
5. Open a savings account
Speaking of saving, open a dedicated savings account where you can squirrel away spare cash. Put the money towards a new car, a house deposit, or something you’ve been eyeing up for ages.
6. Go for a walk once a week
Many of us loved getting out into the Staffordshire countryside in 2020, so keep it up next year! Perhaps invest in a waterproof coat or some walking boots to encourage you to stick at it. Across the county we’ve got tonnes of brilliant places to explore – from Park Hall to Knypersley Reservoir. You could make a walking bucketlist and tick off each adventure as you go.
7. Buy a plant and keep it alive
Houseplants are said to reduce stress and boost your mood, so why not pop down to Trentham Garden Centre and pick up a few plants to tend to? Easy to care for plants include a yukka, air plants, aloe vera and snake plant. If all else fails, buy a cactus that will thrive from the neglect if you put them in the right spot.
8. Donate to a charity each month
If you’re able, donate a little bit of money to charity each month. It doesn’t have to be a lot. You could buy the Big Issue in Newcastle one afternoon, take some treats to the local animal rescue, put your change in a donation tin at the supermarket, or head online to donate. A little goes a long way, and you could support one, or several charities throughout the year.
9. Learn to bake one thing really well
Banana bread has had its day – that’s so 2020. In 2021, find an easy recipe and nail it. It could be shortbread biscuits, lemon drizzle cake, or even bagels! Learn to do one really well, and bake batches to gift to friends and family.
10. Take up something mindful
It’s so important to take 10 to 15 minutes a day to relax and wind down. You could try out some yoga, learn to crochet or knit, or simply meditate. Earlier resolutions like reading or taking a walk could also fall under this category, so long as you’re taking time for yourself to relieve stress.
11. Get your beauty sleep
Be sure to get your eight hours of sleep each night! Getting enough sleep boosts your immune system and helps fight off the common cold, it increases your productivity, and you’ll feel a million times better for getting a good night’s kip on a regular basis.
12. Stay connected with friends
In 2020, we were unable to see many of our friends and colleagues as offices were swapped for working from home, and a night on Zoom became the new night on the town. But be sure to stay in touch with friends and check in on them. Pick up the phone and give them a call, or write some snail mail to someone this year.
13. Shop local
It’s been a difficult year for independent businesses, so dedicate 2021 to supporting them. Ask yourself when buying a product if you could buy it from an indie shop instead, and make a conscious effort to put your pound back into the local economy. Shopping local saves and creates jobs, and are hubs in their community. They often have a unique product range with a much more personal shopping experience and exciting deals and loyalty schemes.