10 New Year's resolutions that might actually end up changing your life 4 months ago

10 New Year's resolutions that might actually end up changing your life

Hello 2022.

It is the very first day of this brand new year, and I don't know about you, but after the absolute car crashes that 2020 and 2021 respectively were to all of us, I am planning on leaning in hard to all things good and fun and healthy in 2022.

Seriously – life is short, and in many ways, we have – if not wasted – the past two years, then at least abstained from doing so many of the things that make us happy and healthy. And so for 2022, I am making resolutions I know I am going to keep. Why? Because they are not just your run-of-the-mill, make-em-every-year type of resolution, but rather small, yet significant changes to my life and my behaviour that I know will end up making a difference.

These 10 aren't resolutions that will make you feel deprived and miserable (I am NOT giving up my morning lattes or Pizza Fridays, thanks!), but instead, little changes that I know will make me feel happier, healthier, less stressed and more in control – and who wouldn't want to stick to that...?

1. Focus on adding more nutrients instead of taking away calories

An avocado toast on wholemeal bread has more calories than a slice of white bread with Nutella – but that doesn't mean you should opt for the latter all the time. Instead of constantly trying to deprive yourself, try thinking of how you can add more goodness to your body – and yourself.

Start by adding a handful of spinach to your salad for more greens. Top your porridge with some nut butter or organic blueberries. Add some fruits or berries to your water bottle – the goal should be to add more nutrients – not take away carbs or calories or entire food groups.

 

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2. Prioritise rest and recovery just as much as you prioritise working out

Your body needs both – and you will not only feel healthier by allowing time to rest and recover, but you will also soon realise you actually perform better in your workouts. Don't forget – life is all about balance.

3. Create a morning and nighttime routine that makes you feel relaxed and happy

Routines make us feel safe and in control, and to most of us, they act as something controllable in an otherwise chaotic world. By creating morning and evening routines for yourself – especially ones you love and look forward to – you are not only starting and ending your days on a good note, but you are also making it easier to handle whatever your day throws at you in between morning and evening.

A morning routine could be getting up and putting some happy music on while you make  your coffee. Doing some stretching or yoga to get your blood flowing. Cooking your morning porridge in your bathrobe and listening to your favourite podcase – whatever it is that makes you excited to get out of bed and start your day.

As for evening routines, how about a luxury bath with candles lit? Sipping tea in your favourite armchair while reading the papers? Giving yourself a mini facial? Or taking an evening walk around the neighbourhood before going inside and slipping into your cosiest pj's?

 

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4. Try ditching social media on the weekend

Instead, focus on being fully present – in the moment, in what you are doing, seeing or eating. Or – if you feel like you cannot give it up all weekend, then set yourself a limit or decide a time when you will allow yourself to engage with social media.

Maybe carve out an hour in the morning or afternoon – and be vigilant about sticking to just that. You will soon feel the difference it will make to not only your weekends, but your entire week too.

5. Start a buffer account

Everyone should have a buffer account – for unforeseen things that can (and will at some point) happen. Be it your washing machine breaking or an emergency trip to the dentist, all of us will at some point encounter costly mishaps, and having a buffer account allows you to 'borrow' from yourself to help yourself out then and there – and when you have dealt with it, simply pay yourself back over time, until your buffer account is full again.

How much a buffer account should consist of is obviously a personal matter and will differ for all of us depending on how much we can afford to pay into it every month, but according to financial experts, aiming to have a month or two's salary saved up – as a back-up – is always a good idea.

6. Pay your bills on time – every time

For so many of us, money worries are what causes us the most stress. And one way to cut down on this type of stress, is to get vigilant about paying your bills on time – every time. Go through your finances and set up direct payments for all your regular bills.

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And for any random bills that come in, make sure you pay them off straight away. Knowing you have no bills hanging over you that need to be paid will feel great – and will leave you with one less thing to stress about.

7. Create a daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal home cleaning routine

Oh, housework – how quickly it can get overwhelming and end up stressing us out big time.

And so this year, I have decided to make myself an actual cleaning routine – literally writing out a plan to stick to my fridge over what I have to clean/tidy/organise every day and week – and then also the bigger projects that have to be tackled every month and even every year.

This way, I figure, I will be in control, and am less likely to leave things pile up before I actually decide to get stuck in cleaning or organising.

 

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8. Deal with surfaces, dishes and laundry every evening

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Yes, I know – come evening, after a long day, nothing is more tempting than sinking into the sofa and getting stuck into the next series on Netflix.

However, is there anything worse than getting up in the morning and the house already looking messy? I think not. And so this year, I am setting myself the challenge of tackling the following every evening before bed: Surfaces, dishes and laundry.

What this means is that I will aim to clean and tidy surfaces like the kitchen table, kitchen counters, coffee table and other surfaces where mess tends to gather (bottom steps of the stairs, anyone?), put away clean dishes and clean dirty ones – and deal with the laundry (folding, putting away etc.) every evening – even if it does cut my Netflix time by 30 minutes or so.

The bonus? I get to wake up to a much tidier and cleaner house every day, and I have a feeling that is going to beat most other things – including Netflix.

9. Aim to be more active in your everyday life

We tend to think working out must mean going to the gym or going for a run, but the thing is, sometimes it is the smallest changes that will yield the biggest results.

Aiming to be more active in our everyday lives is going to make a huge difference to our overall health and feeling of wellness, and the good news? It couldn't be easier.

If you are looking to sneak more activity into your week, try walking to wherever you are going instead of driving or getting the bus or Luas. Use the stairs instead of the lift. At the supermarket, use a basket you have to carry rather than a shopping trolley. And when you are chatting on the phone or listening to a podcast, don't sit still, but rather pace the floor – or even do some cleaning with Airpods in.

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10. Simplify your wardrobe – buy less, wear it more

This is such a game-changer – and having committed to this change last year, I am never going back.

There is much talk about the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but many of us find it confusing – and tricky – to figure out how we go about this and where the heck we should start. Here is the concept: Build your wardrobe around some good-quality, basic clothing that you can wear on a daily basis and mix and match with each other.

For instance, every good wardrobe should have a couple of great pairs of jeans that fit you perfectly. A nice pair of slacks or plain black pants – again, find a pair that fits you perfectly. A couple of well-cut t-shirts and shirts, a stripy top or jumper, some good-quality knits, a killer skirt, some dresses you can wear both dressed up and more casual with a denim or leather jacket. A well-cut blazer, a trench coat, a pair of killer heels, a pair of ankle boots, a nice pair of sneakers – and then some accessories that again can be worn with all the different outfits your combine your wardrobe into.

Having a smaller, but hard-working wardrobe will make your life so much easier and less stressful. Not to mention you will no doubt save money – and in turn, the environment – as fast fashion and over-consumption are bad news for the environment.

 

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