Looking forward to filling up your New Year resolution list? Since people always viewed that magical boundary between the passing years as a checkpoint, when we evaluate what happened in the previous 12 months and wonder what we can improve in the course of the coming ones, it’s a most natural date to come up with the big plans and New Year resolution ideas – so you probably started plotting them slowly.
But the “New Year, new you” concept is as much about the substantial progress as about becoming a better person in all areas of your life. That sometimes takes much less effort – and will help you long-term too. Ready to accomplish some resolutions straight away to boost your confidence and nail the bigger ones? Here are our ideas.
Learn a new thing
With the amount of knowledge floating around the Internet, there is literally no excuse for not learning something that tempted you for a while. It will leave you satisfied and might give you brand new career opportunities, so be curious! You can pay for an online course, granted. But if you don’t fancy spending any money, don’t worry. The sources are always a Google search away, there are Quora and LinkedIn Groups to lurk around and ask questions – and you can get yourself a book to figure out the basics.
How to stick at it: Make sure to separate whatever you’re learning into smaller chunks. It will be difficult to start speaking fluent Spanish in a month (and that applies to virtually anything) – so be consistent, spend half an hour a day on the tube repeating what you’ve learnt. Don’t batter yourself down for the first attempts, too – you’ve tried, and it’s only uphill from here. PS. Read how Kasia did a similar thing and came up with her own self-development plan!
Get in shape
It’s a common theme among us all – over a third of population repeats the same wish every year! It doesn’t seem like a difficult thing to do either unless you want to become a super-ripped athlete… or until you face coldness and rain outside your window and nothing in the universe will make you go for a run.
How to stick at it: Believe is, just buying a gym membership is not going to save you… for long. Make sure you set small milestones – don’t throw yourself into a 5K run if you can barely breathe after running for half a mile. It’s going to discourage you from getting up and doing it the next time. And what’s the most important: pick something you enjoy. Loving these yoga classes? Go for yoga. Avid volleyball player a few years ago? Look for an amateur team nearby. Anything’s better than sitting down.
Become more confident and meet new people
It’s never too bad to meet somebody else who enjoys the same things you find interesting. And for this, my little shy fellow friend, you need to start talking to people. Not necessarily in a creepy way talking to everyone on the street – but don’t be scared to speak up, and engage in conversations if you feel like it. Nobody will judge you straight away, and it’s often your fears that shush you – so shake them out.
How to stick at it: Book yourself a place to a networking event, raise a hand, ask a question. Check what’s up on websites like Meetup.com where you can find people that are looking for company to engage in certain activities. The more you do it, the less scary it becomes, and the first step – like with everything else – is always the most difficult.
Be more cultured (books, music, films, theatre, anybody?)
Keeping up with everything that’s happening in arts and culture can be difficult – there are so many things to do, and so many distractions, that sifting through the noise might seem impossible. But it’s doable – it’s just the matter of sourcing the interesting stuff, be it mainstream or offbeat.
How to stick at it: Use any free time to read or listen to music. Commuting without a book and some music can fill the idle time on the underground or on the bus – so find yourself a playlist with songs you haven’t heard yet, and pick a good piece of writing, and you’re set! Get a cinema membership to go to the cinema more often, or set up a streaming service account, and give yourself some time to just watch a good film. And keep coming back on Beside for recommendations 😉
Declutter your living spaces
If you’re guilty of fashion-stashing, or you have a three-year-old pile of these free magazines that you’ve read and kept in hopes of doing all these awesome things that were listed there, it’s time to rethink what you need in your living space. A place overloaded with unnecessary things offers you more distractions, it’s more difficult to keep it neat and tidy, and it’s certainly not a pleasant environment to live in.
How to stick at it: Start with getting rid of things which you don’t use. Throw the old newspapers and magazines away. Sort out the pile of the old documents – they should have different expiration dates so check carefully. Sift through your wardrobe – clothes that are too small or too big are a no; the ones that you haven’t worn in a year (unless they’re jackets/coats or evening wear – give them more time) should join this club. Once you do this, rethink what you buy, too. The money you spend on material things can be spent on experiences instead, which brings us to…
Go to a new place every now and again
See new things, broaden your horizons, give yourself some time to rest. That comes in different shapes and sizes for varied schedules and budgets: make it a new restaurant you always wanted to go to, an art gallery you haven’t been to, pick a route home you wouldn’t normally take and stop by in a café on the way. And if you can save up a bit, go on a city break or on holiday, because you deserve it very, very much. You’ll learn about new places, make memories, stop and immerse yourself in the moment (even if that means surrounding yourself with a vibrant crowd), and take a breath. It’s refreshing. And once you travel someplace new, it’s like a fever. You’ll look for the thrill over and over until you repeat it!
How to stick at it: Go food hunting: walk around and pick a new place to eat on a lunch break. Find nice places nearby – there are many deals you can get across the city to be money-savvy. And set yourself crazy price alerts on Skyscanner to get away for a weekend when the prices drop, amen.
What are your New Year resolution ideas? Tell us below, or let us know on @besidemag on Twitter and Facebook!