It’s the last day of 2019! So, for our last blog of the year we thought we’d put together 20 easy New Year’s resolutions to celebrate the fact that we’re entering a new decade.
These ideas can help to improve your working and personal life.
Here’s a few realistic tweaks you can make to your life to make sure you start the year off the right way:
- Get up earlier and go to bed on time
When it comes to rising early there are varying bits of advice about this. Some say 15 minutes is enough to transform your day. There are many advantages to getting up earlier than usual, including: getting better sleep, a less stressful commute, more family time and more time to exercise.
Pair this with going to bed on time or earlier than you usually do so you can get your optimum amount of sleep you need to function at work. If you’re always rushing around or late often this should go some way to ensuring this doesn’t happen.
- Get a new skill
You don’t have to attend lectures at college or university to get a new skill. There’s plenty of courses online that you can access in your lunch break, on the train or the comfort of your armchair at home. Try the likes of Udemy, FutureLearn, Coursera and edX.
- Find a way to boost your income
Perhaps your new skill can help you open up a new revenue stream. But if not, in this gig economy it’s possible to get some remote side jobs. If you have access to the internet and a phone you can literally work anywhere in the world! There also a lot of websites where freelancers with varying skills can find work including: Upwork, Freelance, People per Hour and ProBlogger.
- Read more
You don’t need to become a member of a library these days to access a good book. No need for cluttering your home with books either when you can simply download them on your tablets. If you don’t want to stare at a screen you can always listen to audiobooks instead. And if you work out while doing so you will apparently exercise more often according to a study conducted by Management Science.
- Drink less alcohol
Not only is this pledge good for your health but it’s probably good for your working life too. We’re not saying quit altogether – because that would be hard for most people. Of course, we’re referring to people who don’t have problems with alcoholism but who do feel the need to cut back for better health and mental wellbeing.
According to reports, cutting back on the booze will improve your sleep, mood, skin and immune system. If you need a bit of motivation, there are plenty of movements to get behind that can help keep you off the wine or limit it in any event, such as ‘Go Sober for October’, Dry January or declaring yourself as ‘sober curious’.
- Talk about money worries
According to Lloyds Bank, nearly a quarter (24%) say money worries negatively affect relationships with their family and friends. And nearly one in five (16%) fret about money so much that it has an impact on their performance at work. If you’re in this position, the general advice is to open up more about your money issues. Be upfront and honest that you can’t afford something in 2020. If you know you’re going to an event where it’s expected that you all split the bill (and some are prone to ordering expensive dishes) then either refuse to go or insist that everyone calculates their own bill at the end of the lunch or dinner.
- Spend more time with people you like
During this quiet period before all the madness starts again and you get back into your usual habits think about all the people that matter to you. Wouldn’t 2020 be better if you spent time with people that mean the world to you than those you don’t like? Make a plan and pledge to spend more time with friends and family that make time for you.
- Prioritise your health
One thing we often neglect throughout the year is our health. So, whip your calendar out and see when you can schedule those check-ups that need doing like mammograms, blood pressure checks and dental appointments. Many GPs allow you to book your appointments online these days, so take advantage of that if you can. Get them in your diary, let work know and boom! Another thing taken care of.
- Book that holiday
While you have the calendar out book some time away. During this quiet period is the perfect time to ask any superiors for leave. Get it out the way so you don’t have to fight with colleagues further down in the year. Besides with many travel companies and airlines like Ryan Air, British Airways and newly launched Easyjet Holidays offering sales now’s a good time to get a bargain.
- Remember important dates
Did you stumble through 2019 not remembering people’s anniversaries, birthdays and important work engagements? With technological at your fingertips there’s no excuse in forgetting about important dates. Make use of Google Calendar, Facebook’s birthday reminders and any other apps and tools at your disposal that can give you handy reminders in advance. It’s time to celebrate
- Drink more water
It may sound simple but taking in more fluid – water in particular – is good for you. According to WebMD, the benefits of drinking more water include: helping you to control you calories, energising your muscles, keeping your skin healthy, and reducing the risk of kidney stones, to name but a few.
- Take a day off to volunteer
Doing good for others is good for you too. Take a day off from work and do some good in your community. Help to clean cat cages at your local animal shelter or give some of your time at a foodbank. If you have a specific skill that you can share, like coding, why not share it with some children or offer a talk at a school to motivate others to do the same. If you’re worried about taking the leave, these days many companies actually allow paid time off from work to volunteer. Speak to HR to find out what their policy is or ask if it can be adopted.
- Spend less time on gadgets
We’re not saying do a full tech detox. That’s also unrealistic for most people as they have to use their phones and tablets for work. But scrolling constantly through Twitter, Facebook and your emails will isolate you from friends and family. Spend more time with them and have meaningful conversations this year.
- Get the family to help you with chores
These days it’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race and take everything on yourself. After all, if you want something done, they say – give it to a busy person. Well, you don’t have to do everything ‘they say’. It’s time to take a break or at least take your foot off the gas in 2020. And by this we mean that you don’t have to do everything. And that goes for your work too. There has to be a balance and if you’ve been taking on the lion’s share of chores then you need to learn to delegate and take the stress off you.
- Take your lunch break
Do you often work through your lunch break? Well, this is something you can and should change in 2020. Studies show that taking a lunch break can be important for your health because it allows you to recharge and refocus your mind. If you are really busy or if you don’t want to take your lunch break all at once, break it up into smaller, more manageable breaks.
- Make sure you procrastinate less
This is a tough one because it’s so easy to let your mind linger. But the good news is that there are various productivity tools out here that can help you stay on the task at hand including Productivity Owl, Monday.com, Clockify and Written? Kitten!
- Find ways to reduce your stress
We get stressed at work and at home. These days very few people know how to relax. You may not initially know what calms you so you may need to do some experimenting and try different things until you find something that suits you. Try meditating, going for a walk, working out at the gym or drawing.
Is your desk a shabby mess or does your home feel like it smothers you? Now is the best time to declutter and get rid of things you don’t need. Tidy your desk and go through your attic and spare room in your home. Donate or throw stuff away that you never use – it’s very liberating!
- Be green!
If there’s anything we’ve learnt from Greta Thunberg is that we’re facing a crisis and contributing to our own demise. It’s time to take action and do more. It’s no longer enough to just separate your garbage into plastics and food waste. There are plenty of things you can do: Avoid fast fashion, reduce your consumption of plastic, and find ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Share your NY resolutions and monitor your progress
So many people fail to maintain their New Year’s resolutions and often their goals are forgotten by the end of January, if not sooner. One way to make sure that you keep up with your New Year promises is to share them with friends, family and even on social media. Encourage others to ask about your progress or post regular updates on Facebook.