Here we are, half way through January, and by now many of us will have already given up on our New Year Resolutions.
Often that’s because, in the excitement of a new year and feeling replete from a month of festivities, drinking and eating, we set ourselves targets that are unrealistic or overly ambitious. As the month winds on and enthusiasm wanes, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and quietly give up.
That’s why we think mid-January is exactly the right time to set yourself a new target – something achievable and motivating, that you can build on throughout the year. Here’s nine of our favourite January resolution ideas.
Telling ourselves we want to be fit, or tone up, is all very well but also very vague. As someone who has so far managed to avoid joining a gym, or is not keen on sports, the commitment needed to ‘become fit’ can feel too big. Set yourself something a little more achievable – such as walking 2 miles a day – and you can gradually increase it through the year.
Most local colleges offer night classes to learn a new skill. Join an art group, or learn a new language, perhaps. Search local clubs and you’ll find a range of different groups about. Photography, astronomy, crochet or yoga – wherever your interests lay, there’s bound to be something nearby.
The TV has become a staple of family life, and most families have more than one in the house. The kids are in one room, watching continuous episodes on Cartoon Network, while the adults disappear to another room for the evening news or to catch up on a favourite soap. Why not commit to turning the TV off one night a week, and get out a board game instead? Which leads on to our next idea…
Modern parenting can often feel like a never ending circle of guilt, as we juggle family with work. Commit to spending more time together, even if it’s one hour of extra activity a week. Pop into your local swimming pool for an hour’s swim each weekend, or get your helmets out and find a nearby cycle route. Your kids will appreciate it – although if they are teens, they might not realise it for a few more years.
It might be a little early to call it spring cleaning, but now is a great time to de-clutter your home. Start with a room – or just a cupboard at a time. Sort your belongings into 3 piles – keep, store and sell. If you use it regularly, you’ll want it close at hand. But if it’s something you only need occasionally or just want to keep for later, like toys for the grandchildren, then consider putting it in storage until that time arrives. Finally, get that pile of old clothes, broken lamps and 1960’s shoes, and either sell them on eBay or give them to charity. You’ll feel better for having a little more space in the house.
Reading is great for young minds – it builds vocabulary and inspires the imagination. But it’s not just good for children – reading can be good for your health as an adult. Curling up with a good book is relaxing, giving you some much needed time out. And as you engage with the story, it gets the brain fired up. In fact, studies suggest reading regularly can improve memory and reduce the likelihood of mental decline as you get older.
A coat of paint can have a dramatic effect on a room – making it cleaner and brighter and helping you enjoy the space more. So if you have had your eye on a new rug or feel the need for a change of scenery, why not go all the way for a completely new look? After all, a change is as good as a rest. Remember if you want to redecorate a room and you don’t want to throw any furniture out that self storage can be a great option.
We often dream of visiting other countries and seeing the sights, but how many of us actually look closer to home. Take some time to visit the local historic monuments, museums and tourist attractions in your area. You’re bound to discover something you never knew about your home town.
Who says a new year’s resolution has to be about something new? Why not review an old hobby – something you used to enjoy and just gradually lost time for? Whether it’s sewing, sketching or skiing, re-discover the enjoyment it used to bring you.
Do you ever watch the news and just feel powerless to do anything? Well, even the smallest actions can have an impact. Look into volunteering at a local charity. You’ll meet new people, find out more about what’s happening in your town, and you’ll feel good as a result.