10 Achievable New Year’s Resolutions For A More Wholesome 2021
Well, we made it. For a long time it seemed like 2020 would never end, and that 2021 was nothing but a mirage we all desperately looked towards, hoping it would mark the beginning of a brighter future.
After countless Zoom-filled days and house-bound weekends, the new year is finally upon us, and though we still have to stick to many of the same precautions we did yesterday, the brighter future finally doesn’t seem too far out of reach.
January 1 is often filled with well-meaning promises about eating less, giving up alcohol and taking up more exercise, but more often than not a cheat day, rest day or particularly stressful day quickly sends us back to our old ways. Instead of trying to be a ‘new you’ this year, maybe focus on one or two smaller resolutions that are not only achievable, but will make you feel especially good about yourself.
Check out some ideas to get you started below.
1. Commit to having a clear out and donate unwanted clothes and items to charity.
Resolutions don’t have to be about achieving something every day; instead it could just be a one-off like this one. Take a day or two to dig through all the things that you’ve been meaning to organise when you had the time, the long-forgotten piles at the back of the wardrobe and the collection of knick-knacks that made up old hobbies and pastimes, and decide whether you really need it clogging up your home.
Though sorting through your belongings can seem like a big task, the sense of satisfaction at the end will be undeniable, and there’s the added bonus that you might stumble upon some old treasures during your task.
Once you’ve separated the meaningful memorabilia from the stuff you can live without, bag it up and take it to a charity shop where it can go some way to helping others, rather than just sitting unused and gathering dust.
2. Organise a weekly catch-up with an elderly relative, long-distance loved one or old friend.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s the importance of reaching out to people. Don’t feel you have to spend every day visiting people you’ve not spoken to recently, but something as simple as dropping someone a text every week or two to make sure they’re okay can have a bigger impact than you might imagine.
Elderly relatives would likely be over the moon to have a visit or phone call from you every now and again, even if you’re only able to make the time once a month. Find a schedule you can stick to and set a reminder on your phone to drop them a message, a call or a visit to remind them there’s someone out there thinking about them.
3. Donate to food banks
The coronavirus outbreak led many people to turn to food banks for their next meal, so if you have the means try to donate one or two things when you can, perhaps every time you do a big food shop or every couple of weeks.
Many supermarkets have baskets or containers for customers to donate items once you’ve paid for them, so you don’t even have to go out of your way to do your part.
Something as simple as a can of beans, a loaf of bread or a bag of potatoes can help feed someone who can’t afford to buy food themselves, meaning you can rest assured that your money is well spent.
4. Learn to bake and share your creations with friends
That is, if you didn’t already become the next Mary Berry during lockdown. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned baker, try your hand at new recipes before wrapping up a few portions and delivering them to friends or neighbours.
This resolution not only offers new skills, but it has the added bonus of winning you brownie points – get it? Brownie? – with the people you share them with. Plus, you get to test out all of the delicious bakes yourself. If you ask me, this is a much better idea than that worn-out ‘exercise’ resolution.
5. Volunteer at an animal shelter
On the off chance you do want to get out and about after all that baking, look into volunteer positions at local animal shelters and see if staff need any help walking dogs or caring for the other creatures. Admittedly, it might be tough to walk away from their fluffy faces at the end of the day, but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done something to help.
Volunteering can give you good life experience, and doing so at a shelter gives you the opportunity to meet not only new people, but lots of adorable animals. You could find yourself with a new passion in life, but at the very least you’ll probably be able to assure some deserving dogs that they are very good boys and girls.
6. Set up a standing order to a charity
If you have even a couple of pounds to spare, this resolution allows you to give back regularly without requiring a lot of hard work. Standing orders from your bank account can be set up at the touch of a button and allow a regular, scheduled payment that can be cancelled at any time.
If you’re looking to contribute more to those in need this year, do some research about charities that support causes you’re passionate about and figure out whether you’d be able to donate regularly, without stretching yourself too thin. Every little helps, and when you look back at the end of the year you’ll see how the small, regular contributions can add up.
7. Make time for a tech-free walk once a week
As important as it is to look out for others, we also need to make sure that we look out for ourselves. Last year was testing for our mental health, so in 2021 be sure to prioritise your wellbeing by taking a break from the whirlwind of social media and the need to always be available by putting your phone away and getting some fresh air.
Put your phone on aeroplane mode if you don’t feel comfortable leaving it at home, and try to spend an hour or so a week in the company of your own thoughts.
Taking a walk like this will allow you time to think about how you’re doing without having constant distractions, allowing you to focus on anything that might be causing stress and deal with any issues you might be facing, ultimately putting you in a better place for the week ahead.
8. Find a local, independent business to support
This might be a small bookshop, an up-and-coming local restaurant or an indy coffee stand; there are thousands of small businesses out there that will have taken a hit in 2020 and are now in need of all the support we can offer.
Indulge in cakes from a small bakery or stock up on supplies from an independent craft shop rather than relying on Amazon to fulfil your needs. Your money will help the business succeed against internet giants, you’ll be able to have a more personal interaction with the people in charge, and there’s every chance this resolution will help you find your new favourite haunt.
9. Unfollow people who don’t bring you joy
This is a resolution you can complete as soon as you finish reading this article; it will take a matter of seconds and your entire year will be better because of it. So much of our lives are wrapped up in social media that we might not even realise the impact that small, regular doses of negativity can have.
Rather than wasting time feeling jealous at the seemingly amazing lives of strangers, follow only those whose pictures and information have a positive impact on your life. If you’re worried about being spotted, hit the mute button instead – it will hide all of the content without alerting anyone to the fact they’ve lost a follower.
10. Make simple swaps to live more sustainably
If you’re someone who opts for a chicken and bacon sandwich and plastic bottle of coke with your meal deal, commit to making a swap for something vegetarian, or even just a recyclable can, once a week.
Ditch plastic freezer bags for reusable containers, or just buy yourself a nice water bottle that you don’t have to throw away at the end of the day. Even the smallest changes can add up to a big impact, so when you’re next heading out of the house think about one thing you could do to make your day more environmentally-friendly.
Many of these resolutions can be achieved, at least in part, in a matter of hours, and hopefully completing them once will inspire you to keep up the positive changes throughout the year.
Not only will you have the satisfaction of actually completing your resolution for once, but you’ll be setting yourself up for a wholesome 2021 full of good deeds, considerate actions and positive thoughts.
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