Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 February 2020

11 New Year’s resolutions that are easy to keep

These bite-sized goals might actually last you past February

Try walking or running up and down stairs at home or in your office regularly throughout the week. Getty
Try walking or running up and down stairs at home or in your office regularly throughout the week. Getty

New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to stick to. Recent statistics show about 80 per cent of people who set themselves goals in the new year fail, with the majority of those giving up by February.

If you are, however, determined to create some new life ambitions as we usher in the new decade, despite the bleak research, then you might want to consider one of these, easy-to-manage resolutions.

Save X amount of money by X date

One of the biggest reasons we fail to stick to our resolutions is because they’re too big or too vague. “Save money” is an honourable goal, but it doesn’t actually mean anything. Be specific and realistic about how much money you want to save – and put an end date on it. It could be one lump sum by one set date (for example, Dh10,000 by December 31, 2020), or a certain amount per month for the rest of the year.

_________________

Read more: How to achieve daily joy now without sacrificing financial independence later

_________________

Cook one new dish every week

We all get stuck in a rut when it comes to cooking new dishes. When we’ve got full-time jobs, children and all the other responsibilities, it’s too easy to turn to tried-and-tested recipes or Zomato and Deliveroo for our nightly food needs. Why not try mixing up your culinary repertoire this year and attempt one new recipe per week? You could even potentially combine that with another goal of eating less meat and make it your equivalent of a Meat-free Monday.

_________________

Read more: Use bone broth and switch to Greek yogurt: here are 12 healthy diet swaps to make

_________________

Read a book per month

Sometimes, it’s hard to find time to settle down with a good book. However, if your 2020 goal is to “read more”, then a more attainable and reasonable objective is to read one book per month. You can then break that down into a few pages per day. Even better, why not join a new book club so you have a group of like-minded individuals keeping you accountable for your new resolution? You could also try out audiobooks this year.

_________________

Read more: Our pick of the 20 best novels of the decade

_________________

Take the stairs at your office / home

Instead of committing to some epic weight-loss plan or spending too many dirhams on a gym membership you won’t use, promise yourself you’ll take the stairs. Do it at both your office or home, or choose just one, but make it a point of avoiding the elevator. Just a few minutes of stair climbing in short intervals throughout the day can boost cardiovascular health, one study published in the journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism in 2019 found. It’s also shown to help burn more calories, increase bone density and strengthen your immune system.

_________________

Read more: Weight-loss tips that go beyond the 'eat less, exercise hard' formula

_________________

Sanitise your phone regularly

So you want to be cleaner and more organised this year? Then start with your smartphone. It’s something we don’t often think about, but as we take them absolutely everywhere with us (including public toilets), our phones are said to carry about 10 times as much bacteria as most toilet seats. Grab a non-toxic disinfectant wipe to kill any viruses or bacteria clinging to our screens – and promise yourself you’ll give it a good go over once a week.

_________________

Read more: Here's how to avoid germs in the gym

_________________

Take a lunch break as often as you can

It might not be realistic in your office to take a lunch break every single day, but whenever you can, then do it. Taking a breather at work has proven to boost mental health and productivity, so it’s not only a good solution for you – but your boss and company, too. You could use your allotted time to sit and mindfully eat, to get some steps in or check out a cool new nearby gallery or attraction. Aim for twice to three times a week at first and you’ll see the benefits in no time.

_________________

Read more: Chew on this: Why it's time to take up intuitive eating

_________________

Donate old clothes

We’ve all been there: intimidated by the seemingly endless number of clothes hanging in our wardrobes or cluttering up our drawers, some of which we can’t even remember ever wearing. It’s time to do something about it. Go through all that stuff – you can expand this beyond your outfits – and sort it into garbage bags, ready to donate. There are a number of charities you can take your clothes and unwanted items to in the UAE, including Bait Al Khair, Al Ihsan Charity Centre or any one of the many clothes banks you’ll find dotted around communities in Dubai.

_________________

Read more: Whittling down 1,000 pieces of clothing: what I learnt from an overdue decluttering

_________________

Try something new once a month

Not everyone has the time to go out every weekend and try new things, but once a month should be doable for most people. Tai chi classes, rock climbing, visiting a new museum or having a go at making some pottery – whatever it is, add one new activity to your agenda every month and see how it fits. You might discover newfound passions for an obscure hobby, or you might finally realise water sports aren’t for you – either way, it’ll be a year-long process of getting to know yourself better. See you at book club?

_________________

Read more: 16 mega-projects and attractions set to open in the UAE in 2020

_________________

Give yourself a set bedtime each night

It’s so easy to leave Netflix running until midnight, as episode after episode of your new favourite show plays in the background of your life. But, if you’re anything like the majority of us, you have to get up in the morning, and binge-watching TV series only means you get less sleep. Losing just an hour of sleep per night can lead to all sorts of health issues – not to mention it will also leave you less productive and alert at work the next day. So set yourself a bedtime every night, allowing yourself between seven and eight hours of time to sleep, and stick to it – on weekdays, at least.

_________________

Read more: Tracking your sleep can actually lead to insomnia, says sleep expert

_________________

Give yourself compliments

A number of studies over the past few years have shown that gratitude is a key factor in personal health and wellbeing. As well as being thankful for external elements in your life, however, it’s also important to be optimistic about you. Why not try writing yourself a compliment on a Post-It note at least once a week and stick it on your bathroom mirror, where you’ll see it every morning? After a while, positive self-talk might actually become second nature.

_________________

Read more: The lifesaving power of gratitude (or, why you should write that thank you note)

_________________

Do one thing at a time

It’s easy to go on a rampage come New Year, and make all sorts of lofty promises to yourself. Get fit, lose weight and quit smoking – these are just a few of the most common New Year’s resolutions we think we’ll stick too each and every January 1. Rather than giving yourself a massive to-do list of life goals, choose one (something doable, like any listed above). You’ll find that once you’ve managed to stick to one goal, you might be able to add in a new one. By then, you’ll be feeling more confident about being able to stick to your goals. It’s all about small steps for big results.

_________________

Read more: 'Don't put too much pressure on yourself': Kayla Itsines and Kelsey Wells share fitness advice

_________________

Updated: December 28, 2019 05:39 PM

SHARE

SHARE

Most Popular