This New Year’s Eve, you might be spending the evening watching a romantic movie with a loved one, binge watching a favourite TV series with friends, or playing games at home with your family. Or perhaps you are going to a party or out for a glitzy night on the town. Alternatively you may even be planning on ignoring it completely and simply curling up on the sofa or in bed with a good book. Whatever way you are going to usher in the brand new 2022 the prospect of a fresh start is an opportunity to take stock and reset.
The past two years have been dominated by the Covid pandemic. Our daily lives have been turned upside down, and the impact has been felt in every little corner of the world we live in. Whilst there have been all too many negative consequences there have also been a number of positives that have come about e.g. the esteem we now hold people like delivery drivers, shop workers, refuse collectors, etc. The volunteers who have supported the vaccination programme and cared for vulnerable members of our community. The speed with which scientists were able to develop tests and vaccines, and the unstinting response of the NHS Doctors, Nurses and Ancillary staff.
Reflecting on the present year and thinking optimistically about the year ahead is something I always find myself doing at this time of year. What went well and what didn’t? What changes do I want to make in my life and what do I want to hold onto? Inevitably I make a New Year’s resolution or two and equally inevitably over the years there are very few that I have managed to keep too for an extended period of time.
In a 2014 report, 35% of participants who failed to keep their New Year’s Resolutions admitted they had unrealistic goals, 33% of participants did not keep track of their progress, and 23% forgot about them; about one in 10 respondents claimed they made too many resolutions.
A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, when resolutions are made in terms of small and measurable goals e.g., “Lose a pound a week” rather than “Lose weight”.
So why do we fail to keep our well intended New Year’s resolutions?
1. They are too hard – resolutions often require you to form a new, healthier habit. For example, giving up smoking or going to the gym every day. The problem is that to achieve this habit, there are a lot of steps that need to happen in between that make it difficult to form the new healthier habit.
2. They are too complicated – Does your resolution have several steps to be successful? For example, losing 50 lbs. For these types of resolutions to work, you need to account for every step of the way not just lose 50lbs and that’s it. Instead, you should focus on one healthy habit that you can control. For example, not eating after 8.00pm may help you lose your desired amount of weight over a longer period of time.
3. They are unrealistic – I am going to run a marathon in under 3 hours. In reality the chances of that happening are very slim. That’s why when it comes to resolutions, it’s vital you set achievable goals. Your mini wins will lead you to greater long term success. For example, imagine how great you will feel after completing your walk-a-day walks for one week, then one month, then a full year. Small successes reinforce and lead to even greater success.
Here are 30 New Year’s resolution ideas to start 2022 the right way.
1. Go to bed on time—sleep is so important
2. Learn to budget—your finances could cause you unnecessary anxiety. It’s time to take charge.
3. Eat healthier most days— adopt the 80% healthy food, 20% not-so-healthy food philosophy.
4. Learn something new every day—even if it’s just from a video on TikTok.
5. Walk once a day, every day—getting at least 20 minutes of exercise will work wonders for your mind and body.
6. Make new connections at work and in your personal life—expanding your network is the key to success.
7. Say thank you every day—empower your mind with positivity.
8. Laugh out loud at least once a day—life is too short. Even if nothing seems funny right now, this can help lighten the load.
9. Take calculated risks—do something you are scared of and enjoy it. For example, it might be crossing a rope bridge or climbing a rock wall.
10. Learn to cook a new meal once a week—experiment with your taste buds and your skills.
11. Read more—books, audiobooks, articles, something—it doesn’t matter. Reading expands your horizons and mind too.
12. Practice mindfulness—being in the moment reduces stress. Try mindfulness for yourself.
3. Learn to invest in yourself—sometimes the cost of a course or consultation is so worth it.
14. Drink less alcohol—we all know too many units are bad for us. This is the year we take charge and cut down.
15. Quit smoking—and that includes vaping too. It’s 2022. It’s time to kick the habit.
16. Take the stairs (almost) every time—when faced with the lift-stairs dilemma, always choose the stairs, even if you don’t want to.
17. Get a plant—not only will it make you feel a little happier, but it’s also good for your health too.
18. Go on holiday—your job is not you. Take a break and make time for yourself.
19. Drink more water—ideally around 2 litres a day but make a commitment to start from one big cup.
20. Write a diary—take note of every feeling and emotion for one year. Next New Year, you’ll have a wealth of experience to look back on.
21. Do one thing you’ve always wanted to do—big trip, horseback riding, flying a helicopter or something crazier? Now is the time to do it.
22. Volunteer—not only does this help others, it boosts your social sphere too with new friends and experiences.
23. Delegate more—don’t love it, delegate it. Too much work? Delegate. This year is all about finding the balance.
24. Go clutter-free—commit to a huge clear out and follow through.
25. Shop local—support vibrant range of high street shops and market stalls that make Bridport a great place to live, work and play.
26. Listen to music every day—music can boost your mood so make time for it now.
27. Hug your loved ones more—hugs boost feel-good hormones so hug your loved ones when you can.
28. Compliment yourself—write little compliment notes and leave them in your house to find each and every day.
29. Reduce negative influences in your life—decide on the positive and where you’d like to be in the future.
30. Lower your plastic usage—reusable bags are here, so too is low wage packaging. Yes, Amazon is handy but the era of plastic-free is now.
The New Years resolutions I will be focusing on in 2022 are numbers 3, 9, 25 and 30.
Whatever plans and goals you set yourself for this coming year I wish you success with them but remember, it’s your life.
Decide what you want to do or achieve in 2022, plan how to get there and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.
May whatever your hopes and dreams for 2022 come true.
Here are the answers to my Christmas Quiz.