Many of us use the new year as an opportunity to start afresh. ‘New year, new me’ and all that. The resolutions and promises we make to ourselves as we enter the next 365 days often include things like exercising regularly, starting a hobby, reducing waste, eating a healthier diet, spending less money and saving more of it.
But a lot of these resolutions are framed as negatives. For example, your goal might be to reach a certain weight by the end of the year, but the focus is then on the loss of weight, rather than the gain of health and fitness. Another resolution could be to stop being so late for things, but it might be more effective to think of it as starting to be on time more often.
So instead of making half-hearted New Year resolutions that are hard to stick to, why don’t you try making ones that are more positive and kinder to yourself? They can still include achievements in your career, health, finances and lifestyle, but they don’t have to make you feel like a failure. Because let’s face it, we’ve all suffered enough hardships throughout the pandemic as it is. 2022 is the year to celebrate what we already have and be grateful for it – and be grateful to ourselves, for making it through another year.
Here’s a list of positive New Year resolutions to give you some inspiration for 2022…
- Exercise and eat a balanced diet to respect my body, and feel better physically and mentally – this could apply to resolutions like drinking more water, too.
- Consciously recognise at least one thing I’m grateful for every day – try to make it different each day.
- Allow myself the time to start a hobby, whether it’s reading, knitting, learning a language, playing a sport or something else – start with allocating time for the activity rather than squeezing it in as and when you can. This could be as frequent as once a day, or once every few months, which might be more realistic for you.
- Celebrate and recognise all of my achievements, no matter how big or small.
- Show and tell my loved ones how much they’re appreciated more often.
- Take more time to think about what I really need before buying something, to try to reduce waste and save money – if you tend to impulse-buy items like clothes or make up, bookmark them instead and come back a few days or weeks later. If you’d forgotten about them, you probably didn’t really want them in the first place. Plus, they might have been reduced in price by then. If it’s food or home items, make an effort to be aware of what you already have to avoid buying surplus and letting things pass their ‘use by’ dates.
- Give back when I can, whether that’s through charity donations, volunteering, or simply helping a stranger in a time of need.
- Talk to myself like I would talk to a loved one.
- Help myself be less stressed by making a list of things in life that really matter, so when I get worked up, angry or annoyed, I can remember what’s important and what’s not worth the stress.
- Don’t feel bad for doing things to look after myself, like making time to go outside and get fresh air, or taking a proper lunch break.
Remember, whatever resolutions you may or may not make for 2022, the most important thing is to not be too hard on yourself if they don’t go how you planned. Life is unpredictable, things happen and it’s okay to give yourself a break… Here’s to a happy and positive new year!