1. Make realistic resolutions
I personally didn’t participate in dry January because I knew I had my work leaving do, and two birthdays that I wanted to celebrate with my friends and champagne! I did however decide that I would limit my drinks to just the weekend instead of catching up with a friend over wine on a Wednesday for example.
2. Learn to say no
I’ve learnt that just because you have a free day in your diary, doesn’t mean you should automatically consider yourself ‘available’. I’m often guilty of having things planned for almost every day of the week, and it can get tiring when you don’t give yourself enough time to do nothing. Personally, I’m trying to keep Mondays free so I know I can just come home and relax for the rest of the evening.
3. Perfect a meal
Instead of promising yourself that you’re going to become the next Gordon Ramsay this year, start small by perfecting a dish. On my trip to Thailand last year, we attended a cooking class and we all said we would come back home and make everything we learnt. It took me about 5 months before I actually got round to making a thai green curry. That being said, I’ve made it a few times now and can confidently say, I make a good one!
4. Do more things
If you look back on your 2022, how many things do you think you missed out on because no one wanted to do it with you? Whether it’s trying out a new restaurant or going to the cinema for a new movie only you’re interested in, try and find comfort in doing things alone. I actually went to a gig on my own a few years back and I had a blast.
5. Make a positive change in your diet
If you started the year by telling yourself that you’re not going to eat any more chocolate, will never order a takeaway and will only eat keto, then you’re setting yourself up for failure by restricting yourself too much. Try and implement one thing at a time and that way it will become more of a lifestyle than a diet. One thing that I started doing again the last few months is intermittent fasting, where I keep my eating window between 12pm – 8pm. There are lots of benefits to doing this, but I suggest you do your own research on it to see if it is right for you!
6. Make a positive change for the world
Whether this means taking the bus to work instead of driving, or cutting down your use of plastic, implementing just one good habit can make a lot of difference. If you feel like you’re already doing your bit for the environment, maybe focus on a different way you can help. Try volunteering for a charity or join the corporate social responsibility team in your company, if this is available.
7. Practice gratitude
I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and it really does help you see the positives in even the most mundane days. I have a note on my phone called ‘365 days of happiness’ and at the end of each day, I write down the hghlight of my day. Sometimes this could be something as simple as the french toast I made myself for breakfast, or something funny my boyfriend said.
8. Save more money than you did last year.
Last year I did the ‘penny challenge’ where you put 1 extra penny a day to a vault or savings account and by the end of the year you would have £674 saved. This is great for saving for Christmas presents or just to treat yourself at the end of the year. This year I’m trying a new challenge where you add in 1 extra pound at the end of the week. As an example, on week 1 you would add £1, week 2 you would add £2 and so on.
9. Invest in your relationships
Sometimes we take for granted the people we have in our lives, and I know we are all busy but there’s always time to check-in. Spend more time with your family, call your grandparents more often and don’t forget to ask your friends from time to time how they’re doing. If you’re in a relationship, one thing I also recommend doing together is finding out what your love languages are (there’s plenty of tests online that will be able to do this for you). This is a great way to bring you closer together and understand each other better. As one person might prefer quality interrupted time and another might require more words of affirmation in the relationship.
10. Practice self-reflection
Finally, use this time to look back at how you have grown as a person over the last 12 months, and areas that you think you could improve on. If you’re brave enough, you could also ask the people closest around you. How could I be a better partner? What do you think are my best personality traits? When do I seem my happiest? Are all questions you could be asking.