As the festive season comes to a close, the start of a New Year always marks a fresh start. It’s easy to dwell on the things that didn’t go your way in 2018, but a wise person once said, “You either win or you learn”.
New Year’s Resolutions are a great opportunity to kick start your goals into action and change your life for the better. We’ve compiled a list of some realistic resolutions to help you feel happier, healthier and more fulfilled. Here’s how you can make 2019 *your* year:
1. MAKE YOURSELF A PRIORITY
We are all leading hectic lives trying to balance our careers, family and friends. But it’s time to make yourself a priority on your ‘To Do’ list. If you feel happy and healthy, everyone close to you will benefit.
Book a check-up at the doctor or dentist, go to a councillor and cut out the things that are causing you stress and strain. When you are worrying about everyone else, it’s easy to burn out, feel stressed and get sick. Look after number one and things will start to fall into place.
2. DRINK MORE WATER
Not getting your eight glasses a day? Proper hydration helps boost athletic and mental performance, flushes out waste and bacteria and does wonders for your skin. Make sure you carry a bottle everywhere with you as a reminder to keep drinking.
And remember… coffee, tea and soft drinks don’t count!
3. TAKE A BREAK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
We’re all guilty of it – spending a few hours every day staring at other people’s lives and comparing them to our own. With so many social platforms at our finger tips, a digital detox should be on everyone’s list of New Year’s resolutions.
Put down your phone and put your time and energy into something productive. If you’re finding it hard to stay off Instagram, try moving your social media apps off your phone’s home screen and into a folder so they’re not front and centre when you unlock it.
4. GET ACTIVE
Spending money on a gym or personal trainer might help you get motivated but you can break a sweat without breaking the bank.
Introduce exercise into your daily routine. Whether it’s cycling to work, getting off the bus a stop early or taking the stairs instead of the lift. A bit a day can really add up and you’ll be reaching your 10,000 steps in no time!
5. EAT HEALTHIER
Healthy eating should be a life choice rather than a diet. Instead of sticking to a strict fad, try and aim to get your five a day and eat more balanced meals.
You could also start making more home cooked meals and bring them in to work for lunch with the next day. You’ll save money on eating out and feel better.
6. GET 8 HOURS OF SLEEP PER NIGHT
Getting eight hours of sleep a night is easier said than done. Luckily, there are some simple hacks that will help you catch some zzzz’s. Humans are creatures of habit so sticking to a regular schedule will help your body know when it should be in sleep mode.
Getting off your phone an hour before bed, avoiding heavy food at night, switching to decaf and investing in a blackout blind are all things you can do to achieve some regular shut-eye.
7. GET RID OF TOXIC FRIENDS
It’s OK to identify the friends or colleagues that are no longer bringing you joy. Only you can decide if it’s time to step back from them. Instead, you should start to focus more of your energy on the people that lift you up. This New Year, make it your mission to spend more time with those who matter most. Your time is precious – spend it wisely.
8. STOP PROCRASTINATING
It’s said that procrastination is the ‘thief of time’ but consistently delaying tasks until the last minute can also be very overwhelming and stressful. Keeping a ‘To Do’ list with regular deadlines and completing the most unpleasant items first can help you stop procrastinating.
Getting through the list at hand and not tackling any new assignments until they are finished will stop you from constantly biting off more than you can chew. Surrounding yourself with productive people will also keep you motivated.
9. READ MORE
Books are an excellent way to gain knowledge. They also offer people an escape from their daily stresses. Make a list of all the books you’d love to read, schedule your reading time, turn off social media and get cracking. You could even start a book club with your mates so you all get to see each other more often. It’s a win/win.
10. LISTEN TO MORE PODCASTS
Another great source of learning new things and gaining new perspectives is by listening to podcasts. They are a brilliant way to make the most of your morning commute and distract you from your daily stresses. You can also absorb some useful advice and insights while you’re doing mundane tasks like cleaning the house.
11. DO REGULAR CLEAR-OUTS
You don’t need to wait until spring has sprung to clean out your living space. Fill some black bags with clothes you never wear and bring them to your local charity store.
If you want to make a few bob, you could bring the things you no longer use to a car boot sale. One man’s trash is another’s treasure and you know what they say…A tidy house equals a tidy mind!
12. TREAT YOURSELF
Set aside 30 minutes a week that you check in and do something kind for yourself. Relieving stress is a great goal but it’s hard to achieve if you don’t pinpoint a time to work on it. Whether you book a massage, go for a walk or to a yoga class, doing something on your own away from all the hustle and bustle has so many benefits.
13. WEAR SUNSCREEN
We’ve all heard the Baz Luhrmann lyrics, but have you ever worn sunscreen in Ireland when it wasn’t sunny? Don’t wait until you’re on a beach in the sun to lash on the SPF. By wearing sunscreen daily, you can protect your skin against harmful UV rays, reduce the signs of aging and prevent skin cancer. A very simple resolution to introduce.
14. SET ONE NEW GOAL PER MONTH
If one of your goals for 2019 is to lose a few pounds, it’s best to do it gradually. Instead of saying that you’ll magically lose two stone by summer, set yourself one action step at a time. At the end of each month you can look back and work out what worked and what didn’t.
Create a goals calendar so you can track your progress. Whether you want to reach new targets in work, upskill, get fit, eat better or just feel better, taking it one month at a time will help you get lasting results and break habits – instead of burning out and falling at the first hurdle.
15. CUT OUT THE CIGARETTES
It’s one of the toughest habits to kick and one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. If you’re planning on quitting smoking in 2019, experts say you should expect setbacks or occasional lapses and be prepared to start over and keep trying.
Instead of going cold turkey, you could set the goal of reducing the amount you smoke every day or week to get you started in your path of being smoke free. According to the NHS, studies have proven that quitting smoking can dramatically reduce anxiety, depression and stress levels, as well as improving overall quality of life and mood.
16. CUT DOWN ON ALCOHOL
Taking part in ‘Dry January’ is becoming more and more popular. Staying sober for one month after silly season not only benefits your health and well-being, but it will also save you money. Why not give your body a break from regular boozing and see how you feel? As the months progress, you could start to reduce the number of nights out you go on and take on a new hobby or challenge instead.
17. MAKE FREE PLANS WITH FRIENDS
Instead of meeting your mates for a pint or a meal out, plan a few free activities instead. Going for a walk, hike, swim, picnic, or to a museum are just as enjoyable. It’s the company that makes the craic, not the location or the cost. Your body and bank balance will thank you for it.
18. GET OUT OF DEBT
If you’re feeling weighed down by debt, take some time out to budget and plan out what you need to do to clear your loans. With a strategy and some self-control, you will find a solution and feel much better for it.
19. SAVE SOME MONEY
If you want to start putting money aside every month, there are a number of apps and hacks to help you achieve your goal. Cancelling subscriptions you don’t use, no longer buying water and coffees and bringing your lunches into work are all simple ways of saving a few euro. The money you save can go towards travelling, moving house or buying a new car.
Once your finances are in order, you can invest some time and effort into planning a trip across the globe or to a certain country you’ve always wanted to visit. Experiencing different cultures, meeting new people and see new places is a great investment in your mindset and happiness.
Volunteering with a charity is a very rewarding way to spend your time and there are lots of different options across the country. You could look into getting involved with a local soup run, a volunteer phoneline or an animal welfare charity.
22. SET UP A REGULAR CHARITY DONATION
If volunteering your time is not feasible, you can still do your part for charity in the form of a monetary donation. There are thousands of charities across the world that accept monthly donations and all you’ll have to do is select one and fill in your card details.
23. GET A HOBBY
Sitting around and feeling fed up won’t get you anywhere. Try and use your free time constructively and put it into something you are interested in and enjoy doing. Whether it’s learning a new language or instrument, writing or joining a new sports team, the future-you will thank you for it!
No matter what industry you work in, upskilling can give you a huge advantage when it comes to job opportunities and personal growth. This January, as well as taking on the usual New Year’s resolutions of joining a gym why not work on refining and updating your expertise? Check out 9 events in Dublin to help you upskill this new year here.
25. GO FOR IT
If your New Year’s resolution is to get a promotion, raise or a new job, make it your mission to chase your dreams. Try and do something every week that brings you closer towards your goals. Life is too short to feel fed up or stuck in a rut.
Checking in with old co-workers, calling a meeting with your bosses, spending some time updating your LinkedIn, applying for that job you are too scared to go for and going to networking events are all things you can do to get the wheels in motion. If you don’t try, you’ll never know!