6 positive new year's resolutions for a happy 2020
Diets, drastic workouts and ditching alcohol may be at the top of your list of new year's resolutions, but will you feel like a failure if you fail to stick to these strict pledges? Instead, we've come up with six positive new year's resolutions for a happy 2020, so you can start the year feeling great, inside and out.
Giving back to your local community by volunteering is a great way to kick off the new year feeling good about helping other people. Food banks, soup kitchens and charity shops are always looking for volunteers, so have a look at what's running in your local area and see how you could do your bit. Think about how you could make a difference using your skills and experience, from cooking to driving or simply providing a sympathetic ear to someone who could do with support.
Once you've signed up to volunteer, you can get into a regular routine which should be easy to stick to. Not only will you be making a difference to people in need, but you will feel the benefit of helping others and even making new friends.
2. Reducing waste
Making a new year's resolution to reduce waste is a fantastic way to have a positive contribution to the environment. While going zero waste may seem to drastic for many, there are plenty of ways to cut down your waste and start the new year in a sustainable way.
More and more refill shops are opening up across the UK, so see if there are any in your local town or city. Here, you can take jars, bottles, containers and tubs to be filled up with dried foods like pasta, rice, lentils, cereals and even sweets and chocolates. You may also be able to refill cleaning products and toiletries.
Pledging to shop secondhand more this year is a great new year's resolution, as it helps to reduce waste and contribute to a more circular economy, instead of a wasteful, linear economy where items are used once and discarded. Check out local charity shops, auction sites and Facebook groups before you buy new - you'd be amazed what you can find preloved and it's bound to be cheaper, too, so it's great for your planet and your pocket.
A cluttered home or office can lead to a cluttered mind, as mess can have a detrimental effect on your mental health and wellbeing. By clearing out all of the items you no longer need or use, you can clear your mind to embark on a fresh start in 2020, paving the way for your happiest year yet.
Just make sure you donate items to charity, sell them secondhand online or put them into storage until you need them, rather than condemning them to landfill, in keeping with your new year's resolution to reduce waste :)
For tips on decluttering your home for the new year, check out the following blog posts from our archive below:
How to declutter and be more organised
How to tidy your home the Marie Kondo way
Decluttering the eco-friendly way
4. Trying Veganuary
OK, so we said no diets - but hear us out! Veganuary is a month-long pledge to ditch dairy, meat and fish for the month of January and try out a plant-based lifestyle. And while this may sound restrictive, that couldn't be further from the truth, as right now it's easier than ever to go vegan.
Due to the growing popularity of veganism and the success of Veganuary in recent years, major chains like KFC, McDonald's, Subway, Café Rouge, Costa and Pizza Hut have created new dishes designed to make plant-based cuisine more accessible and tastier than ever before. And if that's not enough, check out this list of accidentally vegan snacks you can still enjoy.
If you prefer to cook from scratch rather than relying on fast food, you'll be spoilt for choice when shopping for vegan cookbooks. From the cool guys like Bosh and Thug Kitchen to household names like Jamie Oliver and Fearne Cotton, there's something out there for everyone looking to try their hand at plant-based cooking.
As well as improving your health, you'll be making a positive impact on the environment by cutting out meat and dairy for the month. And who knows, maybe this is one resolution you'll enjoy so much you'll want to keep it going for the rest of the year?
5. Getting more fresh air
One simple new year's resolution we can all try out this year is to get more fresh air. Forget the gruelling exercise regimes you're likely to quit by February, and instead, aim to get more fresh air every day to benefit your body and mind.
Download some podcasts or audiobooks and get yourself out on a walk during your lunch break, or dust off your bike for a family bike ride at the weekend. Take your dog on some longer walks, rather than a quick dash around the block after work, or borrow a friend's dog for a good excuse for a weekend hike to blow away the cobwebs.
6. Reading more
Screens can be hard to put down, with more and more choice of what to watch, stream and play. So why not turn over a new leaf this year by switching off and picking up a great book?
Reducing screen time benefits your physical and mental health, and the benefits of reading are plentiful. If you've pledged to shop secondhand or reduce waste, you can join your local library to stick to your environmental resolutions. Can't wait for the latest pageturner? Don't panic - you can order the latest releases to your local library if there's a new book you simply can't wait to read.
Supporting your local library is fantastic for your community, and switching off your screens more will have a positive impact on your wellbeing in the long run. To spur you on, why not join - or even set up - a book club to share your reading experiences with loved ones? This could also be a good way to make new friends if you're looking to expand your horizons. If not, you can check out websites like Goodreads to find recommendations and discover your friends' favourite books.
So, are you planning to give any of these new year's resolutions a try? We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please drop us a comment on our social media pages to let us know how you get on!