New Year resolutions (New Year, New You)

Let’s face it, we can all be a little overambitious when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions.  From losing weight to eating healthily, and quitting smoking or alcohol, every December,  people around the world make a host of New Year’s resolutions and vow to stick to them in the new year. But, various studies have shown that despite our best intentions, the new year, new you novelty wears off pretty quick, with most resolutions abandoned by the end of January. 

By the first week of January, 27% of us abandon our goals. At the two-week mark, 31% of people quit, and just over half of us make it to the one-month mark. Similarly, fitness app Strava found 19 January is the day people are most likely to give up on their fitness goals. 

And, while there is nothing wrong with being optimistic about what you can achieve, failing to achieve our resolutions often means that we end up feeling even worse about ourselves than when we started. Instead, why not consider making smaller, more realistic  changes to your life? They might actually make all the difference! Payflex highlights 9 realistic New Year’s resolutions that will not only enrich your life, but we guarantee you will be able to stick too past January.  

Reduce screen time

Whether it’s your PC, mobile phone or TV, how much time do you spend in front of a screen each day?  An honest answer might make most of us quite embarrassed. In our constantly switched on realities, our relationships with screens has become pretty unhealthy. Together with your partner, friend or family member, set new year’s resolutions to scale back on your screen time. Keep mealtimes phone-free, try to take a break during the workday from your PC, and avoid using any devices at least 60 minutes prior to bedtime.

Undertake a daily activity that lifts your mood

New year’s resolutions that focus on self-care are definitely up there in terms of importance. Whether it’s a 20 minutes of daily exercise, meditation, a leisurely bath, a coffee or lunch break or a trip to the shops, undertaking a daily activity is a realistic new year’s resolution that can have a significant impact on your energy levels, focus and creativity at work and everyday life.

Challenge yourself to learn a new skill

Keeping your brain active with new challenges and activities can be incredibly refreshing and a major confidence boost. It can also help  take your mind off worries and concerns, as well as keep things in perspective. Dedicate a few hours a week to learning a new skill. Whether it’s a cooking class, new language, knitting or even taking part in a dance class, giving yourself the freedom to do something you love each week will go a long way.

Invest in your health

This is one of the most important new year’s resolutions to address. Nothing matters more than health. But, so many of us put off health concerns due to the prohibitive costs associated with doctors, supplements, therapists, and healthy food. However, putting off these issues could pose a serious danger to your health and wellbeing. Key to a new year, new you is your health, which is why attending to it will be money well spent. Plus, when you take care of yourself, it’s that much easier to take care of your family and friends around you.

Commit to at least one night in per week

Ever heard of JOMO, a.k.a. the joy of missing out? As tempting as it might be to fill up your social calendar and say yes to every last invite you get,  it can also be exhausting, pressurising and not to mention, seriously expensive. COVID-19 has taught us to find joy in doing nothing. Set a new year’s resolution to staying home at least one night per week. After all, there’s literally nothing better than curling up on the couch and binging a great series with a giant bowl of popcorn. 

Smile more

This is definitely our personal favourite. While it may seem obvious, life can be so busy, we too often forget to smile!  Smiling more, even when you don’t feel like it, can help  alleviate stress, boost your immune system and even trigger the release of mood-boosting endorphins. Smiling also causes the release of serotonin, which will allow your brain to work at optimum levels.Plus it’s infectious! Essentially, smiling more can make life immeasurably better. So why not set a new year’s resolution to try and consciously smile more. Come on people, let’s make 2021 the year we all smile more often!

 Address that niggle head-on

Is there an issue or concern that is constantly playing on your mind? You know, that thing that keeps you awake at 3am and unwantedly enters your thoughts at regular intervals throughout the day. Whatever it is, lift that crushing weight off your shoulders and address whatever it is that is bothering you. No procrastinating or delaying, just pick a day, and DO IT. 

Pick progress over perfection

Instead of aiming for perfection, why not rather focus on the progress you are making with the New Year’s resolutions you have set. And while you will most likely NOT look like a Victoria’s Secret model by this time next year or running ultra marathons, be kind to yourself and pat yourself on the back for the small victories. Whether it is losing a kilogram, running 5 kilometres or cutting down from 15 to 5 cigarettes a day, this all marks progress towards your end goal. Keep going!! 

Call instead of texting

Let’s be honest, a  lot of us have developed a love-hate relationship with calling.  Whether it’s a mild dislike of how much your phone rings or a full-blown phobia every time you see someone’s name flash across your screen, we have gotten too used to texting. Make a new year’s resolution for 2021 to call people more. Not only does it strengthen and humanise your relationships,  it can be good for your mental wellbeing too.