Happy New Year everyone! I hope you have had a good one! We saw ours in, cosied up in front of the fire, with a few glasses of Prosecco. Last of the big party animals over here!
As much as I love a cause for celebration, of course, now the bells have rung the new year in I’ve seen various resolutions and “new year, new me” mantras banded around the internet. And the influx of adverts everywhere you look capitalising on these resolutions – weight loss products, weight loss classes, gym memberships, keep fit gear, and the ilk.
Are you as fed up as I am with all of these trite resolutions that invariably get abandoned a few weeks into the new year? This year, think outside the box. I’ve come up with some alternative New Year’s resolutions that instead focus on looking after yourself, others and the environment.
Here are ten ideas to get you started:
Alternative New Year’s Resolutions
Use your car less. Walk more. Cycle more. Being outside is way more fun that being stuck inside a stuffy sweaty gym. It’s free, it’s good for the environment, you can do it whenever you like, and mental health wise, being out in nature has been proven to be fundamentally good for you
Cook more from scratch
It’s cheaper, healthier and more rewarding, and you can use up leftovers. This is my favourite cookbook*, and handily has some quick meals to whip up in under 20 minutes. Struggle with time? Pick a day and batch cook.
Put your phone, tablet or computer down
Spend more time with family, friends, and neighbours. Get to know your neighbours if you don’t. Spend time getting involved in your local community. From joining a community council to simply turning up and supporting local events. If you are religious and non-practicing then why not go to your place of worship more regularly. If you aren’t religious, there are even atheist churches that you can attend. These are secular congregations where people sing songs, listen to inspiring non-religious talks, and create community together. I’m not religious and haven’t been to one, but I am intrigued.
To your local food bank (check first to see if they are any particular items they need), or to any other cause that resonates with you. If money doesn’t allow, volunteer if time allows, or alternatively see if any items you don’t need can be used by others. For starters, homeless charities often need sleeping bags and blankets, and your bras can even help girls in parts of Africa.
Vote. Join a political party and/or an activism group. Lobby your local MPs for changes you want to see. The Write To Them website is a good place to start to find your local MP if you aren’t sure who they are.
Watch more of the good stuff
Blackfish. Before The Flood. Cowspiracy. The True Cost. Food Inc. Vegucated. Again, to name but a few. And less of the bad stuff – before having kids I’d never really watched Saturday night TV. Now I know I was never missing out – Ed Balls dancing to Gangnam Style really is the lowest of the low.
For your next holiday you don’t have to go abroad. Explore your own backyard. Holiday at home. Visit a part of the UK you’ve never been to before or an area near your home that you’re not too familiar with. The UK is full of hidden treasures – you just have to find them.
Frustrated by train price rises? Don’t take it out on the train conductor or sales clerk who has no influence over the price – instead, write to your local MP or take it up with the train company. Disappointed by a meal in a restaurant? Don’t take it out on the waiting staff. Check in on elderly neighbours. Offer conversation. Embrace newcomers to your town/village/locality. Help out refugees.
Embrace Green Cleaning
And for the last of my alternative New Year’s resolutions, ditch some of the more toxic chemicals in your home, and give green cleaning a go. Start by ditching the fabric conditioner (it really is the worst) and then take it from there! Need more help on green cleaning? I can help!
Do you have any alternative New Year’s resolutions? Have you made any? Do share, I’d love to hear!