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Life & Style

Alternative New Year’s Resolutions

new year's resolutions

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

alternative new year's resolutions

Get moving

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.

Donate Regularly

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.

Get involved

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.

Read more

The news.  Alternative news.  Books – (affiliate links):  Soil and Soul.  Eating Animals.  No Logo.  The Establishment.  Stuffocation.  Feral.  To name but a few.

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.

Explore

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.

Practice Kindness

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!

Fashion, Life & Style

What I’ve Been Wearing

Trying to take photos at this time of year is always a challenge.  Day length and available light don’t really work well with indoor photography but, like most things, I gave it a good go.  They’re a bit grainy, but hopefully you’ll get the gist of some of the ethical things I’ve worn lately:

matter-prints

Top – White T-Shirt Co / Shorts – c/o MATTER Prints

The White T-Shirt Co have been on my radar for some time now, but I’ve only recently purchased from them.  I was in need of a good basic navy top, and I think because of the name I’d never thought to check their website for navy tops.  A bit of searching for an ethical navy top led me to their site, and this top fitted the bill perfectly.  PS: there’s 10% off and free delivery right now.

I’m not normally a shorts kind of lady, but I was quite drawn to this pair by MATTER Prints.  They feel a bit smarter than standard shorts, and the fabric is nice and heavy.  I’ve never worn shorts with tights/leggings before, so I wasn’t too sure if I could pull it off.  However my partner is the first to tell me if he doesn’t like something I wear, and he was quite complementary about these shorts, so that is saying something!    I think they are going to be a wardrobe staple for me on casual days – they are so easy to wear.

finisterre-cardigan

Dress – eBay / Cardigan – c/o Finisterre

I’ve kind of gone off eBay lately.  People seem to be listing things for silly amounts of money, and postage is sky high.  And if you’re selling eBay fees seem higher, and they even take a 10% cut of your postage fee.  That being said, in the summer I was looking for a dress to wear to a friend’s wedding.  I’d looked in a few shops online, and couldn’t find anything that I really liked and on budget.  In the end I tried eBay, and within seconds stumbled across this secondhand beauty, which I immediately snapped up for something like £15.

Now, this dress has a bit of a backstory, as I remember seeing it in Hobbs a good few years ago now for something like £140.  I really wanted it at the time, however I’d never spent that much money on an item of clothing before, and ultimately decided I couldn’t justify it, so decided to let it pass.  I periodically checked on eBay specifically for this dress over the next year but never found it, so it was quite a surprise to see it pop up without looking specifically for it.   Slow fashion at it’s best!!

I’ve been wearing it without the cardigan for Christmas parties, and with a cardigan for work, as my work can get pretty chilly.  This wool cardigan by Finisterre is THE warmest.  I’ve barely taken it off, and pop it on as soon as I get home if I haven’t been wearing it whilst out.  Our house is old and cold, and it’s been keeping my cosy without having to resort to putting the heating on.

It’s the shortest day tomorrow, and gosh I am looking forward to the increasing day lengths!  I read somewhere that the Scottish Gaelic word for December literally translates as The Blackness, which feels about right.