We’re focusing on our outlook this January – not overhauling our lifestyle. After all, about half of all adults make New Year’s resolutions, yet fewer than 10% manage to keep them for more than a few months. Instead of putting pressure on ourselves to be ‘better’ than last year, we’re making this a season of fresh thinking. Read on to find out how we’ll be altering our outlook, plus, the research that proves it’s time to stop beating ourselves up for resolutions that have failed before.
An active brain is a happy brain, and a New Year is always brimming with exciting things to do and see. From exhibitions to new releases, our New Year culture fix captures some of our recommendations to sink your teeth in to and inspire new ideas.
The cold, dark days of Winter aren’t going anywhere just yet, but it’s amazing how a few choice purchases can instantly pep up our mood and day-to-day wardrobe. If you’re stuck in a bit of a style rut, our wardrobe boredom busters will help pull you out of it.
Resolutions are often entirely self-centred, but it’s amazing how much happiness helping someone else can bring us. From complimenting someone every day, to donating to a new charity or volunteering on a local scheme, give a little and get a lot back from your simple act of kindness. For details of the charities we work with, visit our charities page.
As adults, life can seem like it leaves us no time to do what we used to enjoy the most. Write a list of everything you used to love doing (it could even be something you haven’t done since you were a child) and find a way to pick it back up again. Even with just half an hour a week, the effect on your mind set will be huge.
Hands up if you feel guilty – or worse, stressed out – at the thought of a day spent doing absolutely nothing? The hectic nature of the modern world can make us feel bad if we don’t use every moment of our time to accomplish something or tick off a mental to-do list. This year, we’re booking a day off work and we are not making one single plan.
And lastly, a little bit about why we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for all the past resolutions we’ve failed to keep. Here are some factors that can make our resolutions fail:
To form a new habit that sticks, you need to start small. And there’s the first problem: most New Year’s resolutions are far too big, and way too general. Habits should be small adjustments that we can easily work into our set routines. Instead of do more exercise or spend less money, reframe the resolution in more simple terms. Take the stairs every day at work, and only use cash to pay for daily expenses are much simpler, and therefore more likely to become functioning habits.
Every one of us has a constructed idea of who we are. These stories govern our sense of self and have a powerful influence on our decisions. If a resolution jars with any of these things, for example, we want to feel less stressed, but we identify as someone who is always on call, we’ll struggle to make our sense of identity and our new resolution mesh. Before we make a resolution, we need to assess our narrative, and then rewrite anything that doesn’t fit to something that does.