2022 is knocking at the door, and we cannot keep calm. Like every other year, it is time to set some New Year resolutions for a better year ahead. Although rubbing off the COVID-19 pandemic blues and creating your travel bucket list has become the new way to go, other commitments toward a healthier lifestyle, community service and much more are also taking precedence. By Trinetra Paul
These initiatives will not only result in improving your physical and mental health but also boost your self-confidence and leadership skills. However, we often fall short of reasons to hold on to our resolutions and persevere. Many times, this is because we set unrealistic goals for ourselves, which we find difficult to meet as days go by. Thus arises the need for simple New Year resolution ideas.
Easy New Year’s resolutions that are simple to keep and commit to for the upcoming year
Become a more conscious traveller
Be it choosing eco-friendly stays or travelling to off-beat places, try and become a more conscious traveller in 2022. Travelling consciously is no rocket science. It just depends on the choices you make. For instance, try and look for restaurants that serve locally sourced food or support local craftsmen by buying souvenirs for your loved ones back home.
Stop being in a rush during your trips and stop trying to squeeze in as many places as possible in your itinerary. Give places more time, make new friends and opt for experiences than mere sightseeing. Places have much more to them than the tourist spots on your checklist.
Let the next year be an opportunity for you to be a more concerned and mindful traveller. Avoid buying plastic water bottles — choose bamboo toothbrushes and make sure not to litter. It could be a nice idea to carry your own litter bag and hang on to the litter until you come across a dustbin. These little changes are what will also turn you into not just a better traveller but also a much-evolved traveller.
Take the stairs
The pandemic had forced us to the confines of our homes, and the ensuing work from home concept restricted our options of stepping out.
As times got better, we did resume usual activities like going to work, travelling and exercising outdoors. But if you are still finding it difficult to make time to get back to your fitter self, a few simple tricks such as ditching the elevator for stairs might just work. This is one of the easiest New Year’s resolutions to keep. Make it more interesting by setting small goals. Record your daily progress and gradually increase your target distance covered or steps taken.
Research conducted by kinesiologists at the McMaster University and University of British Columbia Okanagan showed that “vigorously climbing a few flights of stairs on your coffee or bathroom break during the day seems to be enough to boost fitness in people who are otherwise sedentary.”
Terming these short bursts of exercises “stair-climbing ‘snacks’”, the study found that they are effective in improving cardiorespiratory fitness.
Learn a new skill or find a new hobby
Many of us start the new year by bringing in a big change into our lives through New Year’s resolutions, and what can be better than learning a new skill? From baking to playing an instrument and learning crochet, the list can have a variety of skill sets.
Invest your free time in learning something new and see yourself doing some amazing things which you probably never thought you could. Set realistic targets and reward yourself when you achieve them.
To start, you can check out MasterClass’ new list of interests from world leaders, such as American politician Hillary Clinton and former First Lady Laura Bush, to musings organised by singer-songwriter Mariah Carey and British musician Ringo Starr.
You can try your hands at any new skill you wish- fine arts, knitting, photography, and others.
Go to bed early
Getting a peaceful sleep can make a world of difference to your lifestyle. The right amount of sleep and a healthy sleeping pattern also reduce the risks of several physical and mental diseases. However, if you are unable to fall asleep, fret not. A few tricks can help you fall asleep faster.
Research published in the Sleep Medicine Reviews shows taking a relaxing hot bath about an hour or two before going to bed helps people fall asleep about 10 minutes earlier and improves sleep quality.
Turn off all electronic devices a couple of hours before bedtime. Instead, read a book and enjoy a relaxing beverage before hitting the sack. This will improve your sleep quality. If you still have trouble sleeping, consult a physician or a sleep specialist.
Read more books
New Year’s resolutions are aimed at making the upcoming year better than the previous one on many fronts. No matter in which areas your interests lie, reading books can be an enriching experience. This easy-to-keep New Year’s resolution will help you reduce screen time and immersing yourself in a completely different world is a great way to keep the mind occupied.
Pick up any book of your liking, to begin with, and dedicate a fixed time to reading. If you’re not sure which books to choose from, you can join book clubs and enjoy the company of bibliophiles. Additionally, sharing thoughts and ideas and recommending books for each other builds strong social bonds and will help you stay engrossed.
If you prefer a quiet ambience while reading, then you can get a membership to a library that has a good collection of all kinds of books.
Eating right is perhaps the first step towards a healthy lifestyle. However, we have made New Year’s resolutions of adopting healthy eating habits numerous times only to give up sooner. But there is a way to keep going with the resolution.
You can do so by making minor changes to your diet. Adding leafy vegetables to your meals will double fibre intake, improve digestion, lose weight and keep many ailments at bay. Cutting down on junk, consuming plant-based foods and seasonal fruits will be helpful too.
A citrus-rich diet also has its benefits. Seasonal melons and berries improve immunity, metabolism, and Vitamin C in them give a healthy glow to your skin. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition research shows those who have a fibrous and Vitamin-C-rich diet have fewer wrinkles or skin ageing issues. Making a conscious shift by adding more salads and juices is one of the best ways to go.
This new year, make it a point to join a noble cause and volunteer regularly. Giving back to society and signing up for a cause that will benefit the underprivileged will have a positive effect on your mental wellbeing.
Besides reducing stress, volunteering services also help in improving your leadership qualities and make you part of a community. People do random acts of kindness and service to the community that drive them out of their comfort zone to do something different.
This New Year’s resolution will be fun and is easy to commit to once you start enjoying the cause or the service. Moreover, it gives a fulfilling feeling once the job is done. Be it helping at the local community service, cleaning the road or beach, serving at an old-age home or even volunteering for charitable institutes like Red Cross, there are many such activities you can try.