Do you have a New Year Resolution?
Here are the 10 most common New Year Resolutions to help you chose yours - or maybe pick something a little bit different!
Every year, we promise ourselves that we will change. We will acquire new virtues and dispense with our stubborn vices. However well-intentioned, these plans rarely come to fruition, with polling data estimating the time of failure before the end of January. Let’s look at a few of them and also at what we can do if we are to stand the best chance of keeping them.
1) Get fit
A YouGov poll conducted on behalf of The Times last year put this near the top of the list. We are all aware of the health benefits regular exercise can provide. After spending Christmas eating and drinking excessively, we might justifiably consider doing more exercise as a worthwhile use of our time. The health benefits of exercise are undisputed; it can make you live longer, look better, as well as staving off a number of extremely debilitating diseases – particularly those of the heart. Exercise also contributes massively to our second resolution, which explains why the two are so often made.
2) Lose weight
The same YouGov poll notes weight loss as the second most aspired-to goal among respondents, with 47% declaring they’d like to lose more weight in the New Year. So if you share that ambition, you’re in good company.
This desire is understandable; barring a few fortunate exceptions, we’d all like to look better. But obesity is not just an aesthetic problem. Obesity increases your risk of diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease and several types of cancer. This is one of the biggest public health problems of the twenty first century, with the NHS estimating that a quarter of all adults are obese – this excess blubber places a huge strain on the NHS, which is why they are keen to educate us on the best way to lose weight.
3) Make time for family
Life is hectic. While it may seem that in some respects the digital world has brought us all closer together, family and friends can still often end up losing out to other, more material concerns. While few people set out to cut their family and friends from their lives, it can often happen by itself. Consequently, many people this year will pledge to cut down on their work time – and the time spent glued to their smartphones – in favour of those closest to them.
4) Stop Smoking
We all know that smoking is bad for it. It causes lung cancer, yellow teeth, birth defects and all manner of other unpleasant symptoms. Unfortunately, tobacco so thoroughly embedded into our culture that it’s inescapable. The YouGov poll places a desire to give up smoking at 22% of respondents – and when you consider that roughly 20% of UK residents are smokers, you get an idea of exactly how difficult a task this is. The rise of e-cigarettes has provided some help toward this – but they carry their own health risks. There are a huge amount of resources available to those who would quit.
5) Drink less
For broadly similar reasons to those that would quit smoking, many will also pledge to quit drinking – or at least, cut down on it. Drinking has a social licence which smoking lacks – it is present at virtually every social gathering. In the long term, alcohol leads to liver failure, obesity, high-blood pressure and an eventual heart attack. Leaving to one side for a moment the havoc it wreaks on your internal organs, excessive alcohol consumption will also ruin your social life. It’s small wonder that so many pledge to at least cut back on it – particularly in the hangover-clouded New Year’s Day.
If you are suffering from alcoholism, then help is at hand in the form of the NHS website and organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous, who have over the years developed an extremely exacting method with which to give up alcohol – which millions of people testify to.
6) Enjoy Life More
This one may be guilty of vague – after all, it is difficult to be objective about how much you’re enjoying yourself in one year relative to the one before. Instead of simply willing yourself to enjoy life more, you might pick something you know you enjoy doing – such as going to the cinema – and make time do more of it in the New Year.
7) No more debts!
Debt is a habit we’d all like to be rid of – and now, with the economy finally showing some fleeting signs of upward momentum, many of us are looking forward to being able to say we don’t owe anyone anything. Wouldn’t you like to be able to say, a year from now, that your finances are in far better shape than they were last year?
When we finally come out of education and are loosed onto the world, some of us feel as though we’ve been freed from prison. But most of us enjoy learning things – the alternative, after all, is rather boring. If you feel that your life lacks a sense of exploration, then maybe it’s time to take up a new hobby – whether it be a new language, a new skill or a new job. There are a huge variety of evening classes available up and down the country, all of them looking for new students. If that doesn’t sound appealing, then why not instead use the ultimate educational tool – the internet? Whether it be Jiu jitsu, origami or the clarinet – this year is as good as any to take up that hobby you’ve long been planning.
Many of us reassure ourselves that we’d like to do something more to help those less fortunate than ourselves. But, however noble such intentions may be, they can do no real good unless they are put into action. There are a range of charities across the country, all with different goals and scales. Pick the one whose goals you most sympathise with and set up a direct debit. Your money will doubtless be appreciated and put to good work.
10) Organise your life
Some of us are not naturally inclined towards being organised. If you are such a person, life is a bewildering series of seemingly orderless stimuli, the study is buried beneath a mass of paper and the sink is full to bursting with dishes that you haven’t found time to wash. If this sounds familiar, then perhaps you should take steps to do something about it. Simply writing notes to yourself and making to-do lists can aid tremendously. With any luck, 2015 can be the most organised year yet!