As we ring in the New Year, the inevitable resolutions begin to crop up. For many of us with children, the resolutions get ditched somewhere around mid-January, too lofty or difficult to stick to. The trick is to start small, creating goals that are specific and that have achievable targets you can keep track of. Ones that have rewards, which you and your family can both look forward to, are an additional bonus.
If you haven’t completely given up on the notion of New Year’s resolutions, here are six ideas that are great for a fresh start.
1. Introduce meat-free Monday
Having the blanket goal of ‘eating healthy’ is one of those resolutions that will most likely have gone out of the window already, especially if you’ve got picky little ones. Starting with something small and distinct like meat-free Mondays can provide an easy routine that’s not only good for your health but easy on your purse too. Ditching meat on Mondays will also encourage you and your family to eat more fruits, vegetables and grains. Everybody wins. My girls love a meat-free cottage pie and it’s a great way to ease your family into a vegetarian meal that’s already familiar.
2. Spend more time away from your phone
In between getting the kids to school and heading to work ourselves, screens seem to fill up our free time and it can be especially hard to step away from your phone if like me, you’re self employed; what if you miss out on that call or don’t reply to an email straight away?! One way to eliminate your digital intake is by plugging your phone in another room when you head to bed each night. That way, you won’t be tempted to get lost down the Instagram rabbit-hole on your device (I know it’s not just me!) instead of reading or unwinding and getting a good night’s sleep.
3. Get a little more active
It’ll probably come as no surprise that, according to Harper’s Bazaar, the most popular New Year’s resolution last year involved weight loss and exercise. The best thing you can do to stick to this easy-to-ditch goal is get more specific – resolve to be part of a weekly fitness class (you’ll find you all motivate one another) or get off the bus a couple of stops earlier or park a little further away from your destination to add more walking into your routine. Or simply choose the stairs instead of the lift – it all makes a difference to get your body moving. But above all, make it fun! Feeling good in workout wear can go a long way to motivating you and it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune – Sainsbury’s Tu sportswear range looks and feels good and won’t break the bank, making it easier to lace up your trainers.
4. Drink more water
Keeping track of how many glasses of water you drink a day can be tedious and easy to forget about. Plus, it’s only really a standard benchmark, and we all know everyone is different. Instead of tallying your drinks, it’s a good idea to learn the basic signs of dehydration instead. That way you can pick up on your body’s hints when it reminds you to grab a glass of water, rather than just the desire for a coffee hit!
5. Get back in touch with old friends
Extending a note to old friends is like finding a new one without even having to get out and meet new people. Send an email, start a Facebook group or even write a letter to someone you’ve lost touch with. Planning an activity together that you can look forward to will help brighten up your year right from the start, but even just catching up over email will do the trick.
6. Read one book or magazine every month
Anyone who says reading magazines is less of a commitment than an entire book has another think coming – if you actually read each page and don’t just skim the pictures! Setting yourself the target of reading at least one book or magazine a month is a tangible goal you can work towards. Start a book club with your friends if you need a little encouragement or see if your favourite bloggers and influencers are recommending books each month to inspire you.
Above all, don’t be hard on yourself if your New Year’s resolutions don’t go according to plan. You won’t want to make resolutions next year, much less stick to them, if they aren’t something you can have a little fun with!