December is the perfect time to start thinking about the year to come. And given that 2016 has been a pretty rough year all round, this is more important than ever this year. But even though we do our best to find exciting goals we wish to achieve in the next twelve months, it can be easy to spout out the same old resolutions and never sticking to them.
So let’s take a look at the most common New Year’s resolutions and see how you can stick to them to ensure that 2017 is your year.
This one is always an exciting one, who doesn’t want to see as much of the world as possible? But admittedly it can be difficult to set yourself a realistic budget and decide which destination you need to see first. But with the right mindset, it’s easily achievable.
Here’s how to make sure you jet set this coming year:
- Be realistic. Let’s be honest if we could, we would all be on a tropical paradise beach somewhere 90% of the year, but life definitely gets in the way with all it’s drama and baggage. So be sure to set yourself travel goals which are achievable. For example a long weekend in the South of France is more realistic than a trip to Thailand. Plus, you’d be able to afford a few weekends away at the same price as a one blow out. But if you are looking to cross off a huge bucket list destination rather than multiple ‘less desired’ ones, then prepare for the fact you’ll probably be going away just once this year. But hey, if it’s a biggies who cares, right?
- Shop the sales and know the right sites to scour. You can always get a good deal if you know where to look. For awesome deals on weekend getaways that include both hotels and flights, be sure to check out www.groupon.co.uk. But be prepared to make a quick escape as the dates can be within a month or so, which can be perfect for the spontaneous type. We’d also advise to read all the small print when booking such a deal as inevitably there’s some caveat that makes it so cheap but it may be a caveat that suits so don’t be put off. When it comes for booking a hotel however, be sure to shop around, you may think you’re getting a good deal, but there could get something better elsewhere. Try looking directly with the travel agents and doing a bit of investigation yourself like referring to booking.com which has free cancellation and often offers to match/beat the competition. And be sure to check out www.airbnb.com for some amazing properties you’d never normally get the chance to see.
- Explore other options. If you’re really looking to save on spending there are ways to get round those accommodation costs, such as house sitting. Check out this post by Budget Travel to see how you can see the world for little fee.
If you’re struggling to think of your top destinations, check out Lonely Planet’s most recent bucket list. The Northern Lights and New Orleans are two personal favourites.
Take up a hobby.
Ever find yourself sat in on a weeknight mindlessly watching TV and scrolling through Twitter? Don’t we all. And every time you promise yourself that you’re going to take up a hobby and do something more productive with your down time while finding something you love. A New Year is the perfect time to put this plan into action. But how can you be sure you’ll stick to it?
- Pick something you’re going to want to keep up. For example if you struggle to commit to the gym (another resolution coming up next), then don’t make your newest hobby running. But if you’re creative then why not promise to make more crafts next year? There are some pretty great Youtube channels out there that are full of quick and easy tutorials for you to try, so be sure to check them out for inspirations.
- Change it up. You don’t have to stick to one hobby all year, because admittedly that could be tedious if you’re easily distracted (Twitter, I’m looking at you). Why not set yourself a goal of a new hobby every month? That way you can explore lots of new things before deciding on one or a few you really want to keep up with in the future. Plus this way you get to explore lots of new things along the way.
This one is probably the toughest one of them all, for most of us – especially me. You can start off with the best intentions, but then suddenly spiral out of control and lose track of what this resolution means. Which, newsflash, isn’t necessarily about losing weight.
Here’s some tips on staying on track if this is a personal goal of yours:
- Set yourself personal goals and don’t let yourself get swept up in the goals of others. Just because you’re friend wants to lose a few pounds, doesn’t mean that you should feel obligated to do so too. If you’re goal is more about feeling better about yourself then don’t obsess over calories too much but instead swap out coffees for smoothies and green teas and focusing on healthy eating alongside a combination or resistance and cardio training. But it’s important to remember that just because somebody is lifting more than you or running longer than you, it’s not a reflection on your own progress.
- Acknowledge that this could have nothing to do with fitness or healthy eating at all. For some people, getting healthy can mean anything from working through a busy head and finding a good outlet for all your stress to making sure you get a few extra hours sleep a night. Don’t get wrapped up in what everybody else considers ‘healthy’ and figure out what works for you and what you require to feel more confident and zen in 2017.
- Check out some blogs such as JillFit to pick up tips on how to incorporate happiness and health into a busy lifestyle.
Say yes to new things.
This one can be very fun if you let it be as it can open up a whole new outlook on life as well as unlocking new interests, friendships and even relationships along the way. However, when the buzz of the new year dies down it can be easy to fall back into taking the more sensible (and albeit slightly less interesting route), and stop saying yes to all the new adventures that come your way.
But if you’d rather stay on the spontaneous and exciting road of 2017 then here’s how you can stop yourself from saying no when it matters:
- Give yourself a ‘no allowance’. Sounds crazy, but everybody needs a bit of time off. So although you should say yes to most things that come your way, if your friends want to go out ten times this month but you’re craving a night binging in front of Netflix, then take it. Saying ‘yes’ is also about pleasing yourself over other people and sometimes saying yes to Netflix is all you need. Am I right? To make sure you don’t use that excuse too often though, limit yourself to two ‘no’s’ a month.
- If you’re looking for those excuses too often however and need to remind yourself why you set this resolution in the first place, check out this post by Huffington Post for a little inspiration.
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit it. This one can be difficult if you’re wanting to travel, say yes to everything and take up a new hobby or two. But there are ways to make sure you don’t blow all your cash and keep up a respectable piggy bank over the next 12 months. Here’s how:
- Live for vouchers. Remember that Keeping up with the Kardashian episode where Scott Disick mocked Kourtney for spending hours cutting out coupons and collecting vouchers from just about every outlet possible? Be that Kourtney. There is no shame in looking for a deal whenever you can, who wants to pay more when they can pay less?
- Save your change. This is always a good and easy method to make sure you put that extra change to good use. By all means collect those pennies, but to see a real increase in savings choose either the pound coin or two pound coin and promise yourself that you’ll keep all that you come across. To make sure you don’t break this money saving rule however, get yourself a tin you can’t break into when you’re weak and needing a tequila shot or Starbucks to get yourself through the week.
- If you’re struggling for other ways to get creative with your cost cutting, Forbes had some pretty good money saving ideas for Fall which would be beneficial to apply to throughout the year.
No matter what you’re resolutions are this upcoming year, be sure to think about what you want to achieve in the next 12 months while also being sure you’re not pushing yourself too hard. For example, running a marathon isn’t realistic if you’ve never even ran around the block before. But learning how to run for an hour or two with no breaks is definitely a goal you can achieve without putting other interests and resolutions aside.