For creatures of habit, human beings are funny little things. Why, every year, do we insist on making drastic changes to our lives in the form of new years resolutions? I’m talking huge, life changing decisions that we make at 11:55pm on 31 December, as we drunkenly reflect on the year that was and how we absolutely must do things differently in the year that’s about to be.
We make crazy promises to ourselves, promises that are unrealistic and promises that deep down we know we can never ever stick to. I mean, when last did you ‘get rich quick’ or ‘lose those 5 kilograms’?
I gave up on the new years resolutions a few years ago, when I began dreading seeing them through. This year, I’ve decided to take a on a much easier and effective approach.
I Instagrammed this motivational the other day, and it was met with such a positive response, that I figured – why not elaborate on it slightly, and make a list of 15 actionable, manageable and (most importantly) do-able things for 2015 (because, let’s be honest, with a baby on the way a lot of things may just have to be pushed to 2016…)
1. Find 3 hobbies you love.One to make you money, one to keep you in shape and one to keep you creative.
(FYI, I picked voice overs, trail running and Pinterest/gardening,photography and home decor)
2. Sign up to become an organ donor. I’ll make it easy for you – click here.
(If you need some motivation, watch this)
3. Read 1 thing of substance once a month. It could be anything from a novel, to a white paper to a web article. (Start with this, it’s amazing)
4. Give back. Make a sandwich for the beggar you see every morning, collect dog food at your next dinner party and donate it to a needy pet rescue place or pop your spare change in the charity tin at the till. No gesture is too small.
5. Plant something you can use. For me, its herbs and vegetables. There’s something wonderful about eating what you’ve grown.
6. Learn 1 new skill. I am desperate to do a woodworking course – so I can make all the things I find online (instead of begging my husband to do it for me). With this bulging belly, that may be a project for 2016 – so for 2015 I am going to do a self taught photography course and find a course to teach me design and Photoshop.Your new skill needn’t me a huge investment – it could be as simple as learning to knit, or changing a plug.(Hint, Google)
7. Change one thing about your appearance. Cut your hair, invest in a red lipstick, buy a push-up bra. A small change can do wonders for your self esteem and is the cheapest way to get a makeover without the effort.
8. Eat 1 meal at the dinner table. Bringing a child in to this world makes me yearn for the days when we as a family would eat every meal around the table (also, it was in the stone ages, so technology wasn’t yet a distraction).
9. Don’t waste your money on shit things. I am a huge culprit here – I buy a lot of R200 things here and there instead of saving up for one big feature item. A bit like putting lipstick on a pig.
10. Make time for you. Work is work, and apart from those days we all have when a crisis pops up, leave it at the office, go home and make sure you have a balance. Not one Facebook post celebrating 2015 started with ‘I worked more than 8.5 hours a day). No-one cares. (That being said, work hard, make an effort and give a damn)
11. Fix those things that have been bothering you. I have created a Google doc as long as my arm with everything that needs to be done around the house. From things as small as changing a lightbulb, to complete house renovations. It’s amazing how much easier it is to tick stuff off, when you have a list.
12. Remember the good things. A rad chick I know kept a jar in 2014, and ever single time something good happened, she wrote it down on a slip of paper, and popped it in the jar. At the end of 2014 she had hundreds of awesome memories that reminded her just how amazing the past 365 days had been.
13. Find something to look forward to. Remember September? September is the ‘quarter to 5 on a Friday’ month. It’s revolting, and everyone gets in to a slump and starts panicking about the new year and what they have and haven’t achieved, and then makes DUMB NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS. (Do you see where I’m going with this?) This year, plan something fun for that time – a weekend away, a party, time off, whatever. Make sure you dont get to quarter to 5 on your Friday with no plans. You will be suicidal.
14. Save. My scariest one of them all. Put away as much as you can every month (even if it’s a little).
15. Clear your crap. We live in one of those old houses where cupboard space is tiny and scarce (seriously, did families in the ’80s not have things?!). A rule I (try) live by is that for every new thing I buy (be it clothes or makeup) I have to throw out (or donate) the same amount of existing pieces. Its the only way to prevent hoarding, and also prevents years of rubbish and useless things piling up.
So, that’s it. My list of 15 easy peasy resolutions for 2015.
What are yours?