Raise your hand if you can’t remember the New Year’s resolutions you set last January. It’s really nothing to be ashamed of—you’re not alone. The problem with resolutions is that we always set the bar too high, and then fall off the wagon once we realize our goals are unattainable.
The trick is to focus on one resolution at a time, and come at it in a realistic way. To give you a head start, we’ve made a list of five resolutions to choose from, so you can decide what best suits your needs, and where you’d like to start.
Eat healthier foods
After inevitably indulging in everything imaginable during the holidays, it’s normal to want to give your digestive system a break. A good way to recover and restore vitality during the winter months is to eat healthier foods. To be clear, we are not talking about a detox cleanse, we are simply talking about having a well-balanced diet: add more vegetables to your meals, reduce portion sizes, cut out refined sugar, etc. After all, there’s nothing more appetizing than a plate full of colourful, fresh ingredients.
With a busy schedule, it’s easy to tell yourself that you simply don’t have the time. When in reality just a few small changes to your lifestyle can make a world of difference: taking the stairs, going for an evening stroll, walking a few bus stops down, stretching first thing in the morning and before bed. And, if you feel like taking it to the next level, discover our 20-Minute Workout. It can be done in the comfort of your own home, no equipment necessary.
Support local merchants
When you buy locally, whether it’s groceries, clothing, or other every dollar spent at home helps the local economy. How can you do this? Prioritize neighborhood shops and markets, instead of multinational companies. And, always choose products that are made in Canada, if the option is available.
When it comes to shopping for clothing, invest in styles that are simple, timeless, and high-quality. It’s better to have fewer versatile pieces that are a little more expensive, than inexpensive items that will go out of style or lose their shape in one or two seasons. Also, prioritize repairs and adjustments instead of parting with older styles too quickly. If you do happen to own a few pieces you know you’ll never wear again, give them to charity or second-hand stores instead of throwing them out.
Reduce your alcohol consumption
If you are under the impression that drinking socially has become more of a reflex than a treat, or that having a drink is no longer the exception to the rule, you might want to think about cutting back. It’s the perfect time of year to take an introspective look at the underlying reason why you might be drinking more than usual. Is it to help you come out of your shell in a social setting? Or unwind after a day at work?
Instead, opt for non-alcoholic drinks that offer the same soothing effect; at home sparkling water, fresh juices, or lemon infused water. Personally, we love this raspberry ginger ale float recipe by Ricardo. During outings, you can still have a drink in hand, but choose a mocktail or non-alcoholic beer… or just plain water. Oftentimes, just having a drink in your hand, even if it doesn’t contain alcohol, is enough to make you feel like you’re taking part in the festivities.
Take a break from technology
Based on a study from 2018*, North Americans look at their phones approximately 52 times per day, and are glued to a screen at least 4 hours daily. This represents about a sixth of our lives. Wondering how to find the motivation to decrease your screen time? A simple solution is to download an app that tracks your smartphone usage, such as Moment or (Offtime) . It will allow you to have an understanding of your habits, and set realistic goals. And, since social media apps are usually the ones we visit most often, try removing them from your phone, and access them solely from a computer. For the ones ready for something a little more drastic, delete or suspend your accounts.
Since smartphones are a proven deterrent to our sleep, it’s important that we leave our device in the next room and start using a traditional alarm clock again. Make a rule that you are not allowed to watch screens of any kind at least an hour before bed. What to do with all this new-found time? Take advantage of spending quality time with family and friends, take up a new hobby, participate in outdoor activities, immerse yourself in arts & culture… the possibilities are endless.
So, which New Year’s resolution did you choose and how will you manage to stick with it? Our tip is to talk about it frequently with others. Once people are aware of your goal, you feel accountable, which gives you that extra push to make it happen. Let’s face it!
*Deloitte. (2018). Study: Global mobile consumer survey. Find it here.
Adapted from French by Jonelle Larouche