It’s that time of year again: Christmas has come and gone so fast you hardly saw it, and now the New Year is only just around the corner. To many, the New Year is simply an even bigger excuse to get horrendously merry with colleagues, friends and family; to nostalgically reminisce about the past year, and to complain about life quickly flying by. But to others, the New Year is like a new leaf, a clean slate; the creation of a new and even more fabulous you.
The New Year resolution is an ancient tradition that has stood the test of time and dates back to the Roman era. Although I do it on a yearly basis, I must admit, I have not succeeded once. Yet it’s that time of year again and I’m sure everyone is yet again preparing to set themselves another near impossible resolution. Just why do we do it? However, this year is the year of change for me; no more ridiculous weight loss regimes, no more ridiculous money making schemes. Let’s be sensible for once guys. So, here are the common top five New Year’s resolutions that may well seem near impossible; however, more importantly, here are my tips that should hopefully give you a chance of actually sticking to them this year!
1. Get Fit
Every year we eat our way through the Christmas holidays, and that’s the way it should be in my opinion. In fact, I write this article with a mince pie in my hand. Surely there’s no other way to do it? But of course, as the New Year approaches we come to the realisation that we have spent the past four weeks hibernating. Weight loss resolutions have come to be the most popular over the years, but they have also become the most difficult to stick to. Resolutions last the whole year, and don’t forget this. People tend to make it to Easter (the next chocolate based holiday) and completely give up on their weight loss regime. Personally, I think the best way to tackle this resolution is to approach it on a different angle. Instead of counting calories, skipping meals and divorcing your love for chocolate, why don’t you focus on doing more exercise, rather than eating less food? Sure, it’s still good to aim to get your five a day, but exercise is just as important. You are much more likely to stick to it, and you don’t have to stress over abandoning chocolate for 365 days (that is a lot of days!)
2. Quit Drinking
Now for students, this really is the biggest challenge. In fact, I doubt this resolution would really last a week. But, for those concerned about their livers and their wallets, there is a way to get around this one. The key is to make sure your resolution is do-able, so quitting drink altogether is a no no, whereas a cut back is quite achievable. Why don’t you try limiting your nights out? Two nights out a week is quite acceptable, and not only will you save a surprising amount of money, but it will also leave you with more time to do your work. Of course by that I mean catch up on Grey’s Anatomy. Now I know this resolution would be my downfall, and I can imagine it would be for many other students too; so for those determined and driven types, I wish you the very best of luck with this one!
3. Quit Smoking
As a non-smoker, I can’t get my head around the difficulty of this resolution, but I know from several friends that it’s a toughie and catches people out year after year. Like all resolutions, we must remember that they are a dedication that last the whole year. So I guess going cold turkey straight away would just be silly, and would inevitably lead to your down fall. The trick is to gradually cut back, month after month, cigarette by cigarette. This slow but steady technique will ensure that by the following Christmas you will have cut back entirely, free from nicotine cravings and the lingering smell of smoke. Think about all the money you will have saved by then too!
4. Get Organised
I can imagine this is one of the most popular resolutions for students and honestly I feel it is one of the easiest to overcome. Organisation is a habit that you can pick up; once you get used to checking deadlines, setting weekly plans for work, organising workloads, then you soon fall into an easy routine. For me, I find it helps to write things down, to write out my work plan for the week and to have post-it notes of deadlines and events dotted around my room so I can’t miss or forget about them. The top tip is simply to get ahead of the game, find out the dates for your deadlines and note down all the important dates across the year; then it’s a done deal.
5. Enjoy Life
As clichéd and pathetic as it sounds, a lot of New Year’s resolutions are based around simply enjoying life, and why not? It’s a resolution where you don’t have to give something up, but can embrace something new. It’s the easiest resolution yet, especially when you’re at university; join a new society, do some charitable work, take advantage of Leeds as a wonderfully, unique city. Simply adopt a more optimistic and energetic lifestyle, and just embrace life. You only live once after all.
So there are my top five New Year resolutions. I wish you all the best of luck with sticking to them. This is definitely the year for me, I will do it. But, then again… don’t I say this every year?