We’re approaching the one-month checkpoint for New Year’s Resolutions, and I’d be willing to bet that most ‘new year, new me’ dreams and delusions are well on their way to abandonment by now. If you’ve managed to keep up with yours - major props - but if you haven't, there’s absolutely no shame in that. I, for one, don’t believe much in making resolutions. I’m all for ambition and goal setting, but I just don’t think that January first is the best day to start any kind of radical transformation. It’s just too much pressure for a day when the majority of the world wakes up hungover. If your resolution has fallen by the wayside, but you're still looking to add some substance to your 2021, give one of these fail-proof replacements a shot.
- Tip Well
Tipping well is a great resolution for any new year, but it’s more appropriate for 2021 than ever before. If last year taught us anything, it’s the value of getting out of the house and the significance of face to face interactions. In today’s Covid climate, a simple trip to the salon is a small reprieve from at-home monotony, and a meal out tastes a little like normalcy. For this, we have service industry workers – waiters, stylists, cashiers, delivery people, and so many others – to thank. For the rest of this year, keep generosity at the center of your interactions with these workers. With the current lockdown in the UK, it might be a while until we’re back in our favorite pubs and nail studios, but for now, drop your spare change in the tip jar at the grocery store or hand your delivery driver a few extra pounds. When lockdowns eventually lift and we’re able to go out again, be extra generous; where you usually tip 15 to 20 percent, go for 20 to 25 when you can. Even if tipping isn’t at all customary where you live, recognizing good service in hard times with a rounded-up bill can go a long way to make someone feel appreciated.
- Consume Consciously
‘Consume consciously’ is less of a resolution than it is a mantra-like reminder to be intentional about what you put into your mind, your body, and your shopping cart throughout the year. Instead of setting strict rules for yourself, choose a general focus. From there, concentrate on mindfulness. Trying to live a more eco friendly lifestyle? Start limiting your meat consumption, stray away from fast fashion brands in favor of resale, or try waste free products like a stainless-steel razor or menstrual cup. Concerned about your media intake? Set goals toward reading more and watching less, spend an hour or so every month decluttering your inbox and unsubscribing from mailing lists, or refocus your social media profiles and followings. When digesting the news, stay critical and remind yourself to vary your sources. Whatever you choose to focus on this year, whether it’s health and fitness, budgeting, or even academic work, keep conscious consumption on the mind by asking yourself what you really need and want, by questioning the advice you heed, and by refining where and how you spend your time, energy, and money.
- Stay in Touch
2020 was a year of distance. For months, we’ve stayed apart to stop the spread of Covid-19. Collectively, we’re getting used to physical separation, but that doesn’t mean we’re getting over loneliness. This year make a point to check in with your friends and family more often. Let 2021 be a year of frequent phone calls and of saying “I miss you” more. Scheduling regular talks with people you can’t see face to face. Get into the habit of reaching out first rather than waiting to be contacted. Take advantage of spaces where physical distancing is possibly like parks and beaches. One majorly doable and incredibly cute way to approach staying in touch this year is by mailing birthday cards to your loved ones. Everyone you know has a birthday coming up within the next 12 months. Mark your calendar and set reminders a week or so in advance of each one. When the date rolls around, pop a card in the postbox. There’s an extra level of forethought and care in sending a card that just can’t be conveyed in a text, snap, or even a phone call, especially after months apart, but in these uncertain times, “I’m thinking of you” – no matter how it’s said – is just about the best message you can send to the people in your life.