2020 was full of challenges. We’ve lived through a pandemic and all the chaos it brought with it. We’ve seen a lot of things change, and many of us have struggled towards the finish line, desperate to see the end of 2020. A new year provides the opportunity to start over a new leaf and reimagine ourselves and our plans.
Last year, many of us set plans and goals that couldn’t be realized due to the restrictions, and so it can be difficult to set goals for the new year. However, after such a difficult year, you can set resolutions to fix bad habits you may have let slide due to the stress of 2020 or set new goals now you know what pandemic life is like, for 2021.
How Do I Set New Year’s Resolutions?
It’s easy to vow to give up our favourite unhealthy snacks or spend less money, but the key is to be specific. Sure, you want to exercise more often, but how much more? Once you’ve figured out the extent to which you’ll make these changes, you can work towards them and keep track of your progress. Let’s take a look at some changes you can and should make (and actually stick to!) this year.
10 Top New Year’s Resolutions
- Establish a Consistent Sleep Pattern
One of the simplest yet underestimated ways to feel your best is to get more quality sleep. We often feel groggy and irritable, only to realise mid-morning that we feel bad because of a bad night’s sleep. Sleep is essential to good overall health, both physically and mentally, so try to decrease screen time an hour before bed. Consider setting an alarm that says you stop watching TV and move into the bedroom to read or listen to relaxing music. If you had a lot of anxiety last year, it’s also best to tune out of the news by about 7pm if you can. That way, you can relax and feel threat-free in the time leading up to bed, as this will not only help you fall asleep but lead to better quality sleep, too.
- Start Cooking Healthy Meals
If your desire to cook your own meals went out the window during the most stressful moments of last year, you’re not alone. Stress and anxiety often lead us to want to make our world smaller and lead us to feel too busy or anxious to do something like cooking a proper meal.
This year, start a new year’s resolution to cook 4-5 meals (or more) at home and make enough for leftovers for lunch, if that’s another meal you struggle with. Having the odd ready meal, throw-in-the-oven-food, or takeaway isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not going to help you feel good if you’re turning to it all the time. Alternatively, if you’ve got the budget, try a healthy food delivery service or something like HelloFresh that makes cooking as easy as possible.
- Start or Bolster Your Savings
Many people have savings accounts, but do you have money put aside for a “rainy day”? If there’s one thing this year has taught us, it’s that we must expect the unexpected and be prepared for any eventuality. Aim to save three to six months of living expenses over the course of this year. If you’ve already got that down, why not set up a direct debit to put money into your savings pot or a new investment account if you can? The more automatic our good money habits, the better.
- Live More Sustainably
It’s hard to scroll through social media without reading articles or posts about the current state of the environment. So why not take a little more accountability for your lifestyle and make some simple swaps? Look for eco-friendly options at the supermarket, make sure you consciously recycle everything you can (don’t just throw it in the bin) and support sustainable brands by choosing to buy from them over others.
- Do All The “Grown-Up” Tasks You’ve Been Putting Off
If you just felt your stomach to a little flip, then you’ve got something you’ve been putting off. This may mean sorting a tax problem, getting an accountant, talking to a financial advisor, updating and switching your home insurance, getting life insurance, or even starting a search for a new job. Even if this isn’t something you “have” to do now or even this year, you will feel lighter once you’ve done it!
- Pay Off Debt
People talk about “good debt” and “bad debt”, but realistically, any debt is bad debt. It means that you could get into financial difficulty if your income changes. Now, while paying off a mortgage may not be in the books (or in many cases, entirely necessary), paying off loans and credit cards should be on your financial to-do list right after your emergency fund.
- Spend More Time Outside
Hopefully, this resolution may be more plausible than last year as spending time outside has great benefits. Even a short lunchtime walk can elevate your mood and relieve stress, not to mention the many benefits of exercise. If you don’t see yourself running or cycling, why not start working on your garden? Many people picked up this habit through necessity in 2020, so continue it in 2021.
- Cut Down On Caffeine And Alcohol
For many of us, a ritualistic morning coffee is an invaluable and joyous start to the day. But if you’re drinking more than four cups a day, you may want to consider cutting back. Too much caffeine can cause insomnia, anxiety and even heart problems. As for alcohol, long-term liver damage is a risk posed by excessive drinking. Plus, think of all the money you’ll save if you reduce your alcohol intake by a little each month!
- Stop Feeling Guilty About Taking “Me-Time”
Spending time working on feeling good is an invaluable investment into our own wellbeing. The term “self-care” has taken on many forms in recent years, from a night on the town to a luxurious spa day. But true self-care isn’t always glamorous or indulgent. Sometimes, the most valuable form of self-care comes from preparing an extra portion of a nourishing meal for when you know you’ll be in a rush. Sometimes it means making sure you drink enough water or take your vitamins. “Me-time” and self-care involve simple acts of kindness towards ourselves for the sake of wellbeing.
- Make This the Year You Make Budgeting Work
Budgeting is one of the most important things we can do to prevent unexpected costs from throwing us off. Your monthly budget doesn’t have to be super frugal; the main idea is to keep tabs on your daily, weekly and monthly spending. That way, you’re in full control and can alter your spending if needs be. If you’ve not yet found a way that works for you, research budgeting methods or even pioneer one that works for you. Budgeting doesn’t have to be boring or formulaic; it just needs to work so you don’t spend more than you make.
At Bemoneysavvy.co.uk, we know that checking your insurance policies might not necessarily be at the top of your priority list. That’s why we review your policy to suit your current situation, ensuring that it’s always right for you. We work with life, home and private medical insurance, searching the market for the right plans for each of our customers.
For more information on what we can offer, you can ring our friendly team on 0161 537 0555 or send us an enquiry form.