New Year’s resolution ideas: 19 alternative things to try in 2024 which will do you good, according to experts
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The last day of December is here again, and that means tomorrow is the first day of January and another new year is upon us. For many that means it’s time to start thinking about what we want our new year’s resolutions to be for the neat year.
If you’re wanting an alternative new year’s resolution which is outside of the expected, however, but you are are struggling to think of one then look no further as NationalWorld has done thinking for you and rounded up a list of x things to try in 2024. We’ve also spoken to experts for their tips on how to set realistic goals too, to give you the best possible chance of sticking to your resolution.
Keep reading to find the inspiration for your 2024 new year's resolution.
Expand your mind
Expanding the mind through education, workshops, group activity and creativity is a good way to begin 2024, according to wellbeing practitioner Judy Hall. She says: "It is better to look at growth for the longer term than knee jerk new year resolution.
"If we use a gardening analogy, we are looking through the seed catalogues and drawing up plans for growth. Doing things like reading, meditation or wellbeing events allows us to be nurtured ready to spring into action when the weather is better and energy is higher. Putting harsh regimes into place in the middle of winter is doomed to failure and impact on our happiness."
Get in the habit of increasing your water intake daily, suggests clinical nutritionist Nishtha Patel. Infuse water, buy a bottle that has the amount of water you drink listed on it. Set a timer on your phone. Hydration is key for brain function, cellular repair and gut health, to name a few.
This helps you organise your thoughts better, says Patel, and that makes it a great way to start or end a day. Serena Novelli, certified intimacy, love and relationship expert, also suggests extending this activity to writing down something you're grateful for about your partner each day too. "This simple practice can help you focus on the positives in your relationship. Relish in the positive emotions it brings and how excited you are to see them," she says.
Commit to open and honest communication in 2024, advises Novelli. Experience the closeness that comes from truly listening and notice how this deepens emotional intimacy with loved ones, and also how it makes you and them feel truly seen.
Be okay with saying 'no' to things
Female entrepreneur mentor Michelle Leivars says that it's beneficial to learn to be okay with saying 'no' to things that you know may overwhelm you. "You'll be surprised at how receptive people are to hearing a 'no' and will respect your decision. Often we people please so much when there's only pressure to do so from our own minds."
Make time for the things that bring you true joy
This one is simple and straight-forward, but follow Leivars' advice and simply commit to making proper time for the things that make you happy throughout the year.
Social media detox
Try a few hours and then a few days of no social media, advises Florence Achery, the founder of Yoga Retreats. This will improve your sleep and your anxiety levels, she says.
Start a new craft
Starting a new craft has all sorts of health and wellbeing benefits, according to Becci Coombes, the owner of Hygge Style, especially if you stick to it. "It can help with serotonin production, reduce anxiety, assist with cognitive health and add to a sense of mindfulness; even better if you can craft as a member of a group then you get added social benefits too," she adds.
This is a popular resolution choice as it has also been suggested by Claire Waite Brown, the owner of Creativity Found. She says this can be seen as an alternative form of mindfulness as engaging in creative endeavours, such as painting, writing, embroidery, or any other immersive task, can induce a state where you become fully absorbed in the present moment.
Operate from a place of love
Mindbody detox specialist and mindset coach Frankie Jones. Love is one of the most powerful and healing energy forces, she says, so when you operate from a place of love, you make different decisions for yourself and for your life and, rather living for other people, you begin to create a life and level of happiness for you. "Even the smallest decisions can have a wonderful positive impact on your life, stress levels and nervous system," she adds.
Focus on intentions rather than rules
Instead of resolutions that feel like strict rules or punishments, how about we focus on intentions for the new year that inspire movement, joy, and a deeper connection to ourselves, ponders wellbeing coach Donna Noble.
"Let's shift our focus from getting fit to finding activities that ignite our inner dancer, for example, like impromptu living room jam sessions or joining a group fitness class that sounds fun. Imagine exercise as a celebration, not a chore! Move your body because you love it not because you hate it."
Start small, but do start," she adds. "Breaking down that intimidating resolution into bite-sized actions is key. If running feels daunting, begin with brisk walks. Instead of drastic new diets, choose to explore a new healthy recipe weekly. The journey matters more than the destination, so let's celebrate each step we take."
Declutter your home
Hayley Forster, a declutter coach, advises that people declutter their homes in the new year. She says this reduces stress and anxiety, improves focus and productivity and promotes better sleep. Janine McDonald, founder of Clear the Cutter Now, advises that you could also set a 10-minute timer every day to do speed tidying or organising session.
Give yourself time back
Make a concerted effort to yourself time back, suggests award-winning stylist Lisa Talbot. "We are all great at being busy but giving ourselves five minutes to sit in the moment is really powerful - and just that little bit of self care is something we all deserve. Sometimes it’s just nice to be present in time whether it be having a cup of tea, or standing in the garden, just no distractions."
Ted Lawlor, the co-founder of The Manifestation App, has a simple resolution for everyone - love yourself.
Add one extra vegetable or fruit
Nutritional therapist Anna Mapson advises that it's possible to improve your diet by eating one extra portion of fruit or veg per day.
Make an intention to compliment people on their attributes that are nothing to do with appearance, suggests body image educator Anupa Roper. "Knowing our worth is based on so much more than what we look like will improve others well-being for sure, and our own," she says.
Counsellor and hypnotherapist Liz Sharpe advises taking up volunteering in the new year because it makes you feel good to help someone, it improves your mental health - and it's good for your CV.
Decrease your alcohol intake
If the prospect of a completely dry January is too dauting, then how about a moist January instead? That's what Stephanie Chivers, Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, has posed for a new year resolution. She says reducing your alcohol intake can massively improve your physical, emotional wellbeing, and there are some easy ways to do this.
Lower the % of the alcohol you drink as this will reduce the units without reducing the volume, and use smaller glasses. Both of these things will trick the brain into thinking your habits haven't changed so it will be easier to stick to. Also, try some of the healthier low and no alcohol drinks.
Get out in nature and make 10 minutes to walk every day. If possible, walk after every meal as this will help with mood and blood sugar balancing. It is also good for the heart, brain and bones, says Patel.
Recognise that every small achievement you make is huge, advises Leivars. "Learn to get into a habit of recognising the positives in life, it really helps with a positive mindset," she adds.