Thomas Swan December 10, 2013
In 2014 we will once again pledge our unwavering commitment to acts of personal and mutual endeavor. New Years resolutions are an annual opportunity to reflect on the past and dedicate oneself to a brighter future. In this article, we present some of the most common New Years resolutions made each year.
Perhaps the most important New Years resolution is to not make promises you can’t keep. Without such a promise, the task really would be a futile one! Broken resolutions are taken far too lightly, and it can be detrimental to habitually break our promises to ourselves. With that in mind, lets take a look at the most popular New Years resolutions for 2014!
- Live within your means
The most important New Years resolution for 2014 is to live within your means. The current economic conditions are a woeful reminder that the recession is still going strong. However, there are many things one can do to save money and avoid debt.
Look for bargain brands when it comes to buying food, bathroom, and cleaning products. One of the biggest rip offs is the toothbrush and toothpaste business. Buy the cheapest of both and you won’t notice the difference. Next look at your utilities bill. Are you paying the cheapest rates for gas, electric, water, phone and internet? Switching companies, or combining two utilities with the same company can save money. To save even more, turn off the heating and wear an extra layer of clothing. Look at your travel costs; would catching a bus or train be cheaper than using the car? Research railcards and bus passes to find the best bargains.
Most important of all is to look at what you need and what is merely a luxury. Do you really need cable or satellite television? Do you need a monthly phone contract when a prepaid phone might be cheaper? Do you need the latest gadgets and accessories? Do you need to go abroad to have a holiday? Add up how much you’d save in the course of a year, and start saving!
- Smile more and be kinder to people
The benefits of smiling are drastically understated. When I forget to smile, I get an equally stony response from others. When people smile at me, I find myself smiling back. We are reciprocal creatures; we pick up on signals from other people and respond in kind. The benefits of smiling are scientifically proven and include reduced stress levels and increased feelings of well-being. Smiling also demonstrates a basic level of kindness and respect for others because it helps to establish trust and friendship. To go beyond a mere smile, one can try volunteering for a charity, or counselling a friend or colleague through hard times.
- Do more exercise
The benefits of exercise cannot be stressed enough. Regular exercise can help you look younger, sleep better, and feel happier. It can also help you avoid a plethora of illnesses and disabilities. The human race evolved to run away from predators and run after prey; it is our natural state to be active. Go for a run in the morning or evening, or sign up with your local gym. For something less strenuous, try yoga or Pilate’s.
- Spend more time with family and friends
The Christmas period can make one yearn to escape the family environment, but this can be a poignant reminder that the atmosphere would be far more hospitable if we kept in touch a little more. Many people have lost their family, so we should be grateful for the company of our own relatives. Time with family can cause us to miss our friends, which helps us to appreciate the amity they bring.
- Eat healthier food
We are bombarded with advice about healthy eating, but too often we are told what we can’t eat, not what we can! It’s difficult to reduce the pleasure we get from food when it isn’t replaced with anything. However, there are plenty of tasty, low-fat alternatives. If you want something sweet, avoid chocolate and have some strawberries or blueberries instead. One way to get started is to look at the fat content of everything you eat, and avoid anything with more than 5g of fat per 100g of food