Let’s face it; as soon as the clock strikes 12am on the 1st January each year, we all vow to reinvent ourselves. New year, new me and all that. But seriously, just because it’s the start of a new year doesn’t mean you can suddenly have a personality transplant, lose three stone and completely change the way you look. Then after three days, you end up ditching those plans. The key to sticking to such resolutions is that they need to be realistic in the first place – instead of changing yourself completely, make yourself the best you that you can be. Below are some ideas for what you can vow to do in 2014.
Live a healthy life
Most of us I’m sure reckon we’d look better if we lost some weight or starting working out. Simply vowing to ‘lose 1 stone’ or ‘become a size 6’ doesn’t really carry a lot of meaning when a simple statement on its own, or without knowing what’s right for you. When exactly do you want to lose this 1 stone? By the end of January? That’s not likely. If you want to lose weight, set yourself goals for each week or month – the most a person can lose weight healthily is 2 pounds a week. Also, losing weight doesn’t just mean cutting your calorie intake – why not join a gym or ditch the bus in favour for some good old-fashioned walking? Finally, to calculate whether they’re overweight/underweight, people tend to work out their BMI. However, it can also be useful to calculate your muscle mass index – women shouldn’t have less than 20% fat in their body, and men no less than 5%. If you’re on the borderline, switch your vow of losing a couple of pounds to working out more.
So 2014 is the year you become a completely new person – you’re prettier, smarter, funnier and more outgoing? I hate to break it to you, but you can’t instantly become someone you’re not. Instead, why not think about one thing of your physical appearance you’d like to change? It could be something as simple as working a new fashion trend you’ve always wanted to try, but weren’t sure it would work for you; to changing your hairstyle or colour? Stepping out of your comfort zone will enable you to gain the confidence to be even more adventurous. And so what if you’ve bleached your dark brown locks to platinum blonde, only to realise you REALLY don’t suit it? Don’t worry, you can just dye it back – at least you know you tried it!
Learn something new
I believe that it’s always good to try something new – again, it pushes you out of your comfort zone, but ultimately it will help you to gain confidence, meet new people, as well as providing an interesting conversation starter. Whether it be trying out a dance class that you’ve secretly wanted to do for ages, or unleash your inner Jamie Oliver by trying out a few recipes; as long as you enjoy it, that’s the main thing. You could even learn a new language – this can be beneficial when applying for jobs, or if you’d like to live abroad. My new year’s resolution for 2014 is to start learning Norwegian whilst continuing with my Swedish!
Sort out your finances
I know it can be extremely tempting to blow your January instalment of student loan as soon as it enters your account, but by holding off you could be doing yourself a lot of favours in the long term! Why not set aside a couple of hours to go through all of your outgoings in the previous semester, as well as all of your incomings? Maybe you found you spent an unnecessary £5 a day on lunch? This year you could save £25 a week by bringing lunch from home. Perhaps you want to save some extra money by getting a job? You could even tailor it towards what you want to do when you finish University – getting paid whilst gaining relevant experience? Result!
Travel somewhere new
Not only is travelling really fun, but it opens up your eyes to different cultures, and again, can be a great talking point with new friends or at a job interview. Have a think of whereabouts you’d like to go that you haven’t been before – it could be as far flung as Colombia, to a city break in Helsinki. This is where you’ll be thanking yourself that you sorted out your finances and saved some money for you to spend whilst on your adventure!
Ultimately, by setting yourself small, achievable resolutions, you’ll be more likely to stick to them, which can make you want to try more new things! And why just wait ‘til the new year – set yourself goals all year round to constantly challenge yourself (whilst having lots of fun, of course!)
Written by Elle Pollicott
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