One of the reasons many people love New Year’s Eve – aside from the excuse to go out and party – is because the turn of the next year provides the perfect excuse to start a new chapter in their lives.
Some of us might be unhappy with our jobs, our weight, our bad habits, or our lack of fitness, which is why we commit ourselves to writing New Year’s resolutions so we can make changes that will mean 2020 is our best year yet.
Here are some of the top resolutions to keep next year.
– Quit smoking
One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions has to be to quit smoking. According to a poll by INSIDER, 80 per cent of respondents intended to ditch the cigarettes at the turn of 2019.
However, despite being such a common intention, it is perhaps the most difficult one to keep. The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) revealed three out of five of those who gave up cigarettes at the end of 2015 had started smoking again one month later, and just 13 per cent did not pick up a cigarette the entire year.
It revealed that a third of smokers will try and quit every year, but just four per cent who do so without any aids succeed one year later.
That is why using some aids, such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy or e-cigarettes, can be so effective at helping smokers achieve their goal.
Chief executive of RSPH Shirley Cramer said: “Cutting down and quitting cigarettes is always beneficial, and it’s never too late to make a big difference to your health by doing so. It is vital that those trying to do so have access to the best support possible.”
She went on to say: “Although quitting can be difficult, our research demonstrates that those who try to quit at New Year are more than three times more likely to succeed than the national average.”
If you are one of the UK’s ten million smokers and plan on ditching cigarettes in 2020, why not consider using a beginner’s vape kit as an alternative to smoking? This will give you something to hold, as well as help you reduce your nicotine intake without going cold turkey.
2) Put your phone down
Over the last decade, we have become a nation addicted to our phones. In fact, Good Housekeeping revealed that 83 per cent of readers lose track of how long they spend on their handheld devices, as it is done easily and absentmindedly.
According to RescueTime, we spend an average of three hours and 15 minutes on our smartphones a day, typically picking it up 58 times over 24 hours, the Guardian revealed. Over the course of a year, this amounts to over 49 whole days just spent looking at our phones.
While there are many useful functions on these little devices – including calendars, maps, clocks, alarms, emails and cameras – there are also lots of other apps that we end up using without realising it or needing to.
Indeed, being addicted to social networking has been shown to have a negative impact on mental health, as we tend to compare our lives to the perfect images portrayed by our ‘friends’ on these sites. In addition to this, people who use their phones excessively are at risk of not engaging in the real world and with real people, as they are so fixated on the instant news and feedback from their virtual buddies.
If you want to cut down on your screen time and regain three-plus hours a day, Elite Daily gave its readers some tips. These include switching the colour scheme to black and white, which makes the device less inviting; putting it on aeroplane mode for a few hours a day; deleting social media apps, as these eat up a huge amount of our time spent on phones; buying a watch so you’re not tempted to use your smartphone to check the time; taking up a hobby instead; and leaving it at home every so often.
3) Do something new
One of the reasons New Year’s resolutions are so hard to stick to is because they typically involve cutting out something – normally a bad habit – from our lives. However, you could use the new year as a reason to pick up a habit, but this time a good one.
This will add something to your life, improving your wellbeing and making you feel more fulfilled. What you choose will depend on your interests – you might want to volunteer at a charity, take up yoga with your partner, listen to more music, join a choir or a theatre production company, start a new exercise class, or learn a new skill like jam-making or painting.
Doing something you enjoy will give you time to yourself away from family life or work, boosting your mood and making you feel better equipped to handle whatever the year might throw at you.