Just over one year to the day I sat at this same laptop and wrote down my first set of New Year’s resolutions. I’d made resolutions in the past but they’d always been sort of muttered to myself and as a result, they quickly evaporated into the wind. In 2018 I made myself accountable and not only wrote my resolutions down, but I published them online for the world to see. And now, 367 days on I will be bringing them back to the surface to see how I got on.
- Replace my morning scrolling with an activity for myself
A victim of my generation or just a bit addicted to social media I recognised a need to cut back on my usage in 2018. Waking up each morning to compare myself against tiny squares of perfection was never going to have a positive impact on my personal wellbeing and as a result I became ever more unhappy with my own image. This resolution started out strong and I replaced the half hour I spent scrolling with reading or even just an extra half hour snoozing and I continued this habit for several months, until, I came to a new realisation. Although the quantity of the social media I was consuming was part of the issue, a greater concern was the quality – and by that, I mean that I was following a lot of people whose content made me feel bad about myself, it was almost a form of self-torture. Slowly but surely I began unfollowing the accounts of models or influencers whose content didn’t leave me inspired or energised. Then, as if the universe itself was trying to help me, Instagram also introduced their ‘mute’ feature making it even easier to take a break from accounts who no longer fuelled your fire but who you didn’t want to be seen as unfollowing (this was particularly useful for friends who although not intentionally were making me compare myself to them).
- Pick up at least two pieces of litter everywhere I go
This resolution opened my eyes to the true extent of the litter problem we have in the UK and I was left feeling overwhelmed. Two pieces were never enough. I could walk for hours picking up litter from the gutter alone and when walking along the beach, especially on the tide line I could fill a carrier bag in minutes. I’ll put my hands up and say I didn’t do this ‘everywhere’ I went and in hindsight that was a little unrealistic, but I certainly picked up more litter this year than I have ever done before and my family have even started picking bits up on the beach with me.
- Focus on colour, not calories
In what seems to be a never-ending struggle with maintaining a healthy weight in a world where there’s so much tasty, high-calorie food focusing on a variety of vibrant plant colours on my plate and not in calories was one of the most wholesome things I did in 2018 and opened up a whole new way of thinking about food. I also decided to try Noom, a weight loss programme, which although still involved calorie counting, taught me about caloric density and this principle was highly integral to my weight loss in 2018 and I still eat better as a result of it.
Aside from my New Years resolutions, 2018 was a big year of change for me. I spent the year single, I moved out of London and down to Brighton where I now live alone for the first time, I visited two new cities – Amsterdam and Paris, I was promoted at work, began working largely remotely and spent a lot of time getting to know what I want and need to be happy.
So raise a glass (of cordial, if like me you’re trying Dry January) to 2019 and to the new adventures it brings.