Alternative New Year's resolutions

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By Daisy Farrow, Second Year English

It’s an all too familiar sight. New Year’s Eve, as we wait for the stroke of midnight to usher in the New Year with a glass of bubbly, the conversation inevitably turns to the topic of New Year’s resolutions.

Your plant-based gluten-free vegan cousin announces to your family that next year she will try to eat better, although her salad-only diet doesn’t leave much room for healthier improvement. Following her lead, your uncle declares that he too will be healthier next year, and will start going to the gym (even though that was his resolution the past three years and it never worked out). If you’re anything like me, and are sick of having to come up with an equally clichéd resolution only to break it two weeks later, then take a look at this list for some unconventional, fun, slightly more doable resolutions.

Take a One-Second Video or Picture Each Day of the Year

Now before I can take credit for this idea, I was actually told about this when my friend Miriam enlisted me in one of her videos for the day, consisting of us revising out in the sun. And it was actually pretty fun. Not only does this idea document your transition across the year, but it also acts as a kind of virtual diary, capturing all your best moments for you to look back on when the year ends. And it’s hardly time-consuming, who doesn’t have one second a day to take a picture or video? We’re on our phones all the time anyway. It probably won’t be as emotional as watching a time-lapse video of a puppy growing up in his first year (they always make me cry), but it will still be pretty cool.

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Epigram / Daisy Farrow

Set Aside £1 or £2 a Day

If, like me, uni has shown you how you really suck at budgeting and need to cool it on the Deliveroo orders, then this one is for you. Every day of the year, set aside one or two pounds either in your savings account or an actual jar, and DO NOT TOUCH IT! Then, at the end of the year, you’ll have £365 or more depending on how much you choose to set aside! Not only is this a nice little reward for all your patience and virtue, but £300 can be a decent chunk of a holiday, or a hefty shopping trip, or whatever you want. This resolution will teach you self-control and money management, but then you also get to splash the cash when the year ends.

Every Week/ Two Weeks/ Month, Find Somewhere New to Eat Out

If you’re not a fan of the concept of delayed gratification, then give this a go. Now I realise that in the same breath that I’m telling you to save money, I’m also telling you to spend it on going out for food, but this New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to be that expensive. Go for coffee and spend just £3! As a routine, say once a fortnight, you and your friends can go out for lunch somewhere new that you haven’t been before, and get to experience new places. And I’m not suggesting chain restaurants, either. Bristol is full of independent restaurants and cafes that cater to all dietary needs. Just take a walk down Whiteladies and you’ll find ten new places to try, I promise you. This resolution allows you to explore the city you live in, patron independent businesses, and more importantly, treat yourself.

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Epigram / Daisy Farrow

Do One Nice Thing Every Day

Now I’m sure you’ve probably heard of this one before, and it’s definitely clichéd, but it really is a worthwhile thing to do! Help a struggling old woman carry her shopping to the car, give an extra pound to the kid in the corner shop in front of you who doesn’t have enough money to buy his sweets, do your flatmate’s dishes (okay, this one is a bit of a stretch, but I know for a fact that they would be very grateful and you only have to do it once to lord it over them for the rest of their life). This resolution, although not uncommon, really can be beneficial for you and someone else. You know that at the end of the year you have become a better person, and have done 365 random acts of kindness.

Write Down Three Words to Describe Your Day

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Epigram / Daisy Farrow

It’s like a diary, but quicker, and easier, and will have a more fun result. Every day, write down three words to describe how you feel or what you did. It can be ‘Today was good’, ‘I had fun’, or something more cryptic like ‘Car. Squirrel. Squish.’ (it means you almost ran over a squirrel) or ‘Grass. Burger. Bee.’ (good luck trying to figure that one out). If you don’t have the room on your phone for a video every day, or even if you’re a bit more old-school and prefer to write it down, these super-quick diary entries allow you to document your year just the same. Although trying to figure out what the hell you meant when you read back on it at the end of the year will definitely be confusing, albeit fun.

Hopefully some of these New Year’s resolutions will take your fancy, or inspire you to do something similar. You don’t have to come up with the typical ‘eat better live better’ ideas that you’ll ultimately abandon due to boredom. Give one of these a go, and become a better person whilst having fun at the same time. New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be dull, or clichéd, or expensive. Happy New Year!

Featured image: Unsplash / NordWood Themes


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