Those gleefully optimistic “Happy New Year” cheers aren’t that far away, which means resolutions are right around the corner. However, we don’t seem to be very good at sticking with them. Unsurprisingly, a massive 80% of people’s resolutions fall to the ground by February.
While a complete overhaul may have been a little ambitious, there are still small ways you can improve your life. And, let’s be real: small, lasting changes are way better than massive ones you can’t hold down. Here are some of the littlest resolutions you can make that will have a major impact on your life.
Write Down Your Strengths Each Day
Self-acceptance. A phrase that’s easy to say and equally hard to put into practice. When surveyed, only 5% of people said they exercise self-acceptance as much as they could each day. And yet, the same piece of research from the University of Hertfordshire found this small act could be the key to a happier life. How can you start to accept yourself more?
One of the simplest things you can do is merely notice your strengths and the things you do well. The research suggests you should ask a friend to list these things for you, but you could equally do it yourself. Spend a little time each day (or each week) writing down the things you’re good at. You won’t believe the difference it makes.
Stop Saying Negative Things About Yourself
Are you guilty of putting yourself down? Once you get into this habit, it can be difficult to break. Negative talk is bad for your health, and it’s something you should stop sooner rather than later. The key to kicking the habit is noticing when you do this and making a conscious effort to cut it out. You may not even realize how often you think and/or say damning things about yourself.
Call Your Folks More Often
For many of us, our parents are the closest people to us in the world. No matter how geographically far away your folks are, you should keep them close. While we all have busy lives (no, seriously, we all do!), making the time to drop your family a line could be all it takes to lift your spirits. What’s more, they will appreciate the effort you’re making more than you know.
Don’t think of this as a chore. Instead, whenever you need someone to talk to or just have a spare moment, give them a call. Your folks know you better than anybody. Plus, they’re likely to give you some seriously stellar advice to boot. Go ahead and pick up the phone.
Cuddle Up With Your Pet Regularly
Personally, I strongly believe your pets can enhance your life. If you’re lucky enough to have a fuzzy, furry little creature in your life, simply cuddling up with it now and then could be enough to bring a tad more joy into your life.
In fact, a recent study from the American Psychological Association found owning a pet could enhance your overall well-being. And, let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like cuddling up on the sofa with your very best friend (read: your pet) snuggled on your lap.
Read More Books
By now, we’re all well-versed in the countless benefits of reading and understand we should make time for it. While you may have a reading list as long as your arm, making the time and space to sit down with a book is often a real stumbling block. With that in mind, set aside time each week for this activity and try to limit your distractions. You may find it helpful to set up a reading nook, complete with cozy cushions and throws.
Start Walking to Work (If You Can)
Commuting to work can be a real drag – and don’t we know it. Whether you take the tube or drive, it’s unlikely the prospect of another commute fills you with delight. Well, here’s a novel idea. Should you live near enough to your job, why not consider walking there each day? It may seem like a major effort, but not only will this change help you boost your fitness levels, but it will also make you happier.
There’s been a whole body of research into the effects walking can have on you. In 2016, a study found practicing this habit can have a positive effect on you regardless of why you happen to be doing it (in other words, just walk more!). The research suggested it can cheer you up and prevent your mood from worsening if you’re having a bad day.
Go to Bed at a Decent Time
All those super late nights could be playing havoc with your emotions. In a bid to get more “you time,” you could be burning the wick at both ends; but that’s a real mistake. Research has linked late nights and a lack of sleep to repetitive negative thoughts. In short, failing to get the rest you need on a night by night basis could be bringing you down.
Of course, many people have trouble dropping off to sleep when they hit the hay, no matter how early that may be. One of the easiest ways to combat this issue is to remove the gadgets from your bedroom. Put your phone on charge in a separate room and leave your laptop in its case. That way, you won’t be tempted to check them before bed. It may be a teeny-tiny resolution, but it could make a world of difference to your daily life.