New Year - new us?
According to the YouGov survey, at the end of 2019 around 27% of us made New Year’s resolutions for 2020 - but given the unprecedented nature of that uniquely difficult year, did any of us actually stick to them?
The same survey shows that the top five resolutions for 2020 were to:
- Do more exercise/get fit 47%
- Lose weight 44%
- Improve diet 41%
- Save money 31%
- Start a new hobby 18%
While these are all laudable aims, we think 2021 should be restorative. We want to take the time to recover from the bad bits of last year and learn from some of the positives.
We’ve come up with five kinder new year’s resolutions that will (almost) guarantee a happy new year:
1. Look after yourself
Instead of attempting a new crash diet or an exercise regime you loathe, this year think holistically and aim to look after both your mental and physical health.
Eat a healthy balanced diet that you actually enjoy – and don’t begrudge yourself the odd treat. Similarly exercise shouldn’t be a chore – try something new, from dancing to bowling, you’re bound to find something you love – and you could make new friends too. Using a pedometer is a simple way to encourage yourself to walk more, while yoga will help you look after your mind and body whatever your fitness levels.
Think about setting yourself a short-term goal that will encourage healthy habits, like #Veganuary or #DryJanuary. And continue to take sensible steps to protect yourself against coronavirus – including getting vaccinated when the time comes.
2. Embrace natureThe health benefits of being at one with nature are well documented. The mental health charity MIND explains that getting outdoors can improve your mood, confidence, self-esteem and physical health while reducing stress and anger. So why not resolve to get outside more in 2021? Wrapping up warm and heading out to enjoy fresh air and exercise in your local green spaces is a brilliant way to get a mental and physical lift whatever the weather – read our guide to spectacular winter walks for inspiration.
Gardening is another fantastic way to enjoy the benefits of exercise outdoors and growing your own is very satisfying.
And you don’t even have to go outside to get a natural boost – you’ll benefit from observing the ever-changing sky or bird-watching through a window or taking pride in tending to your houseplants too.
3. Do more of what you love
Do you ever wish there was more time to do things you enjoy? This year resolve to make more time. Whether it’s for the big things like fulfilling bucket list dreams or travel adventures (back on the agenda in 2021?) or everyday pleasures like a long soak in the bath, getting lost in a novel, cooking for your family or catching up for a good laugh with old friends, make ‘me time’ a priority in 2021.
4. Look after others
If 2020 taught us anything, it taught us about the power of community. As we slowly emerge into something like normality, this is something we’d really like to keep hold of. And there’s plenty of evidence that doing good for other people is good for you too. So resolve to look out for your friends and neighbours in 2021. Perhaps you might feel inspired to do some Random Acts of Kindness or take on some regular volunteering. Our new McCarthy Stone Foundation can help put you in touch with volunteering opportunities – including helping children to learn to read.
5. Forge connections
Another thing we took from 2020 was the importance of our friends and relatives. They say, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and the pandemic tested this theory to the limit. It forced us to keep in contact with loved ones in new and creative ways, but it also perhaps made us appreciate each other a bit more too. If you’d like to broaden your social circle in the new year, then resolve to step out of your comfort zone and join a club in your local area – from book clubs to golf clubs there will be something nearby you can get involved in – or volunteering is a great way to boost your confidence and meet people.
If you’re ready for a completely new start in 2021, check out our retirement property pages. We offer beautiful retirement homes for sale or for rent and 83% of McCarthy Stone homeowners experience a sense of community in their new home too.