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Forget new year’s resolutions- 6 ways to change your life in 2024

Maya Griffiths

Maya Griffiths

New Year’s resolutions are always big in January, but we’re not interested in making intentions that go out the window a few weeks later.

Instead, we propose a different approach- choosing to try new things this year and enriching your life for the better. Sounds good, right? Let’s explore some great ways to change your life in 2024.

Why ignore new year’s resolutions?

The stats for the success rates of new year’s resolutions are grim- 23% of people typically quit after the first week, and 36% after January. Therefore, approaching the new year instead with an intention of lifelong, positive change is a more meaningful, long-term commitment.

Take a course

It can seem indulgent to take an hour or two a week to spend time learning something new, but you only live once, so if possible, take the plunge. Check out the website of your local adult education centre to see what’s on offer, or have a look at the Open University website for studying from home options. Many courses don’t require a lengthy time commitment, whereas others can lead to a new qualification.

Don’t feel you have to be good at a subject to study it, either. The benefit of short-term courses is that you get to dip your toe in to something new without a long-term commitment. And, if you try something new and it isn’t for you (perhaps your sculptures always turned into a wet mess, or your baking ‘skills’ aren’t what you hoped), then you can move on and try something else.

You could also try learning a new language with a free app- in ten minutes a day you can make a surprising amount of progress.

Plan a trip

Make plans for little trips to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be a luxury trip to Antigua (although let’s face it- that would be nice!)- even visiting family or friends counts. A couple of days doing a budget trip to a new part of the UK or a European city is a break from the norm and a change from day to day life. Flights to a number of cities cost only £14.99 each way with budget airlines, so if you also find a budget hotel you’ve got a weekend away for next to nothing.

Day trips are also good for the soul. Perhaps try clay pigeon shooting, a game of paintball with the family or friends, or an escape room. Aim to build as much fun and enjoyment into the year as you can, doing whatever takes your fancy.

Meet up with an old friend

We can easily get swept along through life and making time to catch up with old friends can be forgotten. However, social interactions are vital for your wellbeing, and seeing different people is an important part of that. So, if there is a friend or a relative that you haven’t seen for a while, get in touch and arrange a catch-up. Keep it simple and low-key by meeting up for a coffee, or going to visit them at home- let your conversation be the focal point, rather than having a drink or going out.

Get a pet

Research shows that owning a pet improves your day to day happiness. Dogs, in particular, enhance life satisfaction and give owners an increased sense of purpose. If dogs are too much work, have a look at what other animal friend might suit you and your family- even a goldfish can be a fun pet to add to your home.

Try new activities

Look into new possible hobbies this year and give them a try. The possibilities are endless- you could have a go at fishing, golf, making beer at home, running or photography, to name a few. Pairing hobbies with exercise helps your mental health- so try something like hiking for the added bonus of being in nature, or playing squash with a friend.

Being creative is also great for your mind, so try out something like painting, drawing or woodwork. You could also learn to play an instrument. New activities provide interest and entertainment in your life, and provide a sense of achievement.

Volunteer or raise money

Doing something good for the community works both ways- it helps others and makes you feel good, too. You can find a variety of opportunities near you at the Do It website or Charity Jobs. You might even have an elderly neighbour or relative who you can assist, or get together with others to clear rubbish from the roadside. Even an hour a week can make a difference to your mental health and sense of purpose- plus volunteering is a very attractive asset for future employers.

Click here for more ways to lift your spirits this January

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