kick off the new year on the right foot
New year, new you right? Yep it’s the same old story, come January all the resolutions get made and less than a fortnight in they’re already all broken. This year, instead of trying to overhaul every aspect of your life all at once, go for small changes that are easy to make and easy to keep up, because resolutions don’t need to be too hard.
Get on the Veg
Saying you’re going to eat more healthily has got to be one of the most popular resolutions but it’s also a classic one for not going the distance. There’s no point swearing off junk food, booze, carbs and sweets all at the same time because it only takes one stray chocolate to pass your lips before you get annoyed and throw the whole plan out the window. Try a food subscription box to get into the habit of cooking from scratch – you end up with less waste as a bonus because the ingredients arrive already measured out. Trade your standard meal deal for a salad bar lunch at somewhere like atis or Olive + Squash, even just once a week. When you do want to treat yourself to a takeaway, swap Uber Eats for DabbaDrop, which is both plant-based and waste-free. Can’t commit to going vegan full time? Do one meat-free day a week, exchange your regular semi-skimmed for oat milk, or get the vegan version of your fave fast food next time you order it.
Waste Not Want Not
We don’t need to tell you how big a problem waste is, especially single-use plastics, but knowing it’s an issue and actually doing something about it is easier said than done. If you really want to cut down on your packaging use, start small and build up that way – it’s not realistic to think you’ll be able to cut all plastics out and live totally waste-free in a week. Buy a S’well bottle or KeepCup to cut down on plastic bottles and takeaway coffee cups – most places will refill your water for free and you get money off in coffee shops for bringing your own, and everybody likes a saving. Swap your normal shampoo for bar ones from Lush or go for refillable products instead. In fact there are a ton of easy sustainable wins when it comes to the bathroom. Don’t use your tupperware to bring in your own lunch? You can use it for street food instead thanks to schemes like the KERB Pact Lunch and you get money off your order too. Even picking up fruit and veg from a local shop, where it won’t be wrapped in plastic, rather than a supermarket makes a difference…every little helps after all.
Show Some Love
Want to do your bit to make the world a more positive place beyond throwing spare change in charity collection tin but don’t know where or how to start? If you’ve got time to spare, volunteer. There are loads of organisations in London that need support but can also fit around your schedule, like Cocktails in Care Homes, where cocktail parties are held in care homes in the evenings to help the residents feel less lonely. If you can’t give up your time, spend your money with brands and businesses that are committed to supporting good causes instead. Have dinner at Brigade Bar + Kitchen, where training and employment is provided to help people transition out of homelessness, or OKN1, where students from New City College gain experience in a professional kitchen by working alongside chefs.
Doing ten minutes of meditation a day may not sound like a lot on paper but one or two manic (or hungover) days where you forget it and the plan has slipped through your fingers. If mindfulness is something you want to work on more this year, it’s worth taking the time to find out what fits you best. Use the Headspace app to build a meditation routine that slots into your schedule. Get one of those colouring books for grown-ups and do a bit every lunch break. Try floatation therapy at Floatworks or treatments at Nimaya MindStation, London’s first gym dedicated to the mind. Even establishing a good sleep routine can work wonders for your mental health.
Work up a Sweat
You know the drill, you sign up to a fancy gym, really make an effort for a week or two and before you know it, you’ve resigned yourself to taking a hit on the direct debit every month because you feel like failure for cancelling the membership. If you don’t exercise at all, dip your toe in by taking advantage of introductory offers so you can try a bunch of different classes – do one or two a month and you’ve got the makings of a fitness regime right there. If you’re already working out a bit, switch up your regular sessions for a workout like Orangetheory, which is designed to keep the cals burning post-session making it a super effective form of exercise. And if it turns out that being barked at by a trainer does nothing for your motivation, build exercise into your normal routine instead. Get off a stop early when on the bus and walk the rest of the way, it still counts.