My Simple Resolutions For 2020

My Simple Resolutions For 2020

New Year Resolutions have such a bad reputation. While you don't have to wait for a new year to set goals, the fresh start is undoubtedly a good opportunity to think about how we can change our lives to be kinder to ourselves and others. A little cliched perhaps but New Year Resolutions can help us be more intentional with our lives and make time for the things we keep putting off.

I think the reason we dislike setting resolutions is the pressure it puts us under especially when we set ourselves unrealistic expectations and far reaching goals. Failing never feels good. Traditional resolutions that attempt to radically change ourselves or punish us for bad habits are often so vague and far-reaching making it so that we're doomed to fail. You don't have to change yourself completely. Setting the right goals with flexible outcomes and giving ourselves the grace to change them if our intentions or life changes is necessary for making successful resolutions. The whole point is to keep learning and growing as a person not punish ourselves when we don’t achieve the unrealistic goals we’re no longer even interested in achieving.

I'm not usually one to make specific New Year Resolutions. Last year I wrote a simple manifesto to live by and before that I’ve given myself a word for the year. But I find myself stepping into this new year with clear and intentional goals. These simple resolutions are to help me to be kinder to myself, to others, and to the planet. If you would like a few ideas on what your resolutions might be, here are a few suggestions for simple resolutions you can make.

My Simple Resolutions For 2020

Grow my own food

My apartment has so many windowsills facing in all directions except west making it perfect for growing vegetables indoors. I’ve purchased a few seed packs starting with what are meant to be the easiest crops to grow on a windowsill (carrots, radishes, runner beans, sweet peppers, and chilli peppers). I’ve heard it’s not too tricky to grow your own food indoors and I’m looking forward to the learning process. I’m following advice online, the Gardening For The Zombie Apocalypse book (gifted), and just making it up as I go along!

Continue my morning reading habit

I started my morning reading habit when I noticed I was spending too much time on my phone. I created a spot right above my head where I kept the book I was currently reading so, in the morning, I could reach up and grab it instead of my phone. I now read for half an hour to an hour every morning, depending on the time I have. It has helped start my day slow and intentional, and kept my mind free of the noise that comes with reading social media feeds first thing. It’s a habit I want to keep and hopefully create other pockets of time throughout my day where I can pick up a book more often.

Decorate my studio

A leak in my studio causing a flooded desk and damaged cabinet door led me to feeling quite despondent about my studio space. I’d fallen out of love with it and put little effort into making it look nice. It was a place to do my work as quickly as possible and then leave. I’m determined to rekindle that love (because it really could be a pretty space!) and it shouldn’t be too difficult to do. I’m starting by decluttering to get rid of old equipment and any unused stuff cluttering up the space, and then decorating a little. I’ve already painted it white and created a new sign to hang in the window. I just need to clean down the surfaces and add a few decorative items (a rug, some candles, a plant or two) to bring it back to life.

Keep thrifting for things I need

My A Year Of Second-Hand Challenge showed me that most things can be thrifted if you know where to look and have a little patience. I bought everything from clothes to homewares even books and gifts. My approach now is to always look second-hand first, then opt for a small independent maker whenever possible, and finally buy new from a sustainable brand. Thrifting is eco-friendly, it'll save you money and reduce waste. I'm hoping more people adopt the resolution to shop second-hand more often this year.

Do something charitable every month

Whether that’s donating to charity, volunteering my time, educating others, or promoting certain causes, I want to do something charitable every single month. It’s not difficult to do and should be a relatively straight-forward resolution to make. I’m going to invest some time in finding ways I can play more of an active role in my community to help those less fortunate or able. Giving extra to a food bank, buying supplies a shelter needs, and putting money in the donation boxes of the museums, galleries, and libraries we frequent are all easy ways to give back to our community if we have the means to do so.

Explore more of the UK

Last year I didn’t fly at all and instead explored the UK, Scotland, and Wales. This year I want to do the same and I have a list of places I’d like to visit. The only issue that I see being a problem with this resolution is that taking a vacation in the UK is often more expensive than travelling internationally. A weekend away in the UK can cost the same (sometimes even more!) than a week’s vacation in Europe or requires much more time spent travelling on coaches, buses, and trains, which we don't always have when vacation time is limited.

Improve my apartment

There are a few things I keep putting off tackling in my apartment. From repainting the radiators to deep cleaning the windows, there are a few tasks that are not only boring but overwhelming. There are also a few DIYs like sanding down an old chest of drawers, which are pretty simple jobs but I just keep putting them off. One larger renovation I've been wanting to do is update the ugly kitchen without spending too much money (it’s rented, after all) and it’s been a struggle to decide on the best solution especially for a complete DIY novice such as myself. Fingers crossed this is the year the ugly kitchen gets a face lift!

Work towards donating 10% of my income to charity

Reading The Most Good You Can Do by Peter Singer completely changed the way I view money and called me in to do more. I felt inspired by the people and families featured in the book who, in many different ways, worked towards the common goal of giving to others as much as possible in the most effective way. I very much recommend reading the book. I've changed the way I donate after reading it to ensure my charitable actions have the most impact. Ultimately, my ambition is to donate 10% of my income to charity. Being self-employed makes this a little more complicated than simply donating 10% every month, however, I’m hoping to figure out a way that enables me to do this long-term.

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