Self Improvement

4 Alternative Resolutions for 2020

posted on December 25, 2019 | by Amanda Holstein

4 Alternative Resolutions for 2020

It’s soon to be that time of the year again, when we try to make a collective effort to improve our lives in various ways. I’m talking resolutions! Whether you love them, hate them or never complete them, it’s hard not to get caught up in the spirit of making positive changes as a year comes to an end.

But if you don’t like the idea of the usual resolutions, or find that they don’t really work out well for you, here are a few alternatives you can try for next year. Some of them are fun enough that you may just want to complete them after all!

1. Instead of: I will eat healthy
Go for: I will balance out every unhealthy meal with 5 healthy ones

From what I have seen, healthy eating resolutions go one of two ways. Either you have a pizza pretty early on, decide your resolution is shot anyway, and go back to your old eating habits. Or you get so focused on eating only healthy meals that the first time you have a cookie or something, you feel awfully guilty and like a failure. And that kind of pressure is very difficult to keep up over the long term.

Instead of an all-or-nothing resolution, why not strike a balance in 2020? Plan to eat healthy — but also plan for the fact that there will be birthdays, girls’ nights, happy hours and random Wednesdays when you’ll feel like having ice cream for dinner. Weigh off every unhealthy meal with 5 healthy ones (or whatever number you are comfortable with). That way you don’t feel restricted by your own resolution, you get to enjoy the occasional treat, and still end up eating healthier overall. Win-win-win!

2. Instead of: I will spend less time on social media
Go for: I will stop mindless scrolling

Ever woken up at a perfectly reasonable hour and then stayed under the blanket, scrolling through your Insta feed until you were well and truly late? Or found yourself absently switching between the same three apps when you’re bored? If you have, then cutting down on social media consumption may be right up there on the list of goals for you.

Now, you may have made this resolution in the past, and may even have deactivated your accounts for a while in an attempt to break the habit. But if being on social media is an important part of your job, giving it up altogether may not be a feasible option for you. Here’s something else you can try. Let yourself scroll through your feed — but only for as long as you actively enjoy it. As soon as you realize that you’ve entered the mindless scrolling territory, put your phone down. This seems obvious, but I don’t know how many times I have logged in to post something — and half an hour later, there I still was, watching yet another video of dogs eating spaghetti. It takes some time to realize that you’re doing this, but once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll be quicker to spot the transition.

3. Instead of: I will read more books
Go for: I will abandon books that I’m not enjoying

I feel like this resolution, in particular, needs to be highly enjoyable for it to work. Many of us set a reading goal at the beginning of the year and promptly get too focused on the number of books we ‘have to’ read. But setting too much importance on the number itself can make this resolution feel like a chore — and you’re more likely to give up.

Instead try focusing on the books themselves, this year. Pay close attention to whether or not you’re actually enjoying a particular book. If you are not, give yourself permission to abandon it halfway through. (Yes, even if it is that one book everyone says you MUST read!)

I used to find it really difficult to leave a book half-read. But forcing myself to keep reading was proving to be really counter-intuitive. I would get easily distracted and turn to Netflix, Instagram or one of the hundred other more entertaining options that we have at our disposal today. Once I started abandoning books and reading what I liked instead, I actually ended up reading more than before. Results!

4. Instead of: I will be more prepared for the week ahead
Go for: I will make Mondays more fun

For a lot of us, the obvious way to beat the weekday blues is to get more organized. If you spend (or are resolving to spend) your Sundays buying groceries, meal prepping, doing laundry and setting weekly goals, you’ll know exactly what I mean. These things definitely make life a lot easier — but there’s something more you can do to start the week off on a great note.

So how’s this for a resolution — this year, plan something fun for yourself every Monday. This can be a small treat like a fancy dessert, a new book or a movie night with a friend. Or it can be something big like booking your next holiday or splurging on something you’ve had your eyes on for a while. We usually keep all the fun stuff for Fridays or weekends, but this way, you get to look forward to something nice every Monday too. And it’s one resolution that you’ll be excited to keep up till the end of the year.