It’s nearly that time of year – you know, where you promise yourself you’re going to stick to something for a full (new) year, knowing full well that you probably aren’t? Well, not this time around. Smash your New Year’s resolutions with these handy hacks.
It’s arguably the most common New Year’s resolution (behind “stop eating chocolate” but, come on, no one really means that one). But it’s also one of the hardest to stick to. It’s so vague! Instead of promising yourself you’ll have the body of a Greek god by the end of the year, try smaller, more manageable goals to build up your confidence. When it comes to exercising, it’s so much easier to motivate yourself when you actually enjoy the activity. Getting fit doesn’t have to mean running a marathon or bench-pressing your bodyweight in the gym. Walk to get your morning coffee or take a family bike ride instead of watching TV with your kids on the weekends. Also, make the most of the free or cheap trials on offer at fitness hotspots around your town. Have you already convinced yourself you’ll hate reformer Pilates or F45, without even giving it a go? A quick Google or GroupOn search will reveal plenty of cheap fitness classes in your area, so you can sample a few to find what will work for you. One great way to stick to your goal is to stay accountable with a private fitness session – like a one-on-one yoga class or a personal trainer. Alternatively, consider enlisting the help of an app – ease into exercise with Yoga Studio or Asana Rebel, or challenge yourself with Sweat by Kayla, for example – to guide you on your newfound fitness journey. It’s all about working out on your own terms.
Whether you’ve got a short-term goal like an indulgent purchase, or you’re daydreaming about taking a big holiday, there’s always a good reason to save your money. But with so much confusing lingo and stress surrounding money, it pays – literally – to have clear guidance and systems in place to help you out. The Barefoot Investor – aka, Scott Pape – has helped thousands, millions even, to sort out their finances and approach savings with a clear-cut plan. It really is ‘the only money guide you’ll ever need’. Also, investigate apps that will help you take small steps towards a bigger goal. Raiz, for example, rounds-up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the difference, putting your small change into reliable shares so that your portfolio grows even faster. It’s the perfect way for the financially-illiterate to navigate the market, without investing more than a few cents at a time. Like Raiz, but without the round-ups feature, Spaceship can also help you better understand the market and earn money while you’re at it. Set up a recurring investment – $10 a week is enough to see your money grow – then forget about it! It’s the easiest way to save.
Have an organised home
Again, vague. Physically, you might be able to stay on top of your home’s organisation – if not, we’re definitely not judging you – but when it comes to coordinating your family members and remembering a million and one things at once, you’re going to need some help. Lovers of handwritten ‘to do’ lists, listen up. The Pop Planner is the family organisation Bible that you need in your home. Organise the chaos and coordinate the craziness with this clever little planner, which is expertly designed to store your appointments, reservations, important dates, daily happenings and so much more. It also has a section for you to break down your yearly goals into more manageable steps – why didn’t we think of that? – and for you to plan your next holiday, as well as a hundred other details that you’ll never be able to do without. Heck, it’s even got a built-in #visionboard. Then, enlist the help of the ambiguous ‘Cloud’ to keep your family on track. A Google Calendar synced across all of your family’s devices – that’s what seven-year-olds have iPads for, right? – will help keep you up-to-date on where your husband, wife, sons, daughters and dog need to be, and when. A strict ‘if it’s not in the planner, it’s not happening’ rule will help keep things in line. And, if weekly meals are a struggle, an app like Plan Buy Cook will be your new best friend. With more than one hundred quick and easy recipes, simply take your pick and load the recipe into the app’s shopping list – all of the ingredients are ready and waiting for your next shopping trip.
Work on ‘me’
Craving some ‘you’ time? Make 2019 the year that you learn a new skill or take up a new hobby and refuse to feel guilty when you dedicate an hour or two a week to it. It doesn’t have to be learning a whole new language – although regularly practicing with apps like Duolingo can be an easy way to pick up some new phrases. Think fun activities that you’ll get something out of, like pottery, a floristry course or art classes (you can opt for ‘paint and sip’ classes, we’re still not judging). Or, you could try something a little more introspective, like regular meditation classes. If there’s no meditation group in your area, or you’d prefer to meditate in the comfort of your own home, there are plenty of apps that can guide you through your meditation practice at your own pace. Headspace, Calm and The Mindfulness App are three great examples. Also, don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. ‘Indulging’ in a full eight hours might not be something that happens very often, but you’d be surprised about the difference a couple of extra zzz’s could make to your day-to-day routine. The first step to getting enough sleep is to become aware of your sleeping patterns, and how much sleep you’re getting. You can do this through the alarm app on your iPhone, but SleepCycle is probably your best bet if you want an in-depth analysis of your sleep duration and quality. It will also wake you up at the perfect stage of your REM cycle, ensuring you’re less groggy in the mornings – a resolution your entire family will be happy to help you stick to.