New Year, New You – Without Reservation or Resolutions

18 DECEMBER 2023

It's a new year, and with that comes the inevitable routine of making some New Year resolutions. Often, once a few weeks have passed, the resolutions seem to dissipate into thin air.

Although not always the most practical way of executing change in your life, the concept has some merit and, in this article, instead of taking on a rushed decision, we look at practical ways to improve your lifestyle over the next 12 months.

The holiday period, despite usually being a time of relaxation, can be quite taxing on physical, mental and even financial fronts. However, with a few adjustments, you can make 2024 the year that you instil all the right routines.

Placing routine changes into your lifestyle will be a lot more effective than just shouting out unachievable goals during the festivities of New Year celebrations. It will also result in sustainable change that you can enjoy from this year onward.

Start planning

Admin can be a curse word for many people, a lot of whom will acknowledge their struggles with diarising things. However, it remains one of the most effective ways of keeping yourself on track. At this time of year, Back-to-School deals are rife and you can pick up stationary, diaries, books, files and more at a fraction of the usual price. The key to effective diary management is simplicity. 

Your day may be a warzone of different tasks bombarding you, but simplifying things to give yourself 8 must-do bullet points will make it easier to navigate and not leave you feeling overwhelmed. For those of you who are allergic to pen and paper, you can consider making use of a notepad diary on your computer desktop, or even something like Google Calendar or Google Keep directly on your mobile, making it easily accessible at all times.

Gym is not your only option

Going to a packed, sweaty gym is not the only option you have in regards to getting fit. Exercise is not simply a tool for losing weight, it is essential in achieving a happy, healthy mental state too. Browse retailers like Game or Makro, where you can find exercise equipment and sporting goods to aid this cause. If working out on something like a rowing machine, weight table or stationary bike is not for you, consider a hobby - tennis, football, mountain biking, boxing. Your options are staggering when you put some thought into it. It also doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, a simple yoga mat and some comfortable workout clothes will have you up and running in seconds. A few simple essentials will not only inspire you to maintain your new routine but will also make working out a lot more comfortable.

Woman sitting on the floor, painting on canvas

Time for a little kitchen upgrade with RCS Products

While you're there, be on the lookout for some essential upgrades to your kitchen. You may have been putting effort into having healthier, home-cooked dinners last year, but perhaps lunch and breakfast missed the boat, forcing you into buying snacks or food at a nearby takeaway or store. Picking up something like a smoothie maker or blender allows for breakfasts consisting of healthy fruit or vegetables, yoghurt, seeds, nuts and more. Recipes are limitless depending on your taste. 

Another consideration is investing in an air fryer (Game has a great deal on this Philips air fryer until 29 December 2023). These magic devices allow you to crisp up delicious lunches and dinners with minimal effort, and more importantly, with less cooking oil. In the long run, this can help both your pocket and your arteries, not to mention the time saving as well. Luckily, with a product like the RCS store card, or online loan applications, you can get some vital pieces of equipment without denting an already fragile January budget.

As they say, you are what you eat

Now that your kitchen is ready for 2024, it's time to hit the grocery aisles, but this time with a proper plan in place. Of course, spending more time in the fresh produce section is a must. However, there are subtle changes that can assist in making meals healthy. Look out for specials on olive oils, although more expensive, coupled with your air fryer you will save over time. Look at options like frozen berries to boost your smoothies, or thicken them up with some oats - oats also being an incredible breakfast option to soak up all the bad stuff in your gut. 

There is a whole lot more you could consider, change fizzy drinks to sugar-free options, get peanut butter and other staples with no added sugar, and even stock up on canned goods like chickpeas, tuna and butter beans. These are just a few suggestions, but the end goal remains the same, improving snack and meal ingredients will go a long way in helping achieve a healthier lifestyle. If your cupboards and fridge are well stocked with all the best ingredients it will be easier to make healthier choices in the long run.

To a prosperous 2024

Making these calculated steps now will see you reap benefits for years to come, so instead of making one big resolution that will likely leave you feeling despondent or disappointed, focus on changing your routines in 2024.