New year, new resolutions?

Picture of the sun behind the bare branches of a tree

New year, new dawn

For me, New Year’s resolutions are always a triumph of hope over experience.

I genuinely enjoy the feeling of a fresh start, a blank page, the chance to make changes. 

I’m always bursting with ideas for resolutions, which on reflection bear a remarkable resemblance to my resolutions last year, the year before and and many years before that.

Getting more fit and less fat shows up time and again. I’m always keen to sort out our finances, declutter the house, tackle the garden, stop biting my nails and so on.

Previous posts: Five frugal resolutions and Five fabulously frugal New Year’s Resolutions

Then I read other people’s resolutions, and get over-excited about loads more: book bingo (thanks Weenie), eating more plant-based meals, enduring Dry January, drinking more water, pruning my wardrobe, embracing YouTube, keeping a gratitude diary, spending less time on screens, making more stuff…

Last year, I restricted my resolutions to just three: a low spend January, a no spend challenge on clothes and moving my investment trusts to a better value website.

Shock horror I actually did quite well on this limited list. You can read about my low spend January in this post about swapping spending diaries with Mrs Mummypenny. I also lasted well past January without buying new clothes, and ended up on a new investment platform despite myself, when Interactive Investor acquired my old one! 

But this year, I think I’ll give free rein to my enthusiasms. Sure, many of my best intentions will fall by the way side. 

But you know what? That’s fine. Better to do something than nothing at all.

So in the last few days I have staggered through the first couple of runs on Couch to 5K (again), hacked back assorted bushes (again), pored over healthy recipes (again) and filled yet another box for the charity shop. I even made a soft toy bat, long promised to my children, from a kit unearthed during decluttering.

Is there still masses more to do? Yes. But at least I’ve made a start.

Despite the blizzard of resolutions, there is a common theme: make the most of what I have.

I truly believe it’s possible to have a great time without spending a bomb. As a family, we’re incredibly lucky to have a roof over our heads, food on the table and enough to pay our bills. I complain about having too much stuff – so let’s use what we already have at home, rather than acquiring more, and take advantage of free and cheap activities elsewhere.

New Year’s Eve gave me particular reason to count my blessings. As usual, we spent it with friends and had a great time. But we’ve reached the stage in life when medical issues are becoming a big deal not just for our parents, but amongst ourselves.

So perhaps most importantly for making the most of what I have, I booked a long overdue well woman appointment. Suspect it could be the shock I need to take my repeated ‘more fit, less fat’ resolutions seriously.

Now – over to you. Where do you stand on New Year’s Resolutions? Worth a punt or waste of time? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear your goals for 2020.

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  1. Kathryn Hipkin
    6th January 2020 / 8:56 pm

    Does using vouchers asap count? My no spend January failed miserably when I had to buy my son a new coat and my husband had arranged to go out with his friends for a curry tonight! I’ve already missed 2 days of exercise but January is SO DARK all the time and I have to fit in visiting my mum in hospital too. Good intentions but they all seem scattered to pieces already!

    • Faith
      7th January 2020 / 11:37 am

      Using vouchers sounds like a perfect way to make the most of what you have! Don’t be disheartened if you can’t carry out all your best intentions. If saving money or getting fit were easy, no one would be in debt or out of shape. See what you can do today instead. (And hope your mum is doing OK).

  2. 17th January 2020 / 11:32 am

    Good luck with your resolutions!

    I should have made one regarding decluttering but I already know that it’s not one I would keep to!

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