So guys... how's everyone getting on with their New Year's resolutions?
If the answer is “not very well” then don’t worry, you’re in good company. Research by the University of Scranton has found that a paltry 8% of people keep their resolutions, and that a quarter of us have never succeeded in keeping one.
The new year seems like an obvious point to turn over a new leaf. The fact is that it’s probably one of the worst times of year for making big, uncomfortable changes to our lives. In January we struggle with bad weather, lack of sunlight and the damage done on our wallets over the festive period.
And yet big life changes will be a challenge whenever you decide to make them – the new year is just a convenient marker to push us into at least trying something new.
To help you on your way to a ‘new you’ we’ve uncovered the top 10 most popular new year's resolutions, and a blogger for each who can help you keep your word.
1. Lose weight and get fit
Faya is a personal trainer, originally from Sweden, now living in London. She set up her blog Fitness on Toast in January 2013 (maybe it was a resolution?), where she shares healthy recipes, offers nutritional tips, writes informative workout posts, and discusses ‘fitness fashion’.
Not only is the blog super useful, it’s also a real feast for the eyes. The beautiful Faya employs a professional photographer to document her fitness escapades and snap her super healthy recipes.
2. Quit smoking
It’s not surprising that this is the second most popular resolution, with fewer people smoking every year. Unfortunately, giving up is no easy task, with the hurdles of nicotine addiction, habit and peer pressure to overcome.
Luckily, Brian Rose – ex-banker and host of lifestyle/business vlog London Real – has his own success story to share with you. Check out the video above where he recalls how he kicked the smokes for good using Allen Carr’s self-help tome “Easy Way to Stop Smoking”.
3. Learn something new
The new year is not just a time for improving the body, but for improving the mind also. Lots of people commit to learning a language or a new skill, but many also look to learn more about themselves.
Gretchen Rubin is the New York Times bestselling author of Better Than Before, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. Her topic of choice is the pursuit of happiness – specifically how to learn more about yourself, your habits and what makes you tick. She posts regularly on her blog on the subject, including reading lists, podcasts and quizzes.
4. Eat healthier
Not everyone who wants to eat healthier is interested in losing weight necessarily – after all, what we eat affects our overall health, and thin doesn’t always mean fit.
That’s exactly what Laura experienced after losing an incredible six stone through dieting. Finally at her dream weight, she suffered a host of hormonal problems and mental health issues, so she decided to change her tune.
Now a holistic health coach, her blog Wholeheartedly Healthy goes beyond diet and exercise and focusses on how to develop a healthy approach to health.
5. Save money
We all wish we had a bit more doe at our disposal. There are loads of different ways to save money, but one that’s proving a hit with our cousins across the pond is ‘extreme couponing’ which involves taking money off vouchers to a whole new level of thrifty.
Here in the UK Holly from Holly Vlogs is the undisputed coupon queen. Recently featured on BBC News, she’s just broken the world record for couponing by reducing a £1164.49 shop down to absolutely nothing. Check out the video above and subscribe to her YouTube channel for more money saving tips.
6. Spend more time with the family
The busy modern world of work has a habit of robbing us of time with those that are most precious to us. Often this is simply down to getting stuck in easy routines, and sometimes a simple lack of ideas.
Bloggers to the rescue! Trulymadlykids is a blog for adventurous families featuring inspirational photography, stunning UK produced products, craft and DIY activities and scrumptious foodie delights to be enjoyed by you and your little ‘uns. There’s also a focus on parenting style and making time for you and your partner too. It’s all important stuff!
7. Travel to new places
It’s all very well to say you’re going to travel more, but unfortunately it’s usually not as simple as having a bright idea and jetting off. It takes planning, it costs money, and if you’re not careful it can be a stressful and expensive experience.
Luckily, Canadian Nadine Sykora has all the answers. Her YouTube channel Hey Nadine features video guides on all aspects of travel, from how to decide on where to go, to how to get cheap flights. Check it out!
8. Be less stressed
Stress is no longer seen as something we just need to cope with, but rather something that we can master. There are loads of resources out there to help you lead a more calm and balanced life – from books and podcasts to vlogs and apps.
Headspace is a meditation app that essentially turns improving your mind into a fun game. Sign up for the ‘Take 10’ program that runs you through ten sessions of ten minutes teaching you the basics of meditation. If you enjoyed the program you can subscribe for more lessons.
Many of us stuck in the humdrum day-to-day of the rat race feel the urge to do something worthwhile and give back to the community.
They say that charity starts at home – and that’s definitely true – but for some the appeal of volunteering abroad is much stronger. It’s a huge commitment, though – one so large that many never actually make their dreams a reality.
For inspiration, check out Flora The Explorer, who’s been adventuring around the world since 2012. Volunteering along the way, she’s cared for orphans in Thailand, built homes in Brazil and taught English in Ecuador.
10. Drink less
The festive period is a right boozy old time, so it’s no wonder many of us go into the new year devoted to cutting back on the tipple. Many even decide to go the whole hog and cut out alcohol for a whole month.
Whether you’re cutting out or just cutting back, it helps to make a bit more effort with what you drink… you know, ‘less is more’, ‘quality of quantity’ etc. Jamie Oliver’s Drinks Tube is a great place to go for fancy beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike. Check out DJ BBQ’s homemade cola for a taste of what’s on offer.