A brand new year calls for a brand new list of resolutions, unless, you’re a cynic who doesn’t see the point, simply because, more often than not, these ‘promises’ tend to go unfulfilled. Often, the main problem with making resolutions are that people tend to set goals that are overly ambitious or unrealistic; the former requires a tremendous amount of discipline while the other requires making major lifestyle changes. However, we believe in the merits of taking control of your life, so here is a list of resolutions that we feel that you should be making to feel more empowered, because they are (gasp!) achievable.
1. Join the gym and make it stick
Slotting in gym time always seems harder than it looks—mainly because not all of us have the discipline for it, even if we have the money. However, the key to incorporating a new lifestyle routine is to start small. Forget about signing up for 5 classes a week, try doing 15 minutes of workout each day. Yes, it may not make much difference, but once you get into the habit, you’ll be able to make bigger changes in your lifestyle. Here are some fantastic ways to integrate exercise in your daily life; when you think you’re ready for more, getting a lean body isn’t as hard as you think—our resident fitness expert, James Forrester, is always ready to give you that extra push you need as well!
2. Eat healthy and enjoy it
With all the benefits associated with eating healthy such as reduced stress levels, prevention of diseases, and a slimmer waist line, you’d think people would be more than happy to adopt an eat clean lifestyle. However, there is a misunderstanding that eating healthy requires abstaining from all forms of food that makes us happy, such as chocolates, French fries, and pizza, and eating like a rabbit (salads, veggies, and fruits). Enter food delivery services like Grain, The Lawn, Foodmatters.me, and Spinacas, which let you order meals like salads, pastas, wraps, chicken, fish, and rice bowls online to be delivered to your doorstep—removing the hassle of cooking yet allowing you to eat better!
If having food delivery is not your thing, over the past year, there has been an influx of healthy restaurants in Singapore, such as Shinkansen, which offers healthy Japanese-inspired dishes; Project Acai, where you can get superfood bowls and smoothies that incorporate acai (a type of berry said to taste like a combination of wild berries and dark chocolate); and SaladStop, which of course, carry a wide range of salads and wraps. Now, who said healthy foods can’t be delicious?
3. Leave the office on time and stress behind
If you’ve read our previous article about the risks of working overtime, then you’d know that research has shown that working longer hours increases the risk of stroke by 30% and reduces the efficiency of the company in the long run, when employees get burnt out. We understand that sometimes you have to stay back late to finish up your work, or you feel guilty about leaving the office on time when your colleagues are still working. However, remember that it is not your job to care about how the others manage their work, as long as you finish yours. Part of effective time management is having personal time outside of work.
Do get organised and develop more productive methods of coping with large workloads, such as delegating work and reduce your time on social media during working hours. Don’t bring your work home with you—when you get home, spend some time to de-stress, such as watching movies and taking your family out to dinner. By taking time away from work to relax and recharge, you’ll be happier with your job in the long run.
4. Pick up a new skill and impress your friends
Self-improvement is always a must with each passing year, so why not pick up a new hobby or pick up a new skill? There are lots of benefits to having a hobby, such as relieving stress, igniting your creativity, and meeting new people with similar interests. If you’ve wanted to try something, do it—there’s nothing too small or insignificant to be useful. For example, rock-climbing increases your upper body strength and endurance, reading books opens your mind to new lines of thought, and gaming increases your motor and problem-solving skills.
If you need some help in picking out a hobby, here are 7 cool new hobbies for expats, which range from cooking to gaming—there’s no rule saying that you have to stop at one, and no better way to develop a zest for life! For example, if you’re usually eating out, try learning a few recipes and cooking instead. Don’t know Mandarin? Sign up for that Mandarin course right now! Having a new baby? Why not learn to crochet an adorable beanie for him/her or start scrapbooking—it’s not too late to start documenting precious family moments so that you have something to pass down to your child!
5. Develop a new sense of style and turn heads
If you didn’t care much for fashion in the last year, well, this year is the time to change that perception. Many people tend to underestimate the power of good and well-fitted clothes, thinking instead that it’s a woman’s area or at the very least, for rich men. As Huffington Post quotes Miuccia Prada, designer and head of the iconic Prada brand:
“Fashion is the ﬁrst step out of poverty. You have nothing and then you put something on. It is one of the ﬁrst things you do to elevate yourself. … Why are people scandalized by spending money on clothes? Everybody is so passionate about this — there’s a resistance to fashion — an idea that to love fashion is to be stupid. Clothes are very intimate. When you get dressed, you are making public your idea about yourself, and I think that embarrasses people.”
No, we’re not telling you that you need to own expensive and elite clothing. Dressing well simply means putting slightly more thought and effort into what you’re wearing, instead of throwing on the first available shirt you see hanging off the chair and sandals. Despite our better instincts, we tend to judge people by their looks, and research has shown that people who look better have higher chances of securing jobs, making friends, and improving self-esteem. If you’re looking for places to shop, try hitting up Haji Lane for an endless number of local and unique boutiques, or Orchard Road for mainstream and branded retail goods such as Uniqlo, Topshop, Topman, Zara, adidas, and Gucci.
6. Go on a trip with your kids and survive
After relocating to Singapore with your kids, the last thing you’d want to do is board a long haul flight with them on vacation. Yes, travelling with your kids can be tiring, but there is more to it than it sounds: For one, you are giving your little ones the opportunity to eye-opening experiences. There is also no better way for families to bond than travelling—you and your children only have each other in a foreign country, not to mention that all of you are seeing and learning new things at the same time.
According to Huffington Post, kids who start travelling young learn valuable life skills that make them excellent travellers, such as knowing what to expect, prepared for emergencies, and are excited about going to new places and seeing different cultures. If you’re worried about travelling with little kids after hearing horror stories, don’t be—we’ve covered surviving long haul flights with your children in this article! Psst, taking your children along also gives you an excuse to visit “kid places” like Disneyland and an excuse to be friendly with the locals!
Did our list motivate you to set these new and achievable personal goals for the New Year? If you need an added push for some of these resolutions, get in touch with our resident experts here—let 2016 be a year of no regrets!
Cover image by Tweakyourbiz