10 New Year’s resolutions worth keeping

We’re 15 days into January and, according to statistics, 33% of people will have given up on their New Year’s resolutions already. Yes, January 12th is the most popular day to quit those resolutions!

The most popular resolution is to exercise more, but almost 91% of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions.

I don’t think I’ve ever stuck at a resolution for longer than a few weeks but today I’d like to share 10 resolutions that are worth keeping.

Don’t think of them as resolutions, think of them as new habits. You don’t need to wait until January 1st to start them, just start whenever and stick with it for as long as you can, or as often as you can! If you fall off the wagon then it doesn’t matter, just jump back on when you’re ready. 

^One of my 2020 goals is to spend more time exploring the UK (more goals at the end!)

 

1. Organise and backup the photos on your phone with this simple gadget

We all take hundreds, if not thousands, of photos every year. Each photo captures a gorgeous memory that you wanted to preserve. It was something so special that at the time you wanted to get your phone out and capture that moment. They might not always be the best photos but each one holds something special. But what happens to all these photos…? Most of them stay on our phones, get deleted when our memory is full, disappear into the cloud or get lost when we upgrade our phones.

If this is what happens to your photos then I can’t recommend the iBridge enough!

It’s a tiny USB stick you plug into your phone and quickly and easily transfer photos onto it. Because it’s USB you can then easily transfer them onto your computer or just use the iBridge like a storage device. I have the 32G one and it has thousands of photos on it!

Create a new folder on the iBridge every month and transfer that month’s photos into the folder. It’ll take you less that 10 minutes and it will mean you’ll never lose any of those precious memories, you won’t need to worry about your phone memory being full and you won’t need to pay extra for cloud storage.

I love doing this because it means I store even my really shitty photos. They might just be crap photos now, but in 20 years time they’ll be really special memories!

Disclaimer: My first iBridge was gifted about 4-5 years ago.

 

2. Declutter your life

I feel like I preach about decluttering all the time. But seriously, it has made such a difference to my life.

It all started 4 years ago with The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and since then I have been a decluttering ninja (that’s a thing!)

I used to think I was just really messy and no matter how hard I tried I didn’t seem to be able to keep anything neat and organised. When I travelled my suitcase would be a mess. My areas of the house would always be a mess (Sam is really tidy so he keeps all communal areas super tidy!) My wardrobe was so messy I couldn’t even get in it. And even things like my laptop would be messy and disorganised and I could never find anything. 

But after reading the book I realised the difference between messy people and tidy people isn’t their ability to tidy, it’s their ability to declutter. Messy people just have too much shit! You can’t keep all that shit tidy when there’s so much of it!

So I now regularly declutter and sell on anything I no longer need or use.

Having a regular declutter also makes you very aware of all your possessions and what you need or don’t need which in turn makes you more selective when you’re shopping. I don’t buy as much shit as I used to because I know it will just lead to more clutter.

 

3. Do the Take 12 Trips Challenge

Lots of people have the resolution to ‘travel more’ but try making that resolution more specific and easier to achieve by doing the Take 12 Trips Challenge. It’s simply a challenge to take 12 trips in a year. They don’t have to be 12 big trips, they could be a night camping or a day out locally. But the act of planning, booking, researching and scheduling these trips can be so much fun and it’ll make sure you have something to look forward to every month.

 

4. Use a 1 second a day app

This is so much fun.

Download an app that will help you make a video montage from your whole year. I use 1 Second Everyday and you upload one second of video to the app each day and it will stitch it together into a 6-minute video highlighting your whole year.

You might not feel so inspired to upload anything if you’re having a boring day but you’ll be so pleased with yourself on December 31st and you see your video.

 

 

5. Spend less time on your phone

I know this is a weird tip coming from someone who makes their living from people being online but, as someone who also spends a lot of time on social media, I REALLY see the negative impact spending too much time online can have on your life.

Not only is there the comparison and jealousy that comes from seeing other people’s ‘perfect lives’ on Instagram but there’s the petty arguments on Twitter, the trolls on YouTube and Facebook is filled with adverts encouraging you to buy crap you didn’t even know existed (magnetic eyelashes, anyone?) 

And then you’ve also got the problem of missing out on real life while your head is buried in your phone.

How often do you see couples out on a date and they’re not even talking to each other, they’re just looking at their phones? Or parents at the park and their ignoring their kids completely because they’re too busy scrolling.

If you find it really difficult to put your phone down then I recommend just not taking it out with you. Honestly, the world doesn’t end if you leave the house without your phone!

I do this a lot (mostly because my kids are a pain in the arse and whenever I get my phone out they ask if they can play games on it). Instead of taking my phone out, I’ll take my proper camera and I’ll often take a notepad and pen and I’ll jot down all the things I want to Google or buy on Amazon or the people I want to stalk or the food I want to add to my weekly shop! Then at the end of the day I’ll do it all in one go (and most of the time I’ll realise my list of things to Google isn’t actually that interesting after all.

 

6. Don’t wait for ‘the perfect time’

There’s no such thing as a perfect time. If there’s something you want to do, just do it now.

I’m so guilty of this one because I always say to myself, ‘I’ll start eating healthily on Monday…’ or, ‘I’ll start that new challenge next month…’ or ‘I’ll start working towards that goal next year…’

Stop waiting. Just do it.

 

7. Life by the motto – ‘Just Do It Now’

I’ve started living by this motto and it really makes such a massive difference to my life. That sounds dramatic but it really has!

This isn’t a motto for big, life-changing decisions and huge moments in your life. This is a motto for the little moments that make up your day.

You know that parcel that has been sat on your kitchen worktop waiting to be returned to the post office for weeks….yea, just do it now.

That load of washing you’ve walked past six times this morning? Just do it now.

That doctors appointment you’ve been meaning to book? Just do it now.

What are you waiting for? If you don’t want to do it now, you won’t want to do it next week so just get it over and done with so you don’t have it hanging over your head. 

I read an article once about millennials (worth a read!) about how we’re so overwhelmed by all the shit in our lives and all the things we could do and would do and should do, that we don’t actually do anything.

So just do it now and get it over and done with and get on with your day.

Live by this motto and thank me later!

 

8. Stop bitching about others

I’m no expert but I’d put money on the fact that most people’s bitching is based on their own issues. Bitching is not attractive and it usually just highlights your own insecurities.

So whenever you feel yourself starting a bitchy rant, why not think about what’s making you want to start that rant.

Do you really care about what Sandra wears to the office? Or do you feel intimidated that she looks incredible again?

Does it really matter what Emma is feeding her child? Or are you worried about what you’re feeding your own kids so you’re looking for encouragement that you’re doing a good job?

 

9. Do more of what makes you happy

OK, I’ll admit that this is one of those wishy washy phrases you see on Pinterest. In theory, it sounds so easy. We don’t actively choose to do things that make us unhappy, right!?

So I think my point here is to spend some time thinking about what actually makes you happy. No, not the things you think should make you happy. The things that make you really happy.

Really, really, really happy.

And then do more of it.

I know it’s not that simple. Most of us have time and money restrictions that stop us doing a lot of the things that make us happy. And some things make us happy because we don’t do them very often; spending a week on a tropical island for example is absolute bliss, but spending three months on a tropical island quickly becomes like a form of torture.

If you’re not 100% what is making you happy on a day to day level, try writing down the highlight of your day each day. Lots of people keep a gratitude diary where you write everything you’re grateful for that day but I prefer to write what made me happy. It might surprise you what the highlight was. I do this with my kids to see what they enjoyed most that day and they always shock me by telling me it was something really simple, like playing hide and seek under our bed or reading a book by torch light.

 

10. Prepare for tomorrow the night before

This is another one of those game changers that sounds too simple to make much of a difference to your life, but it really does. It sounds like a bit of a boring goal to end but on, seriously, it makes such a HUGE difference.

Even if you don’t have busy, hectic mornings, prepping for the next day can still make your day run so smoothly. When everything is organised you don’t need to think or worry about any life admin in the morning, so your brain is left to relax and wake up to the day without any stress. And it’s in these relaxed, stress-free moments that you’ll have bright ideas for work or discover you actually do have time for a pre-work gym workout. 

And if, like me, you have super hectic mornings then it just makes life easier!

I’m a night owl and like to go to bed late anyway so I do as much as I can the night before.

I have a shower, wash my hair, curl my hair (I curl it into corkscrews and it drops to beachy waves by the morning), prep my breakfast, make my packed lunch, choose my outfit, tidy the kitchen, get the kids things ready, double check what I’m doing the next day, charge all my gadgets and make myself a to-do list for the following day.

Then when I get up, I can actually enjoy my morning with the kids rather than flapping around the house like a headless chicken.

 

 

My 2020 goals

 

Now it’s time to share some of my goals for 2020.

You may remember last year and I shared 12 monthly challenges I wanted to do every month. I did two and then found out I was pregnant with Alba. I was so tired for my entire pregnancy that I didn’t stick to many of them but I am coming back to them and picking ones out for 2020 so I will write blogs about the challenges I complete!

 

My 2020 goal for The Travel Hack

In 2019 my pageviews on The Travel Hack rose by 2.5 million in comparison to 2018. 

To be honest, I was really shocked when I realised this because I didn’t put a huge amount of effort into writing blog posts in 2019. It was a VERY busy year for our family so it just wasn’t a priority at the time but in 2020 I’m going to make it a priority.

If I can raise my pageviews by 2.5 million without too much work, imagine what I could do if I work really hard at it!?

So that’s my goal, to work really hard at producing new blog posts and increase my pageviews by an additional 5 million for 2020.

My second goal is to keep highlighting the awesomeness of The Travel Hack Backpack because, come on, it is pretty awesome! 

 

My goal for travelling

My travel goal for 2020 is to explore more of the UK (again!)

It feels like a perfect time to see as much of the UK as possible. This is mostly because I have such a young family and going abroad a lot just isn’t practical right now. But it’s also because there’s so much to see in the UK! Staycations and weekend breaks are also on the rise and people seem to be travelling abroad less due to the uncertainty of Brexit, so I’d love to be able to provide some inspiration and tips for short trips in the UK.

I’ve LOVED glamping over the past few years. It’s such a fun and affordable way to discover new places so I’d definitely like to get a few glamping trips booked in. 

Here are two of my favourites from 2019:

North Star Club Review: Luxury glamping in Yorkshire in a magical woodland hideaway

Camp Katur: Quirky glamping in Yorkshire in a geodome

 

My goal for family life

I always set myself the goal to capture more of our family life on camera. I honestly don’t think you can have enough photos or video clips of your children while they’re little. I know I sound like a massive cliche but they grow up so quickly and you soon forget how cute and little they were!

My other goal for family life is to listen more. Really listen. 

Joseph can be a bit of a terror at times but his tantrums and mood swings are always caused by some kind of frustration due to a communication barrier. He’s often trying to tell us something we just don’t understand or vice versa and I can imagine that must be so annoying. So I just want to relax and take the time to properly listen.

This also comes back to my point in the section above about doing what makes you happy. When I asked my kids about the highlight of their day and what made them happiest, it’s never the things I expect them to say. 

 

My goal for me

And finally…. me. What’s my personal goal this year? Nothing to do with business or work or the kids or Sam or friends or family, just me. 

My goal this year is to start exercising again. I know, it’s such an obvious resolution! 

And I’ve started strong! I’ve joined two mum and baby exercise groups and I’ve been taking the kids out for runs with the buggy. The boys also love following YouTube workouts so I plan to make these a regular thing.

Realistically, most of my exercise needs to incorporate the kids and now that I’ve accepted this I’m doing much better! Over the years I’ve joined gyms and signed up to evening classes, but I never go because when I do get a few hours to myself I don’t want to spend that time exercising!

 

There you have it, some resolutions actually worth keeping and my goals for 2020.

TheTravelHack

Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a full time blogger and has travelled around the world in search of affordable luxury travel experiences.Monica lives in Wales with her growing family and now also blogs about travelling with young children!

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The Travel Hack is a blog about stylish adventure travel and affordable luxury.

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