16 Resolutions you might actually keep
Forget those mad promises you’ll renounce by February. Make your plans simple and kind and you’ll be off to a good start, writes Ufrieda Ho
YAY! We made it to a new year! To be honest, 2016 was a toughie and looking ahead we still have to survive realities such as Trump moving into the pad on Pennsylvania Avenue; our economy slumping ever closer to junk status; and the fact that our rugby still sucks.
It may be true that you want to shift 10kg, or that the garage you’ve been meaning to reorganise since before Miley Cyrus got a haircut still looks a wreck. And you still haven’t been able to break your habit of binge-watching Game of Thrones. The good news is that all things pass – even losing streaks and leaders who don’t deserve our tax spend or respect. And we get to try again.
Here are 16 ideas for better-than-resolutions to help put the happy in 2017.
1) LIVE IN THE MOMENT
What has come before is done and dusted, what lies ahead nobody knows for sure. Ditch the regret and don’t waste your anxiety on crystal ball stuff.
2) LEARN TO FOLD AN ORIGAMI ANIMAL
Why not? It gives your analyse-everything brain a breather and you may surprise yourself that accomplishment can also look like folds in a sheet of paper.
3) DUMP THE TOXIC FRIEND
It’s the friend who thinks fun only begins when she’s drunk and dancing on the table, or the friend who’s so obsessed with her latest obsession little else matters – you included.
4) GET TO PARKRUN, NIGHT RUN OR ANY OTHER CITY RUN
It’s free and it’s claiming back urban green spaces. Choosing to take part is a nod to the commons, community and connection. You may even knock off a few kilos.
5) INVEST IN SOLAR PANELS, WATER HARVESTING TANKS AND LIGHTNING SURGE PROTECTORS
Solar means a hot shower without worrying about Eskom’s shenanigans first thing in the morning. Harvesting water means you can flush the loo when water restrictions start to hurt and lightning protection means you’ll wake up from stormy nights knowing your wifi router is not fried.
6) LET AT LEAST ONE FELLOW DRIVER THROUGH IN TRAFFIC EVERY DAY
We get pissed off enough watching MPs on Parly TV, so give raging in traffic a break if you can.
7) THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU BUY
Fork out for one high-quality, classic piece of clothing this season, then swear off buying anything else at least till next season. Something that lasts for years and has enduring appeal is what being “on trend” really means.
8) GET AT LEAST 8 HOURS OF SLEEP A NIGHT
It leaves 16 hours of the day to try out the 8/8/8 principle. That’s eight hours for sleep, eight for work and eight to do the stuff you want to do – including finally sorting out the garage mess.
9) BAN BOTTLED WATER FROM YOUR LIFE
Single-use plastic bottles are a landfill nightmare. The plastic takes hundreds of years to biodegrade and when incinerated causes toxic fumes. Unless you live in a place where the tap water really is undrinkable, drink it.
10) GIVE YOUR LUNCH TO A HOMELESS PERSON
We have a lot, having less may be just enough too.
11) MASTER THE ART OF THE APOLOGY
We all mess up sometimes. Reflect, own up and take responsibility. You may not get forgiveness, but you’ll sleep a little better at night if you learn how to say sorry when it’s needed.
12) GET MAD
Get plenty mad about something worthwhile, then get onto the streets to protest for your cause. Write to your MP and your newspapers, make yourself heard. Even with challenges to our Constitution and erosion of our democracy, we still have an engaged, robust civil society. Our job is to give muscle to this power.
13) TAKE A LONG TRIP
Go by car, train, motorbike, bicycle . just get out there in the open countryside. There’s something tranquil and liberating about an unrushed journey as you count wind pumps, crows or straw bales en route to your destination.
14) CALL YOUR MOM
Or any other person whose constant love and loyalty you sometimes take for granted.
15) UNPLUG FROM SOCIAL MEDIA FOR A WEEK EVERY NOW AND AGAIN
Really, your friends won’t miss your “likes” on Facebook and Twitter isn’t going to hashtag your absence.
16) TAKE A DEEP BREATH, EXHALE SLOWLY
You live and you breathe. That’s a good enough way to start a brand new year.