7 easy changes to make in 2020 instead of hard-to-keep new year's resolutions

Lucas Jackson/ReutersGive yourself a chance this year.
  • New Year’s resolutions are notoriously hard to keep.
  • This is because they can often be too vague or too monumental.
  • If you’ve already failed yours, here are seven more manageable resolutions you can try.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep. In fact, about 80% of people fail to stick to them for longer than six weeks.

Most changes people want to make seem to involve their health – losing weight, exercising more, or eating more salads. But research has shown that the more vague your self-promises, the less likely you are to keep them.

It’s only day three of the year, but you may have slipped up on your resolutions already. If so, it might be time to try something new, instead of recycling the same old tired ideas.

Here are seven alternative and easy-to-keep changes that you can feel good about making in 2020.

1. Reduce your carbon footprint by finding discounted food

Alena.Kravchenko / ShutterstockShops and cafés throw away a lot of good food.

Being more environmentally aware can include making more of an effort to recycle, and cooking more meals from scratch. Another is to make the most of discounted food before it gets thrown away. Many supermarkets drop their prices of food before the end of the day to reduce waste, but cafés and restaurants have started to do the same.

The Swedish app Karma is currently available in Sweden and London, with the potential of going worldwide. It allows you to find high-quality food at a 50% discount from over 1,500 places. There are even some Michelin-starred restaurants on the list.

2. Find five minutes a day for your mental wellbeing

UfaBizPhoto / ShutterstockStress can take its toll.

Everyone has to deal with stress, so you should consider making it a resolution to try and manage it better. One way to do this is by using apps like Calm, which have relaxing noises like falling rain and free meditation sessions.

Mental health app Remente is another one which combines psychology with brain and mental training to help you manage stress and become more efficient in how you handle day to day life. It also helps free up time so you can focus on other things.

3. Stretch every morning

Flickr/James TheophaneIt feels good to stretch.

In a Ted talk, Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy said you can make improvements in your life simply by stretching out in the morning. If you wake up and throw your arms out in a V shape, she said, you’re more likely to be happy throughout the day. In comparison, you could be doing your emotions a disservice if you wake up in the fetal position.

4. Take up a new outdoor hobby

Rocksweeper / ShutterstockEver tried fishing?

Rather than signing up for a gym that you’ll never go to, you could try a new hobby this year. If you want something fitness-based, you could download apps like ClassPass or Book Your Game that let you try out classes which you can fit around your ever-changing schedule.

If you want something that’s more outside-the-box, you could take up something like fishing. Fishbrain is an app that provides you with all the information you need for a fishing trip, and can connect you with people who love to fish. The app’s AI can also identify any fish you catch.

5. Read more

lithian/ShutterstockReading is good for your mind.

If you want to get through more books this year, but can’t think where you’ll find the time, Blinkist could help you out. It’s all about “micro-learning,” which essentially means books condensed into 15 minutes, either in audio or text. You should get all the vital information from the book, so anyone will believe you’ve read the entire thing.

Goodreads is another handy website that can help you keep track of everything you’re reading, and want to read. You can also set yourself goals for the year.

6. Follow a flexitarian diet

4 PM production / ShutterstockEating more vegetables can only be good.

Vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise, with raised awareness of the environmental and health impacts of eating too much meat. But if you’re not ready to give it up altogether, you can try not eating meat a few days a week, or following a “flexitarian” diet. It sounds a bit ridiculous, but making more of an effort to add vegetables to your diet is good for the world, your health, and your cooking repertoire. The app Lifesum can help you stick to your new diet by making sure you get enough nutrition from your recipes and giving you some inspiration. You could even try eating insects if you fancy it.

7. Wake up 30 minutes earlier

David Prado Perucha/ShutterstockYou may feel less sluggish.

It’s never easy to adjust your wake up time, especially if you’re used to staying up late. Rather than vowing to get up at the crack of dawn, you could try aiming to get up 30 or even just 15 minutes earlier. Those of us who barely have time for a cup of tea in the morning may find everything becomes more bearable if you can spare a few minutes in the morning to clear your head, rather than rushing out the door every day.

If you’re prone to hitting snooze, you could try putting your phone or alarm clock far from your bed so you physically have to get up to turn it off. It’s also a good idea not to look at it at night anyway, because the light can mess with your body clock and make it harder for you to sleep.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.