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29th Dec 2023

9 New Year’s Resolutions for 2024 that are actually worthwhile

Katy Thornton

We’ll spare you the “Exercise more” and “Drink water” entries for obvious reasons.

While once a popular part of beginning a new year, resolutions have had a bit of a bad rap as of late. In a world where we reside firmly within the clutches of the wellness industry, it’s no longer enough to wait for January to improve. Instagram has taught us change must happen right now; there’s simply no time to wait! And while this is somewhat true, and you don’t have to wait for a new year, or a new week, or 9am on Monday, to start changing your life, there is nothing inherently wrong with setting goals – there’s just a stigma around the ones set at New Year’s because largely people fail mere days after setting them.

Whether you love or hate the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, there are always new goals to strive for that are totally achievable, and many that are actually worthwhile.

And though I inevitably will try to drink more water and exercise more, I’ve come up with some other truly worthwhile New Year’s resolutions to pursue.

Donate Blood

I’m rather ashamed to admit that I’ve never donated blood, in fact, I don’t even know what my blood type is. Donating blood is so easy, and it’s so important. The Irish Blood Transfusion Service appealed to the public in October of this year for more regular donations due to shortages, to achieve their aim of having seven days worth of supply for each blood type at any given time. You can check your donor eligibility here.

Eat Flexitarian

I’m not going to sit here and tell you to “eat better” or something equally vague and irritating, because we all know we should and it’s a frankly boring resolution. Instead I suggest, if you’re not veggie or vegan, to go for a more flexitarian diet. That sounds like a cop out, I know, but it isn’t.

Eating a more plant-based diet has been shown to be more environmentally friendly, and if you want to feel like you’re doing your bit for climate change, why not simply cut back on meat? When you eat it for every meal, maybe cut it down to just 2/3? If you want to commit further, Veganuary is fast approaching which could be a good way of dipping the toes into this lifestyle (I will be partaking myself).

Smear Test

Gals, if you’re over 25, get your smear test booked. It’s a daunting prospect, it’s not the most comfortable experience, and it’s not the preferred way of spending an afternoon, but it is an incredibly important thing to do for your health. The peace of mind is so worth it.

It’s over in approximately thirty seconds, it’s free, and you won’t have to do it again for 1-3 years.

If you’re really finding it hard to pluck up the courage to go, why not plan something nice for yourself afterwards, even if it’s just a coffee and a pastry.

Cancel old subscriptions

We are in a seemingly never ending cost-of-living crisis, and while cancelling old subscriptions won’t help you buy a house (although keep up the boycott of avo toast everyone, we’ll get mortgage approval any day now) it will give you back a few bob you have otherwise been missing.

I couldn’t even tell you where some of my money is going, and I’m paying for approximately three streaming services which just isn’t necessary. So do you and your pocket a favour and cancel that Apple TV subscription (after you watch Bad Sisters of course).

Fashion spending

I’m the last person who should preach about fashion spending; I’ve spent my years on Missguided and PLT and Boohoo, but I can honestly say the thrill has worn off. Not only do I not have the excess funds to be spending on these sites, I simply don’t need to be buying anymore.

And while I don’t begrudge anyone who can’t afford more sustainable brands (I’m with you, it’s tough out there), cutting back on fashion spending is definitely a worthwhile resolution to strive for this year. Perhaps the next time you’re in need of some bits check out your local charity shops, or have a browse on sites like Depop, before getting onto the laptop for some online shopping.

Learn how to use a bike share

They say a skill that is unforgettable is just like riding a bike. When I got back on a bike at the age of 20 after over a decade not cycling, I can tell you that’s simply not the case. It’s also one of the reasons I’ve never learned how to use the Bleeper bikes or any other bike sharing scheme to get around.

But with the cost of petrol, along with the damage it does to the environment, we should all make a conscious effort to learn how to use these bikes that are at our disposal.

Join Toastmasters

If the idea of public speaking terrifies you, why not confront that fear in 2024 by joining Toastmasters? According to their website, “Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders” since 1924; you can learn more about them here.

Timer on apps to reduce screen-time

Not to sound like a smug prick, but putting a ten minute timer on TikTok has been a life saver for me. I’d be lying if I said I never swipe the notification away, and continue scrolling for another twenty minutes, but the reminder has gotten me off my phone at least half the time, and that’s 50% less time I’m spending on my phone than I was previously.

Add a timer to all your social media apps; your brain will thank you.

Join a library

I love books. I also love buying books, more than I can express. But given the lack of space I currently have (which is zero, thank you housing crisis) I’ve had to accept the reality that I cannot buy every single book I want to read. If only there was a way I could borrow books for free… oh wait. Rejoining the library has been a godsend; I’m reading more than ever before, plus I’m dealing with much less clutter (although I will buy a Louise O’Neill or Liz Nugent book without blinking still).

Header image via Instagram / Bleeper & YouTube


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