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How not to kick 2019 off on the wrong foot

January 9, 2019, Author: Carly Ritz

We see it and hear it year after year. New Year, new me blah blah. It’s a lovely sentiment, and for those who get it right, well done! But why set yourself up to fail so early in the year? Here are some resolutions that you should not make when the New Year rolls around.

Do not resolve to diet

Avoid any and all fad diets. It’s the most tempting resolution of all. After the indulgence of the festive season, we commit to crazy things like cutting out carbs and sugars, egg diets, juice diets or the infamous cabbage soup diet. #NoThanks! The truth is that a detox post festive season is a terrible idea. No matter how well you start, it is an unrealistic way to live and will leave you feeling shi*tty by the time March rolls around.

Rather than commit to crazy calorie counting try some of these more realistic, manageable and balanced tactics:

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Lean into the craving: As counter-intuitive as this may sound, eating what you long for keeps cravings manageable. If you don’t eat bagels or cake for weeks on end, when you do eventually succumb to carbs it’s going to get messy! The same goes for sugars and sweets. Death by Smarties is not a nice way to go.

Eat a little cleaner in the week: Life doesn’t have to be all green veg and fish. Save the weekends for your favourite pasta dish or pizza outing and keep it clean-ish from Monday to Friday.

Do not resolve to be a better person

Could you be more self-deprecating than committing to being a better person? Does that mean for the past however many years you have been alive on this earth you have been a terrible person? Absolutely not. Resolving to be a better person is vague and precarious. It alters your mindset to believe you are not good enough.

Rather do this:

Resolve to do a little better: Whether it’s being more patient with your colleagues or improving your golf swing, aim for smaller, measurable improvements that won’t land you on the shrink’s couch.

Be kind to yourself: Before you decide to overhaul yourself, take some self-stock on the things that make you rock. Then rock them harder.

Do not resolve to expedite anything

Whether you think 2019 is the year to get married, have kids, move in together or start a new job, trust us when we tell you that doing any of these things for the sake of it being a new year is a terrible idea. These are the milestones of your life that should happen in their own time – when all the necessary people and circumstances are good and ready.

In the meantime, rather use the New Year to mull over these important aspects of your life:

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Relationship check: Are you in the right relationship and still enjoying each other’s company? Go into the new year open to the idea that your current relationship could get more serious but don’t pressure yourself or your partner to make decisions you aren’t ready for. Maybe it’s a good time to plan a weekend away while the weather is still warm to see how you travel together?

Baby check: Could you financially afford to look after a small human right now? Are you ready to give up your easy come and go social life and the ability to travel whenever you like? Don’t let the start of the New Year send your ovaries into over-drive just yet. Assess the stage of life in which you find yourself and chat to your partner?

Job check: Do you enjoy what you are doing and is there room to grow in your current role? It’s hard to get back into the swing of things after the holiday season but don’t let that trick you into thinking you are bored at work and about to hit a ceiling. Chat to your manager about possible growth opportunities and what you’d like to achieve first.

That’s a whole lot of things not to resolve to do as the New Year comes in which begs the question, what should you resolve to do?

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Well we thought you’d never ask. As the New Year rolls in, why not try these on for size:

Have more fun: Life’s too short to be all work and no play. Make sure to plan some fun things this year whether it’s going to a comedy show on occasion or board games with friends. This one’s easy.

Spend more time with the people you love: No need to get fancy either. Catch up with friends and family over a braai at home on the weekends or a meal at your favourite restaurant.

Plan less and live more: It’s a cliché we know but it’s true. We spend so much time planning and not nearly enough time kicking back and enjoying ourselves. So now that you’ve read this, forget about new year’s resolutions altogether and enjoy the rest of our January issue.

Carly has a decade of wild, weird and wonderful experience in the media industry. After graduating from Rhodes University with an honours degree in journalism and politics, she tried to change the world as a journalist. She helped launch the country’s first integrated newsroom at Times Media (then called Avusa). After getting bored of politics and news, she joined forces with a brand activations and event company before joining a global PR agency – WE Worldwide as a Senior Account manager. This is her dream job but she still loves to be fancy with words and interview cool people so she writes for Hello Joburg.

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