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Current Hot Topic for January 2019

New Year Goals for 2019


New Year Goals for 2019

Background Story

It’s that time of year when, after weeks of excess food and alcohol consumption, we turn our attentions to self-improvement with New Year resolutions .

You can drastically improve your chances of keeping your New Year’s resolutions by setting yourself achievable goals on a small scale.

It may be quitting alcohol for a month, switching to vegetarian food one day a week, or maybe cutting down on how much you spend, or how much single-use plastic you get through.

To jumpstart the self-improvement kick for your impending 2019, we’ve come up with a few suggestions about what kind of resolutions might be achievable.

1.    Turn your phone off
Try and switch your smartphone off a bit more. We’re pretty sure your family would rather you looked them in the eye and told them about your day than rattled through another level of Candy Crush at teatime.

2.    Eat vegetarian one day a week
This will broaden your diet – simply grab a couple of the cookbooks we all have on our shelves and start planning meat-free meals for one day a week.

3.    Stop buying material goods
Do you buy a lot of cheap disposable fashion? Ditch the sweatshop addiction and try and do six months surviving on what you own already. As far as New Year’s resolutions go this is a difficult one, but it will be hugely rewarding if you manage it – and think of the money you’d save!

4.    Walk to work
It’s an oldie but a goldie. Even if your work is too far to walk, try parking a little further away or getting off the bus a stop early. Adding more footsteps to your day can increase fitness, and a brisk walk in the morning will set you up for the day.

5.    Read more books
Whether it be through supporting your local library or via that Kindle you were given by Santa, why not hit the classics for some rewarding escapism.

6.    Participate in Dry January
You could join thousands of Dryathletes dropping the drink this January and raising money to help beat cancer. Sign up now for all the support you need.

7.    Try something new every day
A very loose idea, but whether it’s cooking a new recipe, taking five minutes to meditate, or even just walking a different way to work, trying something new every day will open you up to new experiences and opportunities.

8.    Be more charitable
Set yourself the challenge of one charitable act a month. You could start by dropping off any unwanted Christmas presents at your local charity shop, or you could book an appointment to give blood. You could spend a weekend volunteering in a food bank, or you could make a donation to your favourite charity.

9.    Take care of yourself
It’s important that you devote some time to self-care

– Whatever that might look like for you. Whether that’s spending a weekend in bed watching Netflix, or taking yourself on a long, solitary walk, make sure you’re looking after your own wellbeing.
What ideas do you have for your new year resolutions?

Supporting those who are Vulnerable in your Community

It’s well known we have an ageing population and loneliness and social isolation is on the rise. A good resolution may be to think about the more vulnerable members of your local community and how you could support them. Over 9 million people in the UK – almost a fifth of the population – say they are always or often lonely, but almost two thirds feel uncomfortable admitting to it (British Red Cross and Co-Op, 2016). Over half (51%) of all people aged 75 and over live alone (ONS, 2010). Two fifths of older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company (Age UK, 2014).

Loneliness Research

What safeguarding measures are in place in your local area, community and workplace to safeguard individuals and groups? What could you do to support inclusion in your community and combat social isolation?

New Year Traditions in Different Countries

Ringing in the new year and saying goodbye to the old one is a tradition that spans the globe, but many countries have their own traditions. The Chinese New Year is a much-celebrated event, one tradition involves elders handing out cash in red envelopes. Another Chinese tradition is bursting firecrackers, so that the sound and fire can ward off evil spirits. New Year’s Eve in Scotland starts on December 30, revelers holding torches create a “river of fire” that winds down through Edinburgh’s streets with pipers and drummers in procession. On New Year’s Eve itself, there may be a ceilidh with traditional dancing.

Research into two countries and find out what their new year celebrations involve. What traditions do you have in your culture?

Goals for Health & Wellbeing

Healthy balanced eating, regular exercise and giving up smoking or drinking alcohol can have a real positive impact on our mental and physical health and are central to many people’s New Year’s resolutions. Every year millions of people make resolutions yet almost 80% of us fail to achieve them. Most of us strive for unrealistic goals and ultimately set ourselves up for a failure. It is important to set realistic goals. Try using the SMART acronym. It can also help to develop a support network, measure your successes and reward yourself as you make progress. You could try using apps such as the NHS Smokefree app, Couch to 5k app or the NHS Eat Well advice and recipes.

What is a SMART goal? Why is it important to use this acronym and what do the letters stand for?

Demonstrating Respect and Tolerance

You may choose to include respect and tolerance of others as part of your new year resolutions. Think about how you could do this. It may be how you treat others, or the language you use. Every person is unique. It is important to be respectful and tolerant of people with beliefs, traits and practices that are different from our own. Imagine how dull the world would be if everyone looks, thinks and acts alike. Respect is admiration felt or shown for someone that you believe has good ideas or qualities. Tolerance means accepting that someone different has a right to exist, whether or not you agree with them.

What are the benefits of respect and tolerance in our society? What would happen if we lived in a world where no one was tolerant, respectful or understanding of each other’s point of view? How would you feel and how would it affect your daily life?

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