Now that the metallic novelty glasses and giant numeric balloons are finished populating our newsfeeds, we can start to actually get on with 2018. That means putting those well intentioned (but probably not the most realistic, right?) resolutions into action. If the idea of swearing off meat and sugar is already losing its appeal, we’re coming to your rescue – below are eight low maintance resolutions that every Londoner should (and actually can) follow. Happy New Year!
- Have a (realistic) digital detox
The words detox and January go together like well, gym membership and January. But the world is no longer satisfied with clearing out skin, diets and…innards *shudder*, and alongside grass-flavoured smoothies we now have the urge to cull unhealthy amounts of technology, too. Although deleting all traces of social media might seem like a good idea after the stroke of midnight (avoiding post-New Year photos into the bargain), we assume you’ll be sheepishly logging back in by, say…January 3rd? So why not be more realistic and agree to no iPad in bed or no phones at the dinner table – no one likes sitting across from the dick scrolling through Facebook while eating his chow mein anyway.
- Be less grumpy
Reaching bona fide Londoner status comes with a lot of smug benefits (being able to succinctly and accurately offer directions is one of them), but also has some downsides: the biggest being your new found ability to complain HEARTILY about pretty much anything. Queues. Beer prices. Tourists. Spending any more than three minutes on Oxford Street. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all be just a little bit happier? Next time you’re bumped in the head by a snotty woman’s briefcase, just try smiling (while muttering an internal ‘fuck you’ – we won’t tell).
- Stop reading bad news
Brexit, knife crime, ever-rising tube prices and literally anything to do with Donald Trump. Ugh! Sometimes it just feels like nothing good is happening in the world. Without suggesting a complete news embargo (although hey, who’s judging?) why not skip your early morning read of The Evening Standard a couple of days per week and opt for some light-hearted fiction instead, your mental health will thank you for it.
- Strike up a conversation
This goes against every natural instinct for most of London’s inhabitants; the city manages to drain us of every urge for making small talk. But sometimes sharing some inane banter with a complete stranger is exactly what you need to perk up your day – and hopefully theirs. Popping into your local at the end of your shift or stopping for a quick coffee mid-commute, make nice and ask how someone’s day is going. OR if all else fails, mention the weather (Brits love talking about the weather).
- Be less hard on yourself
So those really expensive sports leggings you bought for the gym have become your new pyjamas, and you shoved a pizza in the oven instead of making that seventeen-step recipe that’s been saved in your phone for, oh, a month now. Life is hard enough without beating yourself up over every little thing, so give yourself a break – and maybe even a pat on the back every once in a while. You’re doing just fine.
- Develop a decent skincare regime
It’s time to heed the advice your mum’s been dishing out since you burst your first pre-pubescent spot. No matter whether you’re a man or woman, just turned 21 or are in your forties – living in the city will mercilessly ravage your once youthful looks. A recent study found that pollution ages your skin 10% faster than those lucky people living in the countryside (with their stupid clean air), and even rain, which London gets just a little bit of, causes irritation. So be nice to your face: cleanse, moisturise and slap on that sunscreen.
- Start doing some real exercise
No, wearing trainers with your business suit doesn’t count – not even if you do a quick mid-morning coffee dash between home and the tube. You don’t need to invest in 90 quid trainers and yoga mats (that inevitably gather dust under a mountain of clothes), just hop off the tube two stops earlier and have a half hour walk – you even get to avoid the gruesome rush-hour crush.
- See somewhere new every day
Ok, this is a bit of a classic. Doing something new every day sounds far fetched (and our imaginations do start to wane by mid-February), but in London it’s actually kind of possible. Pop in somewhere different for your daily flat white, explore another postcode at the weekend or just walk down a different street on your way home – chances are you’ll find something noteworthy.