Eight New Year’s resolutions that actually work in a pandemic

2021 is just days away. (iStock/PA)

New Year’s resolutions are supposed to mark a new start as we say goodbye to the (awful) old year.

As virtually everyone in the world will be desperate to see the back of Covid-blighted 2020, it is probably worth having a resolution re-think so our aims adapt to the strange times we are living in.

Instead of the standard resolutions that seek to resolve personal issues like being overweight, smoking, drinking too much and exercising too little, why not make a few positive resolutions that are uplifting instead of self-denying? Let’s face it, we all need a bit of positivity at the moment.

1. Smile more


People haven’t been smiling much recently, for obvious reasons. Make it your New Year’s mission to smile at people you pass (at a safe distance) in the street, and say hello. It is such a small gesture but can really brighten people’s day.

2. Think positive

Is your cup half full or half empty? Most people’s are understandably half empty at the moment, but try to put a positive spin on things if you can.

You might not be able to go outside much for instance, but maybe that’s a good thing – not only are you avoiding the dreaded coronavirus, but the weather’s awful so it is much cosier to stay inside anyway.

3. Actually speak to friends

It is easy to forget you can actually speak to people on phones as well as texting, e-mailing or WhatsApping.

Instead of typing something to your mates in the New Year, resolve to actually pick up the phone and speak to them sometimes. You may be surprised how nice it is to hear their voice and just have a good chat.

It will lift your spirits way more than a WhatsApp message could.

4. Find a home hobby

We are not talking stamp collecting (unless, of course, that appeals), but you could try something creative, like making your own cards or gifts, trying a selection of home exercise classes/apps till you find one you like, or even learning a language online.

There really are loads of new things you can try at home.

5. Stop putting things off

During lockdown, many people vowed to use their extra time at home to complete tasks they had been putting off for years, like cleaning out cupboards and drawers, or reading that book that had been gathering dust on the bedside table.

Invariably, people still didn’t manage to finish their tasks, so resolve to finally do them in the New Year.

6. Support local businesses

It may not even have crossed your mind when you are ordering a takeaway, for instance, but have you been buying from national chains or local businesses?

Small local businesses have really been struggling because of pandemic restrictions, so resolve to be mindful about who you give your trade to in the New Year, and buy local if you can – it will help local tradespeople, and might make you feel good too.

7. Get outside more

Set yourself a goal to explore different areas near you on a walk every day/week depending on how much time you have got.

And if you already go outside with your dog every day, do not just go on the same walks each time – resolve to find out what your area has to offer, you might be surprised.

8. Be grateful

Many, many thousands of families have lost loved ones, or have been severely affected by the pandemic and it is a stark reminder to not take things for granted.

As we shift into 2021, remember what matters to you most.


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