Now that 2020 is nearly here, it’s a great time to have a look toward the future and think about what you want the New Year to look like for you.
New Year’s Resolutions are often pretty predictable, from dieting to ditching chocolate or vowing to steer clear of booze for a whole month.
Instead of the usual New Year’s Resolutions, try these 25 practical and actually good for you ideas for getting 2020 started the right way!
If you have your own New Year’s Resolution, let me know what it is in the comments!
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1. Start saving for Christmas right now
You’re finally over the festive spending hurdle and now you can breathe a sigh of relief for another year.
But instead of forgetting all about Christmas until November, what you should do right now is start putting away money every month.
How much did you spend on gifts this year? Add it all up, and that’s the amount you want to aim to save. Pop it into a decent savings account and commit to putting in the same every single month.
2. Have a no-spend month
December is an expensive month, I think we can all agree on that!
That’s why January is a great time to embark on a no-spend month. That doesn’t mean you call the gas supplier and tell them you’ll pay them next month! It means you cut write back to necessities only. Stuff you may stop spending on in order to carry out a no-spend month includes:
- Trips out for the kids – instead of expensive soft plays try exploring a new local park, or make fun at home with crafty activities.
- Takeout coffee
- Meals out
- Make-up and non-essential toiletries
- New furniture or household decor
3. Start loving yourself
So many people start diets and gym memberships at this time of year. Come February/March the resolution has flopped for many people and they’re back to feeling rubbish about themselves.
How about this year, instead of resolving to change yourself, you resolve to love yourself?
Being happy in your own skin is about more than being the stereotypical beauty as sold to us by magazines. It’s about accepting who you are, including your shape, and reminding yourself that you are beautiful as you are!
Embarking on a healthier eating plan, that does not involve a crash diet to lose weight, is a great idea for your own personal health. As a mother I am very conscious of my own good health since having kids. I want to be around to see them grow up, get married and have kids of their own!
So if you do want to change your eating habits, do it for the right reasons. And don’t subscribe to fad diets! Instead commit to cooking healthy, balanced meals six days a week, then have one day a week where you cook something a little more indulgent or get a takeaway.
4. Ditch the booze
I don’t mean having a dry January! I mean making a positive change for the whole of your future.
Casual drinking at home, especially after having a tricky day with the kids, is such an easy habit to fall into. We think the odd glass of two of wine a day won’t do any harm.
But studies show that regular drinking can be as harmful as binging in one session.
So instead of giving up booze altogether in January, why not commit to cutting back on booze to improve your own health.
Try not drinking at all in the week, and having one night at the weekend where you have some of your favourite tipple.
If you’re not sure if you’re drinking too much, try keeping an alcohol diary for one week, noting down how many units you drink in that time. Men and women are advised to drink no more than 14 units per week.
5. Explore your local area
Try setting a challenge with your children that you will visit at least one new place every single month.
Make a list of parks and recreation spaces within a reasonable distance of your home and then tick them off as you go. You could pop the list on your fridge. It’s a great way of getting out regularly and enjoying where you live.
6. Try a reverse savings plan
I am so doing try this reverse savings plan this year! My end goal is to be able to afford some new sofas for our living room.
Under the reverse savings plan, you gradually save less and less until the final month when you only save a couple of pounds. This means that saving gets easier, instead of harder, as the year goes on.
I think it’s a fantastic idea for giving yourself motivation to save money!
The new year is the perfect time to declutter. The benefits of decluttering are many, but the key one for me is that it makes it so much easier to keep the house clean!
When you have stuff on every surface and spilling out of overflowing cupboards then keeping on top of it all becomes impossible.
You will not be able to declutter your whole home in one weekend, especially not with kids! Instead commit to a little time every day, or once a week.
Start with just one drawer and go from there. You will feel so much better when it’s done.
To find inspiration for how to organise every inch of your home, you can try Marie Kondo’s book, which has fantastic tips for making your home feel tidier.
8. Sell your valuable items
While decluttering you should be singling out items that could actually still fetch some money.
A bit of extra New Year cash will come in handy!
9. Read a book a month
Reading a book is a brilliant way of switching off at the end of a busy day. Many mothers find they quit reading because they are just too exhausted to do it at the end of a hectic day.
Try to make time to read a book a month this year. Make a list of what appeals to you, and tick them off as you finish them.
Right now I recommend The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.
You may also like:
10. Commit to less screen time
That includes smartphones! Commit to putting down your smartphone for two to four hours a day.
The ideal time of day to do this is probably when you are spending time with your kids, but you may also really benefit from ditching the screens in the hours before bedtime.
It’s been shown that screen use up until switching off to go to bed can actually hold you back from falling asleep.
11. Add new meals to your repertoire
Bored of the same old meals? Go on Pinterest and research some meal ideas. Shake up your weekly family meal plans and try something different!
We recently got a slow cooker which has opened up a whole new range of meal ideas for us.
The way it cooks meat, so that it is so tender it falls apart, is incredible!
12. Start a blog
Starting a blog is one of the best things I ever did! I wish I had done it sooner.
So if you are wondering whether you should start a blog, I would say go for it! There’s no good reason not to and a million reasons why it could be a fantastic venture for you.
It could be that the blog is just a hobby for you, however many mamas find it goes on to become a nice side income, or even a full-time income.
You could write about whatever you feel passionate about, from crafts to cooking to parenting.
Check out my full guide to starting a blog here.
13. Be ruthlessly organised
One of my big resolutions for 2020 is to get more organised. I have a 2020 planner ready to go with dates already programmed in.
I am determined not to miss any birthdays, or have to make a last-minute dash to the shops for presents. So I have a master list of birthdays and I plan to buy all the birthday cards I need for the year in January. I’ll then pick up gifts as and when I see them, with a deadline for buying them of one month before the actual date.
With my eldest daughter now in school, I suddenly have so many dates to remember it’s tricky to keep on top of it all! This is the year I want to get into good habits of writing all dates in one place and referring to my planner every single day.
14. Commit to self-care every week
Us mamas are all pretty terrible at taking care of ourselves, while we do everything we can to look after everyone else.
Put your needs first every one in a while and indulge in a little self-care. It could be as simple as a bath, time at a spa or getting your nails done. Whatever it is, make time to do it. You will appreciate the indulgence so much.
15. Print more photos
While having a smartphone may mean you take more photos, not having film to develop probably means you don’t get them printed as frequently.
Try to make time to print your favourite photos every few weeks and update frames around your house. You could also make an annual family photo album online.
16. Book your holiday
Have a think about where you want to go, and what you can realistically afford, now and get it booked.
Having something to look forward to can make all of the difference!
17, Make a financial plan
Do you have any debts, or do you have grand plans to buy a bigger home? Whatever your financial goals, write down what it is you want to achieve and figure out a path to getting there.
It may be that you need to cut back on spending in some areas, so take a close look at where you can make savings.
18. Give back to your community
Look for small ways you can give back to your community more often. Our area has a local food bank that takes donations all year. This is a simple way for me to give back, as I don’t have time to volunteer right now.
19, Drink more water
Invest in a pretty water bottle that reminds you to stay hydrated.
Being hydrated nourishes your mental health, boosts your energy levels and means you’re less likely to have breakouts on your skin.
20, Get inspired
Inspirational quotes can really motivate you in your day-to-day life. You could use post-its to jot down your favourite phrases and pop these somewhere you can see them.
Otherwise get a chalk or whiteboard where you can write these down in the kitchen, or in your home office.
21. Write down some goals
Have a think about what you want to achieve this year. Did you always want to write a book? Are you happy in your career, or do you want a change?
Write down some practical goals (think start your own business rather than get rich quick) and then plan out the steps you need to take to achieve them.
In 2020 I want to write a fiction book. In order to do this I will need to write at least 5,000 words per week of the book. Now I’m going to try to hold myself accountable using my planner where I will have my goals written out and broken down so that I can achieve them.
Have a think about your goals. You can totally do anything, but you’ll never ever get there if you don’t get started!
22. Stop comparing yourself to others
Do you see other mothers being more cool, calm and collected than you? Do you feel rubbish when you see another person with what you perceive to be more success?
Comparison truly is the thief of joy, and the thing is you never have any way of knowing whether that other person is really doing as great as you think!
Stop looking at others achievements and using it as a weapon to beat yourself down. Instead focus on your own achievements, what you are good at, and try to be inspired by other women, rather than threatened.
23. Ignore the fashions
One of the biggest drains on my bank account is fast fashion. There’s always a new “it” dress or style that absolutely everyone has.
It can be hard to resist, but these fast fashions are over in three months and then you move on to the next thing.
Try to instead build a capsule wardrobe that works for a range of occasions but never goes out of style. You’ll save money, and your wardrobe will not be as crammed!
24, Let go of toxic friendships
Some friends are for life. Others pass in and out of our lives depending on where we are, both geographically and mentally. If a friendship that has faded means a lot to you, then reach out to that person.
If you have a friend that makes you feel negative about yourself or down most of the time, then let that friendship go. It doesn’t have to be a conflict situation, but phase them out of your life or take a big step back.
It’s only worth investing your personal energy into people who make you feel good and that they get you.
Many mothers may find it hard to make new friends after having a baby. This is especially the case if your friends either do not have kids, or their children are a bit older than yours so they are at a different stage to you.
Let 2020 be the year you reach out to new social groups. Find a local mother and baby group, or try to connect with people through nursery or school. Friendships can get you through a lot of difficult times!
25. Get your smear test!
Are you due a smear test this year? In the UK ladies aged 25 to 64 should received an NHS cervical smear test every three years.
It’s not a pleasant trip out, but it could save your life! Keep up to date with your smear tests and take care of your health!