The presents have been opened, the crackers have been pulled and the mince pies have been eaten – Christmas is over and New Year is coming, the time that we look back on the year that’s been and decide what we’re going to do to make next year even better. Of course, by the time February rolls around those New Year ambitions are usually long forgotten. So this year, I’ve taken a bit of short break inspiration to help me to stay on track with my new year resolutions – why don’t you try them out too.
1) Get more active
After tucking in to turkey with all the trimmings for most of December, as January beckons I’m always inspired to put down the tin of Roses, switch off the Christmas movies and get myself out for a bit of exercise in the New Year. But let’s be honest, running on a treadmill isn’t much of a thrill for anyone, making it hard to keep up the motivation as January plods on. So this year, I’m going to get my exercise by joining the great outdoors rather than my local gym. I’m lucky to have just moved toYork– a perfect location for walking the city walls, climbing the stairs of the York Minster tower or going for a run in one of the city’s many beautiful parks. Get outside and see what your local area has to offer. I’m also planning to visit the Peak District this year which is an idyllic setting for some outdoor activity, with over 34 miles of scenic walking trails within the Peak District National Park. If you’re more adventurous than me, the National Park also offers paragliding, rock climbing and water sports – definitely more fun than sit-ups.
2) Be more romantic
For me, Christmas is the most romantic time of the year – cosying up by the fire; walking hand-in-hand among the Christmas lights; kissing under the mistletoe – wouldn’t it be nice to keep up that magical sense of romance year round? Why not give yourself and your partner something to look forward to in the New Year by planning a romantic short break, or two. Of course, when you think of a romantic break Paris is the first place that comes to mind, and for good reason. The city of lights is the perfect destination for strolling by the River Seine, marveling at the lights of the spectacular Eiffel Tower and sampling the local delicacies at a Parisian pavement café. Of course, you don’t need to cross the channel to soak up some romance. London was recently voted the most romantic city in the UK, and with theatre shows and top restaurants galore, alongside breathtaking experiences such as the view from the Shard – the English capital is every bit as romantic a spot as Paris for saying j’adore. Exploring new places with your partner has been known to make relationships stronger, and is a wonderful way of building special memories together. Plus, there’s no better way to show your partner how much you care than by surprising them with a romantic break.
3) Take time to relax
Is anyone else thinking, where has the year gone?! Between work, friends, family and all of our other commitments – time goes by so quickly and it often feels like we barely get a second to stop and take it all in. But it’s important to take some time out from our busy day-to-day lives now and again to enjoy a bit of relaxation and ‘me-time’ – whether that’s soaking in a bubble bath after work, spending a whole day in your onesie on the sofa or treating yourself to a pamper session at a luxury spa hotel; all three sound good to me! Having had a pretty hectic 2015, this year I’m going to make sure I make the most of those lazy Sundays completely guilt free. Treat yourself, and do the same!
4) Spend more time with friends
As life moves on; friends move away; work gets busier; family responsibilities grow – it can be more and more difficult to see your friends as often as you would like. With my friends spread out across Scotland, Yorkshire, Manchester and London – it’s impossible for me to see them all every Saturday night. But, on the plus side, having friends spread out across the UK gives me plenty of excuses to visit them in their new cities – in fact, maybe I should encourage one of them to move further afield. Even when your friends live around the corner from you, it’s not always easy to find a time to all get together. And as one after the other start to pull out of your plans for a pint, the occasion ends up being cancelled. So this year why not promise to spend some quality time with your besties by planning an extra-special occasion for you all to catch up. It might be an afternoon tea break with the girls, a golf trip with the guys or a European short break on a mini-cruise. My friends and I are planning a girls’ weekend away to Europe this year to give us some proper time together away from all of our responsibilities. If we’re going to catch-up over cocktails we might as well do it in Barcelona, right?
5) Try something new
Every year we learn new things about ourselves – this year I discovered I do actually like black olives and I make a brilliant detective at murder mystery events. The year before I uncovered a keen interest in photography and a surprising instinct for predicting the World Cup scores. Who knows what 2016 will bring? As we grow older and experience new things, our interests, tastes and knowledge develop, and so it’s important that we continually try new things; take on new hobbies; visit new places and learn new skills, in order to become the fullest version of ourselves. Need some inspiration – get cultured with a West End theatre show, get adventurous on a theme park break, try out your language skills on a short break in Europe or get creative with a dance class on a group getaway. It’s never too late to learn something new, so make 2016 your year.
What is your number one new year resolution for 2016? Tell us in the comment box below.