One big new year’s resolution is too much – it hardly ever works out. So why not give yourself a mental makeover in small steps, like one thing per month? Here are some ideas.

Of course, people can change. Not overnight, though. And that’s what’s wrong with resolutions. You can’t just wake you on 1 January and suddenly be a different person.

See if you can make a list of 12 personal changes you’d like to make and you can manage no matter what the year throws at you. That’s one per month and could look something like this.

During sleep, you can strengthen memories or "practice" new skills. Good sleep means less daytime fatigue and more stamina. What’s more, a study found that people on diet felt hungrier when they got less sleep. If you’re suffering from insomnia, read here for help.

Tech help: Tide is a free app with a striking interface that will help you nod off just by looking at it. Or pick one of its relaxing soundtracks. The app stops the music once you're in dreamland. Pick a window for wake-up time and Tide will nudge you into the world during your lightest sleep phase. It also offers calming breathing exercises.

It’s budget time, so sin tax will go up again and a pack of 20s will edge closer to R50. One pack a day, that’s R1 500 per month. What a waste. Read here on how long it takes for your body to recover after your final cigarette.

Tech help: The app Smoke Free uses 20 different techniques that can help you. Log cravings on a graph, get badges for smoke-free days, see how much you save by not smoking. It also tells you how your health will improve.

Have your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar tested for free at a pharmacy or clinic. Find out at www.cansa.org when and how often you need screenings for breast, cervical and prostate cancer. Read more about four other health checks that could save your life here.

Jet Club help: Our Pharmacy Benefit allows you one free blood pressure and glucose test per year.

Start looking actively at ways to leave less of a mess on the planet. Recycling is an easy one. Find out who collects or where you can drop off junk. Your kid's school probably has a recycling programme going as well. Learn how to make ecobricks here. Check your local government website to find out where their waste drop-off points are.

Re-use is better. Buy a reusable take-away cup for coffee and get those reusable bags at your supermarket. Pick glass over plastic.

Best of all is reduce. Why do you need a straw to drink something? Wet wipes and moist toilet tissues can’t be recycled: get each family member a face cloth.

Remember what some people see as useless rubbish can be a recycler's treasure, offering an opportunity to make a living. Here we speak to three individuals who are doing just that and helping the environment at the same time.

Add a new feature to your styling or clothing. It's not about turning heads but about looking the part – at work or play – because it sets you at ease and builds confidence. If you can't own it, don't do it. Start small and see how it makes you feel.

Jet Club help: Make the most of the great discount deals in our stores. Jet Club members also get a little extra with a monthly Jet Club shopping voucher!

Regular walks help you maintain a healthy weight, can prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, strengthens bones and muscles, lifts your mood and tweaks your balance and coordination. Read here for some of the amazing things a regular walk can do.

Tech help: Register online for MapMyWalk. Zoom in on a map of your choice. As you draw, the distance and elevation add up. Save and print your maps or download them to your mobile device.

Keep your till slips for the month and work out a realistic budget for the rest of the year. Here are some tips to budget like a pro!

Tech help: Wally Next offers free tools to track budget and expenses. Set a savings target, log and track expenses, get reminders for bills.

If you’re single, join a club or group that interests you, where you’re bound to meet like-minded people. Book clubs, dance groups, sports or gaming clubs are good places to start. Or why not challenge yourself to reframe your mind to take a different approach to being single with this helpful guide.

Tech help: Try the dating apps Bumble, Tinder and OKCupid.

Giving up your time to help others is fulfilling and uplifting. A good place to find out what your community needs is at your local church, mosque or community centre.

Everybody’s talking about life-long learning. You have to up-skill all the time – if not for your career, at least to keep your mind fit! See what courses your nearest colleges or universities offer.

Old dogs can learn new tricks, and education is never wasted, no matter your age. If you want to be inspired to take up studies later in life, read here.

Online help: Look at www.udemy.com. Not all their courses are free but they often have special offers on stuff you have to pay for.

Have fun in the sun with family and friends who might have seen little of you during the busy year.

Online help: Do a search for “Things to do in…” and see what seasonal events are on near you. Go out and enjoy them with people who matter to you.

This holiday season, take your lead from kids. Their main goal is to do anything they can’t do during the school year. Try it. Do what you have to differently. Mix up the usual holiday routine. Eat outside. Go to a beach or park you’ve never been to. Ignore the news for a bit. Let the whole family swap rooms for a night – just for fun. Don’t text, phone people or think about your job. Here’s how.

Sources: www.health.com, positiveroutines.com, www.investopedia.com, www.tomsguide.com

12 STEPS TO A NEW YOU! 12 STEPS TO A NEW YOU! Reviewed by Jet Club on December 12, 2019 Rating: 5
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