When the world appears to be imploding in on itself, now more than ever we may want to inject a little positivity into life. If we’re better people, we’re better prepared to initiate change and will be generally happier in our everyday lives.

Don’t get me wrong; this is not a ‘New Year, New Me’, overly optimistic and doomed-to-fail resolutions article. You will find no “Go to the gym at least three times a week” or “Cut out all carbs” in this piece (mainly because carbs are too yummy to cut out completely). Instead, you will find little (and easy) things we can all do to have a much more positive attitude towards ourselves personally, the world around us and 2018 in general, which I’d argue is what we desperately need right now.

1. Limit social media use

resolutions you wont break

Not to say social media is inherently evil and you should avoid it completely – i.e. please continue reading this article if you found it on Facebook – but it’s become a bit of an addiction for our generation.

And this isn’t an exaggeration. A recent viral video highlights some key questions to ask yourself: when you wake up, do you pick up your phone before you say hi to your partner? Do you leave your phone on the restaurant/bar table when hanging out with friends – even if it’s face down? Are you immediately scrolling through your phone when you’re left alone while your friend goes to the bathroom?

This behaviour is linked to mental health issues in a study by the University of Copenhagen, putting us in a bad mood and constantly comparing ourselves to others. So next time you find yourself Facebook stalking your ex’s new partner or complaining about how unfair it is you don’t have Carrie Underwood’s hair or Blake Shelton’s sense of humour, it might be time to step away.

2. Be kind

hands holding green heart shaped tree

If 2017 has taught us anything, it’s that there’s a lot of hate swirling around unnecessarily right now. It’s probably time to take a page out of Martin Luther King’s book: “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”.

Be kind to those we find in trouble around the world – donate to causes you care about or when a major earthquake or hurricane strikes in the world, reach out a helping hand.

Be kind to the environment, because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s currently falling apart. Offset and/or cut your carbon footprint – which you can calculate here – by making even some of the smallest of changes.

Be kind in your everyday life to people around you. Everybody has a story, everyone has their baggage and we’ve all ridden the struggle bus that was 2017 together.

3. Don’t just think – Do

Making memories

To continue with the theme of fewer screens, it’s time to recognize that for all its faults, the world is full of happy, beautiful things and new experiences for us to indulge in. Do that one thing you’ve always wanted to do or take a class you’re intrigued by: meditation? Life drawing? Go wild! Take day trips, watch the stars, forego public transit and just walk for a day and really pay attention to your surroundings. If you have some money saved up, pick a country on your bucket list and book flights. Or search the best flight deal you can find right now and book it, no matter where it is!

There’s a lot of skepticism about creating New Year’s resolutions, but these, centred around positive thinking and seeing the bigger picture, instead of very large, specific goals, are things we’d all benefit from.