Smart Thinking

10 New Year’s resolutions for time-poor professionals

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We've all made a New Year's resolution we know we'll struggle to keep. So, here are 10 that you might actually manage. Fingers crossed...

New Year's Resolutions, Jackal magazine1. Have a social cull (not us please)

New year, new you – and that means new priorities on social media. Thanks to the great invention of the interwebs, the average human mind now consumes 240 newspapers worth of digital content every day, somehow. It’s a reality of the modern world, but if we’re going to be subjected to so much information, let’s make it worthwhile shall we? You know what to do: pick those unfortunate souls that spam your feeds with banal selfies and and banish them to digital oblivion. It’s brutal, but it’s thoroughly empowering.

Having said that, we’re great, so please keep tuning in

Cocchi manhattan, festive cocktails, Jackal magazine2. Drink something different each week

I’ve drunk Martini Rosso my whole life (true fact), and it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I was introduced to a different red vermouth, Giulio Cocchi, and lo and behold, I prefer it. Whether you take our Managing Editor’s advice and work your way through The Jackal’s best cocktail bars in town, or find five minutes to experiment with that bottle of gin you’ve had your eye on, there’s nothing like discovering a new delicacy to raise your spirits (no pun intended).

Drake's, New Year's Resolutions, Jackal magazine3. Learn how to actually tie a tie

By which we mean a four-in-hand knot. Really, you shouldn’t need anything else. A tie knot at its most elegant should be small, tight, dimpled and asymmetrical. Most importantly, it should sit comfortably (and unobtrusively) within the points of your shirt collar. Ungainly full or half-Windsor knots were acceptable in the ‘80s when oversized cutaway collars were in, but there’s no need for them today. If in doubt, look to Drake’s for guidance.

New Year's Resolutions, Jackal4. Listen to more podcasts

There’s no more convenient way to expand your mind – particularly if you spend too much time on the move. Whether you’re intrigued by intelligent retellings of key moments in history, would like to reflect on some charming tales from the golden age of Hollywood, or even listen to three friends reading a truly terrible amateur erotic novel aloud, there’s something out there you’ll love.

P.S., if you’ve not got that last reference, you really do need to listen to more podcasts…

Cooking, New Year's Resolutions, Jackal magazine5. Cook something new every now and then

We’ve all done it: made a New Year’s resolution that we’ve absolutely no hope of keeping. Brave but impractical ideas like ‘cut all carbs’ or ‘only eat salads’ spring to mind. Sometimes, baby steps are the way forward. So, with that in mind, find some time on a Sunday afternoon to break out a cook book and try something new – small changes managed over time can make a big difference.

keeping a journal, saving grace, The Jackal magazine6. Find five good things in every day

Credit to one of our US-based contributors for this, Mr Porter’s Dan Rookwood. Dan penned a piece for our November issue on finding the little victories that we so often skip over in our day to day lives. I started keeping track off the back of his story, and it really does make a difference to your outlook over time. If you can find five simple positives – no matter how small – at the end of a shocking day, you’ll soon start to realise that it’s always possible to bounce back.

Pankhurst London, New Year's Resolutions, Jackal7. Try a new barber

There’s nothing like a new do to raise your spirits. We’ll be bringing you The Jackal’s guide to London’s best barbers in the next few weeks, but for now, here are a few names to look up: Pankhurst London (pictured), Joe & Co., The Nomad Barbershop and The Ottoman Crew – each is different but all are excellent. So, if you’d like a sharp new look, now you know where to go.

Hamilton, New Year's Resolutions, Jackal magazine8. Book something you’ve been putting off

Have you been toying with the idea of a skiing holiday, or backpacking trip, or are you just desperate to see Hamilton? Why not find an hour to book something that’s on your list for 2018 – I can guarantee it’ll feel good to do something for yourself. Plus, if it’s something to look forward to, it’ll get you through to spring.

YouTubeBinge, Resolutions, Jackal magazine9. Cut your nightly YouTube binge

Don’t try and tell me that you don’t do this, sadly we’re all guilty of it. Whether music videos, platitudinous memes, people falling off ladders or even old clips of Top Gear, those endless streams of grainy videos aren’t doing anything for your sleep patterns. It’s easy to get addicted to online content, but if you can cut the habit (or at least manage it) you’ll sleep better, feel better and find more time to be productive with – and who doesn’t want that?

New Year's Resolutions, Jackal magazine10. Take five minutes to pause

Tell you what, once you’ve kicked the YouTube habit, why not just fill your time with thinking? Sounds strange I know, but research suggests that five minutes of quiet contemplation each day (no, I’m not calling it ‘mindfulness’) slowly reprogrammes emotional receptors in the brain. In other words, taking a few minutes to mull over your day whether you’re in the park, on the Tube or in your kitchen at home, will make you calmer and more appreciative of the world around you. And let’s face it, in a world that’s showing no signs of slowing down, five minutes for yourself goes a long way.