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  • Writer's pictureSam & Elle

Renewing our New Year Resolutions for 2024

It is that time of year again: the week between Christmas and New Year that always takes us by surprise.  After the build-up to Christmas – decorating, shopping, cooking, wrapping – time seems to be suddenly suspended.  For some, this may feel like an ‘empty’ week, but for many (including us) this is a much-needed moment for reflection on the year before and planning for the year ahead.

An advent candle burning low

Regardless how often we tell ourselves that a year is just a number – that the natural rhythms of our planet do not coincide with our Gregorian calendar, and that many cultures around the world celebrate New Year on different days – we still find it almost impossible not to associate some special significance to the threshold between 31 December and 1 January.  This approaching New Year is no exception.

It is easy to be led into believing that each year should be an improvement on the last, that you have somehow ‘failed’ last year, and that you need to change: New Year, New You.  Each year is a step that must be climbed in pursuit of improvement.  Companies are keen to exploit this emotion in order to sell you something: a gym membership, a new journal, or a premium subscription for a mobile app.  As a species, we seem particularly susceptible to narratives of transformation, conversion and perfection.

The first buds of new growth on a plum tree

Yet, not only is this way of viewing our lives rather unhealthy, it is also quite unnatural.  Elsewhere in the natural world, the years aren’t a series of steps, but a continuous cycle: plants and animals, the weather and the seasons, all find a regular, cyclical rhythm.  Some years may be better for certain species than others, but for the most part, it is this consistent procession of the year and it’s seasons that is most important for the natural environment.

When thinking about our New Year Resolutions, we take inspiration from this pattern.  Instead of seeking transformation, we recommit ourselves to the same resolutions we made four years ago, in one of our first blog posts at the beginning of our ‘sloe’ journey.

Bright sunlight on a winter day

Back in 2019, we wrote about our sustainability resolutions for 2020, which have since become something of a manifesto for us, highlighting our principles of slow, seasonal and sustainable living, and giving us an ideal to aspire towards.  This outlined seven areas we wanted to focus on, from reducing waste and buying second-hand, through eating seasonally through gardening, foraging and buying locally, to eating less meat and using fewer chemicals.

As the seasons cycle away from the darkest months, we are renewing our commitment to these resolutions once again.  This annual renewal helps us to celebrate and build-on our achievements, and to focus our attention on priorities for the coming year.

So, if you are unsure about resolutions for 2024, we recommend: building on the strengths you already have, rather than fighting against your nature; nurturing an appreciation for long-term growth, rather than immediate change; and starting small and achievable, rather than seeking ‘perfection’.

Wishing you a wonderful, healthy, and happy 2024.

A glass of sparkling wine in front of a Christmas tree


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