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12 really sensible New Year’s resolutions for 2022 (that will save you money)

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Are you ready for a truly meaningful New Year’s resolution? 2021 is over and wow, what a year it was! It’s time to look ahead and think about 2022 and the new resolutions.

Are you ready for a truly meaningful New Year’s resolution?

2021 is over and wow, what a year it was! It’s time to look ahead and think about 2022 and the new resolutions.

But especially after a year like 2021, it shouldn’t be just any resolution. But a really sensible resolution. Challenge yourself and make our planet a better place at the same time.

It’s much easier than you think. Here you’ll find 12 ideas for New Year’s resolutions that really make a difference, as well as action plans at various levels of difficulty to help you achieve and keep your resolution in 2022.

The top three reasons why most people don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions and how you can avoid these mistakes can of course also be found here.

Why should my New Year’s resolution make an impact?

Of course you can decide on a personal New Year’s resolution. Many people do this, but doing more sport or saving more money doesn’t help anyone but yourself.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making a personal New Year’s resolution. But how cool is it when you make a strong resolution that not only benefits you, but also the planet and its inhabitants?

Just to emphasize that: Each of the effective New Year’s resolutions listed below will also benefit you. But beyond that, it benefits the planet, biodiversity and other people.

Sustainability at its best is holistically sustainable, which means that everyone benefits from it. This is exactly what you can achieve if you decide on a meaningful and effective New Year’s resolution.

Three main reasons why most people don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions

According to Statista¹, 2/3 of people don’t manage to keep their New Year’s resolutions. 36% of respondents break their resolutions within a few hours to a month.

Here are the three main reasons why most people don’t keep their resolutions and how you can avoid these mistakes.

#1: The New Year’s resolution is too ambitious

The biggest challenge with New Year’s resolutions is that most people set themselves far too ambitious goals.

If you want to save more money, it is doomed to failure if you say to yourself: “I will save 30% more of my income next year” because that goal is far too ambitious.

It would be much smarter to approach your goal in small steps, such as “Every month I will save 2.5% more than the previous month”. So you will save 2.5% more in January, 5% more in February and so on and so forth until you have saved 30% more at the end of the year.

The same applies to more sport, a healthier diet or smoking less. If you set out to go from 0 to 100, there is a very good chance that you will not reach your goal. If you accept that there is no elevator to success and you are allowed to take the stairs, you are much more likely to keep your New Year’s resolutions and achieve them.

#2: The New Year’s resolution is too vague

The second big challenge with New Year’s resolutions is that they are often imprecise.

Honestly, how exactly do you measure that you are “eating healthier” or “exercising more”?

Make a SMART resolution for the next year. SMART stands for:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attractive

R = Realistic

T = Terminated

Set yourself a measurable number for your resolution, add a deadline. And off we go!

#3: New Year’s resolutions are quickly forgotten after New Year’s Eve

The third big challenge is that most people forget their New Year’s resolution just a few days (or even hours) after they’ve made it.

Preventing this is really easy: If you really want to change something in your life and add value next year, then write your green resolution on a piece of paper and place it somewhere where you and everyone who visits you can see it.

This way, not only will you remember every time you see your resolution, but your friends and family will also remind you when they visit you.

This means you have someone who can ask you about your progress and also motivate you if things aren’t going so well after all.

How can I ensure that I keep my resolution for 2022?

Keeping your sustainable New Year’s resolution for 2022 is much easier than you think.

Simply avoid the three traps mentioned above.

So:

The more precisely your resolution is formulated, the better.

Use a calendar where you can cross out the days on which you have kept your resolution. This gives you an extra boost of motivation when you have reached a series of days.

If you have decided on a meaningful resolution, you have the added motivation of making a difference. As you are not only doing something for yourself thanks to your resolution, but also something for others, it will be easier for you to stick to it.

Make sure that you only make one resolution for the new year. Although we have listed 12 sensible resolutions here, choose just one for you.

If you have already made your resolution a habit within the first three months, you can of course come back here at any time and choose another resolution.

Tip: Bookmark this article so that you can easily find it later. Alternatively, you can also send us an e-mail and we will be happy to remind you of your resolution on a monthly or quarterly basis.

A special tip to help you successfully implement your meaningful New Year’s resolution

A clever way to remind yourself of your New Year’s resolution is to wear a bracelet. Whenever you look at the bracelet, you will be reminded of your wonderful resolution for the year and your chances of achieving it will be increased.

Alternatively, you can set a regular reminder on your cell phone.

The best idea for keeping your New Year’s resolution is to convince a friend to join you. This way, you can motivate each other when you are lacking motivation.

So ask a friend to join you today. Share this article on Instagram and Facebook, and make a resolution that you want to achieve together.

What’s so special about this “green guide” for New Year’s resolutions

To help you achieve your New Year’s resolution and ensure it not only helps you but also contributes to a greater whole, we’ve created our guide to green New Year’s resolutions with a few extra tips.

All the resolutions mentioned are sustainable resolutions with a great effect

Firstly, you will find that all the resolutions mentioned are sustainable. They are good for you and good for our planet.

Different levels of difficulty

Secondly, we have divided each solution into three difficulty levels. No matter where you are on the path, there is an option that is challenging on the one hand and achievable and realistic on the other. As learned above, this is the key to actually achieving your New Year’s resolution.

If you are unsure, then start small. If you easily mastered the easier challenge in January and February, you can move up to a higher difficulty level in March.

The costs: save money with these resolutions

Thirdly, we have only chosen resolutions that won’t break your bank account. Since one of the most important New Year’s resolutions worldwide is to “budget better”, we have even chosen resolutions that will save you money instead of spending it.

If they cost money, like the New Year’s resolution to plant more trees next year, we’ve linked to valuable resources, such as how to plant trees for free.

Can I only make a new resolution on New Year’s Day?

No, of course not. Every day of the year, you can choose to make the planet a better place. If you remove New Year from the word New Year’s resolution, all that’s left is resolution.

There is absolutely no law about when to start a new resolution and make a positive change in your life.

Even if you’re reading this on a day other than New Year’s Day, feel free to pick your favorite resolution and make it a habit starting today.

12 really effective New Year’s resolutions for the new year

Okay, enough now. Here are 12 super sustainable and really effective New Year’s resolutions for 2022.

You can also try out and implement a new one every month.

No matter which one you choose, you will be actively involved in making our planet a better place.

Sustainable New Year’s resolution #1: Plant trees on autopilot every month

With the practical tree subscription, we plant a tree for you every month where it is needed most.

The great thing is, you don’t have to worry about anything else, we do everything for you. Every month you do not just one good deed, but several. Because planting trees combats climate change, creates habitats for endangered species and jobs for local communities. Isn’t that fantastic?

What are you waiting for? You can start right now with the tree subscription and make our world a better place month after month.

Effective New Year’s resolution #2: Eat less meat

Livestock farming is one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions worldwide. Eating less meat helps to reduce these emissions and saves animal lives at the same time. It’s a super valuable and effective New Year’s resolution.

And contrary to a widespread misconception, it is much easier than expected.

How to put your green resolution to eat less meat into practice

As mentioned before, if you want to go straight from 100% carnivore to 100% vegan, you are doomed to fail. The smarter way to achieve sustainable success is to proceed in small steps.

Choose one of these three options that sounds realistic to you. There is no right or wrong here, every step helps.

a) Make Monday meat-free. Don’t eat meat on Mondays.

b) No meat before 6 pm. Don’t eat meat before 6 pm.

c) Eat a vegetarian diet. It’s easier than you think, because there are so many healthy and delicious vegetarian dishes. (If that’s not challenging enough: try Veganuary – eat vegan for the whole of January. (Of course, another month is also possible))

Body and eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions #3: Go plogging

Plogging is a Swedish portmanteau of the word “plocka up”, which means “to pick up” and “to jog”. “Jogging”, you know… running around aimlessly to have an excuse to spend the rest of the day on the couch watching Netflix without feeling bad about it. (Yes, that is the official definition of “jogging”).

Plogging has already become a trend in Europe. North Americans are also slowly joining this trend and picking up litter lying around during their workouts.

Most ploggers carry a small plastic bag with them.

Advanced ploggers fill a reusable cotton bag, empty it in a garbage can, wash the bag and start again.

In addition to the ecological aspect, the added value is that jogging becomes a full-body exercise. All that bending down and picking up objects exercises the whole body.

Believe it or not, you can also pick up litter without jogging. While you’re strolling through the park, walking your dog or chatting with a friend.

We have tried it out and so far no one has complained.

How to put your eco-friendly decision to go jogging into practice

Whether you go jogging, on your walk or pick up litter on the way to work is entirely up to you. The only thing you should commit to is regularity.

Here are three suggestions:

a) Collect five pieces of garbage once a week.

b) Pick up litter two days a week.

c) Pick up ten pieces of garbage three days a week.

Feel free to vary these suggestions to suit your schedule and ambitions.

As already mentioned, you should make sure that your goals are achievable: Our planet will benefit much more if you pick up one piece of trash every week for the next year than if you pick up five pieces of trash every day but decide on January 3 that you’ve had enough.

Green New Year’s resolutions for the new year #4: Fly less

Unfortunately, flying is not yet completely climate-friendly. Decide to fly less than… well… before the pandemic. (If you commit to flying less than in 2021, that would be a bit too easy, don’t you think?)

The added benefit of flying less is that you will enjoy flying more and look forward to it more.

How to put your eco-friendly resolution to fly less into practice

Flying less is not that difficult. We all learned that the hard way in 2020 and 2021.

If you fly a lot for work, explain to your superiors that many meetings can also be held online. This not only saves the company money, but also a lot of time and is good for the environment.

If you are addicted to flying on vacation, you should explore the surrounding area a little more closely. There are lots of great places that you can reach by train or bus – or even by bike.

Here, too, we should start with the next realistic step.

a) Take one less flight next year than in 2021

b) Halve the number of flights from 2021

c) Treat yourself to a single return flight next year.

Wherever you are traveling and whether you are traveling for business or pleasure: Our Green Travel Guide will help you to travel more sustainably and save a lot of money at the same time.

Effective New Year’s resolutions #5: Say goodbye to fast fashion

Fast fashion is a term that shouldn’t really exist. But unfortunately it does exist, because fashion has become so incredibly cheap.

As a smart citizen, you know that cheap fashion comes at a high price, both for the environment and for the working conditions of the people who produce it.

Saying goodbye to fast fashion is a very effective resolution for the coming year. You save the environment, improve working conditions for people all over the world – and save yourself the hassle of having to buy new things every other week.

A win-win-win solution, don’t you think?

How to put your smart resolution to say goodbye to fast fashion into action

Saying goodbye to fast fashion is much easier than you think. Because you can still buy things – just make sure they’re second-hand.

You could also set up a quarterly clothes swap with your friends. It’s even easier if you go through your closet and discover your hidden treasures.

To turn a fast-fashion addict into a slow-fashion superstar, consider the following steps as your New Year’s resolution:

a) Don’t buy anything new once a week

b) Don’t buy anything new for two weeks in a month

c) Don’t buy anything new (except maybe underwear)

If, in the case of a) or b) buy new items, make sure that they have been produced ethically and in an environmentally friendly way. Also, think about whether you really want something for at least a week. If you still want it after that one week, there’s a good chance you’ll wear it long enough to make it slow fashion.

Sustainable New Year’s resolutions #6: Plant more trees

Trees are true heroes when it comes to making our planet a better place.

They combat climate change by absorbing CO2, they serve as a habitat for animals to preserve biodiversity, and planting trees creates full-time jobs and income for people all over the world – especially in less privileged areas of our planet.

And these are just three of the 16 UN Sustainable Development Goals thatare supported by planting trees!

That’s why planting more trees is the most sustainable and effective New Year’s resolution you can make. (You can say we’re biased because we plant trees. But look at it this way: we started planting trees because it’s the most effective thing you can do.

Decide to plant more trees next year – you know that our planet needs all the help it can get.

How to put your green resolution to plant more trees into practice

Planting more trees is not that difficult. You can either do it yourself or let other people do it for you.

In its simplest version, implementing this resolution is as easy as visiting clickatree.com once a month and planting a tree. How easy is that?

Depending on your ambition, there are 3 options:

a) Plant one tree a month

b) Plant one tree per week

c) Plant a tree every day in the new year

Since we promised you that none of our meaningful New Year’s resolutions would break your bank account, here are 11 super simple ways to plant trees for free. 11 super easy ways how to plant trees for free simple ways how to plant trees for free.

With one tree per month, there is only one tree left for which you pay. To get that done, plant your first tree right now.

Sustainable New Year’s resolutions #7: Stick to your shopping list

Similar to fashion, there are many other things that we buy often and rarely need. This includes everything from electronics to household goods, from snacks to software.

To counteract this, you should resolve to only buy things that have been on your shopping list for a while. This gives you time to think about whether this purchase is really necessary or not.

Great side effect: if you only buy things that have been on your shopping list for a long time, you save a lot of money.

How to put your smart resolution to stick to your shopping list into action

The very first thing you need for this smart resolution is, of course, a shopping list. If you don’t have one yet, download a suitable app like Listonic.

And then: use it. Create separate lists, e.g. for food, electronics, household goods, etc. Whenever you think you need something, write it on the list. If you change your mind the next time you look at the list, cross it out.

If it is still there after the time frame you have set, you are welcome to buy it. The best thing to do is to look on second-hand sites like eBay or Craigslist – you’ll usually find something there.

Possible time frames are:

a) one day

b) one week

c) one month

You’ll quickly realize that most of the purchases we make are impulse buys – and we definitely don’t need these things if we think about it for a while.

Green New Year’s resolutions #8: Climate-neutral commuting

2021 has shown us that working from home is an acceptable solution in many cases. However, it doesn’t work in all situations – and we don’t know whether your employer will allow you to work from home in the future or not.

So let’s think about environmentally friendly routes to work. If the way you are currently commuting is good for the climate, you are doing it right.

If not, make this green New Year’s resolution for 2022 to get on the right track.

How you can put your sustainable resolution to commute in a more environmentally friendly way into practice.

You already know that it is much more environmentally friendly to take public transportation, carpool or bike to work than for every employee to use their own car.

Let’s now put this knowledge into practice. Commit to a greener commute:

a) one day per week

b) three days per week

c) every day

And hey, once again: this New Year’s resolution not only has a positive impact on the climate, but also saves money. What’s not to like?

Sensible New Year’s resolutions #9: Take reusable materials with you

Make a statement next year by carrying reusable items with you: A reusable coffee mug, a cotton shopping bag, a stainless steel water bottle, your own Tupperware lunch box, a reusable face mask… whatever it is, all of these reusable items will prevent a lot of trash from becoming trash in the first place.

And the effect doesn’t stop there: If you choose a cool, reusable item, other people will want it too – and with little effort, you’ve saved a lot of waste from landfill. Cheers to you!

How to put your green resolution to transport reusable materials into practice

Of course, you need reusable materials first and foremost. But maybe you already have a cotton bag? Do you know a friend from whom you could borrow a reusable lunch box in the long term?

In case you decide to buy a new one: Do you have a reusable lunch box? Make sure it looks cool and stylish and print your personal message or a family picture on it. The more you love it, the more you like to carry it around with you – and the more you like to talk about it with other people.

It all adds up. So if you buy something new, make sure it’s worth buying.

Once you have prepared everything, use your reusable materials

a) once a week

b) three days per week

c) every day

If you want to go one step further: share a picture of your reusable products on Instagram. Tag us and let us know we’ve inspired you – and we’ll be happy to share your story if you like.

Effective New Year’s resolutions #10: Send emails

Yes, it’s true: even sending emails can have a big impact – and is therefore the perfect green resolution for anyone who spends a lot of time in front of a screen. Does that sound like you?

The only thing you need to keep in mind is that it’s not just any kind of email.

Send emails to your favorite companies and thank them for the great work they do. And also send e-mails to companies that are not yet doing so well and make suggestions to them on how they can improve.

As a potential customer, you have it in your hands. If you suggest to a company that you would prefer to avoid plastic, reduce emissions or plant trees for every purchase you make, they will soon do so. This is how our capitalist system works.

How to put your sensible resolution to send valuable emails into practice

Of course, the most effective emails are those that contain actionable suggestions. It’s great to praise companies for what they do right – but it’s best to give them a tip or two on what they can do even better.

Do you need inspiration? Simply suggest one of these effective New Year’s resolutions to the company of your choice. If you are able to do this as a private individual, the company that wants your money should also be able to do so.

As far as frequency is concerned, how about a commitment to

a) one e-mail per week

b) three e-mails per week

c) five e-mails per week

If you think about it, searching for an e-mail address takes about a minute.

If you send similar emails to each company using a template (copy and paste), it will take another minute to personalize each email.

Even if it takes you four minutes to write this email, it’s only 5 minutes in total from start to finish. That’s less than half an hour a week to achieve the gold standard in this sensible New Year’s resolution.

Do you think you can take 30 minutes a week to make our planet a better place?

Sensible New Year’s resolutions #11: Reduce single-use plastic

Single-use plastic is a nightmare for our planet: The raw materials used and the emissions generated during production, as well as the longevity are disproportionate to the useful life. (Which in the case of plastic bags or straws is only a few minutes).

Commit to using less single-use plastic in 2022. This not only saves our planet, but also saves a lot of money.

Apart from the fact that you no longer have to buy plastic bags in the supermarket, you will also benefit from this effective New Year’s resolution by buying fewer unhealthy foods such as potato chips or chocolate bars. These are all packaged in disposable plastic. They’re bad for the planet – and not exactly healthy for you either.

Reducing single-use plastic is a win-win solution!

How you can put your green resolution to use less single-use plastic into practice.

No matter where you are on your journey to living waste-free, there is always a next step you can take.

How about one of these three ways to reduce your single-use plastic waste?

a) Start with single-use plastic-free Fridays. Don’t buy single-use plastic on Fridays. (Ideally, you shouldn’t buy potato chips on Thursday and then eat them on Friday).

b) Reduce your single-use plastic waste by 5% every month. It sounds ridiculously simple at first – and it is. But it gets harder every month, and you’ll get better and better at using less single-use plastic over time.

c) Reduce single-use plastic waste by 10% every month. For example, if the plastic garbage can is currently full after 10 days, commit to filling it to 11 days next month. It’s as simple as that.

The supreme discipline would of course be to strive for zero waste. But since no one is born a master, you should start with a single next step.

Related articles: Looking for an adventure this winter? Check out these 10 eco-friendly and fun winter activities.

Altruistic New Year’s resolutions for the new year #12: Spend time for a good cause

There are so many good causes. We waste so many hours watching Netflix, taking another nap or playing computer games.

We’re not saying that you should cut out all leisure activities. But how about dedicating a small part of your valuable time to a good cause?

How to put the effective resolution to invest time in a good cause into practice

Step 1: Find a good cause to dedicate your time to. You could join a local organization, help your neighbors, support Click A Tree on social media, or do something else you feel is “worthy”.

Step 2: Do it.

Not only do you do good, but you also learn new things and meet a lot of cool people.

How about

a) 30 minutes per week

b) one hour per week

c) 30 minutes per day

Remember: every little helps. There is no such thing as too little – or too much.

Related articles: The Twentrees: The Decade That Saves Our Lives

What will be your meaningful resolution for the new year?

What is your New Year’s resolution for this year? And: Have we forgotten to list anything you would like to tell us?

Oh, and: If you know a few people who need inspiration: Feel free to share this article via social media, WhatsApp or email. The more people who decide to make a really effective New Year’s resolution this year, the greater the overall impact. A win-win situation, right?

Thank you for being so great – keep up the good work!