The New Year’s resolutions you should be making (according to experts)
You don’t need a long list of New Year’s goals – but a couple of key changes are enough to put you a step ahead for 2020.
We asked experts in various fields to recommend one resolution that can have a big impact:
‘This is the year to get on top of your superannuation’
Tania Tonkin, chartered accountant, financial planner and director, dmca advisory:
“Paying off the mortgage is always a good strategy, but you’ve got to have something to live on in retirement, says Tania.
“This is especially important for women who statistically end up with half the amount of super when compared to men in retirement.
“Putting even just a tiny bit extra into a super account regularly could make a huge difference. That’s the power of compound interest.
“So perhaps instead of blowing your tax return next year on a holiday or a shopping spree, consider making use of some of the new tax deductions that encourage super savings.
“Workers can put extra money into super and claim a tax deduction at the end of the year.
“The cap for these concessional contributions is $25,000 a year so you just need to check your pay slip or ask your super fund to find out how much you can add over the year.
“There are also the new spouse contribution rules that provide a tax off-set of $540 to eligible low to middle income families.”
- Financial health: 7 steps to achieve your money goals
‘It’s time to think about eating less meat’
Rick Hay, Healthista nutritional director:
“One of the best things you can do for improved health in 2020 is to eat more plant-based foods,” says Rick.
“Meals that are plant-based tend to be higher in fibre, which is great to help reduce cravings and to balance blood sugar levels.
“This makes them a good choice if you are looking to lose weight or to maintain weight loss.
“The other thing about vegan and even vegetarian options is that they are also better for cardiovascular health.
“Not only that, but plant-based options tend to be more nutrient-dense, which delivers more protective vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to the body, also assisting with better digestive function and gut health while delivering a boost to the immune system.”
- Plant-based: Things to know before you go vegan
‘Taking up meditation in 2020 can help improve your life’
Luke Mcleod, meditation and mindfulness coach and founder of Soul Alive:
“The one change I would recommend to help improve your life is to start meditating regularly if you don’t already,” he says.
“There are numerous benefits meditation can bring, but one study published in The International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry is a highlight, showing a 43 per cent improvement in telomerase activity (an enzyme needed to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s) after only 12 minutes of meditation daily for eight weeks.
“In other words, it’s a practice that can be truly life-changing for some.”
- Get ‘appy: Mindfulness apps for better health
‘Get into the habit of making a plan (and then sticking to it)’
Ben Lucas, director of Flow Athletic:
“No matter your goal, I suggest writing it down and putting a plan together to help you see it through. Just saying you’re going to do it is not enough,” says Ben.
“If your plan is to start working out four days a week, for example, put a note into your calendar and keep it like you would any other date.
- Habit trackers: How they work and why you need one
“I suggest booking it into a time slot where it is doable so if you know you often stay at work late, try to book it in the morning or at lunchtime.
“I appreciate that not everyone loves to do a hard workout session every day, but you should still be doing something.
“On the days that you are not working out, make time to go for a walk, have a stretch, go for a surf – the aim is to move for at least 30 minutes per day.”
- Jumpstart: What’s the best time of day to exercise?
Written by Dilvin Yasa.