Glow Up

It’s the same situation every single year. We make a list of resolutions, only to break them a mere days later because – let’s face it – they’re usually unrealistic!


The ‘new year, new you’ slogan doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process, and will likely be a long process after the year we’ve just survived. However, after all we have been through, what can we do to improve our relationship with this planet and ourselves? OHLALA puts together a list of 100 small changes or things to do that you can embrace in 2021. Choose which ones are closer to your heart and start your journey here.

1. Start a garden – tomatoes grow beautifully this time of the year, and basil is a year-round herb in this part of the world if you water more during the hotter months.

2. Recycle your trash.

3. Buy locally – give preference to crops grown as near as possible to you.

4. Give meatless Mondays a try.

5. Don’t forget your eco-bags – avoid getting plastic bags at supermarkets or even paper options at stores.

6. Say hello to your neighbours.

7. Carpool to go to work or school.

8. Support your friend’s business.

9. Don’t change your phone just because there’s a new one in the market.

10. Don’t print unnecessarily.

11. Make your own soap or cleaning products using natural ingredients – there are plenty of tutorials out there to guide you through.

12. Help others, no matter how small the favour is.

13. Be sympathetic to other people’s feelings.

14. Practice and take the time to do what gives you balance or peace of mind.

15. Move your body – it can be a light walk, a running programme, or a routine of movements at home.

16. Support a charity or cause that has a deeper meaning to you.

17. Sing in the shower.

18. Learn to say no to things that make you uncomfortable.

19. Say yes to more things that make you happy.

20. Commit to something – it can be to finish a book you started a long time ago or take an afternoon to do nothing.

21. Call your mum, dad, or a loved one more often.

22. Avoid situations that make you feel bad about yourself.

23. Make a list of things you like about yourself and keep it on top of that old picture of when you had your ‘ideal’ body.

24. Don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t – it is exhausting and won’t take you anywhere you really would like to go.

25. Cry – sometimes, it’s the only thing that will make you feel a bit better.

26. But don’t panic because it won’t help you at all.

27. Find something you love and do it now – don’t wait until you have the right amount of time or money.

28. Call an old friend, out of the blue, for no specific reason.

29. Surprise yourself by doing something you never thought you could.

30. Manage your expectations – don’t assume things or count on unreal situations.

31. Make a tip jar and donate the money at the end of 2021.

32. Listen more – we all tend to talk too much.

33. Learn a new language, even if it’s solely to ask your elderly neighbour how they’re doing.

34. Take the time to play one board game or simple games such as dominoes or cards once a week.

35. Do something unexpected for your family, like a whole day in with fun things to do together.

36. Distribute compliments – they’re free and can make someone’s day.

37. Breath, and stop to appreciate it.

38. Don’t carry someone else’s burden – some things simply don’t belong to you.

39. Judge less, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes before creating a whole misconception.

40. Teach – if you have even one skill, pass it on.

41. Learn – never miss the opportunity to keep learning, even when you think you know it all.

42. Be humble – humility will take you further than arrogance.

43. Donate things, time, or even words of kindness.

44. Remember that happiness lives in tiny little moments that, when put together, make it big or small. 45. Appreciate your roots – you are here because wonderful people years ago did so much for your existence to be possible.

46. Challenge yourself – start a new business, write a book, or conquer an old fear.

47. Remember that all the answers are already inside of you.

48. Do something for someone you love, even though it won’t be your most preferred activity for the day.

49. Dance, even if you have two left feet, just for the pleasure of letting the music enter your body.

50. Take chocolate into work for your colleagues – the act itself will make their day.

51. Send a voice message – the familiarity alone will bring about the best memories.

52. Give someone a lift – nothing beats being offered a ride in the scorching Middle East summer.

53. Be yourself – no one can be as good as you at this.

54. Write a letter to your grandma or aunt – a smartphone simply can’t replace the warmth of a handwritten note.

55. Drink more water – trust us, it will benefit you in the long run!

56. Read to others – we recommend volunteering for Society for the Blind, where you can record yourself reading a book or the news.

57. Make the most out of your wardrobe with the help of a personal stylist – they can create different looks with the pieces you already own.

58. Exchange your clothes and accessories with friends to introduce more options into the rotation.

59. Give preference to the brands that give back to nature or their community.

60. Donate something you own, but aren’t likely to use anymore.

61. Don’t waste your time on the things that you can’t change.

62. Manage your anxiety through breathing techniques or talking to a therapist – whatever helps you best.

63. Try not to leave things unsolved – deal with problems as and when they happen so that you won’t have time to overthink them.

64. Appreciate the fact that you can live another day.

65. Don’t worry about what others will think about you.

66. Dream – this is something that no one can take away from you, so let your mind wander.

67. But be realistic.

68. Value your virtues – they’re the most precious things handed down from your parents

Spread love – it’s free and you won’t run out

69. Laugh, even if it’s an inside joke that only you know about.

70. Accept that you are not perfect, and that’s okay.

71. Make peace with the fact that not every day will be a good one.

72. Soak up the sun, but be sure to protect your skin.

73. Don’t make fun of people just because they do things differently – try to understand their journey instead.

74. Be supportive instead of making negative comments and snap judgements.

75. Be there to help a friend, family member, colleague, or even a total stranger if the occasion calls for it.

76. Choose products that have less packaging – small changes really add up over time.

77. Whenever possible, take a glass jar to the supermarket when stocking up on the likes of nuts, seeds, grains, and beans.

78. Choose biodegradable packaging whenever possible.

79. Find a way of gradually reducing your bad habits until they disappear.

80. Take care of your teeth – your future self with thank you later.

81. Spend money on experiences as opposed to material things.

82. Reach out to the people you care about and let them know that you’re there for them, even if you’re physically far away.

83. Discard any unpleasant memories to make space for happier ones.

84. Take a few moments daily to practice gratitude.

85. Take care of your health, paying extra attention to signs of something that might be off.

86. Enjoy the little things in life – even a strong cup of coffee and a breeze through your hair can do wonders for your mood.

87. Things come and go, so enjoy them while they are in your life and let them go when it’s time. 88. Collect things that bring you joy.

89. Avoid plastic at it all costs, giving preference to products that have refills.

90. Look for food, clothes, and cosmetics that are ethically sourced.

91. Purchase skincare and makeup products that are cruelty-free – animal testing is full of suffering and unacceptable.

92. Say no to fur, real and faux.

93. Invest your time in activities that help you grow as a person.

94. Organise your wardrobe, donating what doesn’t fit your body or suit your style anymore.

95. Avoid disposable cups by having your coffee in a real mug at a local café or taking your refillable one.

96. There isn’t a planet B, so take care of the one we have by creating less trash.

97. Throwing food away is a waste of precious resources, so only order the amount you will eat.

98. Don’t throw batteries in the trash – hold onto them until you find a dedicated recycling bin or collection programme.

99. Buy pre-loved items if you’re looking for an easy way to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

100. Spread love – it’s free and you won’t run out.

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