4 simple ways to start the year healthier and happier

Head into the new year feeling healthier and happier with these simple life hacks. Scrap the standard new year's resolutions and set yourself up to succeed this season (and beyond)…

Studies reveal that as much as 80% of new year's resolutions fail. That means there’s a very high likelihood you are sitting here reading this having agreed to carry out a resolution that you’ll struggle to maintain this month, let alone throughout the year. 

This failure undoubtedly comes from setting goals that are too ambitious from the get-go. One that you either haven’t planned enough for, or that is simply too big a life shift to easily undertake right now. What follows this ultimate failure is an inevitable sense of disappointment and frustration. Not exactly the positive gear shift you were looking for, right?

So how do you go about choosing an achievable goal? Well, we’ve some ideas to help you try a new approach this year…

Learn a new practical skill

Mastering a new skill can bring about a great sense of achievement and accomplishment. For many this may seem like a daunting, time-consuming thing to do , but we believe there are a few simple and essential skills in the outdoors that everyone can easily teach themselves…and reap the rewards from.

One skill we think everyone who loves exploring the great outdoors would benefit from is learning to understand maps. The good news is our friends over at OS Maps have shared their expert tips to help you improve your map reading skills, covering everything from essential symbols and contour lines, to coordinates. 

With darker nights on the cards (at least for the next few months), another useful skill we recommend improving is your night navigation. #TeamMontane mountaineer Matt Cooper shares his advice to get started adventuring in the dark.


Double your water intake

The festive season often brings with it a lot of indulgences (rightly so) leaving many feeling the need to detox in the new year. Cue Dry January: the cold turkey approach on alcohol. Whilst a good detox is always recommended every now and then, the reality is this resolution is usually short-lived. For a resolution with more longevity, why not commit to doubling your intake of H20 instead? 

From enhanced physical performance to better energy levels and brain function, staying well hydrated comes with various health benefits. In short, it’s a simple, yet highly effective way to help yourself feel better day-to-day. It even helps to combat a horrible hangover. 

The daily recommended intake for men is 3.7 litres, whilst for women it’s 2.7 litres. Not sure how to keep track? Our 500ml Insulated water bottle store a good chunk of your daily water needs and can be easily stashed in your pack on the move.


Make walking in fresh air a priority

Ditch the overcrowded gyms and save your pennies this season - we’ve a very simple solution to help you feel easily fitter and mentally better. Whilst bad weather and shorter days make it less appealing to get outdoors, why not embrace Icelandic culture, wrap up warm with the help of our protective Montane gear, and prioritise getting out for a walk to connect with nature each day?

Making walking a habit you fit into your daily schedule is one of the easiest ways you can burn excess calories, according to the NHS. Looking to take your walking to the next level and mix up your daily routes? Don’t miss #TeamMontane’s favourite off-the-beaten-track hikes - each comes with a handy OS Map to help you navigate with ease.

For more epic hiking inspiration in 2024, why not try bagging Scottish Munros with the help of this handy guide, or take on the 20-mile circular Outside Hope Valley Round based in the Peak District.


Give back to a good cause 

Supporting a project, charity or community you are passionate about is not only a really good thing to do, but increasing evidence also suggests it has positive mental health benefits for us too. For the science nerds out there, the act of giving back activates your mesolimbic system (also known as your brain's rewards centre), triggering endorphins which help us to feel happy. There are so many ways you can commit to helping out more in 2023, all that’s left is to find the right cause for you!

Looking for ideas? For runners and hikers, The George Fisher Tea Round is a fun challenge based in the Lake District that can be done to raise funds for a cause were extremely passionate about at Montane, Fix the FellsIn 2023, we also launched our donation at the point of checkout on meaning you can now also easily donate to Fix the Fells when you place an order with us!

Alternatively, why not reach out to a locally-based charity near you, to find out how you could support them? Another simple way to give back is by helping to clean up our planet by litterpicking, 2 minutes at a time. Hear from our friends at the 2-minute foundation to find out how you can get involved.