We’re almost half way through January, and resolutions are hard to keep. And in no time they’ll have you behaving in a completely irrational way. By early February at the latest you’ll be back where you were two months before.

Why not set yourself a realistic and achievable goal and use the new year as an opportunity to make this the year you become an even more responsible and considerate citizen than you already are/aren’t?

Here are seven ways in which we might achieve this, this January.

1. As the Dalai Lama once said; “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” For the vast majority of us, the sight alone of an aging lady with an awkward load will tug on our conscious enough to offer our bag-lugging services. If this isn’t you, next time you see this very scenario race over and help. Be sure to definitely not accept that round pound coin she’ll inevitably offer. As well as being helpful and considerate, you’ll also be doing your bit to defy the ‘kids of today…’ dribble.

2. Next time you pay a visit to the high-street to get your hands on some new jeans, donate some old clothes to charity. A course mate may well turn up to lectures head to toe in your castoffs within a fortnight, but pretend not to notice and feel good about your donation to charity. On your way to the charity shop, be sure to notice the ‘LOST’ poster and consequently look for the said lost dog. Or cat. Or even goldfish.

3. Start recycling your bottles and cans! Instead of lugging one big, black bin-bag around your room/flat once a fortnight and filling it with everything and anything at all that’s served its purpose – drag a recycling one round too. Have a quick look online and see exactly what goes where and feel good that you’re doing your bit for the environment. Maybe do it weekly from here on in too.

4. Tape the exact change for a Twix, Twirl or Snickers to the vending machine. Then simply walk away. This is the ultimate in RAOK (Random Acts of Kindness.) If you need to stand and watch out for the lucky recipient you’re probably missing the point. Happiness associated with this act should come from within.

5. For every negative comment you make this month, make a positive one too. It’s all too easy saying that an old band’s new song is crap, telling someone they’re awful at scrabble or slating your lecturer for the latest off-topic discussion. Align the balance throughout this month and beyond by saying something thoughtful, complimentary or plain flirty* each and every time you hear yourself yakking down that slippery slope into negativity.  *when appropriate.

6. Find out how your old school friends are doing/ what they’re up to… with real voices! I.e. Facebook doesn’t count. Wind through your contacts on your phone without looking, and then hit call. You might end up talking to your mates mum, your high school absence line or maybe your much missed mate. If it goes well plan to meet up, and kick off 2018 with a reunion.

7. This deeds lark needn’t be grand. Even waking up the sleepy metal dude at the stop you know to be his bus stop is enough to improve someone’s day… and should too be enough to make you feel good about yourself.