Every year feels like a particularly long and turbulent one by the end, but 2017 really was something else. Malta was no exception, seeing a great deal of change, festivities and heartbreak alikes. And while some things really are worth celebrating, we definitely still have a way to go if we want to make Malta an even better country all round.
Here are nine resolutions every Maltese person should make ahead of 2018, the year millions of eyes will be turned our way as Valletta becomes the European Capital of Culture. None of them are particularly out of this world, but we’re willing to bet they’ll go a long way towards improving this tiny great nation.
1. Go to a therapist
You don’t need to have some cataclysmic, life-changing moment to see a therapist. Everyone can benefit from talking to one on a regular basis, and there should be no shame in doing exactly that.
It’s also a good time to make a change if you are aware that you may be suffering from some form of mental illness; don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Far too many people suffer in silence, and with personal ties diminishing with the rise of technology, it can get horribly easy to feel like you’re absolutely alone. The great news is you’re not. Not by a long shot.
There are loads of organisations looking after Malta’s mental health, so if you need help, make 2018 the year you’re not afraid to reach out for it. There’s absolutely no shame in it, and it can be the best first step towards the rest of your life.
2. Read more Maltese literature
Try push past the world of Fifty Shades of Grey and you’ll find there’s an impressive list of Maltese literature that’s well worth investing your time in.
With everything from snide political commentaries to saucy novels, we really do have it all.
Set yourself a one-book-per-month objective, or make it a seasonal thing if that’s too much of a commitment.
3. Try these very simple money-saving strategies
If you’re new to the concept of saving up, it might be tough to figure out where to start. The best thing about sorting your finances out, however, is that every little helps. Here are three simple strategies that can go a long way by the end of the year.
- Buy one less drink every time you go out. This one won’t just help with hangovers and your kidneys in general, it’ll also help your wallet. Let’s just say a drink costs you around €2.50. If you go out every Friday and Saturday, you’re looking at an easy €260 by the end of the year. Simple.
- Put 40% of your wage straight into a savings account. If you plan out a simple finances scheme, it’s more than easy to live with 60% of your monthly wage. By the end of the year, you’ll have nearly five full wages saved up.
- Eat leftovers at least once a week for lunch. If it costs you around €4 a deal to buy (or even prepare) lunch, one lunch of leftovers per week can save you over €200 a year.
There are way more strategies like these, and the key to them all is a very simple but frequent commitment. If you add them all up, you’ll be looking at an impressive amount by the end of the year.
4. Make one big step towards solving Malta’s traffic on a personal level
Make 2018 the year you become more aware of the drivers around you and the frustration they must also be feeling, and we might just be able to get through this together.
Seriously consider options like carpooling, public transport, or buying a bike. Make yourself part of Malta’s solution, not its problem.
5. If you see or hear something you don’t like, engage in a mature debate
2017 might’ve been the year the world was introduced to self-driving trucks and face-detection payment systems, but back in Malta, people were still getting seriously worked up over an image of Jesus Christ drinking a New York Best milkshake. From an endless list of unnecessarily taboo topics to a national tribal mentality, Malta needs some serious work on this issue.
In an age where it’s never been easier to hide behind a computer screen and throw insults at a stranger, we’re losing touch of what it means to actually engage in a healthy discussion with someone who might not completely agree with us.
Of course, you need to be in the proper frame of mind for this resolution to have the best effect, and that’s directly linked to the next point…
6. Go vegetarian once a week
There’s tonnes of amazing recipes online, and with the vast selection of fruit and veg Malta now sells, it’s never been easier. We’re not asking you to go cold-turkey vegan, but changing your diet one day a week will make a measurable impact on your health and the global environmental situation.
Once you’re comfortable you can easily up that number to twice or three times weekly when you’re ready.
7. Go to at least one cultural event every month
2018 sees Valletta being crowned the European Capital of Culture, but this should be about way more than a simple title.
Set yourself a minimum of one new show every month. After all, there’s loads to choose from; gigs, theatre performances, dance recitals. The options are endless, and they’re waiting for you to discover them.
Photo by Storbju
8. Say no to straws
Malta is officially the worst country in the EU when it comes to recycling, and unless we do something drastic about that, we’re not really going to get much far any time soon. While that statistic is not directly related to what people do in their everyday lives, reducing the amount of plastic waste in the first place can go a really long way.
It’s insane what a simple act like not using straws anymore does if it’s on a national scale. The Magħtab landfill is expected to fill up by 2020, but this can really help put a positive dent in that statistic.
Make 2018 the year you say no to straws. You’ll soon realise how useless they are. While you’re at it, check out these eight more simple things you can do to help save the environment.
9. Treat yourself to one dinner every month
If there’s one thing Malta excels at, it’s great eateries. With so many new restaurants to look forward to for 2018, make this the year you try out as many as possible.
You can set yourself a limit of one per month if you’re trying to save up, but do allow yourself a frequent treat. There are so many delicious things to try out all over the island, so plan this out properly and get ready to take your palette game to the next level.