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Goede voornemens: How the Dutch envision a happy new year

Goede voornemens: How the Dutch envision a happy new year

New year, new me. Or as they would say in the Netherlands: ‘Nieuwe ronde, nieuwe kansen’ (new round, new opportunities). It is 2021, and with the start of a new year come the new year’s resolutions. In Dutch, we call them goede voornemens (good intentions). Curious about some of the most popular goede voornemens in the Netherlands, and how the Dutchies try to make them happen? Let’s find out!

Gezond leven

Probably one of the most common voornemens of Dutchies: living a healthier life. This includes vaker sporten (working out more often), gezonder eten (eating more healthy), minder drinken (drinking less alcohol) and stoppen met roken (quit smoking). Dry January is getting more popular each year for the Dutch. And did you know that in the Netherlands, professional help to quit smoking is now fully reimbursed by health insurances?

Ontspullen and Ontstressen

The Dutch love to live an organised, orderly and easy life. Getting rid of stuff (Clutter kan je ook gebruiken) and cleaning out the house are typical beginning-of-the-year activities. There are even Dutch words dedicated to this: ontspullen means getting rid of stuff that is no longer useful, and the once-in-a-while thorough cleaning and tidying up the house is called ‘de grote schoonmaak’ (the big cleaning). de-cluttering

Hand in hand with this, comes another popular resolution: ontstressen (de-stress). The Dutch are hard workers, living rushed lives and having little time for themselves. A new year is an opportunity to take it slow and be more relaxed. There are multiple strategies for ontstressen, such as: practicing yoga, meditation or mindfulness, going into nature for a long wandeling (hike), or boeken lezen (reading books).

Money management

The Dutch wouldn’t be the Dutch, if they wouldn’t intend to live more economically. Beter omgaan met geld (better handling of money) is often high on the list of new year’s resolutions in the Netherlands. Sparen (save money) and bezuinigen (cut back) are words you will probably find on many Dutch goede voornemens lists. January is often a sober month for the Dutch, in which even normaal doen (just act normal) after the holidays is the way of life. A lot less gezellig, but life isn’t always a party..

Is your new year’s resolution to learn Dutch this year? What are you waiting for! Taalthuis offers various Dutch language courses in which you get to know the ins and outs of the Dutch habits, culture and traditions as well! Check out our website!