First there was the Danish hygge. Now people have found something new to obsess about: lagom. Like hygge, the term 'lagom' (which is pronounced 'law-gum') originated in Scandinavia, except this time the year's most anticipated buzzword is from Sweden rather than Denmark. I'm sure you'll be hearing about it a lot this year.
Lagom can be translated as 'just the right amount' or 'sufficient'. although Swedes claim that there is no single meaning. It is thought that lagom has been around since the Viking times, and it suggests that everything should be used in moderation. The concept of lagom can be applied to almost anything - work, food, weather, fashion, you name it.
Some of you may be wondering how lagom is different to hygge. Well, this quote from Elliot Stocks, who co-edits the Bristol-based magazine Lagom, should help you understand lagom a bit better:
hygge captures a moment in time, whether that be a short break in the day or something you try and work into your life every day. Lagom is an overaching concept behind your life in general. Rather than fitting a bit of lagom into your day, it's more about your approach to your life as a whole.
Now is the best time to embrace lagom. We have spent a month or so overindulging - so now we need to take a step back and try not to go too crazy over everything. You've probably spent more than you would've liked over the festive period, and even into January, and consumed thousands of calories. As it's still early in the year, you have the chance to start fresh.
If you have a habit of spending too much, why not create a budget? This could be either weekly or monthly. You want to make sure that you have enough money to pay the bills with plenty leftover for food, clothing, socialising and treats. If you have a budget, you'll be less likely to waste money. Be satisfied with what you've already got - do you really need a new designer handbag when your current one is in perfect condition?
Another way to live like the Swedes is to cut down on the amount of energy you use and rubbish you throw away. Swedish brand Ikea recently introduced a new project called 'Live Lagom', which aims to promote sustainability. With the help of the University of Surrey and sustainability charity Hubbub, Ikea provided 125 households with £500 vouchers to buy LED lightbulbs. These are known to use about 85% less energy than regular lightbulbs. The households were also encouraged to throw away less food and not spend too long in the shower. You can incorporate the 'Live Lagom' idea into your own routine by switching to energy-saving bulbs and only buy food that you'll eat. It might be a good idea to plan your meals in advance - it doesn't take as long as you think.
Ikea isn't the only brand to incorporate lagom; it has also inspired a UK fashion brand, which is called Lagom. The founder believes that "lagom will become even bigger than hygge. In a world of extremes and contradictions, a calm, soothing promise of a happier, more balanced way of life is very attractive". Lagom prefers to work with independent designers and artisans rather than big global brands.
As you can tell from this article, lagom is set to be one of the biggest crazes this year, and making some small changes in your life will help make you happier. So forget about hygge and let's live more like frugal Swedes!