January is quickly approaching, and it’s time to think about goals for the next chapter of our lives! Check out these new year resolution ideas to get you started! Bonus, none of them includes going on a diet.
It’s the end of another year! Actually, it’s the end of a decade, which is just mind blowing. I’ve been taking a trip down memory lane by reading a blog I ran at the beginning of the decade, and wow. I don’t even know that girl anymore. It’s been really cool looking back on who I was ten years ago, but one thing that stands out more than anything is this: goal setting and reflection have become a big part of my life.
I reflect on the past year every December. And then, I set new goals for the year ahead. Most people call them “New Year’s Resolutions,” but I feel that name gets a bad rep. I like to just call them goals. Calling them goals sends a message that you intend to work towards them. The term “resolutions,” implies dramatic statements and the expectation of huge changes happening effortlessly.
If you tend to shy away from resolutions for that same reason, be sure to read this post. Once you’ve done that, come back here and check out this list of over 20 New Year’s resolution ideas that are attainable and will add something other than stress to your life.
Attainable New Year’s Resolution Ideas
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They say “we are what we repeatedly do.” That means that change doesn’t come from some grand gesture. Instead, it comes from small acts, done over and over until they become habits. When we change our habits, we can change our lives. With that in mind, I try to really think about goals I can work on bit by bit over time. Not goals that require a total overhaul of my life. What we really want to be doing is developing good habits, not punishing ourselves.
If you’re feeling stuck on how to do that, I’ve put together a list of new year’s resolution ideas to help you achieve your best year yet. Check them out and pick a few to work on this year.
Learn to Cook
Learning to cook will do a ton for your overall health, and it’s really not as hard as it seems. Believe it or not, when I got married, I couldn’t even boil water without setting off the smoke alarms, and every single meal I ate came out of a can or a box.
People who didn’t know me back then have a hard time believing that, because now, I’m a really good cook.
- start with one meal
- use simple ingredients
- eliminate distractions
- add one new recipe a week until you’ve got a full week of meals
- put together a recipe binder to keep up
Clean up your diet
There are a lot of fad diets out there, but one thing remains the same in most of them: eat real foods.
Basically, if you want to improve your overall health, you should be paying attention to the quality of the foods you eat on a daily basis. (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and I’m not referring to actual medical issues)
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind as you work to clean up your diet is to stick with foods as close to their natural state as possible. Every step you take away from nature, something is lost. So, as much as possible, think fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains, fresh meat and eggs, and dairy products with nothing added.
Not sure what to even buy? Try sticking to the perimeter of your grocery store. Hit up the produce section, the seafood counter, the deli, and the dairy. Avoid the aisles as much as possible, since most of those products are fillers.
If you’re really just not ready to eliminate all of those foods from your diet, I recommend learning to read the ingredients label on the back. I don’t mean the nutrition info. Look at the actual ingredients that are below it. You know what real food is, so if you see a bunch of ingredients that don’t look like actual food, put that product back on the shelf and keep searching.
Try a new exercise routine
I know this one is a pretty common new year’s resolution, but hear me out. Normally, we go into a workout routine to punish ourselves and work off all the bad habits we’ve created. We’re focused on the scale and how many calories were burned. We commit to going to the gym every single day (after not going at all the year before).
Instead, try a new exercise just simply with the mindset of loving your body and treating it right. It feels good to move and stretch and use your muscles. And, by doing so, you gain strength, stamina, and confidence.
Over time, sure. You’ll notice some physical benefits like defined muscles and weight loss, but let the goal be about treating your body right and see what a difference that makes. I bet you stick with it longer.
Drink more water
This is one of my new year’s resolution ideas this year, if I’m honest. I’ve gotten terrible at making sure I stay hydrated.
They say you should aim for half your body weight in ounces a day, and I’m just barely over half of that. So, one of my goals for this year is to drink more water.
Not only does proper hydration just keep your body working better, but it’s also great for your skin. So, bonus!
Grow your spirituality
I’m always hesitant to bring this one up. I don’t want to alienate readers who don’t believe the same way I do. But, hear me when I say this: the way you grow your faith doesn’t matter to me. I’m a firm believer in the fact that we’re all climbing the same mountain, but taking different paths to the top.
After the year I’ve had, I feel like a goal of growing your spiritual practice (whatever that is for you) can benefit you greatly. For me, I’ve noticed a difference in my stress and anxiety, my marriage, and even the way I parent. Finding a practice that brings you comfort can make everything else fall into place. If you want to hear about my own journey, you can read about it here.
Eat more veggies
If one of your new year’s resolution ideas is to get healthy, it’s not diets you need. Those come and go, but if you learn to love veggies, you’re pretty much set for life. Try experimenting with different ways to eat those vegetables, especially leafy greens, and make it a goal to have some with every meal! Yep. I even eat greens with breakfast. I either eat them sautéed with eggs, or I have a green smoothie.
Leafy greens are a great addition to your diet, because not only are they jam-packed with nutrients, they’re also really low in carbs. That means you can eat more vegetables if you’re still hungry, and not worry so much about calories or carbs. There’s a reason certain diets make these freebies. Utilize them and fill up!
One of my own personal goals for 2020 is to play more. Yep. I want to have more fun this year. There’s too much stress. Too much work. Too much rushing around.
Giving ourselves time to do what we actually enjoy is a great way to reduce all of those things. Need some ideas to get you started? Check out this post!
For me, playing more means giving myself more time for fun hobbies. Bike riding, hiking, board game nights with friends, and girl’s nights out. For you, it might be something totally different. Whatever that is, figure it out and find a way to fit it into your schedule more this year.
Develop a new hobby
What have you always thought would be cool to learn? For me, it was always crochet. My grandmother had done it my whole life, but I’d never learned. Finally, when I was 24, I sat down and taught myself. It became something I enjoyed so much. In fact, it eventually evolved into a business for me. Of course, that’s not usually the goal with hobbies, and that’s totally okay. The point is to find something you enjoy that’s not work, and take the time to learn about it every week.
There are so many benefits to having a hobby. First of all, they’re fun. They help reduce stress, give you something to focus on to unwind, and give you the opportunity for lifelong learning.
If you’re not sure what sort of hobby you’d like to try, check out this post from Live Bold and Bloom! There are 50 ideas to choose from!
Read more books
Another great new year’s resolution idea is to read more books. We can all benefit from doing a little more reading, and it’s definitely a big goal of mine. I’ve written about my favorite personal development books before, but this year is going to be all about good literature. I think I’m going to start working through this list. I’ve already read a few, but there are some excellent titles on there! Plus, it’s Oprah, right? Can we go wrong there?
It’s said that you can only feel one type of emotion at once. I’m not sure how true that is, but if it is true, that means you can’t be angry and grateful at the same time. You can’t be sad and grateful at the same time. And, you most certainly can’t be envious and grateful at the same time.
Gratitude doesn’t come naturally, though. At least, not at first. We have to practice it. A gratitude journal is a great way to do that. Some people like to start with just writing down three things they’re grateful for every day. That’s a great way to practice! For me, I noticed I was getting repetitive, though, so I wrote up a list of prompts. I use these gratitude journal prompts on days where I’m struggling to think of something new. Feel free to download it and use it yourself while you build a solid practice. Soon, you’ll notice you don’t even need that, because gratitude is coming so easily.
Limit social media
More and more people are starting to pull away from social media I’ve noticed, and for good reason. As much as I love it as a way to connect with blog readers, friends, and family, it can also be way too easy to spend too much time there.
Not only that, but it also encourages negative emotions, and it causes us to compare our lives with others.
Social media, when used correctly, can be a really great thing. It can keep us in touch with old friends and family, be a great place to keep track of memories and photos, and allow you to connect with like-minded individuals through communities. It’s all in how we use it, and to me, part of that means using it less. In fact, one of my new year’s resolution ideas this year is to cut my non-writing screen time in half. Let’s see if I make it!
Spend more time in nature
As humans, we weren’t designed to spend all of our time cooped up indoors. Spending time in nature can boost your mood, improve your immune system, and even make you more creative. You can accomplish this by going on nature walks, camping trips, hikes, or even just sitting outside on your patio while the kids play. However you do it, spending more time outside in an excellent new year’s resolution idea.
The world is so beautiful, and there are so many things in it to see. Even our own country (America) has so much to see!
This year, plan a trip somewhere you’ve never been before. Plan a trip within your budget, make a plan to save, and make it happen. So many trips can be done on a small budget, if you only know how to plan them!
Reduce your household waste
If you’re still lost on new year’s resolution ideas that will work for you, reducing household waste is one anyone can do! These days, it’s more important than ever to be conscientious of our waste habits. Between the plastic oceans and plastics leaching chemicals into our soil, we’ve got to do something.
The good news is, reducing waste is easier than you probably think! Check out this blog post with 10 easy ways to reduce waste this year to help you get started!
Start a meditation practice
Want better sleep, less stress, and more focus? A good meditation practice can help with all of those things!
A lot of people think meditation is about learning to shut your brain off, but that’s simply not true. Meditation is about turning inward and learning to shut out the chaos around you. It takes practice, though. A lot of people like to start with guided meditation, like what you can find with Headspace.
Strengthen your personal relationships
These days, I see a lot of conversation online about how everyone is so busy. Especially moms! There are even memes about making plans after the babies graduate college. It’s all fun and games, but let’s face it. There’s some truth in there, too.
We don’t make time for people anymore, and it shows. Having a community online is great, but it really lacks the intimacy and personal touch of having a face-to-face relationship with someone.
This year, try making it a goal to spend more in-person time with friends. Schedule it in and make it a priority, because otherwise, it’ll never happen, and we need those personal friendships.
Gain control of your finances
Do you feel like no matter how much money you make, it’s never enough? This year, make it a goal to gain control of your finances. More often than not, the real problem has less to do with how much we’re making, and more to do with what we’re spending it on.
There are lots of ways to create and stick to a budget. Two of the most popular ways I’ve seen are with Dave Ramsey and You Need a Budget. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Dave Ramsey. I think he’s too extreme, and honestly? When I needed his advice the most, I couldn’t get it because I didn’t have the money to pay for it. (Ironic, don’t you think?) That was back when most of the information came from classes, but even $10-15 on a book would have been a stretch at the time.
In the past, we’ve just used these simple steps to regain control, but I’m really intrigued by the concept behind YNAB. I’m considering it for 2020, and if I go for it, I’ll be sure to keep you posted!
Journaling can be a great way to organize your thoughts, get ideas out of your head, and have some creative time. One of the best parts about having a journal is that there’s really no right way to do it!
Some people draw or paint. Others write quotes and lists. And then, others simply write what’s on their mind. Regardless, there’s a journaling method that’s right for everyone. Want to use it in more than one way? I’ve found my war binder to be a great way to keep it all together!
There are dozens of reasons why volunteering is a great new year’s resolution idea, but the bottom line is: the world needs more of them. When you volunteer, you can meet new people, spend time on projects you’re passionate about, and help make a difference in the world.
This year, find a way to volunteer in an area you’re passionate about. Here are some great ideas to get you started.
Start a blog
A great way to start the new year is with a blog. This post really breaks down how to get started, but if you’re looking for a way to spend that Christmas money that’ll offer loads of enjoyment, a blog is the way to go. You can be set up and ready to go for less than $100, too!
A blog can be a great way to:
- create a portfolio of your work- that can be art, photography, writing, crafts, or anything else you want to organize to show clients
- document a journey – like weight loss, travel, home renovation, or another big project you want to share
- build an income – yep! When done right, a blog can actually be a source of extra income.
Declutter your home
If one of your new year’s resolution ideas was to get more organized, consider this: the real problem for most of us is that we simply have too much stuff.
It’s impossible to get truly organized if you have a lot of clutter. Sure, you can buy containers and label everything, but it’ll never feel organized until you get rid of some of it.
This doesn’t mean you have to go full-on minimalist, though. But more often than not, there are plenty of items in our homes that just collect dust. Once you get started, you might find that it’s actually pretty easy to keep going. But, if you need some motivation, here’s a list of easy things to declutter in your home.
Practice self care
One thing we could all use more of is self care. And no, I don’t mean the day-spa and binge shopping kind. I mean, the actual act of taking care of ourselves.
This year, make it a goal to spend some quiet time reading, going on walks, practicing yoga, or journaling. In fact, many of the items in this blog post are forms of self care already.
Prepare for your best year yet with these New Year’s Resolution Ideas
The term “resolutions” gets a bad rep, because so often, it refers to huge changes we simply can’t stick to. This year, try making some smaller, more manageable goals that you can work on every day. Use this list of new year’s resolution ideas to inspire you to make some healthy, sustainable changes this year.