With the gift giving season coming to a close, it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead. A time honored tradition is choosing a New Year’s resolution. Unfortunately, another tradition is abandoning that resolution a few months (if not weeks) into the new year. However, if you choose the right New Year’s resolution, it will be easier to make your commitment last.
Table of Contents
10 Of The Most Common New Year’s Resolution Ideas
- Get In Shape or Be More Active
- Eat Healthier
- Quit Smoking
- Learn A New Skill
- Travel More
- Be More Social
- Moderate or Quit Drinking
- Be More Organized
- Be On Time
- Earn More Money
1. Get In Shape or Be More Active
If there was any doubt about what the most common resolution is, just check out your local fitness center the week before New Years and the week of New Years. Improving your health by becoming more physically active, whether at the gym or outdoors, is a common goal.
While this can be a daunting task for some, it’s definitely something you can accomplish. I am a testament to what dedication and focus can do regarding your physical fitness. If you’re planning on sculpting your summer physique, make sure to check with your employer for any benefits they may have. Some companies will offer discounts to local gyms (or even have a gym on premises) as part of their benefits department.
2. Eat Healthier
For some, getting to the gym is just not that important. However, getting healthier and losing weight is something that they are considering when the ball drops in Times Square. Of course the best way to do this is by altering your diet.
There are tons of diets and programs out there to assist with your weight loss resolution. Everything from counting calories to altering your macros. However, the most important piece with this resolution is making sure your new nutrition plan is something you can realistically stick to over the long haul. Here’s some examples of potential nutrition plans to try.
- Whole 30
- Intermittent fasting
3. Quit Smoking
If being more active and a healthier lifestyle are top choices, then it’s no surprise that quitting smoking is another common resolution. In addition to helping extend your life, some companies offer incentives or discounts on medical coverage for those who successfully kick the habit.
Fortunately for those of you who are nicotine addicts, there are tons of options available to assist. Nowadays, you have access to Chantix if you’re willing to go the medical route. Also, for those who are more holistic, you can try hypnosis. Finally, one of the most common options is something like a nicotine patch or nicotine gum which are OTC options that you can find on Amazon.
4. Learn A New Skill
If you feel like you’ve stagnated in your career, or life in general, learning a new skill can fill you up with a sense of accomplishment. Whether it’s a new language or woodworking, picking up a new skill can definitely increase your sense of fulfillment. This is probably one of the most diverse options when it comes to choosing a New Years Resolution.
5. Travel More
Many of us get locked into one location. Whether it’s your hometown, or where you choose to “settle down” as we get older we tend to fall into a routine. One way to break out of this is by making your new years resolution to travel more.
While you’ll need to plan your finances accordingly, this can be a very fulfilling New Years resolution. Also, it’s very easy to start small with this resolution. You can begin by traveling to towns or neighboring states to visit sites you’ve never been to. This has the benefit of only being as expensive as the gas you need to get there.
Later in the year, you can plan bigger and longer trips as your budget allows. Having something to look forward to is also a great way to keep you on track for the long haul.
6. Be More Social
In a world where social media is the premier way to stay connected, you’d think this shouldn’t be one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. However, for those of us who are introverts, it’s a very real commitment to be more social. Even hopping on the computer and interacting with your peers over the internet can take effort.
Furthermore, even people who spend tons of time on their smartphones on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like can benefit from real world interaction. It seems the art of conversation is a lost art. So if this is your choice for a resolution, please bring back this long lost art.
The best way to accomplish this is by taking the queues and alerts that you already receive. Instead of ignoring the alert about your friends birthday, leave a comment as a baby step to being more social. Even better reach out to them on the phone, if you can manage. Finally, you can start to plan outings even if just for coffee to catch up.
7. Moderate or Quit Drinking
This one is tough, particularly given the festivities that occur on December 31st. Between toasting champagne or getting blitzed at the local wineries’ NYE event, this resolution can be an abrupt change to your lifestyle.
I’d recommend perhaps beginning this one on New Year’s Eve, which puts you in a better place come January 1st. Fighting a hangover may seem like a good incentive, but you’re quite literally starting the year off with a body full of booze.
Instead, try limiting your NYE party alcohol intake to the toast at midnight. You’ll feel better the following day, and more important it starts you off on the right foot, which shouldn’t be taken lightly.
8. Be More Organized
Wouldn’t life be easier if your schedule, belongings, and life wasn’t so disheveled? Of course it would, so it makes sense this is a common resolution for the New Year. However, this is one resolution that can be deceptively difficult to maintain throughout the year.
Many people try to tackle every facet of their life, and try to convert it to the Dewey decimal system. However, you should use caution and try one thing at a time. Regardless of which facet of your life you decide is in the most need of organization, get that settled first before moving onto other portions of your life.
9. Be On Time
This almost directly ties to the get organized resolution, but is much more focused. In fact, this would be a great place to start if your general goal is to get your life organized. Using the calendar on your phone is a great place to start if you aren’t already.
Every time a new appointment, meeting, or event comes up put a placeholder on your schedule. Also, you can set alerts for each of these which will make it that much easier to be on time. Set an alarm (or multiples if necessary) for everything. But most importantly, GET UP on time, it sets the tempo for the rest of the day.
10. Earn More Money
Ahhh, the often pursued goal of earning more money. While it may not be the easiest to accomplish, this resolution is surprisingly easy to adhere to. Accomplishing your goal means a bigger bank account, so the incentive is there. Furthermore, there are many ways to accomplish this resolution, everything from a promotion at work, to starting your own business, to selling off the clutter you no longer use. As the saying goes, there are many roads into Rome.
20 Unique New Year’s Resolutions
- Become A Philanthropist
- Meet New People
- Spend Less Time With Technology
- Read More Books
- Start A Hobby Or Collection
- Reduce Your Stress Level
- Get More or Better Sleep
- Improve Family Ties
- Learn About Your Roots
- Keep Your House Tidy
- Improve Your Home
- Start A Business
- Save For Your Future
- Have More Life Experiences
- Find Romance
- Improve Your Relationship
- Overcome A Fear
- Improve Your Spiritual Health
- Declutter Your Life
- Be Less Political
11. Become A Philanthropist
Giving back to your fellow man, or even our animal friends is great way to feel good about yourself and help the community. Volunteering your time helps immensely, but if you’re not at that point, you can always donate money.
Regarding our four legged and winged companions, please ensure you are ready for a lifetime commitment. Adoption is not the type of resolution that starts and ends with a ball drop in New York. I’d recommend fostering an animal before committing to adoption. As with any New Year’s resolution start small to begin.
If you still need convincing, check out my Wreaths Across America article to see how philanthropy can be a very fulfilling resolution.
12. Meet New People
While being social is one of the more common resolutions, this is a twist on that resolution. Instead of developing your established relationships, meeting new people can be a great way to improve your perspective on life.
You can try joining a dog walking club, a softball beer league, or any other number of group activities to meet new people. If you’re an introvert and want to start of slower, try hanging out with old friends and meeting people in their group which can help ease the anxiety.
13. Spend Less Time With Technology
If you’re glued to your iPad, Android Phone, or habitually post on Facebook then maybe it’s time to give the electronics a break. Sure a Netflix and chill can be nice, but when it detracts from going out and actually doing things it can be a detriment.
However, when you’re constantly binge watching entire seasons of shows then going cold turkey may not be the best solution. Try limiting yourself to one post or episode a day. Still to daunting of a task? Maybe make a commitment to only watch an episode with a companion. Or choose one social network a day to use, and rotate them.
14. Read More Books
This one is relatively easy, particularly with all of the eBooks available on the market. Nobody said they had to be paperbacks or hard covers. Perhaps one of your tech savvy relatives picked you up a Kindle or Nook for Christmas. Put it to good use and expand your brain.
Also, if “reading” isn’t really your thing, but this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can always try audio books. Currently on Amazon, you can get two free audio books for trying out their service.
15. Start A Hobby Or Collection
Undertaking the start of a collection or hobby can seem daunting, but it is also fulfilling. Plus it can last well beyond that initial year. Personally, my hobby is collecting Magic The Gathering cards. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years (with a few breaks here and there).
If this is your resolution, try to find something of interest to you. Having a friend who as an avid collector or hobbyist helps with introductions. Plus they’ll be enthusiastic, which can be contagious.
Start small. If you’re looking to start kayaking don’t go out and buy all the gear until you know it’s something you enjoy. Try a class, or go out with a friend before making any large investment. Once you find something that piques your interest the rest will take care of itself.
16. Reduce Your Stress Level
Between work deadlines, bills, and child activities it’s a wonder that we don’t fall apart from the stress. For a lot of us the little stress balls just won’t work, and we need to decompress. If your goal for the new year is to increase your Zen, try some simple meditation in the mornings.
Another great way to eliminate stress is physical activity, so try some Yoga or stretching exercises to release endorphins. Finally, don’t be afraid to step away from it all and take a weekend (or extended) vacation to clear your head.
17. Get More or Better Sleep
I personally struggle to get good sleep. However, there are plenty of supplements available to assist if this is your New Year’s resolution. While supplements can help, it’s usually our own habits that prevent us from getting a good night’s rest. Eating or drinking too close to bedtime, playing on our phones in bed, or even watching TV can negatively impact our sleep patterns. Try augmenting these if you want better quality sleep.
18. Improve Family Ties
Over time, we tend to lose touch with people, but no lost tie is more regrettable than familial ones. If you’re looking to improve your family ties this New Years, it’s rather simple. Reach out to family members you’re close to to get contact information for nearby relatives. Or if you’re so inclined find them on Facebook.
Next, setup a schedule to meet up with them. Remember, this is your resolution, so it may require more effort on your part to make things happen. Life comes up and you may need to augment your schedule.
19. Learn About Your Roots
Speaking of reaching out to family, it’s also a good way to learn about your roots. Once a family member is gone, many things go with them so it’s important to get your questions answered sooner rather than later.
Another avenue for finding those answers are popular services like Ancestry.com and things like 23AndMe.com DNA testing. While you may not get intimate details it can teach you a lot about your family history, and even a bit about yourself.
20. Keep Your House Tidy
Mom’s out there who seem to have a never ending supply of housework to be done, may ponder why anyone would choose this resolution. However, i’ve heard it said that cleanliness is close to godliness, so it’s an admirable goal for the New Year.
First, start by doing a deep clean of the house. Get it exactly where you want it. Take pictures if necessary to document what you want the place to look like. You can even post those pictures around as a reminder. Before you leave a room, check to see if it matches your ideal state. If not, take the extra 5 seconds to put the clothes in the hamper, or put the dish in the dishwasher.
Unfortunately, this goal requires more attention than others, but it’s entirely do-able.
21. Improve Your Home
So now you’ve got your home in order, now it’s time to make enhancements. If your goal is to improve the house, it’s going to require some financial commitment on your part. Like everything else on this list it’s important to start small.
Don’t rip apart your basement for a remodel just yet. Instead, make small changes (or maintenance) that you’ve been putting off. Once you start a big project you can’t undo the demolition phase, so make sure your heart is in it before doing anything rash!
22. Start A Business
For those of you who are ambitious, try starting a business as your New Years goal. This is one of those goals that is sure to keep you busy for the entire year. However, don’t go to extremes and work yourself until you are sick.
It’s important to have a plan before you begin taking on any fiscal responsibilities. Map out what you want your business to be about. Is it an online or brick and mortar shop? Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are many businesses. Time is going to be your best friend on this one.
23. Save For Your Future
If saving for your future is your resolution, the first step is making a budget. Once you’ve outlined your expenses, you can begin to eliminate your debt. Whether it’s through a 401K at your job, or just a personal savings account there are plenty of options. However, I don’t recommend stashing money under your mattress.
This doesn’t need to be a copious amount of money, start by sacrificing a cup of coffee a week. If the goal is super important, then get rid of the Starbucks run altogether. When you add up all the small contributions, it can make a massive difference.
24. Have More Life Experiences
We tend to fall into patterns in our life, both professionally and personally. Taking the path of least resistance can cause us to stagnate. Committing to new experiences in the New Year is an admirable resolution, but can often be easier said than done. Primarily, this pushes us out of our comfort zone and often requires us to try different things.
Start small, like trying an ethnic dish you’ve been putting off. Chances are it will inspire you. Use the momentum, and don’t be satisfied the sky (and your budget) are the limit.
25. Find Romance
For some people, lonliness is contributing to their discontent with life. If this sounds like you, then maybe it’s time to branch out and look for companionship that goes beyond platonic. Finding romance in today’s world hasn’t been easier. Between eHarmony, Tinder, and the other dating apps you shouldn’t have difficulty finding someone to spend your time with.
If you choose to make finding a romantic relationship your resolution, take a look at my article on first dates. Also, if you’re looking for ideas, then check out my date night ideas article for a fun experience.
26. Improve Your Relationship
As time wears on, sometimes the flame need a little rekindling. Making the resolution to improve your relationship has the added bonus of improving your demeanor, as well as the life of your significant other. Even one or two dates a month can make a world of difference in a relationship.
If you need some ideas, check out my article on fun date night ideas. As the year progresses, I hope you’ll leave me some of your ideas so I can continue to build out the list for others.
27. Overcome A Fear
Overcoming a fear is a difficult resolution. Many believe if you do something once, that you’ve conquered your fear. However, I believe you’ve only truly conquered your fear when it no longer causes anxiety.
For instance, if you’ve got a fear of heights, jumping out of an airplane seems like a way to conquer your fear. But did you really conquer it if you can’t do a zip-line course the next weekend? I think it’s far more meaningful to build up slowly. In my example, the skydiving should be the culmination so you can truly enjoy the experience without the fear.
28. Improve Your Spiritual Health
I’m not talking solely about religion, but that is certainly a part of it. Maybe you make your resolution to become closer to God. Or perhaps, just to be more in tune with your surroundings. This resolution for the new year is similar to committing to lead a less stressed life.
Improving your spiritual help can mean something different to each of us. Try breaking out of your normal routine. Perhaps you could go for a stroll on a scenic walking trail, or people watch while enjoying a cup of coffee. Get involved in the community activities and help those less fortunate which will show you how truly blessed you are.
29. Declutter Your Life
If you’re like me, you’re too broke to have a bunch of clutter. My mother on the other hand has probably saved every drawing and school project of mine from my daycare days. Whether you have a family, or have just accumulated things over the years, it’s probably time to make room for the future.
A good first step is to actually look at the items you’re looking to unload. Have you used them in the past 3 months? How about the past year? Separate your belongings in this manner. Then try taking one box at a time and leave it in your car. If you haven’t dipped into that box in a month it’s time to get rid of it.
30. Be Less Political
Chances are you’ve noticed your Facebook feed is flooded with political posts. Whether it’s hating on the president, weighing in on foreign policy, or commenting on an upcoming election we all tend to go a little overboard when it comes to politics.
Generally speaking, political messages tend to be negative. And I’ve read so many people complain about the inundation of political messaging in their lives. Try to take a step back from this and post a positive message. Try posting something motivational, or heartwarming. This way you’re still interacting with the community in a positive way.
No matter what your goal is, every journey begins with a single step. Don’t get hung up on reaching the finish line, because almost every resolution is a process and the journey should be enjoyed. If you’re struggling with keeping the motivation when February rolls around, check out my article on tips to keep you on track.
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