New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep 🙌🎉
Sometimes it feels like there’s no middle between making HUGE resolutions you never stick to and not making ANY at all. I get it!! We’ve all felt the highs and lows of this tradition, from the excitement of a fresh start to the confidence that this will be your year to the fear of failure and the frustration that it’s not as easy or perfect as you were hoping.
Any day can be the day you start over or the day you follow through with that resolution you made five years ago. But the New Year is a GREAT time to make some resolutions. And you can follow through with them! There are some worthy endeavors that you can definitely try (like losing X amount of weight, quitting smoking, or running a 10K), but these are easier to forget about and, if you fail, can cause more self-denial, low self-esteem, and shame. (But they don’t have to).
This year, why not try some positive and creative New Year’s Resolutions? Here are 12 resolutions you can (AND SHOULD) actually keep!
➡️ Say One Kind Thing About Yourself a Day
Have you ever had a friend feeling bad about themselves? Maybe they just suffered rejection or haven’t been losing weight like they want. What do you tell them? Do you say, “You should feel bad; you’re a failure, and you’re not worth your own time. You’re ugly and dumb and lazy.”?
My guess is that you definitely don’t say that. So, why would you say it to yourself? Many of us will have negative thoughts about ourselves, affecting our mindset and self-esteem over time. This year, try saying one nice thing about yourself every day because self-love is so important.
💡PRO-TIP: Write it in a journal or on your mirror, or your phone. Then, if you find yourself struggling, return to that week’s nice thing and remind yourself that you are worth it.
➡️ Intentionally Move Your Body 3-5 Hours a Week
Instead of trying to dive headfirst into the exercise world, start small! Intentionally move your body for 3 hours a week. (Research shows just 2.5 hours can have a dramatic impact on your overall health!)
You may find it easiest to do half an hour 5-7 days a week or an hour three days a week! Your life is unique, and you can find the BEST way to make this healthy change. And, you can choose the way you get exercise. It could be taking long walks with your dog, trips to the gym, an at-home body workout, biking to and from work, swimming with the kids, or hiking. It’s all about finding a physical activity you enjoy.
💡PRO-TIP: Make a specific, realistic goal that fits in your routine. Eventually, it may evolve into something more. But right now, the goal can be to take the stairs or walk your dog 20 minutes a day.
➡️ Forgive Someone
Forgiveness can be extremely difficult, especially if you’ve been treated poorly by someone close to you. Whether it was a deliberate act of cruelty or unintentional, it still hurts and can cause resentment to fester.
Try these steps:
- Acknowledge your pain and admit that you feel hurt and angry.
- Ask yourself how you want this to affect your life. Remember that quote by Malachy McCourt? “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Forgiveness is a service to yourself.
- Work through the resentment and anger. Journal or go on runs and allow yourself to feel. Just don’t act on the anger or let it fester and steal more joy from you.
- Renounce it. Let go of your “right” or “entitlement” to the anger and resentment.
- Forgive yourself. This is often the most difficult step for people. You can’t change the past, but you can let go of it.
- Repeat this process whenever needed and reclaim peace.
In the end, forgiving is freeing. You don’t have to see a relationship go back to how it was; you don’t even have to TELL the person you forgive them. This is your journey.
💡PRO-TIP: Journal your forgiveness. Write down every person you need to forgive and the action. Then write “I forgive ___ for ___” for each one. Then, write something good you hope will happen to that person. “I hope ___ finds peace this year,” for example. Finish with a list of things you forgive yourself for.
➡️ Support Local & Tip Generously
Unfortunately, we will probably still see negative impacts from 2020 in 2021, which means local businesses will need your help. Buy your books from a local bookstore instead of Amazon. Visit a Farmer’s Market to get your produce (it may be healthier this way too!) Find a local artist or Etsy vendor to buy Birthday gifts from. These small choices are so important and are essential to community building and supporting the economy.
One of the easiest ways to support others is to tip generously. Tips are essential for many workers, and thousands of people rely on those to make ends meet. So, the next time you go out to eat, try tipping an extra 10%.
💡PRO-TIP: Budget some extra money and make it a point to try a new place every other week. This can be in your town or online (such as finding a new artist on Etsy or bookstore online).
➡️ Spend More Time Outside
Any time outside that’s more than what you’re currently doing is SO good. A simple goal could be to get outside an hour and a half a week. Vitamin-D is essential to your overall health, and the best way to get it is by spending time outdoors.
💡PRO-TIP: Combine this Resolution with your exercise resolution! An hour hike, walk, or bike ride can be half your weekly time outside and ⅓ of your weekly exercise.
➡️ Drink More Water
Chances are, you’re not drinking enough water a day. (In fact, the CDC says the average adult drinks under five cups a day.) Your physical, mental, and overall health need hydration to function properly.
Try starting small with just drinking one extra cup a day. You can even replace your second cup of coffee with a glass of water or pair your evening glass of wine with a cup of water. That way, you’re knocking out this resolution AND the next one at the same time.
💡PRO-TIP: Find ways to add some variety to your water. One great way to do this, which also adds other health benefits, is to drink lemon water rather than plain water.
➡️ Drink Less Caffeine, Soda, and Alcohol
Already replaced your second cup of coffee with a cup of water? PERFECT! You’re ahead of the game!! Now, try taking it to the next step.
If you don’t want to or can’t cut caffeine completely from your diet, that’s okay! Try taking it black if you don’t already or replacing cream and sugar with almond milk.
Also, consider limiting alcohol. This could look like making a goal to only have one glass a wine a day or picking 2-3 days a week where you drink and having none the other days.
Maybe your poison isn’t coffee or beer, but sodas! If this is the case, your resolution could be cutting back on sweetened beverages. Ideally, you wouldn’t drink any (as they can increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and insulin resistance), but you may need to start small.
💡PRO-TIP: Replace your coffee, soda, or beer with something healthier but similar, like sparkling water, a lighter beer, or a cup of decaffeinated tea.
➡️ Watch Less TV & Read More
Notice how I didn’t say watch NO TV, which is not realistic for many of us. (Plus, TV can be a good way to unwind, destress, and connect with friends and family.)
American Heart Association once studied the effects of TV and found that people who watch 4+ hours a day were 80% more likely to die from heart disease than those who watched less than 2 hours. So, consider lessening the amount of time in front of the screen.
When you would otherwise be turning on the television, try picking up a book with your freed time. Reading has been shown to increase knowledge and empathy, strengthen memory, and improve overall cognitive function. Plus, this is a healthier way to engage your mind and imagination than watching a movie.
💡PRO-TIP: Set a goal to read 12 books this year. That’s just one a month. You can do that! Or, download Libro.fm to listen to audiobooks. Using this is the audio equivalent of buying from local stores.
➡️ Find One Practical Way to Practice Self-Care
Honestly, almost all of the resolutions on this list could be a form of self-care. Find what works best for you, and start putting it into practice! Self-love is essential to our physical and mental health, although it can be difficult to actually make time for.
Maybe you meditate for 10 minutes a day or take a longer bath on Monday and Friday evenings. Or, your thing could be yoga, which is also a good way to move your body. Any of these can lower your blood pressure, stress, and anxiety and improve your sleep quality.
Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. It could be something as simple as sleeping in thirty minutes, going for a walk, or doing a puzzle in the evenings.
💡PRO-TIP: There are many ways to meditate, including finding guided meditations online, podcasts, books, and apps.
➡️ Stay In Touch (Calling, Snail Mail, Etc.)
Regardless if you’re still in quarantine, it’s important to stay in touch with your loved ones! Try resolving to call someone (such as your mom or long distance best friend) once a week, have a monthly dinner with a friend, or send your family and close friends birthday cards. You can also make a generic “connect with 3 people a week” goal, including texts, calls, or letters.
A quick text, a short facetime or zoom call, or a handwritten letter can go a long way to make us feel like we aren’t so alone. So, try setting a goal to stay in touch.
💡PRO-TIP: Start small and be consistent. Don’t commit to a weekly dinner if you’re not ready. But try to commit to a weekly phone call or a letter every other week. Zero in on a different family member or friend each time and get creative with how you connect.
➡️ Make One Change for Better Sleep
Chances are, you’re not getting enough quality sleep for your health. Sleep deprivation is a serious issue that many people deal with. It can harm your physical and mental health through many factors, including increasing the risk of weight gain, heart disease, and depression.
So, make a resolution to change ONE thing about your life to increase the amount of sleep you get and the quality of that sleep. Again, some things could fit in another resolution category, such as decreasing screen time before bed or cutting back on caffeine.
Here are 13 tips for better sleep, so consider going through them and doing one a month this year!
💡PRO-TIP: Buy yourself a new pillow and pillowcase! You may need a hypoallergenic case or one that’s better for your skin. It’s best to swap it out every 24 months, and getting a new pillow can do wonders on any neck or back problems you may have.
➡️ Cook More and Clean Up Your Diet
The possibilities for this one are endless! Here are some doable resolution ideas:
✔️Cook dinner once a week
Eating out limits your knowledge of what is in your food and can contribute to weight gain. When you cook at home, you know exactly what’s going into your body. To get started, check out the recipes we have on the blog.
✔️Pick a day to meal prep
You can try this once a month or every Sunday! If you need help, check out our Meal Prep Video Training Course.
✔️Try a new vegetable every week
You may need something smaller and more doable where you pick a different vegetable while grocery shopping and play around with different ways to cook this! You may find something you LOVE this way.
✔️Choose clean eating rather than dieting
Try not to prioritize short-term changes. Instead, focus on long-term health benefits of making a lifestyle change. Don’t follow a fad, restrictive diet. Instead, check out a sustainable, nourishing clean eating pattern.
✔️Try the Challenge
The difference between succeeding and failing could be having an awesome support system. You can find that through the challenge. You also have a built-in meal plan and recipes ready to be made and enjoyed!
The Bottom Line
Most New Year’s resolutions are only kept for a short period, so the key is to make ones you CAN and SHOULD keep. The twelve above are sustainable ways to improve your physical and emotional health and can fit right into your current schedule without interrupting your entire life.
If you’re overwhelmed, try making them more specific or cutting out the ones that don’t apply to you as much. OR focus on just ONE of these a month, and by the end of the year, you’ve done all twelve!