27 Inspiring New Year’s Resolution Ideas You’ll Want to Keep
Go beyond losing weight and hitting the gym this year by making resolutions that will uplift, educate, entertain, and help you become a better person.
New Year Resolution Idea #1: Read a new book every month
There’s a reason this one is one of our favorite New Year resolution ideas yet. Between your job, social media, and all your favorite online activities, it may feel like all you do all day long is read stuff, but there’s a huge difference between reading information on the Internet and getting lost in a great story. In fact, reading a novel actually changes your brain, improving memory and increasing brain connectivity for days after you finish the book, according to a study published in Brain Connectivity. Both types of reading have their place, but don’t let Internet articles crowd out reading a well-crafted, compelling book. For maximum brain benefits, carve out time each day to do a little reading.
New Year Resolution Idea #2: Do something that scares you
This isn’t an easy one, but it is one of the best New Year resolution ideas, too. Make a list of things that scare you: public speaking, sky diving, holding a spider, eating Brussels sprouts, asking your boss for a raise, calling your crush. Now, pick one thing off the list and find a way to do it. You don’t have to go from arachnophobia to crawling into the spider house at the zoo, but find a safe, incremental way to conquer one of your big fears. Bring a friend, get educated, read a book, take a class, or do therapy to help you face your fear. Each time you do it, you’ll feel stronger, more confident, and more in control over your life because you’ll have power over one more thing, instead of your fear having power over you.
New Year Resolution Idea #3: Buy a new fruit or vegetable every time you do your grocery shopping
This one is a great New Year goal because it can lead to some excellent discoveries. The world is filled with strange and wonderful foods, so why stick with navel oranges and broccoli? Expand your palette by buying one new fruit or veggie at the store—and then actually eat it. It doesn’t have to be major. You could swap out your standard Red Delicious apples for a new variety, like a Snapdragon, or try purple cauliflower instead of white. Even if you hate it, at least you can say you’ve tried it. Not only will it automatically make you sound cooler, but you might even get a great story to tell.
New Year Resolution Idea #4: Write a thank-you card to someone from your past
Have a teacher that introduced you to your career? A childhood friend who stood by you for years? A relative who was always there to listen? Get a nice card, write down your memories of how they changed your life, thank them, and send it off. They will treasure your kind words, and you’ll benefit from remembering a positive, kind moment from your life.
New Year Resolution Idea #5: Read your credit card statement each month
You may think you know where your money is going, but unless you’re actually taking the time to look at all your charges, chances are you’re forgetting a lot of little (or big) purchases, and those purchases add up. That’s no one’s idea of a good time, but going through your credit card charges—once a week, bi-weekly, or monthly—can help you catch fraudulent charges, fix mistakes, and control your own savings. Here are some more New Year resolution ideas that can save you money.
New Year Resolution Idea #6: Meditate every day
By now you’ve read dozens of articles about the many benefits of meditation and you know you should, but it’s just so… boring? Impossible to carve out the time? Difficult to do without falling asleep? For however many reasons you think you have for not meditating, you have even more reasons to do it. Daily meditation doesn’t have to be a struggle, however. Install a meditation app on your phone, like Headspace or Calm, and let it do all the hard work. It will pick the meditation, set the timer, and talk you through it. All you have to do is show up.
New Year Resolution Idea #7: Sign up as a volunteer
Pitching in at the food bank for one Saturday in December is good, but charities need volunteers year-round, not just over the holidays. Brighten your life and someone else’s by signing up to volunteer weekly or monthly. Not only are you doing a good deed, but it will get easier for you, and you’ll get better at your job the more you do it. Considering a little “voluntourism” trip abroad? Check out these tips to volunteer overseas the right way.
New Year Resolution Idea #8: Watch one new documentary a month
Netflix and the like are a bounty of brain candy, but let’s not forget that along with all nine seasons of The Office, the Internet also holds the entirety of human wisdom. Take advantage of all this free knowledge by setting aside an evening each month to watch a new documentary about a subject you’d like to learn more about. From politics to health to tiny house building, the options are endless!
New Year Resolution Idea #9: Leave a nice comment on someone else’s social media every day
Much has been said about how destructive Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other forms of social media can be, especially to your self-esteem. Instead of using social media to talk about yourself and wait for the likes to roll in, use it to build others up. Take two minutes each day to scroll through your feed and tell your friends how gorgeous their new baby is, how impressed you are with their successful fundraiser, or simply how much you love them and how you’re glad they are in your life. Easiest good deed ever!
New Year Resolution Idea #10: Post a beautiful picture each day
Another way to resolve to use social media better this year is to make a goal to post one picture each day of something in your life you find beautiful. It can be as simple as a leaf curling on the sidewalk or the pattern raindrops make on your window. Simply taking a moment to look for something beautiful and capture it on camera will give your spirit a lift. Posting it will inspire others to look for the beauty in their lives as well. Watch out for these things you should probably avoid posting on social media during the holidays, though.