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 #11: Take a walk outdoors every day
“Exercise more” probably already made your resolution list, but if that’s all you wrote, then you’re destined to fail. The more specific and doable your goal, the more likely you are to, you know, actually do it. Walking is a great exercise to start with. Not only can nearly everyone do it, but it’s free and you can multitask by listening to a podcast or talking with a friend. Add in the great outdoors and you’ll get some fresh air and sunshine.
New Year Resolution Idea #12: Celebrate a new holiday every month
Did you know that January 1st is not just New Year’s Day but also National Hangover Day? (Makes sense, really.) And that’s not the only weird holiday—thanks to imaginative people and creative marketers, nearly every single day of the year celebrates something. Sign up for The Days Of The Year to discover what wacky holidays are happening each month. Then pick one you’d like to celebrate—National Doughnut Day, June 1, perhaps?—and enjoy. Sure, it’s silly, but having something fun to look forward to every month is a great way to lift your spirits and have a party. Need an idea? Try one of our favorite National Food Holidays.
New Year Resolution Idea #13: Smile at a stranger every day
A man who committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge left behind a note that read, “I’m going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump.” That story had a heartbreaking ending for that man, obviously, but it shows the power of a little human kindness. Smiling at a stranger on the bus, in the store, at the gym, or on your way to work costs you nothing but could have a powerful effect on someone’s life. Make a resolution to give a smile, every day. Best part? You’ll probably get one in return too.
New Year Resolution Idea #14: Sign up for dance lessons
Dancing is good for your body, mind, and soul. It’s fun; it’s a great way to meet new people; it improves memory, balance, coordination, and flexibility; it helps you lose weight, and it’s a great way to start an exercise routine. The best part is you don’t even have to be good at it to reap all these benefits! Sign up for a type of dance lesson that intrigues you—ballroom, tap, ballet, hip hop, or whatever—and simply show up with an open mind. Paying for a whole course will keep you going at least for the duration of the class. Here are some more great tips to help you find a hobby you love.
New Year Resolution Idea #15: Invite a new neighbor over for dinner
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Quick: Can you name your next-door neighbors? What about the ones next to them? Everyone on your street? The more interconnected we’ve become online, the less connected we’ve become in real life, particularly to those we don’t have a reason to get to know. So make a reason to meet the people in your neighborhood by inviting a new person or family over for dinner, dessert, or a game night, once a month. At best you’ll make some great friends, at worst you don’t ever have to do it again, and you’ll still have one more person you can ask to bring your garbage in from the curb when you’re gone. For a little inspiration, check out these 22 heartwarming stories of good deeds from neighbors.
New Year Resolution Idea #16: Set a firm bedtime
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Getting enough sleep can be one of the best things you can do for your health. Getting a solid seven to eight hours of shut-eye boosts heart health, helps with weight loss, improves memory, and reduces depression, among other health benefits. Yet good intentions are easily derailed by phone games, Netflix, work e-mail, or other distractions. Invest in your health by giving yourself a firm bedtime that will allow you to get eight hours of sleep, say 10 p.m., and stick to it.
New Year Resolution Idea #17: Sign up for a CSA
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Community-supported agriculture is a great way to support your local farmers while also getting a sweet deal on healthy produce. You sign up, pay a small monthly fee, and in return get a box of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables each week during the growing season. Farmers get consistent income, and you get the best produce money can buy. Go to Local Harvest to find a CSA near you.
New Year Resolution Idea #18: Get a gratitude journal
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Making a mental note to count your blessings simply isn’t enough. To reap all the benefits of daily gratitude, you need to make a conscious effort to record everything you’re grateful for. Start off on the right foot this year by buying a fun journal, just for the purpose of recording three things each day you’re grateful for. Looking for things to be grateful for will give you a boost in the moment and re-reading them later will help you realize how great your life really is. Get started with these powerful gratitude quotes that will inspire you to be grateful.
New Year Resolution Idea #19: Take a tech break every day
If Dr. Seuss were writing today, his next book would likely be Screens On Things—those screens, we see them in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse. Those screens we see them here and there, we see them everywhere. And for good reason, they’re fun! But technology overload can cause depression, isolation, lack of social skills, compulsive shopping, and poor health. Take a brain break by setting aside one (or more) hours a day to unplug. Read a book, take a walk, work on a hobby, volunteer, or simply use the time to think your own thoughts, uninterrupted. You’ll sleep, eat, and feel better.
New Year Resolution Idea #20: Set a cleaning schedule
Chores are called chores for a reason—no one loves scrubbing out the toilet or loading the dishwasher, yet they are all things that must be done for life to run smoothly. But sometimes you procrastinate doing them (no judgment here, we’re all guilty of this!) and they pile up. Keep your personal (and mental) space clean by creating a daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning schedule. Doing a little each day will make sure the garbage never overflows into the next room again. Need a place to start? Try these 30 simple chores you’ll be glad you did in a year.