New Year’s resolutions come and go – mostly go. Instead, they never take off. The intent is good, yet the follow-through falls short. If you want your New Year’s resolutions to have a chance to succeed, these tips and strategies may be just what you need.
New Year’s Resolutions: Strategies and Tips to Try
New Year’s resolutions are probably good to make. After all, it’s a traditional way to usher in the new year. Millions of us do this annually, part of a familiar and comforting ritual. Maintaining celebrations and traditions is essential.
Yet, what about the countless pledges we make each January that never see daylight? If written, they remain stashed away in a drawer or desk. If only in the mind, they quickly revert to the cobweb archive of unpursued endeavors.
New Year’s Resolutions: Go Big, Outrageous, and Grand
However, try these amazing tips and strategies if you want your New Year’s resolutions to stick.
You’ve heard the expression, “Go big or go home.” In the context of making resolutions for the year ahead, make them the biggest, boldest, most compelling ideas you can create. Goals are meant to be a stretch, aren’t they? So, conjure magical quests and fascinating journeys that will delight, educate, motivate, and entertain.
New Year’s Resolutions Thought-Starters
The bigger, the more outrageous, and grand, the better. Here are some bold thought-starters:
Build a house from scratch.
If you’ve ever dreamed of building your own house, this may be the year to start. You’ve watched home renovation shows on TV, so you’re clued into the work involved. Remember that the bigger the project, the greater the possibility of delays, complications, unexpected problems, and increased costs. Still, isn’t building your dream home worth the effort?
Sell everything and go on a yearlong world journey.
Think what incredible adventure awaits you if you cash in, sell your possessions, and embark on a 12-month journey. See the places you’ve longed to visit and spend time getting to know them. With no deadlines to meet or monthly bills to pay, there’s more time to explore. Get to know yourself and your partner (if you travel together), or take your spiritual quest literally.
Write a book.
With ghostwriters plentiful, almost anyone can write a book. If you believe you have a story, start creating an outline. Write it for yourself or the marketplace. Shop the book’s premise with literary agents to know its market potential. Be prepared for multiple edits and work that will likely extend into the following year.
Revise Last Year’s List of New Year’s Resolutions
Many of us ran out of time (energy, desire, or opportunity) to finish last year’s New Year’s resolutions. Guess what? If they still rank high on things you want to accomplish, put them on the list for the coming year.
- You may wish to polish them, adding new ideas that make them easier to tackle or additional resources you can now access.
Create Your Gratitude Journal
What better way to kick off the New Year than to begin to reflect on all that’s good in your life? Start journaling, but with a twist. This is your gratitude journal. Record everything you’re thankful for today – and do it daily.
If you think you’ll run out of things you’re grateful for, consider this:
- Smiles are one of life’s greatest gifts – free. Be grateful every day for what makes you smile.
- The opportunity to learn something new happens daily. Be open to discovery, and you’ll begin to see possibilities everywhere. This is an excellent example of what to include in your gratitude journal. “Today I learned… and I’m grateful.”
- List those you’re most grateful to have in your life. These can be the same people you say your prayers for nightly or someone instrumental in your life today.
Get Inspired with Fitness
In a Forbes magazine poll, fitness tops the 2024 New Year’s resolutions list for about half of Americans. Numerous research studies link mental health to physical fitness, so embarking on a fitness regimen should pay dual benefits.
- Exercise can relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Regular physical activity improves your quality of sleep.
- Join a gym if you want the total workout experience.
- Doing Zoom fitness, yoga, Pilates, or meditation classes is fun, quick, and easy.
- Take a daily mindful walk to improve overall health and wellbeing.
Resolve to Improve Your Finances as Part of Your New Year’s Resolutions
Do your finances need some assistance? If credit card bills and other financial obligations seriously dent your bank account, now is an appropriate time to set them straight. Buying all those holiday gifts may delay the savings goal for a while, yet you can start small to earn big in time.
- Ask for help or go online to search for financial tools to get your budget in line with your income.
- Curb your enthusiasm when it comes to impulse buying. If you still want it in a week, make sure you have the means to pay for it without incurring additional debt.
- Save at least $10 a week. This may seem infinitesimally small, yet it’s the discipline that matters. You can always put aside more if you have it.
- Always use coupons and never pay the total price for anything. Use deal websites and notifications. Ask for discounts from every merchant, including veterans, senior citizens, and special groups.
- Avoid the temptation to buy something that’s on sale. Ask yourself if you need it, or is this merely an indulgence?
Eat Better – Mindfully
Food sustains life. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate life. But who says food must be bland? If you resolve this new year to improve your eating habits, do so with the intention of eating better and enjoying it more. To do this, eat mindfully.
- Savor your food. Take time with each bit instead of gulping and chewing like it’s your last meal.
- Concentrate on eating. This means removing distractions from smartphones, TV, and sports games.
- Notice your food’s taste, colors, aroma, texture, and sounds. This revitalizes your senses and helps you appreciate food more.
- Push your plate back when you’re full. There’s no need to clean the plate. Only eat until your hunger is past, not more.
- Are you hungry because your body needs food? Or are you responding to a hunger trigger? Learn to distinguish between them, and you’ll eat better mindfully. And you’ll learn to love food.
Start a Learning Quest
Resolve as part of your New Year’s resolutions to discover something daily that adds to your learning repertoire. There are countless variations of how to do a learning quest. These are some suggestions:
- Work puzzles to become more proficient. This improves cognitive ability, problem-solving, decision-making, and other mental health aspects.
- Learn a new word every day.
- Start with an area you know well. Broaden your skills or expertise by learning something in a related field or tangentially linked to the familiar one.
- Personalize your learning to accommodate your schedule, interests, skills, and experience.
New Year’s Resolutions Priority: Eliminate Procrastination
Here’s a novel resolution for the new year. Procrastination buys short-term relief from tackling tasks but results in long-term costs. Whatever you delay doing will stick around like a sore that won’t heal. Mental health experts say that the roots of procrastination lie in perfectionism, fear, failure, or anxiety.
How to Procrastinate Less
How do you procrastinate less and get more done? Here are some suggestions:
- Reframe your thoughts. Instead of considering procrastination an impossible evil to overcome, consider it a stepping-stone to purposeful living. Your natural inclination to put things off can morph into a desire to advance.
- Get to it. There’ll always be excuses, but that’s precisely what they are. Excuses don’t get things done. Getting to it does. Adopt the mindset that you’ll make progress today. Then, get to it.
- Start earlier instead of later. Do you know someone who always waits until the day before the project is due to begin? Are you that person? Switch your priorities so you start early on the task so you’ll complete it early or on time.
Focus on Organization
A messy space is an invitation to negative thinking. How can you concentrate and accomplish things when you can’t find anything? Resolve to declutter your space (home, office, car, garage) and finally see the beauty in simplicity.
- Start with a small yet manageable space. A closet or armoire is a good choice. The goal is to make it easier to find what you need without frustration. Tidy up shelves and neatly arrange clothes on hangars. Sort dirty clothes and items to donate, toss, or reuse.
- Invite a friend to help you declutter. If the friend knows something about creating a neat space, that’s terrific.
- Finish what you start. Allow enough time to tackle the organizational task. If you only have a half-hour, dive in. Get as much done as you can and finish the small task. This will provide satisfaction.
New Year’s Resolutions: Create Balance in Your Life
If work-life intrudes on family time or all your extracurricular activities push you to exhaustion, your life is out of balance. This New Year’s resolution is essential if you’ve neglected balance.
How to Create Life Balance as Part of Your New Year’s Resolutions
How do you create life balance? Try these suggestions:
- Take regular breaks throughout the day. You must rest and recharge between tasks, or you’ll suffer burnout.
- Create and maintain boundaries. Instead of automatically accepting extra work from a demanding boss or taking on others’ assignments, learn to say no. Be polite but firm.
As part of your New Year’s resolutions, separate work and home life. Avoid the temptation to let one intrude on the other. Never work at home unless it’s an emergency. Family comes first at home. Work comes first at the office.