Happy Birthday! Whether this is an early or a belated birthday wish, you’re making the most of it. Maybe you’re curious about birthday resolutions and what exactly they entail. That’s right, resolutions aren’t just for the New Year! In principle, birthday resolutions are the same thing as New Year’s resolutions — a birthday resolution is a promise that you make to yourself or others to carry out an idea or action.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Birthday Resolution Ideas for Your Teens
- Birthday Resolution Ideas for Your 20s
- Birthday Resolution Ideas for Your 30s
- Birthday Resolution Ideas for Your 40s
- Birthday Resolution Ideas for Your 50s
- Birthday Resolution Ideas for Your 60s
- Birthday Resolutions for Your 70s and Beyond
It’s likely that you view birthdays as milestones, and time to reflect on the past and future. This can help you gauge your personal growth and how other aspects of your life have evolved. If there’s something you’d like to change or improve, a birthday resolution is a great start. Here are dozens of ideas you can use as inspiration.
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Birthday Resolution Ideas for Your Teens
Your teen years bring about some of the biggest changes you’ll endure your entire life. You’re still formulating who you want to be and where you want to go. Don’t stress — you don’t have to figure out the answers right away. Here are a few fun resolutions to get you started.
1. Learn a new language
How to stick with it: If your school doesn’t offer the language course you want, check out free language learning apps, such as Duolingo.
2. Get a pet to take care of
How to stick with it: Be realistic about how much time and energy you have to dedicate. This can help you decide what type of pet to get.
3. Master how to cook or bake something from scratch
How to stick with it: If you get bored of a particular recipe or aren’t having any luck, try something else.
4. Find a new hobby to share with a friend or relative
How to stick with it: Having another person alongside you will make the experience more fun, even if it doesn’t go as planned.
5. Play an instrument
How to stick with it: Choose an instrument that you’re interested in and choose a musician to emblemize. This will keep you inspired and give you specific music to learn.
Birthday Resolution Ideas for Your 20s
Much like your teen years, your 20s present you with a lot of choices and opportunities for personal growth. Whether you’ve already nailed down your dream job in your dream location or you’re still figuring it out, a birthday resolution may give you some answers.
6. Save up to travel abroad
How to stick with it: Using your own money to travel overseas will make the experience that much more meaningful. However, make sure you educate yourself on the area’s financial state and exchange rates.
7. Find a physical activity you like
How to stick with it: Choose something reasonable for you. If you hate running or jumping, don’t choose a cardio class. Opt for something lower-impact, like yoga or pilates.
8. Go to more concerts
How to stick with it: You don’t have to spring for front-row every time. Or, check out local artists who put on shows for free.
9. Visit or call family members more often
How to stick with it: If you have a terrible habit of putting off phone calls with family or your holiday attendance is hit-or-miss, try to surprise someone on a random weekend.
10. Volunteer once a month
How to stick with it: Choose an organization or cause that you’re passionate about.
Check out our picks for a full list of things to do before you're 30 for more ideas.
Birthday Resolution Ideas for Your 30s
Once you’re in your 30s, you may be a bit more settled. That being said, try to choose a resolution that’ll help you keep things interesting.
11. Start hosting family or friends for dinner parties
How to stick with it: You can invite guests to bring a dish, or they can bring ingredients to share, and you can prepare them together.
12. Travel more often
How to stick with it: You don’t have to travel to a new continent each month. Start small, and visit local spots your friends keep telling you to visit.
13. Further your education (formally or informally)
How to stick with it: There are likely thousands of free or affordable online courses in just about every subject matter. These courses can relate to advancing your career or be a personal interest.
14. Join a new group
How to stick with it: Pick one that you and your partner, friend, or spouse would enjoy.
15. Switch up your routine
How to stick with it: If you always go to the same coffee shop or go to the gym at the same time each day, try switching it up. Small changes can make a difference.
Birthday Resolution Ideas for Your 40s
Expanding your horizons once you’re in your 40s can be easy. If you’re short on time or can’t make a big investment, you can make a resolution that focuses on yourself.
16. Read more books on a wide variety of topics
How to stick with it: If you have even mild interest in a topic, there’s likely a free book out there on it. You can also do a book swap with your friends or coworkers. Or, you may find these books on near-death experiences exciting.
17. Go through your home every season and donate what you don’t need
How to stick with it: Have a designated spot in your home or garage where you can place items to give away.
18. Redecorate your home
How to stick with it: You can start small with accessories, or you can repaint and buy new furniture when your budget permits.
19. Bring your friend, child, spouse, or pet on a tour of your hometown
How to stick with it: If you live close to where you grew up, you can break up the trips into a few separate ones. If another major city or destination is nearby, try to make a family vacation out of it.
20. Get into meditation
How to stick with it: Incorporate this into your morning or nightly routine. Play music you like or focus on your breathing in silence. Be present with yourself.
Birthday Resolution Ideas for Your 50s
Your 50s can be an exciting time. You’re likely a bit closer to retiring, and you’re comfortable in your career. Take advantage of this by branching out. Read our full list of bucket list ideas to do before you're 50 if you're looking for more ideas.
21. Walk nightly or daily
How to stick with it: Bring music and headphones with you or a family member.
22. Get into some new music
How to stick with it: Sign up for a music subscription. It’s relatively affordable per month, and you have access to thousands of both new and old artists. Ask your younger family members for recommendations.
23. Take a cooking class
How to stick with it: Make sure it makes sense for your budget. If not, there are plenty of free cooking videos online that you can use instead.
24. Try your hand at painting or pottery
How to stick with it: Even if you think you’re not artistic, try again, or try a different medium. You may surprise yourself.
25. Start journaling
How to stick with it: You can write about things you hope to accomplish, or even recount other memories from your life. Don’t worry about a structure, just write.
Birthday Resolution Ideas for Your 60s
In your 60s, you’ll likely have more time for some serious celebration. Use your time wisely and think about the future, too.
26. Try your hand at woodworking or a new craft
How to stick with it: If you don’t like the first activity you choose, go about it non traditionally. Just about anything can be art!
27. Nail down your future plans
How to stick with it There are plenty of resources, like advance directives and end-of-life planning checklists, to help you understand end-of-life planning and see it as a positive thing.
26. Set up phone dates with a friend or relative
How to stick with it: Choose a time that will work for both of your schedules.
27. Take up hiking or biking
How to stick with it: You don’t have to hit an expert mountain trail if you’re inexperienced. Start around your neighborhood or join a club.
29. Try a new signature look
How to stick with it: Find a new hairstyle or wardrobe that makes you happy — that’s all that matters.
30. Find a new restaurant or café each month
How to stick with it: Ask your neighbors for their recommendations, or drive around.
Birthday Resolutions for Your 70s and Beyond
Birthdays in your 70s and beyond can be a beautiful thing. Try to make a resolution that helps you spend more meaningful time with friends and loved ones.
31. Golf more often (or putt-putt)
How to stick with it: There’s a reason why golf is a favorite activity of people who are retired. Try out new courses to keep it interesting.
32. Read or do puzzles daily
How to stick with it: Buy a crossword puzzle book or a similar book and keep it handy. If you need to relax, you’ll still be giving your brain a workout.
33. Go through your belongings periodically
How to stick with it: Enlist grandkids or neighbors to help you out. You can bring them on a nostalgia tour or even pass along items they’ll cherish (that you don’t need otherwise).
34. Teach your grandkids or a neighbor how to prepare one of your recipes
How to stick with it: You can do so at the holidays or on a set day each month. Have him or her practice with you and turn it into a taste-test or competition with other loved ones.
35. Stretch each morning
How to stick with it: Just a few minutes is all you need. Keeping yourself loose can go a long way to prevent injury and stiffness. Consult a professional if you’re inexperienced in proper movements.
Change is Something to Celebrate
Birthday resolutions are a great way to build upon the growth you experienced in the previous year. It’s pretty awesome to look back and see how you’ve changed and what you’ve learned.
If you don’t feel like you’re on the right track, you can quickly re-route and try something else. It may not all be fun in the moment, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be celebrating soon. If you find yourself wanting to write a fuller list of things to accomplish in your life, read our guide on how to make a bucket list and start planning.