As the year comes to a close, you may be considering making a New Year’s resolution. Maybe you made a resolution last year and stuck with it, or maybe you had totally forgotten about it by February. Maybe you don’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions.
Regardless, it may help your planning if you have a better idea of what exactly a New Year’s resolution is and what it could be, too. A New Year’s resolution is a promise that you make to yourself or others to carry out an idea or action.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Kids
- New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Students
- Money-Related New Year’s Resolution Ideas
- New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Your Career
- New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Health & Fitness
- New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Your Social Life
- New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Couples
- New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Retirees
- New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Self-Care
- New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Organization & Tidying Up
On that note, resolutions aren’t limited to healthy habits but can deal with education, social life, relationships, career, and much more. Take a look at our recommendations for resolutions that touch every type of goal.
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New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Kids
Kids might have a tough time managing their resolutions, especially if they’re related to healthy habits or school. So, be prepared to encourage, track, and reward your child for making progress toward their goal. Whether you’re hoping to make New Year’s resolutions as a family, or your child asks you how to make one, here are a few ideas.
1. Read a chapter or a set number of pages before bed
Tip: Encourage your child with books you enjoyed as a kid or with other types of reading material.
2. Take care of a houseplant or something in the garden
Tip: Get your child a watering can or set of gloves. Or, you can get an easy-to-care-for plant, such as a succulent.
3. Make their bed each morning
Tip: Make sure it’s easy for your child to replace pillows and bedding in a way that looks presentable. Set a good example for them by doing so, too.
4. Try new fruits and vegetables at mealtime or for snacks
Tip: Help your child broaden his or her horizons if they’re a picky eater. They may find a healthy replacement for another snack.
5. Play outside after homework is finished (if weather permits)
Tip: Join your child outside or help them designate a good area to play in. Make up new games or activities periodically to keep him or her entertained.
6. Learn how to make a meal or snack
Tip: Help your child understand directions on a prepackaged meal or help them make something from scratch. Use caution, of course, with heat and sharp knives.
7. Help take care of a pet or sibling
Tip: Have your child start taking the dog out or emptying the litter box if they’re old enough. They can also help a younger sibling get ready in the morning by picking out an outfit or doing their hair.
8. Pack their own lunch
Tip: Make it easy for your child to pack a healthy lunch by keeping the fridge stocked with their favorites. You can help him or her out by putting serving sizes in small containers that are ready to go.
9. Take out the trash or recyclables
Tip: You can accompany your child if your street is dark or he is she is young. However, many kids like having a sense of responsibility.
10. Replace one non-water drink with a glass of water each day
Tip: If your child loves having a glass of sweet tea or soda with dinner, ask them to swap it out for water. If they’re resistant, try to do the swap a few times per week at first.
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New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Students
Even star students have a few habits they’d like to break, and a few habits they’d like to adopt in the new year. Try to pick a resolution that will help your brain work smarter, not harder, or that will improve some other aspect of your day.
11. Review the day’s notes before bed each night
Tip: This may be the last thing you feel like doing before bed, but try to keep it engaging by highlighting important parts or skimming for key topics.
12. Stretch in the morning before class
Tip: Even if it’s just for a few minutes, you can better prepare your body for a long day — especially if you have to sit a lot.
13. Make your own coffee or breakfast
Tip: Get creative with what you make for yourself to keep it interesting.
14. Walk to class
Tip: Give yourself a break on days with bad weather, or simply park a little further away.
15. Get a planner (or find a time-management app)
Tip: Before opening your favorite social media app, look at your planner or time-management app. Make this a priority, and it will eventually come naturally.
16. Take the stairs more often
Tip: It’s likely that by the time the elevator comes around, you could be halfway up to your destination. It burns calories and helps wake your brain up.
17. Sit somewhere new (if you can help it)
Tip: Try sitting closer to the front to help yourself focus, or sit on a different side of the classroom. You may meet some new people.
18. Raise your hand more often
Tip: If your comment or question is constructive, you can’t go wrong. Try to do so every few classes.
19. Be more strict about your sleep schedule
Tip: You can keep your phone by your bed for the alarm, but once you’re tired, turn the lights out and don’t immediately reach for your phone to start scrolling.
20. Join a new group or organization
Tip: See if you can tag along to another friend’s group or organization if you don’t want to go for it alone.
Money-Related New Year’s Resolution Ideas
Many people want to have more money, but many people don’t want to save it. Adjusting a few expenditures per month can easily add up. Check out these resolution ideas related to money.
21. Plan out shopping lists and stick to them
Tip: Budget for a splurge or two each month, but other than that, stick to only what you need.
22. Eat at home more often
Tip: If you don’t enjoy eating from home, try to recreate your favorite restaurant dishes from your own ingredients.
23. Donate your coffee money
Tip: Treat yourself to a café beverage a few times per week. On the other days, donate what you would spend to a cause you care about. You can pick a different cause each week to keep it interesting, and many organizations make it easy with online collections.
24. Cancel any unnecessary subscriptions
Tip: Be honest — do you need every subscription you’re signed up for? Some subscription services allow you to take a break without cutting ties entirely. If it turns out you can’t live without a subscription, the company may offer you a free month to renew.
25. Save a set amount each paycheck
Tip: Start with a lesser amount and increase as you see fit.
26. Switch to generic brands for certain items
Tip: You don’t need organic or designer everything. Cut corners where it makes sense.
27. Clip coupons or use promotions wisely
Tip: Many stores offer rewards programs that make it easy to sign up and track savings.
28. Set the heat or AC to run less
Tip: Turn the AC up a degree or two before you leave the house or turn the heat down accordingly.
29. Pack your lunch more often
Tip: Start with one to two extra days per week and go from there.
30. Skip the extras
Tip: Love guacamole on top of certain food orders? Always spring for almond milk? Consider having your own stash at home or the office to add to your food and beverages, or give it up altogether.
New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Your Career
If you’re happy with your career, or you see yourself somewhere else entirely, there are plenty of resolutions for either scenario. The critical thing to remember is trying to do a little each day to help you reach your goal — you won’t take over a company overnight (well, probably not).
31. Take a new training each month
Tip: There are likely thousands of free (even short) courses you can find online in your profession. If not, ask if your company would cover the cost.
32. Read a book on your lunch break
Tip: Read a few pages at a time, take notes, or highlight. You likely won’t recall a ton of information on your break anyway, so keep it brief. You can choose a professional development book, for example, or one on an interesting topic, such as near-death experiences.
33. Or, use your lunch break to practice a skill.
Tip: If you want to get better at a particular skill, see if you can shave a few minutes off of your lunch break to account for some extra practice. Let’s be honest, you’d probably be on your phone anyway.
34. Find a mentor
Tip: Reach out to someone who doesn’t have too much on his or her plate.
35. Or, find a mentee
Tip: Reach out to someone who is serious about it and who has a similar career path.
36. Get to know other coworkers or employees at your company
Tip: Sit in a different area on your lunch break or invite a new person to grab a coffee.
37. Keep a notebook for ideas
Tip: Jot down ideas as you have them. They don’t necessarily have to relate to anything. They can be important tidbits of concepts you’d otherwise forget.
38. Share cooking or a hobby with your workmates
Tip: You don’t have to bring something to share every week, but shoot for once per month.
39. Speak up more often
Tip: If you find yourself constantly biting your tongue, don’t. As long as your comments are constructive, try to share more of them.
40. Ask for feedback
Tip: Don’t ask for feedback for every project, but do so here and there.
New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Health & Fitness
Health and fitness resolutions are some of the hardest to keep. However, these resolutions can be crucial to improving both your physical and mental health. Don’t make the mistake that many often do — make big, unattainable goals and end up disappointed. Start out with something small and doable, then build from there. And, of course, always consult with your physician before you start a new exercise regimen or diet.
41. Master a push-up or squat
Tip: Consult a professional trainer or other specialist if you’re unfamiliar. These are great exercises to add to your repertoire. And, you can do them anywhere.
42. Try a new activity
Tip: Always wanted to branch out into yoga or pilates? Crossfit? Many places that offer these classes may give discounts at the beginning of the year.
43. Go for a walk after dinner
Tip: If you don’t have a dog who’s expecting a walk, bring a family member with you or just some headphones to pass the time. You can start with short distances at first.
44. Get familiar with a new machine
Tip: Ease into a new machine at the gym. Be sure to start slow and don’t overexert yourself.
45. Move every day
Tip: Some days you may move less than others, and that’s OK. Listen to your body, but try to loosen up to prevent stiffness and injury.
46. Treat indulgences as such
Tip: If you have a sweet tooth or love a certain type of snack, be sure to have them as a treat and not as a major food group.
47. Address problem areas before they get worse
Tip: Buy yourself a small ice pack that you can put on areas you’ve previously injured or that frequently get sore. Use it nightly or in the morning after you stretch.
48. Get up and move every hour if you work a desk job
Tip: Use your trip wisely and take out the trash, get rid of clutter off of your desk, or grab some more water.
49. Drink an extra glass of water each day
Tip: Pick a time of day that makes sense for you, such as first thing in the morning. Consider swapping out a sugary or caffeinated beverage for water.
50. Learn how to prepare a vegetable dish you love
Tip: Choose an easy recipe if you’re new to cooking. It doesn’t have to require the oven, either. You can easily create unique salsas or salads.
New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Your Social Life
Whether you’re already a social butterfly or you’re trying to branch out more, we hope you find the following ideas helpful. Look at this type of resolution as an opportunity to spend more meaningful time with your friends or family.
51. Write thank-you notes
Tip: Get some stationery that you like. Try to send thank you notes more often. Send them after staying with a friend or just to thank him or her for existing.
52. Host a brunch or dinner once a month
Tip: You can have friends bring something to share, or prepare ingredients together.
52. Reach out more often
Tip: If you find yourself thinking about a friend or relative, let them know. A quick “thinking of you!” text will likely make someone’s day.
53. Take a break from social media
Tip: If you find yourself wasting time on one app in particular, try deleting the app off your phone and see how you do.
54. Say yes more often
Tip: Do you find yourself often saying “no”? Whether it’s out of fear or stubbornness, try to determine the root cause. When it’s sensical, say yes instead.
55. Start to volunteer
Tip: Don’t overextend yourself. You can always take on more hours or responsibilities. Make sure the volunteer work deals with something you’re passionate about.
56. Find a new hangout
Tip: Do you and your friends always go to the same bar or restaurant? Try somewhere else and shop around until you find a new favorite.
57. Suggest new group activities
Tip: Rather than hitting the town every weekend, try out something new like camping, bowling, or a sporting event.
58. Set up “phone dates” with a friend or relative
Tip: Pick a day or time that will consistently work for both of you.
59. Say “hi” more often (within reason)
Tip: Saying “hi” to neighbors, your mail person, or people you pass in your workplace who you may not normally address may yield some surprising results. Don’t overdo it, however.
60. Be real about who you give your time to
Tip: Cutting people out of your life may sound harsh, but be honest with yourself. Is this person a positive influence on you? If not, explain that your time and energy needs to be spent elsewhere. If you feel this way, it’s likely their time and energy will be better spent elsewhere, too.
New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Couples
Making a resolution as a couple is a great way to grow closer to one another, challenge each other, and see if your goals and abilities pair well. That being said, you and your partner can also make different resolutions that make sense for your individual aspirations.
61. Write your partner a note each day
Tip: Keep a stack of post-its on the counter or a message board on the fridge. It can be as easy as “I love you.” Try to keep it fun — not a to-do list.
62. Cook your partner at least one meal per week
Tip: It doesn’t have to be lavish or involved. Let the gesture speak for itself.
63. Help your partner stay organized
Tip: Is your partner constantly forgetting their sneakers for the gym or something related? Make it your routine to help them put what they need by the door.
64. Create a chore list
Tip: Assign chores alternately or by preference.
65. Start a new activity together
Tip: Make sure this activity is something that’s manageable for both of you and your schedules.
66. Get your partner flowers or a gift just because
Tip: Incorporate this gift-giving into another ritual. Do you pass a flower shop on your way home from work? Grab a bouquet once a month just because you can.
67. Verbalize tough conversations
Tip: Rather than sitting on hard feelings or keeping things to yourself, try to broach them delicately and as soon as possible. This will likely keep things more open and less emotionally driven.
68. Cheer your partner on more often
Tip: Text them good luck or well wishes more often than you think you need to. Send them a GIF or emoji when they’re feeling “meh.”
69. Give your partner some alone time
Tip: Finding time to do things separately will make time together more special.
70. Make him or her cards rather than buying them
Tip: Get creative with the materials. Turn it into a competition for the most ridiculous card.
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New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Retirees
As a retiree, resolutions may feel a little more hefty. It’s likely that you have a mindset of making meaningful and smart decisions now that you have more time on your hands. For more insight into end-of-life planning — and seeing this as a positive thing — take a look at this end-of-life planning checklist. We have also provided a variety of examples of resolutions for retirees below.
71. Work on crosswords or other brain games
Tip: If you don’t subscribe to a newspaper, keep a crossword puzzle book or another book handy.
72. Clean a different part of your home each day
Tip: Write out a checklist each week to stay on top of it.
73. Learn how to cook a new recipe each week
Tip: Browse recipes on one day of the week and write out your shopping list. Plan a designated day for cooking or baking.
74. Try out a new hobby each month
Tip: Even if you think you’re “bad” at whatever hobby it is, give it another go. Go in with an open mind, ready to learn, and OK with laughing at yourself if you mess up.
75. Listen to new types of music
Tip: Ask your children, friends, or grandchildren about artists and music they like. You may find an unexpected favorite!
76. Try a new type of food or restaurant
Tip: Have you never tried authentic German food? Can’t remember ever eating jackfruit? Broaden your horizons and shop at specialty markets or ask around for good ethnic restaurants.
77. Walk more
Tip: Park further out in the parking lot. Or, take a walk after dinner or breakfast — or whenever.
78. Travel to a new place
Tip: This “new place” doesn’t have to be far. Explore natural areas where you live. Ask a friend or relative to tag along.
79. Practice better posture
Tip: Mindfulness can improve posture. Find a firm pillow to prop yourself up on while seated, and try to keep your shoulders back while walking.
80. Try to get rid of or donate things you don’t need
Tip: Grandkids or children may have had their eye on something you didn’t have any idea about — it may make their day.
New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Self-Care
Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated, but many people don’t prioritize it. Taking better care of yourself is often the first step in being able to take better care of others.
81. Find a face mask you like
Tip: Help boost your confidence (or at least lower stress levels) with a face mask to treat complexion- or age-related concerns. Invest some time a few times per week or as needed and relax while you use it.
82. Change your bed linens and towels often
Tip: Try to change your bed linens once per week and have at least two sets of towels that you can swap out biweekly. You can also keep extra pillowcases on hand so your hair and face stay fresher (and less prone to bacteria).
83. Buy an insulated water bottle to up your water intake
Tip: Try to clean your bottle or lid often as well. Bottles with straws are usually easier to sip on while doing other things if you have trouble drinking enough water.
84. Have a morning or pre-work ritual
Tip: Try to get up a little earlier (or get ready earlier) so you can get in the right mindset before you start your day beyond your home.
85. Donate items or clothing you don’t use
Tip: Go through your closet every season. If it doesn’t make you happy, it can likely do so for someone else who can’t afford it.
86. Buy a music subscription
Tip: Music is powerful and can make commutes, workdays, chores, or workouts all the more enjoyable. Broaden your horizons with new artists or ask your friends or family members for their favorites.
87. Give yourself at least one compliment each day
Tip: When you first look in the mirror in the morning, give yourself a mini pep-talk. It doesn’t have to be appearance-related, it can easily be “I am capable and strong.”
88. Practice meditation
Tip: If you haven’t caught onto meditation yet, there are plenty of apps that can help you do so. Meditation doesn’t have to mean total silence or lack of activity, but try to focus on your breathing and be present with yourself.
89. Say no (and don’t feel bad about it)
Tip: If it feels particularly hurtful to say no, give some more context. Explain to the person that you need to rest or a mental health break. Or, you can promise that the next time the person or responsibility needs you, you’ll say yes.
90. Schedule more me-time (and cut out distractions)
Tip: If you live alone, this shouldn’t be hard. However, consult with your family about giving you an extra hour alone on your day off. Do something you enjoy, or just relax. Try not to let technology play a role. Draw a nice bath or go for a walk.
New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Organization & Tidying Up
Few people love to clean, but many people like to have clean things. If you’re persistent with a small organizational resolution, you may feel inspired to include more as the year goes on.
91. Vacuum once per week
Tip: Put your headphones on and let the vacuuming double as a workout. Pick up rugs beforehand and shake them outside or into a bin.
92. Dust every two weeks
Tip: Buy a duster that makes hard-to-reach places easy. Or, purchase a few microfiber cloths that you can wash and reuse.
93. Don’t let laundry go unfolded (and not put away)
Tip: Similar to our next tip, if something will only take a minute or two more to accomplish, go ahead and do it. Don’t let clean socks pile up in the laundry room. Carry them right to your room and put them away.
94. Use the minute rule
Tip: Will it take you less than a minute to clean something up or put something away? Do it right then. Resist the urge to dump your briefcase or purse right as you walk in the door. Take a few extra steps and put it safely in your bedroom or elsewhere.
95. Invest in some storage-ready furniture or bins
Tip: Do you have a shelf in your closet that gets out of control with winter sweaters? Never have a good place to put away your children’s toys? Opt for fun, appealing baskets, bins, or benches that can double as décor to organize items in plain sight.
96. Go through mail and other documents in a timely manner
Tip: Do you let junk mail pile up? Bring over the recycling bin and rip off addresses or shred documents that you know you don’t need right away. Grab a tray or bin if you need to set bills or other items aside. You can also sign up for paperless billing in many places.
97. Have a file system for important documents
Tip: Purchase an accordion folder or two if you don’t have space for a filing cabinet or desk. Put medical or legal documents in a safe place. Go through this folder every six months or so to ensure you’re not keeping more than you need to.
98. Reorganize a messy space periodically
Tip: Do your kitchen cabinets get messy? How about the pantry? Take a few minutes every month to pull out items and check expiration dates. Donate or toss what you know you won’t use. Similar rules can be applied to medicine cabinets and normal clothing closets or dressers.
99. Wash your car once per month
Tip: Pick a day of the month to go get a car wash or wash it at home — and be vigilant. Swing by a carwash after work or in a spot where you frequently run errands.
100. Have a bathroom cleaning schedule
Tip: Bathrooms are often one of the worst places in your home to clean. However, if you put yourself on a regular schedule or purchase “self-cleaning” products, such as shower sprays or toilet additions, you’re well on your way!
Small Actions and Choices Add Up
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, the important thing is to pick a resolution and stick with it. If you have doubts in your abilities to remain consistent, pick something more manageable. Choosing something realistic and meaningful for you will improve your chances of being successful. Good luck!