Each year we say we’ll start doing this, or stop doing that. But more often than not our big plans get dashed sometime in January. Here are some of the more commonly recited new years resolutions that pop up in late December, as well as others that are more likely to make it through the 365 days and really improve your life.
1. Lose Weight
This is a perennial favorite for many resolution makers, and it doesn’t take much to figure out why.
The holiday season is a time to overeat and indulge and things might come to a head, with many people reaching their fat-gain breaking point after a New Year’s Eve buffet dinner.
- 10 Natural Ways to Burn Belly Fat
- 36 Super Foods That Burn Fat & Help You Lose Weight
- 20 Best Ways to Lose 10 Pounds in a Month
2. Travel More
It’s tempting to want to get out and see more of the world, especially if you feel stuck in your rut or you haven’t been anywhere lately. This is one of the most common resolutions, just be sure to be a bit more specific on where you want to go because vague ideas rarely get done, but attainable goals are something you can work with.
3. Quit Smoking
This is often considered one of the hardest habits to break, and there are plenty of products, books, and systems to help you along. Still the most effective method is going cold turkey.
4. Get a Health Check Up
If you’ve been putting off the annual check-up and it’s been awhile since you’ve been given a clean bill of health, you may want to resolve to going in for a doctor’s visit. Starting the year off without having to worry about a serious medical condition looming in the background is one way to make it great.
5. Listen to My Favorite Music More
They say music is the soundtrack of life, but it’s also a great way to put you in a better mood, no matter what the circumstances are. The year ahead is going to have its challenging moments, so reach for your favorite tunes more often and get taken to your happy place instantly.
6. Dress More Like My Style
Between having to dress according to your employer’s dress code and following the conventional fashion of today’s apparel shops, you might have lost that part of you that wants to come out. Do an overhaul of your wardrobe and start wearing things that make you feel good.
7. Stop Twerking
Twerking become the buzzword of the year after Miley Cyrus made her appearance at the VMAs, but this is one trend that needs to be left in the past as we turn a new page and start afresh this year. Surely as a species we can come up with something better as the next sensation that everyone is talking about.
8. Get a Six Pack
This is one of those elusive health goals that sounds great when you first get the idea, but then gets cast aside after a few weeks. Without the proper amount of dedication and a strategy to get it, you might be fall short and become another statistic. Meet with a personal trainer to discuss the diet and fitness regimen you’ll need to follow to succeed.
9. Stop Being Racist
In his book Blink Malcolm Gladwell tells of research that shows even people that wouldn’t consider themselves racist show an unconscious racial bias in tests. Even though we’ve got the first black President, we’ve still got a long way to go, and we can all benefit from being more understanding of other races and cultures.
10. Be Healthier
This is one New Year’s goal that doesn’t produce many success stories. Why? It’s too vague. You can’t quickly quantify “being healthier” so there’s no way to hold yourself accountable later. Choose something you can measure more easily that falls under the healthy umbrella.
11. Stop Eating Fast Food
It seems like each year we learn more about just how bad fast food is for the body. If you’ve resolved to lose weight or get a six pack, you’ll definitely want to drop the fast food habit cold turkey. It can be hard because all of the fat, sugars, and chemical additives make it darn near addictive.
12. Validate People In My Life More
It’s easy to take the important people in your life for granted, especially if you see them every day. You don’t have to get all mushy every time you’re around them, but taking the time to let them know how important they are to you on an occasional basis will make you feel good and will strengthen the relationship.
13. Get Famous
It’s easier now than ever before to become an overnight sensation. Whether you just want your 15 minutes of fame, or you want to be a bona fide celebrity, start brainstorming how you can make it happen. It could take just one viral video, or you might need to go get head shots and an agent, but you can do it!
14. Stop Judging People
“Judge not lest ye be judged.” It’s in the Bible, but people of all faiths and beliefs can subscribe to this one. If you’re sitting in judgment it probably represents an insecurity on your part. Spend less time worrying about others, and spend more time improving yourself.
15. Quit Drinking (Or At Least Cut Back)
Most people are aware of the damaging effects of drinking alcohol, especially binge drinking, but we do it anyway. Even cutting back on how often you drink, or how much you drink in one sitting can have benefits to your body and brain.
16. Quit Farting So Much
While passing gas is a natural part of life, there’s such thing as excessive gas. If you find that you’re letting them rip at inopportune times, or producing more than what seems average, look into changing your diet or taking supplements designed to prevent the gas from forming.
17. Stop Hating Myself
It’s easy to be hard on yourself, and many of us are our own biggest critics. It’s possible to ease up on yourself while still holding yourself to high standards.
18. Find a Girlfriend/Boyfriend
Finding love is no easy chore, and keep in mind that many times you find that special someone when you stop looking. Perhaps it might be best to work on self-improvement so you can attract them automatically.
19. Get More Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your well-being, but many of us stay up into the wee hours, and wake up before we’re fully rested. Try following the circadian rhythm by getting to bed early and waking up early. You’ll notice a big improvement right away.
20. Detox the Body
If you’ve been eating the wrong foods, not getting enough sleep, not drinking enough water, drinking alcohol, or smoking, your body would probably benefit greatly from a detox program. These can be whole body, or you can focus on a specific organ.
21. Start a Savings Account or IRA
In a turbulent economy it both more important and harder to squirrel some money away for a rainy or rainier day, or for your retirement. But even putting away a small amount of money each week or each month can add up over the long run, and can be the difference between having some cash in a pinch or having the retirement you really want.
22. Stop Drinking Soda
With its High Fructose Corn Syrup, corrosive acid, and empty calories, these beverages aren’t doing much for you, and can have a detrimental effect on your body. Some people start losing weight just be removing sodas as a drink option.
23. Reconnect with an Old Friend
Nowadays it’s easier than ever to find old friends and strike up a new conversation with them. It often happens that two people can drift apart for no good reason, and it just takes one of them to rekindle things.
24. Get a Mentor
If you’ve got a big goal you’re trying to accomplish this year, find someone that already has what you want and try to learn as much as you can from them. Often we’re too proud to get advice, but this can be the biggest shortcut to getting what you want that goes largely overlooked by goal seekers.
25. Get ‘er Done (Stop Procrastinating)
Perhaps there’s lots of things on this list that you’ve already promised yourself you’d stop or start doing, but you just haven’t gotten around to doing it. At some point you’ve got to make it your priority and make time for it.
26. Learn a Language
This is one of the best ways to access a new culture, and also a way to keep your brain sharp as it ages. It gives you another set of paintbrushes with which to paint out the thoughts in your head, and if you end up traveling to a new destination it helps immensely if you can speak some of the language.
27. Stop Eating Sweets
A lot of candies say that they’re fat free, and a quick check of the Nutrition Facts confirms this, but they don’t tell you that the sugar you consume that you don’t burn off gets converted to fat and stored just the same.
28. Stop Playing Candy Crush Saga
Whether it’s Candy Crush Saga or another addictive game or app that is gobbling up your time or making you less productive, it’s time to give it the ax, or at least limit the amount of time you’re on it. The average gamer is shocked when they start recording how much time they rack up playing their favorite game.
29. Get My Estate Planned
If you haven’t sorted out your will and handled all of the loose ends of your life should it come to an abrupt or even natural end, you can’t truly get your mind off of it and life your life fully. If you’ve already got it handled, an annual glance at it to make sure it’s still current is recommended by probate professionals.
30. Establish a Budget
Setting and sticking to a budget doesn’t have to be drudgery, and it doesn’t mean you have to shut down the kid inside you. You can still do the things you love, and have a great life, while still keeping track of your expenses and living within your means, even establishing a savings account and making investments.
31. Be More Adventurous (Take More Chances)
It’s easy to get lulled into a life of routine and ritual, but most of us want to make sure that we’re leading a full and satisfying life. This doesn’t necessarily mean flying by the seat of your pants and making foolish decisions, but taking calculated risks and adding some excitement to your life could be just what the doctor ordered.
32. Don’t Buy the Latest iPhone
Chances are the gadget you currently have works just fine, and does all it said it would when you first bought it. While it’s easy to get swept up in the craze for the latest and greatest, why not take a year off and skip a generation so you will really notice the upgrade?
33. Complete a 90 Day Challenge
If you’ve ever seen the extreme workouts on TV like P90X or Insanity and wondered to yourself if you could actually see one of them through, this could be the year to make it happen. They say all you need is a DVD player and enough room to complete the exercises, so what’s stopping you?
34. Learn to Paint
Painting can be a very soothing and relaxing experience, whether you’re emulating Bob Ross or are going more avant-garde with whatever’s in your mind.
35. Start a YouTube Channel
If you’ve got a lot of opinions, or are always “on”, you might want to channel that into your own YouTube channel. For performers that always want an audience, it can be therapeutic, and now that YouTube shares revenues with popular channel owners, it can also put money in your pocket.
36. Worry Less
This is a pretty vague goal, and since it’s putting pressure on yourself to stop doing something that’s hard to control, it’s doubly hard. Worrying about how much you worry is no solution. Instead, why not resolve yourself to get more massages, or pet your cat more.
37. Have More Family Fun Nights
With so many board games to choose from, how can you go wrong? Try Phase 10, Sequence, or the old standby of Monopoly for some serious family bonding.
38. Find Nirvana/Enlightenment
This resolution is a bit lofty, as most people ditch their New Year’s promises a few weeks into the new year. It might take a lot longer than that to find the ultimate bliss.
39. Go to the Dentist
If a calendar year has passed since your last visit, it’s time to make an appointment. Sure, it’s no fun, but it will be less fun if you keep putting it off.
40. Go to More Sporting Events
Watching sports live is way better than watching them on TV, so whenever you get the opportunity to see a live game, jump on it! You’ll remember it long after, which can’t be said for games you see at home.
41. Get a Better Job
Onward and upward!
42. Backup My Computer
There are so many inexpensive backup services out there that will put your entire hard drive into The Cloud that there’s no reason to leave your irreplaceable photos and files at risk.
43. Meet Someone New Every Day
It’s easy to be closed off and think that your circle of friends is complete, but there are many opportunities each day to strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know. And you never know what it might lead to.
44. Live Within My Means
Only spending what you have can be a real head-scratcher for some. But the good news is that once you rein yourself in you can work on increasing your means so you can have the lifestyle you really want.
45. Get More Cultured
Doing things like going to a museum, going to the opera, or going to a symphony might not be your usual fare, but it’s nice to get out of your comfort zone and do something a little more Lisa and less Homer.
46. Drink More Water
It’s very easy to get dehydrated, or even to spend entire days, weeks, or months in a dehydrated state. Just be sure to introduce higher water intake gradually so your body can get used to it.
47. Take a Second Honeymoon
Even if your first honeymoon was awesome, why not go for a repeat performance? And if it was lackluster or suffered from a shortage of funds, why not go do it properly?
48. Go to the Movies More or Less
If you can’t remember the last time you saw a movie in the theater, why not pick one that interests you and go? On the contrary, if you’re more likely to have seen every lousy release that Hollywood churns out, perhaps its best to stay home with a good book.
49. Buy or Sell a House
This can be one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in life, so it might not be a good idea to put the pressure of a New Year’s resolution behind it. You don’t want to rush a decision like this for the sake of completing a goal, but if the process has been dragging this may be a good way to put in on the front burner.
50. Spend More/Less Time on Facebook or Twitter
Social networking sites can be a great way to keep in touch with people you don’t get to see everyday, but they can also become a vice. If you’re clocking more time on these sites than you are with the people you do see each day, it might be good to logoff more.
51. Stop Worrying What People Think of Me
The best thing to remember is that they’re probably not thinking of you as much as you think they might be. And if they are, that’s really their issue, not yours.
52. Join a Gym
This resolution makes gym owners a lot of money, but often does very little for the member. It’s estimated that upwards of 70% of gym members don’t actually use the gym they belong to. Don’t become a statistic. Start working out at home first to establish the exercise habit.
53. Get Out of Debt
Debt can be a huge monkey on your back which causes you to lose sleep and takes you out of enjoying the present moment. There are plenty of books and resources on how to eliminate debt. Develop a plan of attack and stick to it.
54. Start Playing My Favorite Sport
If you’re one to watch your favorite sport on TV but don’t play it as much as you’d like, it’s time to find a way to incorporate it into your lifestyle. It makes watching it that much more enjoyable.
55. Watch Less TV
The boob tube has claimed countless hours of human potential. Only you have the power to unplug.
56. Establish/Stick to Date Nights
If things have gotten a bit stale in your relationship, many couples find that rekindling the feelings you had when you first started going out works. Just be sure to pick a night and stick to it – no excuses.
57. Stop Being Lazy
It’s not easy admitting that you’re lazy, but if you know you are and want to fix it, try being more specific about what you’re going to start doing that you don’t currently do.
58. Go For a Daily Walk
This can have positive effects on many aspects of your life, and aside from the fresh air and health benefits you might find that it’s therapeutic in itself, and can serve as a sort of mobile meditation. You don’t even have to walk briskly, or along the same route every day.
59. Go to More Concerts or Other Events
Collect those stubs! It shows you’re getting out and doing fun things, and it makes for great memories to look back on. Sure, it’s pricier than staying at home, but an occasional event is something you’ll remember for the rest of the year.
60. Meet a Celebrity
This can be a life-altering experience if you end up meeting one of your idols, or a role model that you’ve looked up to. You’ll remember the encounter for years to come and can use it as a source of inspiration when you’re having a bad day.
61. Go Back to School
Getting further education in your field, or in something totally new can be a springboard for your career, or can simply be a way to expand your mind as you get older.
62. Quit Picking My Nose
It’s not so much the boogers that are gross, we’ve all got those. It’s that there’s no good place to put them, and fingers touch so much. So use a tissue.
63. Recycle More
You could always be a little greener, so find out what sort of recycling programs your city has and try your best to do your part.
64. Get More Organized
Easier said than done, right? But with places like Ikea and Get Organized it’s easier now than ever before. The mental clarity that comes with a more organized work or home space is priceless!
65. Be Comfortable In My Own Skin
If you sometimes feel trapped in your own skin and wish that things were totally different, you are definitely overlooking your assets and focusing too much on perceived liabilities. Get on good terms with yourself, your appearance, your flaws, and everything else that makes up the total package.
66. Get a Tattoo/Get Rid of a Tattoo
Whether you’re building up the courage to get a tattoo, or building up the funds to pay for tattoo removal, this could be the year you finally brand yourself – or unbrand yourself.
67. Get a Makeover
If your look is so last year, or last decade you may be overdue for an image makeover. You don’t have to do a total overhaul, but ask your friends what they think should be the first thing to change.
68. Fight Father Time
Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to let it show. There are all sorts of new procedures and products aimed at waging war against aging. Don’t go down without a fight and keep those youthful good looks as long as you can!
69. Be In the Moment
In his book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle goes into great detail about how the past and future is all in your head and that the only thing you really have is this moment right not. Being more present might take some practice but many find it’s worth it.
70. Learn to Cook
If you’ve always thought it would be great to cook, but didn’t know where to start, this could be the year you get it to go. Check out Tim Ferriss’ new book The Four Hour Chef where he shows you how to hack your way into the art of cooking and other areas of your life.
71. Stop Overthinking
Yes, yes, you’re very smart and everyone knows it, but sometimes you’ve got to get out of your head and get things going in the real world. Take the Ready, Fire, Aim approach to that new idea you’ve got and get the ball rolling. As Bart said to Lisa: Thinking’s for losers!
72. See a Therapist
If you’ve got issues to work out, the best advice might not be from your friends and family, especially if they’re deep-seated or are very unique. Sorting through them with a professional can be very therapeutic.
73. Keep a Cleaner House
With all of the cleaning gadgets hitting the market this is the best time in all of history to be able to keep your house clean and tidy.
74. Stop Getting So Mad So Easily
If you’ve got a short fuse you’re not helping anyone, especially yourself. This can lead to high blood pressure, undue stress, and fewer friends. Find out what’s at the root of your rage and do your best to work it out.
75. Get Insurance
Whether it’s renter’s insurance, homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, or life insurance, there is a certain peace of mind knowing that you’re covered in an unexpected event.
76. Write More
You don’t have to be a writer to want to write more. Simply keeping a journal of your thoughts, or taking notes on the book you’re reading is a great way to get ideas out of your head so you can think of new ideas.
77. Start a Hobby
You don’t even have to know exactly which hobby you want to start, just start something. If you find out that you don’t really like it, you can always switch. If you find that you do like it you can delve into it as far as you want to go.
78. Don’t Relapse
Any resolutions you make are all well and good, and you’ll likely make some progress on them for a brief period. But the trick is not to be lulled back into your old ways and lose the benefits you’ve attained along the way.
79. Finally Stop Calling My Ex
If you’ve just been through a bad break-up, the temptation to keep in touch with your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend might get the better of you. But if you really want them out of your life you’re going to have to cut off communication with them eventually. Now that the holidays are over you’ll want to get it done before Valentine’s.
80. Go a Week Without My Phone
Gasp! The horror! Can you imagine it? No phone for a week? How would you survive? The answer is that you would, and just like things continued on after the Mayan calendar ended, your life will go on just fine. And when you start using it again you might find that you use it less.
81. Encourage My Kids More
If one of your goals is to stop yelling at your kids, a better approach is to focus on what you want to do more of and start doing that. That keeps the focus on something positive, and you always want a good habit to replace a bad.
82. Start Believing In Myself
It can be hard sometimes to play the highlights of your life, when all you can remember is the times you screwed things up. Start with smaller goals and put a few wins under your belt and you can start rekindling the faith in yourself that you once had.
83. Get a Pet
Even though they can be a lot of work, having a dog, cat, or other pet in the home has been proven to lower blood pressure, and keep you happier more of the time.
Less is more.
85. Start Taking Vitamins
In an effort to turn over a new leaf, many people think they should start taking a multivitamin to overcome nutritional deficits in their diet. If you go this route consider getting whole food supplements rather than synthetic vitamins.
86. Stop Texting While Driving
This is one of the most dangerous, and downright stupid things to emerge in modern civilization. There’s no excuse for being in a moving vehicle with your eyes facing downward. Treat your vehicle like the potentially lethal weapon that it is.
87. Stop Being So Negative
The world is often a reflection of the way you’re feeling, and if you’re one to always point out the half-empty cups in life you probably aren’t having as good of a time as you could. It’s amazing how things start to get better once you start thinking more positively, but often we wait for conditions to improve before changing our mindset. It doesn’t work that way! Go on, give it a try and within a short time you’ll see the proof.
88. Go to Church More (Get More Spiritual)
Finding a deeper connection with a Higher Power tops many a New Year’s resolution list. Even if you’re not religious you can get more spiritual, and if you’re an atheist you can meditate more on the awesomeness of you.
89. Stop Biting My Nails
This is one habit that it tough to break, and if you’ve tried to quit before it can seem doubly hard. Try starting up a new habit to replace this one, perhaps getting a weekly manicure to keep them looking too good to bite.
90. Start a Blog
This is one way that you can start talking about the things you know, and it can end up providing a part-time or full-time income. Don’t like to write? Start a podcast. Need inspiration? The Twitter feed $#*! My Dad Says became a book and TV show.
91. Create Special Times with Those Closest to Me
If you’re started to feel that your life doesn’t have the traditions and special moment that you remember having as a child, it’s up to you to start working them in. Some moments happen spontaneously, while other require a bit of planning.
92. Start Dreaming Bigger
It’s a lot of fun to dream about how you want your future to be, but always strive to grow your vision. As your life unfolds it’s important to challenge yourself to reach bigger and bigger goals.
93. Donate More Time or Money
We all want to give more of ourselves, either through volunteering to help the less fortunate or giving more financially. There are plenty of websites out there that can help you choose a worthy cause, and then follow up to make sure the funds are put to good use.
94. Talk to My Mom/Dad More
Your parents miss you. Give them a call, they probably don’t get into this whole Facebook thing as much as you do, so you have to go the old fashioned way.
95. Spend Less Time Online
When everything in your life seems to have an online presence, it’s sometimes hard to pry yourself from the computer. But it’s important to have real world interactions with the people that are most important to us. Start by logging your online time for a week and then decide what a reasonable cutback would be.
96. Start a Business
Businesses that are centered around a passion are the ones with the most likelihood of success. Everyone is an expert at something, so take what you know and love and form a business around it. If the money comes you’ll be living the American Dream, and if it doesn’t at least you got to do what you loved.
97. Read More
With so much entertainment and infotainment streaming at us these days, books seem to be getting less attention than they once did. But many people still put this one down as a resolution. So whether you’re reading non-fiction to learn something, or getting lost in a piece of fiction, choose something that interests you and tackle it head on.
98. Become a Vegetarian
People cut out meat for several reasons, some because they don’t want to hurt animals, others because they don’t want to hurt the planet, and still others want to be healthier. Whatever your reason, the best way to approach it is to wean yourself off meat. Start by not eating meat for breakfast, then take it out of dinner, and finally remove it from your lunches. Going cold turkey on turkey (and other meats) doesn’t usually work for long
99. Get Off Prescription Drugs
It seems they’re always coming out with new drugs to battle old problems, and sometimes even inventing new problems to fix with newer drugs. But most of us know that these aren’t good for the body, aside from the side effects. Work with your doctor to wean yourself off of any drugs you don’t feel right taking. It may require a better diet, or more exercise, but it will be worth it.
100. Become an Expert At Something
Maybe you know a little about a lot of things, but people are always fascinated at an expert in any given field. Take something you already have a strong interest in and vow to learn all there is to know about it. Use your new power wisely, a well-informed person is a hit at parties but no one likes a know-it-all.
101 – Start!
Even if your resolution is to stop doing something, start stopping today. It’s easy to get caught up in the thinking part, but eventually you have to start doing what you said you’d do. There’s no time like the present, because it’s always right now, so start towards your goal right now. Best of luck, and Happy New Year!
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