New Year’s resolutions are often made for very good reasons and with the intention of truly following through. Many people change their lives with New Year’s resolutions every year. However, some people make broad and overly ambitious resolutions that are quite difficult to keep.
This year, we have a list of eight New Year’s resolutions that won’t be too challenging for you to keep at all. You’ll love the benefits of these resolutions so much that you’ll likely incorporate them into your life for good.
1. Keep Track of Your Steps
If you haven’t considered adding a pedometer to your life in a while, this is the year to do it. Simple pedometers are so much less expensive than ever these days. You can pick up a decent step tracker for less than $20 online. Shop around, and you may be able to score one for $10 or less.
Most fitness experts recommend that adults get at least 10,000 steps per day. However, that’s well above average for most grownups. According to Thom Rieck, who writes for the Mayo Clinic, “The average American walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day.” If you’re currently walking about as much as the average American, Rieck recommends upping your step count by 1,000 steps each day until you get to 10,000 steps.
If you’re already hitting 10,000 steps pretty regularly, consider setting higher step goals or increasing your intensity during walk times.
You’ll likely find that wearing a pedometer or fitness tracker is an easy resolution to keep. It’s a simple way to stay aware of your activity level and improve as you see the need. Wearing a step tracker also provides a way to measure your fitness goals easily, and it’s cheaper than joining a gym.
2. Speak Affirmations to People You Love
Do you know that your children, of any age, need to hear that you value things about them? Your spouse also needs to hear words of encouragement and affirmation from you. Same goes for your siblings, parents and any of your other loved ones.
Researcher and professor Raj Raghunathan, Ph.D., conducted a study alongside some of his colleagues about our inner thoughts. This was a study wherein students from a business school were asked to very record their spontaneous thoughts honestly during a two-week period. At the end of the study, Raghunathan and his team found that between 60 and 70 percent of the thoughts of the study participants were negative overall. That’s a huge amount of negativity swarming around in the mind.
If Raghunathan’s research is representative of most people and the majority of our thoughts are negative, then it stands to reason that those around you could benefit from a regular dose of affirming words.
Commit to speaking words of life to the people you love daily. If you have children at home, this is extremely important. The affirmations can be quite simple and should be focused on what you like or value about the child. A good affirmation for a minor child could be, “I appreciate how you can turn negative situations into funny moments;” or “Thank you for helping your brother so much today. You are a good sister.” A parent’s words of affirmation will affect a child long into adulthood and can help dispel negative thoughts when they surface.
If you have a spouse at home with you, make sure you speak affirmations to him or her as well. It can be a little simpler for adults. Acknowledging the ways he or she contributes to the household and saying thanks is affirming and encouraging.
This resolution is so fruitful and beneficial that it’s easy to keep. It might help to set a reminder on your phone each day so that you remember to speak affirmations to people you love. You’ll never be sorry you made a resolution like this one.
3. Drink More Water
Unless you’re already routinely downing more than two liters of water each day, you should add this to your list of New Year’s resolutions. Start early in the day, before your morning coffee or any other beverages. Use a refillable water bottle and keep it with you all day.
As you begin hydrating your body regularly first thing in the morning, it’ll become a habit. You’ll wake up ready to drink, and you won’t feel quite right until you’ve had your first glass or bottle full of water. You can’t go wrong with this resolution.
4. Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier
Ever wish there were more hours in the day? There is a good bit of time in the morning that is often wasted by rolling over and hitting snooze until you have to get out of bed. Maybe you’re not a snoozer, but you set your alarm to wake you with just enough time to eat, get dressed and make it work.
Make a resolution to wake up 30 minutes before you need to begin getting ready for the day. Take some time to read, get a jump on your “to-do” list or take a morning walk. When the alarm goes off, don’t keep your head on the pillow while you consider the day ahead. Instead, sit straight up in bed as you rub the sleep out of your eyes. Once you’re upright, it’s not as easy to nod off again. Another way I’ve been helping myself get up earlier is by setting my thermostat to start warming up the house significantly at 5:30 a.m. I don’t like getting out from under the warm covers if it’s going to be chilly until I get the heat going. Setting my thermostat to do the work for me has made getting out of bed much easier.
Waking up earlier is a New Year’s resolution that you won’t have much trouble keeping. Once you experience a few mornings with extra time on your hands, it’ll be hard to go back to the morning rush.
5. Find Ways to Cut Back on Nonessential Expenses
Look at your daily spending habits. Are you buying coffee out or going to restaurants for lunch? If you’ve got habits that don’t exactly fit your budget, eliminate them. Spending $3 for coffee each weekday adds up to more than $60 a month. If you brew your coffee at home instead, you could bank an extra $720 this year.
Saving money and having more available for other things is so satisfying that this resolution is also very easy to keep.
6. Bring Your Reusable Bags
Skip this one if you’ve been doing it for years. Then, pat yourself on the back. However, if you’ve been letting the cashier arrange your weekly groceries inside of 20 single-use plastic grocery bags ― stop. Make a resolution to keep reusable bags in your trunk this year. You know you have half a million of those things tucked away somewhere.
Single-use plastic bags are difficult to recycle, not biodegradable and can pose a hazard for wildlife. Similarly, paper bags, although biodegradable, take up lots of room in landfills and involve plenty of resources to produce and distribute.
Dig out all of those reusable bags you’ve been given as a promotional swag and use them. Make sure to disinfect them often or toss them into the wash after you use them.
Shopping with reusable bags is helpful for the environment, and it also helps save your favorite stores some money. Most retailers offer incentives for bringing your own bags. So, this resolution pays off in several ways.
7. Designate a Sweets Day
Many people make resolutions to eat better. There’s no problem with that. However, we’re suggesting that you eat whatever you want ― but only on one day of the week.
Most of us consume too much sugar regularly. What if you limited your sweets to once a week instead of anytime you like? You’d cut back on calories, sugar, and carbohydrates with ease. It would likely result in losing a few pounds, less inflammation and feeling better overall. It sounds like a winning resolution.
8. Be Thankful
Make a resolution to count your blessings consciously this year. Linda Wasmer Andrews, who holds a master’s degree in health psychology, recommends taking these daily, weekly and monthly steps toward being more grateful in the coming year:
- Once a day: Every evening, jot down three to five things from that day for which you’re thankful. To make it fun and handy, consider downloading a gratitude journal app to your phone.
- Once a week: A polite “thank you” when someone holds the door is fine. Now and then, however, give fuller expression to your application. Take a few minutes to tell someone just how much kindness has meant to you.
- Once a month: Write a full-fledged letter thanking someone whose generosity has made a difference in your life. Sending it by email or postal mail is OK, but hand-delivery is even better.
Andrews also cited a couple of documented studies that showed how writing down things for which you’re grateful, each night before bed, helps you fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. The side effects of this resolution make it extra appealing and easy to keep.
Make and Keep Your Resolutions This Year
Making New Year’s resolutions may seem like a pointless cliché. But it doesn’t have to be. You can use January 1 every year as a day to create some excellent new habits and improve your life. Happy New Year!
Andrews, L. (2011). How gratitude helps you sleep at night. Retrieved from: https://www. psychologytoday.com/us/blog/minding-the-body/201111/how-gratitude-helps-you-sleep-night
Raghunathan, R. (2013). How negative is your mental chatter? Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sapient-nature/201310/how-negative-is-your-mental-chatter
Rieck, T. (2018). 10,000 steps a day: too low? Too high? Retrieved from: https://www. mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/10000-steps/art-20317391
West, L. (2019). Why should I stop using plastic bags? Retrieved from: https://www.thoughtco. com/why-stop-using-plastic-bags-1204167