It’s that time of year again. We’re all starting to think about everything that has happened in our lives over the last few months and look forward to what a new year may bring.
Many people make resolutions each year, but how many people actually stick to them and see them out? Here are a few of our favorite New Year’s resolution ideas along with some tips on how to achieve them.
Pick the right type of resolution.
There really are some types of goals and resolutions that are more achievable than others. Rather than picking non-specific resolutions like “Get skinny this year” you should set a measurable goal that you can work towards. Choose a resolution like “I will lose 20 pounds by April 2017” or “I will work out for at least 30 minutes 4 days a week.”
Only work on one resolution at a time.
Speaking of picking specific, measurable goals, while you’re at it you should also focus on only one goal at a time. It’s easy to get off track if you’re trying to change too much too fast. If you try go vegan AND exercise 5 times a week AND start a daily journal all at the same time, you may find yourself burnt out and back to your old lifestyle in no time.
Focus on a single goal at a time and once that behavior has become second nature, THEN add a new goal.
Plan for the right amount of time.
Additionally, it can be better to set a goal for a shorter time frame than a year. A lot can change in a year, including your personal priorities. But you should still set your goals for a long enough period of time to form new habits.
Focus on forming new life-changing habits, and focus on the small victories. Have you done what you’ve set out to do every day for a week? A month? Focusing on doing something for an entire year can be overwhelming but when you break it down into smaller increments, it’s much easier to achieve.
The old adage says that it takes 21 days to create a habit but that’s actually not true. The minimum is 21 days to form a new habit. Newer research shows that the average person needs at least 66 days of repeated behavior to make a new habit stick.
So plan your New Year’s resolutions as something you will work on for at least the first 3 months of the year in order to really make your goals achievable.
Track your progress.
Hold yourself accountable to your goals by tracking your progress. If you are a very social person, you might want to pick an accountability buddy like a friend or family member and ask them to check in on your progress frequently. If you are data-driven, try an app like Strides or GoalTracker to help you track and gamify your progress.
New Year’s Resolution Ideas
Need some ideas for specific, measurable goals? Try picking one (and only one) of these goals and focus on it for the first 3 months of 2017.
Write Morning Pages each day for the next 3 months.
Harness your creativity and focus on what’s important by starting your day with three handwritten stream-of-consciousness journal pages. The Morning Pages technique was developed by artist Julia Cameron and is used by many top artists and writers. What you write isn’t important, but taking the time to write it by hand each day is.
Eat vegetables twice a day for the next 3 months.
Making a resolution to “eat better” sounds good in theory but without a specific action, it’s unlikely to be realized. But could you make a point of eating vegetables with at least two meals a day for the next few months? Have a salad with lunch, eat an avocado with your breakfast, throw some spinach on that sandwich. You’ll be “eating better” before you know it.
Learn something new every day for the next 3 months.
Stay curious, ask questions, and you’ll be happier and more informed. Taking in new information daily can also spark new ideas and help you perform better at work and at home.
Need an easy way to make this automatic? Subscribe to Wikipedia’s daily article mailing list and you’ll get a featured article delivered to your inbox each day. You could also watch a TED Talk each day while you eat your breakfast or lunch, or listen to an episode of Stuff You Should Know on your drive home.
Redecorate your living room by March.
Have you been putting off cleaning, purging and redecorating your living room or another room of your house? A room makeover can improve your lifestyle in so many ways. When we live in spaces that feel cramped or cluttered, it dampens our mood. However, completely overhauling a room can seem like a big task, so break it up into tasks over the next few months.
In January, focus on getting rid of clutter and unwanted objects.
In February, make a plan for how you want your room to look and give the walls a fresh coat of paint.
Finally, in March, visit one of our Atlanta furniture stores and pick up a few new pieces of furniture or home decor accessories to give your room the finishing touches.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions?
Leave a comment on our Facebook page and let us know what you’re planning to accomplish in 2017!