It’s become a huge tradition that, after you ring in the New Year, you make a resolution based on something you’re looking to improve in the coming year. Have you perhaps put on a few extra pounds? What better time than the start of a fresh year to resolve to get in shape and drop the weight! Have you always wanted to learn how to play a certain instrument, or a certain language. but felt that you’d lost your chance since you didn’t learn as a child? Well, sign up for those adult classes – this is the year you finally do it, as your resolution promises. Or, if you’re Mark Zuckerberg, you resolve to build an artificial intelligence system that’s able to control your home (hey, everyone has different dreams).
At their core, resolutions are a really positive concept. After all, who couldn’t use a little bit of extra motivation to be their best selves? However, resolutions also get a bit of a bad rap because they’re frequently abandoned. Many people make grand promises and end up biting off a bit more than they can chew, and eventually decide to give up altogether as they haven’t fulfilled the huge goals they set. We’re here to say that even baby steps can make an impact, and even if you’re only taking tiny, tiny steps to work towards the goals set in any of the following resolutions, that’s still pretty admirable.
Here are 14 of the most popular new year’s resolutions to make.
14 Lose Weight/Eat Healthier
Year after year, the resolution to either lose weight or change up your diet to become a bit healthier is hands-down the most common resolution. Why? Well, while we totally dig body positivity and embracing who you are, let’s be honest – there’s always a few areas you wish you could work on a little. Plus, particularly after a holiday season of indulgence and decadence, it can be nice to amp up the health factor in your diet. I mean, everyone craves green juices and salads a little bit after weeks of cookies and eggnog. Whether you’re vowing to eat more kale or lose that five pounds of holiday weight, this is one resolution that nearly everyone has made at one point or another (or yearly!)
13 Learn a New Skill
So you absolutely adore music, but you’ve somehow never managed to learn an instrument? You watch musicians perform and can do nothing but stare in envy, wishing you were as skilled on the guitar? Well, the new year is the perfect time to finally learn something new. Whether it’s something you decide upon on a whim or something that you’ve wanted to do for ages, it can be incredibly satisfying and rewarding to add some skills to your arsenal. After all, there’s no better time than the present! As an added bonus, many places have deals in the new year to encourage people with resolutions. Whether you want to learn calligraphy, master the art of French cooking, or becoming a talented guitarist, sign up for some lessons and get started!
12 Pay Off Debt
Everyone has a different financial situation, but there’s one thing that’s unfortunately more common than most people would like – a certain four letter word. We’re talking about debt. Whether you’re struggling to pay off your credit card after a year of too many shopping sprees or just feeling sick of seeing so much of your paycheck go towards your student loans every month, debt can be frustrating, and it can make you feel like you can’t put your full effort and focus on your goals and dreams. It’s like a heavy weight on your shoulders, day after day. Understandably, many people use the new year to strengthen their resolve and begin working out plans or making accelerated payments on any debts they might have.
11 Get Organized
Many people wish they could be more organized. After all, what’s more frustrating than racing around the house when you’re late, trying desperately to find that one item you need but somehow can’t seem to find? There’s so much clutter and stuff in our everyday lives, from physical objects to digital spam, that it can be easy to get overwhelmed and just shove things in a junk drawer to be dealt with later. Many use the new year to resist the urge to finally organize things and get on top of that building junk pile, and the benefits can be incredible – just imagine how much more time you’ll have when you know exactly where everything is.
10 Spend more time with friends and family
Admit it – everyone has responded to someone’s question of how things are with the generic “really busy!” at one point or another. It can seem like life is moving at a rapid-fire pace and we’re just rushing around from work to appointments to commitments, going to bed and then waking up and repeating it all over again. In all that hustle and bustle, it can be easy to forget to make time for the things that matter to us. After all, it can feel indulgent to have a wine-soaked girls night when you know you have a ton of work to do. However, in the new year, many people make the resolution to actively try to carve out more time in their schedules for loved ones like friends and family.
9 Quit Your Addiction
Whether you smoke a pack a day or enjoy a bit too much whisky on the weekends, no one loves having an addiction – and, quite frankly, too much of anything can be a bad thing. Sure, it’s great to indulge in life’s pleasures every now and then, but if you’re funnelling so much money towards your vices that it’s becoming a problem, or if it’s negatively impacting your health, the new year is a great time to try to stop. From smokers to drinkers, latte addicts to workaholics, many resolve to curb their addictions and lead more balanced lives in the new year.
8 Get In Shape
We’ve all said it – this is the year that I’m finally going to get an absolutely ripped body, that I’m going to start going to the gym five times a week, that I’m going to run a marathon. The majority of us are constantly wishing we were in better shape than we currently are, and nothing brings the aspiring gym rat out of the public more than the new year. After you’ve spent far too much time lounging around, relaxing and binge-watching Netflix while eating sweet treats, it can be easy to get discouraged about your body. While every shape and size is beautiful, workout out can have a positive impact on your mental health, your overall well-being, and more. It’s no wonder that countless people vow to get their sweat on in the new year.
7 Save Money
Maybe you finally managed to pay off all your debt – or maybe, lucky you, you never had any in the first place – but you still find yourself living paycheck to paycheck, or never having enough in your account for when you want to splurge on something. Well, that’s the exact reason that many people resolve to be better with money in the new year – namely, to save more. Sure, buying that fabulous bag or that second latte can feel great at the moment, but think how nice it’ll feel if you save enough to take a fantastic vacation, or even just pad your bank account to where you feel totally secure for a rainy day.
6 Travel More
Not everyone has the money or the type of life where they can just head to the airport, pick a location on the whim, and travel from country to country for months without a care in the world. However, there are definitely things you can do if you want to incorporating a bit more travel into your life. Whether this is the year that you finally save up for that big trip you’ve been wanting to take for years, or whether you just vow to take a mini road trip to a few cool small towns nearby, many people resolve to travel more in the new year.
5 Learn To Manage/Reduce Stress
We get it – life is tough sometimes, and there are a ton of things that stress us out. However, stress is absolutely awful for you both physically and mentally, and it can totally hold you back. It only makes sense that many people make a resolution to either try to reduce the stress in their life, or manage stress in a more healthy way. It’s definitely not easy, but there are countless apps, tips, and tricks that can help you reduce the stress level in your life and cope at moments where you feel like you’re going to explode.
4 Sleep More
We get it – there’s pretty much never enough hours in the day. People have been busy for centuries, but the abundance of technology nowadays means it can be even harder to unplug at the end of the day. Whether you find yourself skimping on sleep to binge-watch a few more episodes of your favorite show on Netflix or you just can’t stop glancing at your smartphone to see if you’ve received any pressing e-mails, there are many of us that either can’t fall asleep, can’t stay asleep, and are just not getting as much sleep as we’d like. Consequently, many people resolve to work on their sleep habits in the new year, whether it be by keeping their devices away from the bedroom or by going to bed a little earlier.
We’re going to be totally honest – when you can barely find enough time to get your own life in order, it can seem overwhelming and impossible to try to carve out time to volunteer. However, it’s such a rewarding thing to do, and we’re pretty sure that no one who has volunteered has regretted it at the end of the day. Volunteering doesn’t only give you the satisfaction of helping those less fortune – it can also introduce you to new people and help you learn some new skills. So, many resolve to organize their schedules in the new year to include at least a small chunk of time on a regular basis for volunteering with an organization they’re passionate about.
2 Spend Your Time More Productively
You know the feeling – you glance at the clock, thinking that you’ve only been flipping through social media and watching television for a few minutes, and you’re shocked to find out that you’ve been sprawled on the couch for hours. Technology can be a huge asset, but it can also lead us into wasting hours lounging around not doing much at all. Many resolve to examine the time that they have, and take a step away from the television or computer in order to spend time more productively. Even if you just reduce your screen time by half, think of how much time you could be reading, learning a new skill, working out and more!
1 Live Your Best Life – No One Else’s
Okay, this resolution might not be as easy to tackle as some others, but it’s definitely one of the most important. It can be easy to assume that if you’re successful with your other resolutions, if you finally lose that last five pounds or you finally learn French, you’ll be infinitely happier and more fulfilled. It can also be easy to get discouraged if you see others progressing more quickly than you. While it’s admirable and definitely important to improve yourself and constantly grow, it’s equally important to be happy with your life on a daily basis. Instead of beating yourself up about what you might not have accomplished, love yourself in 2016 and live your best life.