This Year, Set New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep
While most of us enjoyed safe and quiet New Year’s celebrations at home this time around, this new year is still one to look forward to. We’ve all been having a rough couple of years, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still kick-off 2022 with some good old New Year’s resolutions. As it is every year, the New Year is the perfect time to start working toward new goals to better your life. Whether you want to lose a few pandemic pounds, start reading books again, or save more cash, we all have a few things in mind that we’d like to do better this year.
The thing is, most New Year’s resolutions just don’t stick. It’s neither a secret nor a surprise that more than half of New Year’s resolutions fail–in fact, most don’t even make it to spring–but that’s because reaching your goals is always going to take a little more than wishful thinking.
Everyone who sets a New Year’s resolution for themselves of course intends to keep it, but what common mistakes prevent that from happening? What’s really stopping you from getting into better shape or limiting your screen time? One of the most common mistakes people make is setting a general goal for themselves with no plan for achieving it. A little planning goes a long way when it comes to making a big change, so let’s look into some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and see how we can turn these ambitious ideas into real, achievable goals.
Improve Your Health
Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions fall under this umbrella of improving your health. For some, this means getting more active in their daily lives, for others the focus is on losing weight or eating a healthier diet. No matter the details, each of these resolutions ties back to the common goal of being healthier and living a healthier lifestyle.
Depending on your focus, you may want to pay more attention to one aspect over another, but the key to any healthy lifestyle is going to be “balance”. Some people like to keep fitness journals or planners so that they can track things like their water intake, calorie intake, sleep schedule, and exercise routines. The best way to hold yourself accountable is to check in with yourself regularly, and adjust the things that aren’t working for you. Many people find it helpful to use a digital fitness tracker such as a Fitbit. These wearable devices can provide regular motivation and make tracking your fitness nearly effortless.
Get More Sleep
In this day and age, getting a full, restful night’s sleep is no easy feat. Between day jobs, evening hobbies, and all of the responsibilities sprinkled throughout, it can be easy to neglect this important aspect of your self-care. A seemingly obvious way to keep this resolution is to pick a bedtime and stick to it–but of course, that’s much easier said than done. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep. That means that, if you typically wake up at 7AM every morning, you’ll want to be asleep before midnight. To really hit that goal, though, you should be aiming even earlier.
To break down this resolution and make it more attainable for you personally, consider your daily routine and habits. Do you drink lots of caffeine throughout your day, or spend most of your time looking at computer and phone screens? These small factors can majorly affect your body’s ability to wind down, so they are important to consider when you’re trying to get more sleep. It can also be helpful to limit the bright lights you are exposed to as your bedtime approaches. Most smartphones offer nighttime modes that limit blue light in the evenings, and you can also install dim, yet effective guide lights to help navigate your late-night bathroom breaks.
Save More, Spend Less
Whether your problem is that you spend money too frivolously or that you simply aren’t saving, most of us could benefit from a finance-based resolution this new year (and all of them, if we’re being brutally honest). The start of the year is the perfect time to re-budget your finances and start to enforce better spending and saving habits onto yourself. This is the time to cancel old subscriptions, cash in those quarters, and open a new savings account!
While some people can budget easily with nothing more than a pen and paper, most of us need a little extra help. The best way to really commit to your budget is by downloading a budget app or software, such as You Need A Budget (YNAB). YNAB and similar apps connect to your bank account to help you budget your money and prevent overspending. It can help you get rid of subscriptions that you aren’t using and it even helps you work toward paying off your debts. Budgeting software does all the confusing parts of budgeting for you and helps you stay accountable so that you can actually meet your savings goals.
Though still difficult in the current state of the world, you’re not alone if you’re determined to travel more in the year to come. More so than anything else on this list, keeping this resolution will require careful planning and an open mind. Be sure to budget out your trips carefully, and stay up-to-date on the COVID cases and safety guidelines for anywhere you might be traveling through. Due to the pandemic, safety regulations can change quickly and flights can be canceled at the drop of a hat, so the best things you can do are to plan carefully, stay well-informed, and be prepared for your plans to change.
In preparation for your trip, it’s also important to make sure your home will be safe while you are away. If you have houseplants or pets that you will be leaving behind, you’ll want to make sure they are taken care of by a friend, family member, or even a professional if that’s what you’ve got to do! You should also take precautions to make sure that your home is safe from intruders while you’re away. If there’s no one in your life to check on the homestead, a great way to do that is with automated lighting. If your home doesn’t have smart lighting, there are plug-in timer devices that can randomize your lighting as a makeshift “vacation” mode. Devices like this can make your home appear occupied so you can rest easy while you are out of town.
One of the most popular resolutions is to read more books, but most people fail this goal simply because they fail to set smaller, specific goals for themselves. First off, you should consider how many books you’d like to read by the end of the year, and then you can break down that goal into smaller monthly goals. For example, if you want to read 50 books in 2022, then on average you should be finishing about 4-5 books each month.
There are a ton of great resources designed to help readers track their reading and meet their goals, such as the Bookly app. Bookly tracks your reading goals on an annual, monthly, weekly, and even daily basis. You can set your custom goals for any length of time that works for you, and the app sends you motivational reminders to help you meet your goals! Reading trackers like Bookly also track your reading stats and provide satisfying insight into your reading habits, so you can fine-tune your reading goals as you go.
Another common New Year’s resolution is to improve your home with tech upgrades or remodeling. Some of us have been meaning to start a project for ages, from simple switch and outlet upgrades to full-on home automation. Maybe you want to install a dimmer in the bedroom or design a state-of-the-art home theater. No matter how big or small the project is, the best way to make yourself follow through on this one is to start planning as soon as possible! If you’re planning to take the DIY route, start researching what kind of tools and equipment you will need to complete the project. Shop around for the best products and always make sure you have everything you need before beginning a new project. Once you have all your ducks in a row, you will be shocked at how quickly and easily most home upgrades can come together!