Do you have trouble writing or keeping New Years resolutions? How do we decide what are the best resolutions for our bodies, minds and spirit? How do we keep from breaking resolutions? Here are 50 best New Year’s resolutions for people of all ages and lifestyles, a little history about resolutions and helpful tips on choosing what works and what doesn’t work for you.
The History of New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s resolutions are a tradition practiced around the world, although most popular in the Western Hemisphere.
At the start of the new year, a person makes a promise to improve himself or herself, such as keeping more physically fit, or to doing something more kind, loving or charitable, such as donating to local charities or volunteering for community service work. This promise for a better, healthy, and more productive year begin on New Year’s Day.
This practice of cleaning up old debts or broken promises and vowing to improve one’s life can be seen in when studying the Babylonians, who promise to the gods at the beginning of the year to make amends, the Romans made a promise to their god, Janus and the medieval knights took a vow at Christmas time to renew their mission as brave and courageous servants to the king.
There are many religions that practice the act of seeking and offering forgiveness. Judaism’s Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) and the Christian practice of Lent are two such examples.
Modern Technology and New Year’s Resolutions
This ancient tradition of preparing for the year ahead by and making resolutions evolved throughout modern times. A popular practice has been to write down regrets, failures or things one wishes to release to God or a Higher Power, on a piece of paper and burning or destroying it. Some also write down goals in journals and post on the wall or keep in a jar or on the refrigerator as a constant reminder. However, the advancement of computer technology and smartphones has brought resolutions to a whole new level. Now we have available online opportunities, computer software programs and multiple phone apps to help one write and keep a resolution, such as “Quitter (to help you stop smoking),” “Sworkit” (yoga and fitness workout reminders), “My Diet Diary,” “Habit Maker Habit Breaker” and many others. Do your research online and pick the best app that fits your needs.
How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions
- Set short term goals – For example, if you need to lose 20 pounds, don’t make that your goal. Choose instead to try to lose 2 pounds every week. If your goal is to quit smoking, choose to start with the goal of cutting back the amount of cigarettes smoked per day.
- Get an app – There are many apps available to download online and help you track your success. Studies show that those who track their progress are more likely to reach their goals. Check out the links to popular aps below.
- Don’t give up – Making a change in lifestyle and stopping bad habits is never easy. Be patient with yourself and persevere.
- Join a support group – Research shows that there is strength in numbers. A support group helps you to feel inspired and motivated to continue with your personal goals. As you see others success or struggle you are more likely to accept your own failures and successes.
- Get a motivational coach – Coaches are great for keeping us on track and moving forward. Hire a coach to help you set achievable goals and keep them.
- Try the buddy system – Call a friend each day who is also working on keeping resolutions and “buddy up” each morning or evening to report your success. Share what you accomplished and what is your plan or “next step.”
- Reassess regularly – If you are not succeeding, reassess your goal and your approach. Maybe you need to change the goal and break it down or maybe you need another goal that better suits your needs. Maybe there is something blocking your success that needs to be addressed. Remember, is not the goal. Success is.
- Reward and celebrate small victories – Celebration is an important motivator. Start a money jar and give yourself money each time you move one step forward with your goal. Treat yourself, but make sure your rewards don’t interfere with your goal (for example, don’t pig out on a quart of ice cream each time you lose 1 pound, or or don’t spend $50 every time you save $10). Instead, choose reasonable, non-interfering rewards (for example, a relaxing bubble bath, or something else pleasant and enjoyable to you).
- Make your journey the goal – Don’t be locked into succeeding with the original goal. Know that journey toward the goal, is a goal in itself. Moving forward with the goal, is progress. Achieving a goal of filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables is a healthy improvement, even if you do not lose weight. A goal of being more sociable, is a great success, whether or not you make new, long-lasting friends. This will change in time if you stay on track and express joy in your achievements.
- Tell others about your goals – Research shows that those who share their goals with others are more likely to succeed. Tell trusted family members and friends who you know will offer moral support.
The 50 Best New Years Resolutions
Now that you’ve learned a few tips about how ?to succeed with keeping your New Year’s resolutions, which goal is the best fit for you? Here are our top 50 best resolutions.
- Lose weight or gain weight
- Exercise more and set a routine
- Quit smoking
- Get a health checkup
- Create a favorite music playlist
- Stop eating junk food
- Stop judging others
- Quit drinking alcohol
- Love myself more
- Get more sleep
- Detox the body
- Start a savings account
- Throw out or recycle unnecessary things
- Take a class
- Learn a second language
- Set a budget
- Spend more time with family
- Go to the dentist
- Get a new hobby
- Back up the computer
- Make new friends
- Drink more water
- Read more
- Go on a vacation or travel
- Buy or sell a house
- Spend more/less time on social media
- Stop worrying about what others think
- Join a gym
- Pray or meditate daily
- Watch less TV
- Create a date night
- Go for a daily walk
- Get more organized
- Get insurance
- Write out a will
- Keep a journal
- Encourage and praise others more
- Start a daily gratitude list
- Get a pet
- Do community work
- Stop texting while driving
- Stop biting nails
- Donate money to charity
- Get off unnecessary prescription drugs
- Eat organic, or NonGMO foods
- Smile more often
- Thoroughly clean the house
- Give away old clothes
- Pull weeds and plant a garden
- Paint or repair the house/apartment
10 Apps to Help Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions http://www.realsimple.com/
13 Apps to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions http://www.pcmag.com
Best New Year’s Resolution Apps https://www.igeeksblog.com/
CDC Losing Weight: Getting Started http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/
CDC Quit Smoking Resources https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking
New Year Resolutions: 40 Apps to Help You Achieve Them! http://www.hongkiat.com
Quitter App for Stopping Smoking https://www.quitterscircle.com/quit-smoking-app
Quit.com – Quit Smoking https://www.quit.com/
Jean Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University, is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder, and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance, a 501(c)3 health education nonprofit organization. All photos used in this article are by www.pixabay.com unless otherwise noted. To find out more about our Health Educators, or to apply as a Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance writer or volunteer, visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com
Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.