With December almost over, many people are starting to think about the New Year and New Year Resolutions and how they want to make it different from the last one. Here are ten ideas for New Year Resolutions that can help you improve your life in 2022 and beyond.
Become an early riser
Are you a morning person? If not, you should be! Research shows that early risers are happier and more successful than their evening-owl counterparts. Plus, waking up early gives you more time to get things done. If waking up at 5 a.m. feels way too early, start with small changes: Set your alarm an hour earlier than usual and go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you’re on track with getting up at 5 a.m.
To keep yourself accountable, consider wearing an alarm clock around your neck (some people call it the nun habit). This way you can check in every so often and make sure it’s still set to 5 a.m.—otherwise, when bedtime rolls around, staying up late will seem easier than dragging yourself out of bed at 4:59!
Quit your social media addiction
If you’re constantly checking your Twitter and Facebook accounts, then it might be time to quit social media. This will help you disconnect from your online work life, thereby helping you focus on what matters most—your family and friends. It’s also a good way to practice some self-control. Try quitting social media entirely for a few weeks; if you’re truly addicted, it won’t be easy, but it might be worth it.
Also, try setting limits (how many times can I check my feed an hour? How often can I send replies?). In other words, try to resist compulsively monitoring everyone else’s lives. We recommend reading Adam Alter’s Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked as a primer for dealing with our digital addictions.
Set a realistic budget and stick to it
When people fail to stick to their resolutions, it’s usually because they didn’t set a realistic budget and then ignore it when the going gets tough. Make sure you allow yourself some wiggle room when setting your resolution—not only will you be more likely to follow through, but if something unexpected comes up along your journey toward better health and fitness (like an illness or injury), you won’t beat yourself up over it later.
If you do find that a routine isn’t working out, don’t fret; just try something else. You don’t have to give anything 100% of your effort—in fact, it might mean you’re not following a path that truly speaks to you on any level.
Be more mindful with how you spend your time
Stop multitasking and be more mindful of how you spend your time. If you spend hours on end in front of a computer screen, try not to divide your attention between that and social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Your mind will thank you, and so will your body.
Learn something new, like a language
A new language can do wonders to broaden your perspective. The more comfortable you are communicating in other languages, both verbally and non-verbally, the better you’ll feel when interacting with people from different cultures. What’s more: a foreign language is like a second skin. You’ll never be able to speak it as well as a native—and that sense of never quite getting there will keep your mind sharp and engaged.
Eat healthier as a New Year resolutions
We all make promises to eat healthier in January, but it’s too easy to fall back into old habits—and fast food is hard to avoid. If you want to cut back on processed foods and eating out at restaurants, you need a plan that works with your lifestyle. Try keeping a seven day/one week menu where you plan out seven breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. This will help you keep track of what you are eating each day.
Take the effort out of going to the gym
If you’re looking to start a new exercise regimen, you should think long and hard about how you can make it as easy and convenient as possible. If your gym isn’t convenient or well-equipped, think about switching to one that is or that has some exercise classes you might like. Similarly, consider adding equipment to your home if it would help encourage you to get moving. You don’t need any special equipment; a simple jump rope will do just fine! And remember, small amounts of movement count!
Get into running or cycling
A lot of people make resolutions to start exercising more in January, which is great—except that by February, a lot of them have already given up. Pick something you enjoy doing that you can continue throughout your life (for me, it’s running). The benefit: Once you start down a path, it’s easier to stay on it! If you haven’t exercised regularly in awhile, start out slow and be realistic with your goals.
Cut back on spending
Save money by cutting back on your spending habits. We all have our vices and it’s time to get real about them. Look into reducing your budgeting on things like eating out, going to bars and clubs, and buying brand-name goods. You’ll be surprised how much you can save by making some minor adjustments in these areas. The change you make in one area will allow you to take better care of yourself in other areas as well. So start today by reducing something small and see what happens!
Ask yourself why before making any big decisions in your life
If you ask yourself why you want to accomplish a certain goal or start a business or make a big move, it helps you keep things in perspective. If your answer is that it will make your parents proud, it’s probably not going to last. Ask yourself: Is my reason strong enough? Will I still be doing it tomorrow? Next week? This year? Five years from now? Ten years from now? Will my reasons change and evolve over time as I change and evolve, or am I making a decision based on short-term happiness (or disappointment)? Take stock of what truly matters most to you. Keep striving until those goals are reached—and never give up on them!