New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to set resolutions for next year. Even amidst the chaos that is the holidays, it’s important to set aside time to reflect and think about how you want to change your life.
If 2020 was rough on you due to the COVID pandemic, it’s even more important to think about what you can change or add to your life going into the new year.
If you’re stuck on choosing the best New year’s resolutions for you, then let the list below inform your decision. At least you know you won’t be alone when you choose one of the top New Year’s resolutions to guide your new year.
New Year’s Resolution Statistics
- People are most likely to give up resolutions by January 19th
- Around 16% of Americans keep some of their resolutions
- Around 13% of Americans keep none of their resolutions
- Nearly 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail across the board
- The most common excuses for why resolutions fail include lacking willpower, forgetting, and being too lazy
- The most popular resolutions every year include, eating healthier, being more active, and managing finances better
Top New Year’s Resolutions of 2021
Below you’ll find some of the top New Year’s resolution ideas for the upcoming year that you can choose to help make 2021 your best year yet.
Eating healthier tops the New Year’s resolution list every year. With more than two-thirds of Americans considered overweight or obese it’s no surprise that having healthier eating habits is something people want to pick up to start living their best life.
The start of the year is a great time to get rid of the holiday flab and give yourself a fresh start with new eating habits. This doesn’t mean you need to give up sweets forever, but instead make small dietary changes until eating healthy becomes second nature.
In the same vein as healthy habits, getting more exercise is another popular wellness-based New Year’s resolution. At the start of the New Year, gym memberships soar, only to trickle out as the year goes on.
To improve your physical health it’s important to build up the health and fitness habit and not just rely on willpower alone. You can even start with a new routine of walking for one hour a day and slowly build up to different kinds of fitness.
Weight loss is a byproduct of eating healthier and exercising more. It may even be the main motivation for your healthy eating and exercise resolutions.
However, exercise alone won’t get you to your goal. Your diet may play a bigger role in weight loss than the kind of exercise you do.
The important thing with weight loss is to view it as a marathon, not a sprint. Your goal is to slowly lose weight over the year by changing how you eat and move. Not to go on a crash diet, only to rebound to the same weight you were at before.
Get Finances in Order
After holiday spending, most people want to get on top of their finances in the New Year. Some people want to finally get out of debt, while others want to save more, or even earn more.
The important thing is to get specific: set a budget, track your spending, and create a savings goal. Getting on top of your finances is a habit, just like any other.
Learn a New Skill
A lot of New Year’s resolutions are about breaking bad habits or taking things out of your life, like weight or debt. However, some common resolutions are about self-improvement, like learning a new skill, language, or picking up a new hobby.
If you’ve always wanted to learn a new skill, now is the time to start.
Quitting smoking is one of the most common bad habits to drop in the new year. There are all kinds of tools to help you through the process including nicotine replacement products, prescriptions, and more. Plus, quitting smoking goes a long way towards improving your overall health, including reducing your risk of heart disease.
It’s important not to get discouraged if you fail the first time around. Every time you attempt to quit smoking to close you get towards quitting for good.
Read More Books
Reading more books is a perennial New Year’s resolution. A great way to start reading is to pick out books that align with your other resolutions like, fitness, weight loss, or a new hobby or skill.
The best way to make reading a habit is to make it part of your day by reading before you go to bed every night, or first thing when you wake up.
Drink More Water
Drinking more water is a simple habit you can introduce to improve your well-being, but it’s one thing most people don’t do enough of.
Learning to drink more water is like any other habit, where it’s better to start small. For example, you can start by replacing one of your daily beverages with a glass of water, or drink a glass of water every morning as soon as you wake up.
It can also be helpful to invest in a refillable water bottle that you can bring with you. It’s much easier to drink water if it’s constantly available.
Drink Less Alcohol
A lot of people plan to quit drinking alcohol in the new year. Whether it’s imbibing too much during the holidays or wanting to quit or cut back for other reasons–the New Year is the perfect time to start.
Like other things you’re trying to quit (junk food, coffee, etc…) it’s easier to quit in stages, rather than going cold turkey.
When quitting alcohol it’s important to find a supportive community, whether online or in person, and consider taking up a new hobby to fill your time and give you something else to focus on.
Getting organized or decluttering is a great goal for the new year and one that has tangible results you can measure.
There are all kinds of things you can organize in your life:
- Your emails and digital life
- Your bedroom
- Your kitchen
- Your garage and storage space
- Your finances
Like most resolutions, the best thing to do is start small. So, if you want to organize your room then start with a single dresser or closet. The more you accomplish, the easier it’ll be to sustain that momentum until every part of your life is organized.
Spend Time with Family
It’s easy to get wrapped up with work and life, leaving little time for family and loved ones. After spending time with loved ones over the holiday season a lot of people report wanting to continue this into the new year with a resolution.
Plus, spending time with friends and loved ones can be great for your health. Set aside time each week to call, or meet up with a family member. If they live far away, then schedule a small trip to visit them.
Picking up a new hobby, habit, or getting things done in the New Year requires taking action. One of the biggest obstacles to this is procrastination, which is why it’s a great resolution to have in accordance with other goals.
Here are some tips for avoiding procrastination:
- Break your goal down into small pieces
- Create a to-do list tied to a schedule
- Do a small 5-minute task related to your goal
- Dig into the reason why you’re procrastinating in the first place
- Make your to-do list smaller, instead of overwhelming yourself with tasks to accomplish
The coronavirus pandemic has caused people to press pause on most existing travel plans. But, with things most likely returning to some semblance of normal in 2021, traveling more is now an achievable resolution.
If you want to travel more in 2021, it’s time to start planning now. Be specific about where and when you want to go. The more specific you can get about your travels, the more likely they are to happen.
Keep in mind, you also don’t have to go far to travel. Chances are there are plenty of places to explore within your city, state, or within driving distance that you haven’t seen before.
Break Digital Addiction
Cell phone and social media addiction are very real. The average person touches their cell phone over 2,600 times per day. With more people stuck inside than ever before this number has only grown.
There are a lot of ways you can break this addiction, or at least reduce your time spent on your devices. For starters, you can get rid of your smartphone and use an older-generation phone.
But, for those who don’t want to give up their phones entirely, there are other solutions like:
- Turning off all phone notifications
- Deleting your distracting apps
- Installing a blocker that allows you to use certain apps during a set period
Get More Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important factors in having a healthy life, but nearly one in three people report not getting enough sleep. The average amount of hours of sleep per night differs depending on the individual, but the (link) recommends between six to eight hours of sleep per night.
To get a more restful night’s sleep you need to improve your sleep habits and overall environment. Some positive routines to enhance your sleep include:
- Going to bed at the same time every night
- Avoid screens an hour before bedtime
- Avoid drinking caffeine past noon
- Create a bedroom that’s comfortable and free from distractions
It’s no secret that stress is a silent killer. It’s no wonder that reducing stress remains a popular New Year’s resolution. There are a ton of things you can do to reduce stress, even other resolutions on this list will help, like exercise, drinking less, and eating healthy.
You can even pick up a new habit, like meditation or journaling. Even just ten minutes a day is enough to help reduce stress across the board and improve mental health.
It’s easy to remember to brush your teeth twice a day. But, the process of flossing every day is much different. Most people will start to floss regularly following a dentist appointment, but this is followed by returning to old non-flossing habits.
However, flossing is one of the most important aspects of maintaining good dental health and avoiding costly dental bills.
The key with flossing (and any other new habit), is to start small and work your way up to a daily habit. Even just sticking to the goal of flossing once per week will be enough to start moving in the right direction.
Another trick is to always keep floss in other areas than your bathroom, like your living room, office, or car. That way you can floss when you’re watching TV, sitting in traffic, or in between work calls.