Did you know that on average, only 8% of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions? Each and every January we make pie-in-the-sky goals for the new year ahead. Only to give up come February. This is why the best month to join a gym is February… when it’s empty. Why then, do we continue to ride the crazy merry-go-round of pointless New Year’s resolutions? Is it possible to break free of this all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to our goals for the New Year? I think so. Here are some thoughtful New Year’s resolution ideas for 2021 that you can actually keep.
The Best New Year’s Resolution Ideas for 2021 (That Don’t Suck)
The most popular New Year’s resolutions people make (and then break) are:
- Lose Weight
- Get in Shape
- Stop Smoking
- Quit Drinking Alcohol
- Eat Healthier
- Get Out of Debt
- Get Organized
Sound familiar? We’ve all made/quit at least one of these resolutions in the past.
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. -Zig Ziglar
I have nothing against New Year’s resolutions, goal-setting, and self-imposed deadlines. Setting goals and deadlines can help keep us focused and active. Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to get caught up in the excitement of New Year’s and go overboard by setting grandiose unrealistic goals for yourself.
I do, however, believe that when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, we’ve been going about it all wrong. Here’s why.
- Our goals are often unrealistic (therefore impossible to attain)
- We set too many goals for ourselves all at once (instead of focusing on one at a time)
- We attempt to go “cold turkey” on our old habits
- Often, we fail to realize that new habits take time to develop (at least 66 consecutive days to be exact)
- We view January 1st as our only start date instead of realizing that every single day offers us a new beginning
In light of these discoveries, I propose a new way to do New Year’s resolutions. One that is achievable, forgiving, open-ended, and realistic.
The Best New Year’s Resolution Ideas for 2021 (That You Can Do Every Single Day)
1. Start Small (like really, REALLY small)
Instead of vowing to lose 50 pounds by year’s end, commit to being more active today than you were yesterday. Depending on your level of fitness, this will look different for everyone. For example, if going from the couch to the bathroom during commercial breaks is the most exercise you normally get in a day (speaking from experience, here), start with a walk around the block.
The next day, you can add another few steps to your walk or do a few sit-ups. The goal here is to build up a new habit little by little until it becomes second nature.
Also, try to focus on one new habit at a time. After all,
You can do anything, but not everything. -David Allen
2. Forgive Yourself
When you experience setbacks (and you will), don’t spend unnecessary energy dwelling on them. Beating yourself up for your perceived failures will not help you succeed.
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on the proverbial horse. If it helps, you can even say “I forgive you” out loud to yourself.
Why commit to a now-or-never list of New Year’s resolutions? When each day offers a new beginning. -Uncluttered Simplicity
3. Be Consistent
As I said, a new habit can take upwards of 60 consecutive days to cultivate. Thankfully, there’s room for error in this statistic. Missing a day or two here and there isn’t likely to throw off your mojo.
Think about it though. How many times have you started an exercise program only to stop (for whatever reason)? When you try to pick it up again, doesn’t it seem like it’s 10 times more difficult the second time around?
That’s why, when you’re trying to form a new habit, it pays to be consistent.
4. Celebrate Small Wins
When you complete that first walk around the block, then be sure to give yourself a high-five. The next time you do it, you can reward yourself with a candle-lit bubble bath. After ten walks around the block treat yourself to a new pair of walking shoes.
Just be sure you keep your rewards/praise in line with the accomplishment. For example, don’t reward yourself with a twinkie if your goal is to get in shape!
5. Remember Your Reasons
When resolving to make a change for the better, it’s important for you to remember your “why”. If your goal, for example, is to lose weight, your list of “whys” may look something like this:
- To look awesome in that little black dress
- Have more energy to spend with your loved ones
- To reduce medications/resolve health issues
6. Start Over (each and every day)
Rather than viewing resolutions as a yearly occurrence, imagine each day is January 1st. Let each day be a new beginning towards the lighter, cleaner, more organized life you imagine yourself living.
“It’s a wise man who understands that every day is a new beginning, because boy, how many mistakes do you make in a day? I don’t know about you, but I make plenty. You can’t turn the clock back, so you have to look ahead.” —Mel Gibson
And hey, if Mel Gibson said it, then it must be true!
For some more inspiration, I’ve also created a list of 20 realistic new year’s resolution ideas:
No, I don’t mean that you have to go to the gym everyday and start buying protein shakes. Start by taking little steps every day to make yourself healthier. Try an evening walk in your neighborhood. And you can start by swapping that fried chicken for grilled chicken or that bag of chips for some veggies. Small improvements can become big improvements and suddenly your goal will creep up on you without realizing it.
To some people reading is very difficult to get into and finishing a book from beginning to end is a big commitment. It is always easier to find a book that you are into. You can start small, but find a genre that you can get lost in. Start by reading a chapter a day and it might surprise you. You could find a new hobby that you would have never guessed you would like. So, pick up that romance and get swept away into another world, if that’s your kind of thing.
3) Drink more water
Ladies, I know we hear this all the time and as much as I hate to say it, water can help so much. Just one glass more than you usually drink a day can help immensely inside of your body and out. Like the other resolutions you can start small and build up to how much you actually want to be drinking. Don’t like water? There are always ways to spice up the bland drink. Try putting some of your favorite fruits with it and give it a stir, this will not disappoint.
4) Be kind
This one sounds so easy and it is, when you feel like it. When the birds are chirping, and you are having a wonderful day it can be so easy to pass on a kind word or a nice gesture. For this new year’s resolution try to be kind even when you don’t feel like it. When you feel like you could explode with rage at how angry you are try being kind. This is a small trophy that you will feel so good about at the end of each day. This resolution is such a wonderful one because it can turn into a domino effect. The people that you are nice to can go on to be nice to others and that will make the world we live in a better place.
5) Adopt a plant
Yep, you heard me right, adopt a plant. Try to pick up a plant and make it grow! It could be your favorite flower or even one that is nearly impossible to kill, just in case you get it wrong. It can feel so good to take care of something and seeing that little plant growing each day can make you feel so accomplished inside. You might even develop a green thumb and adopt a new hobby.
6) Save money
It may seem hard at first, but even pennies can make a difference and you have to start somewhere. Saving money can help you so much, even if you don’t know what you are saving for. A rainy day can always come along and it will make you so proud of yourself knowing you are responsible enough to think ahead. You can start by saving a little bit of your paycheck at a time until you feel more comfortable about. Again, these are realistic goals, so start small.
7) Cut back on the Soda
Soda’s taste so good and most of the time drinking them is such a habit that we don’t even think about. These sugary drinks are so bad for you and just cutting back on one less a day can help so much. Everyone wants to live a long happy life and that starts by taking care of your body, it’s the only one we get after all. Looking at the bigger picture can be intimidating so take one step at a time to achieve this goal and before you know it you will have accomplished this goal so easily.
8) Listen more
With so much going on in our own lives it can seem difficult to even think about someone else’s problems. A great resolution is to listen more to those around us. Try to be a better friend, spouse, or loved one simply by listening. People love when you remember things about them because it lets them know you care. So, the next time you catch yourself zoning out while your friend is talking think about how you would want them to listen to you.
9) Set a sleep schedule
A great new year’s resolution is to go to sleep at the same time every night. This sets your brain on a schedule and can even help you fall asleep because you will be used to falling asleep at the same time every night. This can help you get the amount of sleep you need for you and can even help how productive you are during the day. Your minds clock will grow accustomed to going to bed at the same time every night and if you wake at the same time everyday some people have even given up their alarm clocks because they have trained their minds to awaken at the same time every day. This is a great way to be productive during your day.
10) Give yourself down time
Everyone gets stressed once in a while so make a new year’s resolution to once a week give yourself a relaxing activity after work or on your free time. You can take some time for yourself and have a relaxing bubble bath, read a book, or even watch your favorite show or movie. Even if you don’t feel like you deserve it, taking some time for yourself is a good way to take care of yourself and your mind. Everyone needs to relax every once in a while, and this is a good way to start. Life gets tough sometimes so don’t feel bad about giving yourself some well deserved me- time.
11) Stay in touch with loved one’s
We often times grow up and forget about or families because there just seems to never be enough time during the day. We go to work, come home, and tend to our own families and we forget how much just a phone call once a week would be such a great thing for our parents. They love us unconditionally and want to hear from us, so put a smile on a loved one’s face by calling to say hello. This is a sweet resolution that could brighten anyone’s day.
12) Clean your house
Trust me I know how hard it is to keep a whole house clean when you barley have enough time for yourself, but we can start small. Make a resolution to spend just a couple of minutes a day cleaning. This can be a really good resolution because it takes so much stress of your shoulders by starting small, but eventually it will make a huge difference. The house will be spotless in just a few days if you stick to it and you will feel so much better coming home to a clean house.
13) Conquer your fears
This one sounds scary, but if you take a step to challenge just one of your fears you will feel so accomplished. It doesn’t have to be anything huge. If you are a picky eater you can try a new food, you were scared to try before. Even something so miniscule can make a big difference and you can check it off your bucket list. Make this new year the most exciting year yet by working on your fears and not letting them take
over your life.
14) Use cash
It is so easy to just swipe that little plastic card you have in your purse, but one week a month try to use cash. This one sounds a little silly, but it will make you more aware of how much you are spending and if your resolution was to cut back on the spending, this is a great way to put things in perspective.
15) Delete social media
Now I’m not saying delete it permanently, but not comparing your life to someone else’s for a week is a good way to make yourself more grateful for the life you have. We spend so much time on social media and we miss all the things going on around us in the real world. So, try to go social media free for a little while and see the difference it can make in your life.
16) Stay home
It can be so tiring to always be going out. For this new year’s resolution try to stay in at least once a week. This gives you time to relax and give yourself some of that me-time you deserve. You can put your friends on hold to finally have the spa night of your dreams, all to yourself. You might even find yourself looking forward to the time you get to spend by yourself. This resolution can be a good way to take care of you.
17) Take time to pat yourself on the back
Ladies, we all have those days when we feel like the world is falling apart around us and nothing is going the way we want it to. When those moments come take the time to make a list of all the things you have accomplished in a week. This make you want to do more good things and can motivate you to get stuff done because you will feel so proud of yourself. This is a good resolution because it pushes you to accomplish more than you though you ever could.
18) Check in with old friends
Life can change so quickly and those old friends that we love so much suddenly aren’t in our lives anymore. Make a resolution to reach out to an old friend every once in a while. It makes everyone happy to know that you care, and it can always pick you up to remember happy times in your life. Being with and even just conversing with loved ones can reduce so much stress and make 2021 such a great year because you will be with the one’s you love.
19) Try new things
Swap up the routine in your life by trying new places and new things. Switch up your makeup routine or try a new restaurant you usually wouldn’t try otherwise. You can discover new things about yourself by doing this and it can open the door for new experiences in your life.
20) Do what you want to do
There are plenty of times as women where we are told we cannot do something or that we shouldn’t treat ourselves because we haven’t done anything deserve it. Well ladies, yes you can. Treat yourself and do what you want to, simply because you want to. If you think you deserve it go for and don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Make 2021 the year of you and what you really want out of this new year.
It is so hard to stick to a new resolution every year with the bar and your expectations for the new year so high, but with these tips and realistic resolutions you can find somewhere to start. You can make a small difference in your life that can turn into something grand and by the end of the year you will feel so accomplished of yourself knowing you stuck to your resolution. I really hope some of these resolutions give you an idea of where to start to make 20201 the best year ever.
Are you ready to crush 2021 one day at a time? You got this!
MORE SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE TIPS
- Free Printable Habit Tracker To Help You Rock Your Goals
- Top 10 Planners and Organizers for 2020
- 10 Amazing Benefits Of Simple Living That Will Inspire You To Simplify Your Life
« 12 Free Printable Quotes To Motivate You When You Feel Like Giving Up
» 9 Ways To Simplify Your Life: Slow Down, Declutter, and Simplify Life