At the end of 2019 people were excited because 2020 was going to be a fresh start, it wasn’t just a new year, it was a whole new decade! Did you feel that way too?
Then 2020 came crashing in like a wrecking ball and if you’re anything like me, all of your New Year’s resolutions went down the drain.
If you were wanting to get healthy, the gyms closed on you. If you were wanting to start taking care of your mental health, it became impossible to get an appointment.
If you wanted to budget better, the grocery store ran out of everything and you were forced to compromise your budget just to have essentials like toilet paper. How much toilet paper did you stock up on?
So here you are again, at the end of 2020 bracing for impact because you aren’t completely convinced 2021 is actually going to be much better.
You might be wondering if you should even bother making a New Year’s Resolution!
I think you should, but I think you should do it differently this year, because life as we know it, has changed, and your resolutions should too.
Say goodbye to the old “I’m going to lose weight, eat healthier, and stick to a budget” resolutions, and make some unique new year’s resolutions you can actually enjoy, stick to, and will help you be a better person!
Unique New Year’s Resolutions
Health and Fitness Resolutions
1. Resolve to change your personal records –
One of the most popular resolutions is to lose weight. That’s old, tired, and frankly, it rarely works.
Why? My best guess is because it is so easy to be discouraged with weight loss. It’s difficult to see short term results, and it’s frustrating when the number on the scale isn’t moving. Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, focus on personal records.
Not only will this give you positive reinforcement on a regular basis but it also helps you to fight the stigma that working out simply means losing pounds. Being strong and healthy is more important than the number on the scale.
Try aiming for a faster run time or increasing your walking distance. You can also increase the weight you’re lifting, or the repetitions you’re doing. Makes sense right? Try it!
2. No More Diets –
The fad diet trend has to end. Every year, around January 1st, there is a new weight loss diet that everyone jumps on.
Keto, intermittent fasting, juice cleanses, military diet, the list goes on. These fad diets are typically extremely restrictive, sometimes unhealthy, and easy to give up on.
Instead of diets, make a resolution to add a new vegetable to your meals and make small changes, like switching from white bread to wheat bread. Another example is, try buying smaller cans of soda if you can’t commit to totally cutting soda out of you diet.
Another small change is to limit what snacks you buy at the grocery store!
Dr. Theresa Woodard gives great tips on how to make healthy diet changes while avoiding fad diets.
3. Make an Appointment with Your Doctor –
It is recommended to get a yearly physical exam, are you already doing that? If not, maybe this year is the time to start.
Outside of your yearly exam, there are also exams and tests that should be done at certain ages and times. Make it a resolution to take preventative action on your health.
Exams such as mammograms, prostate exams, colonoscopies, pap smears, and blood tests, can all help your doctor catch an illness before it becomes too severe for treatment.
4. Visit Other Health Providers –
Make a resolution to check on things you’ve been neglecting, like your dental and eye health.
2020 was a rough year for everyone, and if you’re like most Americans, you probably experienced a lot of local businesses shutting down, including places like dental and ophthalmology offices.
You may even be like a lot of adults who just simply don’t make routine visits to the dentist or eye doctor. If this is the case, you really should make this your New Year’s resolution because your health matters, including your eye, and dental health.
Mental Health Resolutions
2020 Probably took a toll on your mental health, but you don’t have to carry that over into 2021. Make resolutions that make your mental health a priority.
5. Start Journaling –
Journaling is a great way to help your mental health because it gets your thoughts organized.
You can write about whatever you want, or you can purchase a journal with writing prompts if you have a set goal in mind.
Such as, if you’re wanting to think more positively, there are journals that provide you with writing prompts to focus on positive thinking.
If you aren’t much of a writer, Dr. Stephanie Sarkis provides insight on different ways to journal that can help get you started, and one of those ways includes drawing.
Journaling isn’t just for those who are experiencing difficulties with mental health either. Journaling is a great way to take preventive action against mental duress.
6. Make the Appointment –
If you are struggling with your mental health and you have procrastinated making an appointment for whatever reason, make it your resolution to make an appointment with a mental health professional.
Even if you aren’t struggling with your mental health, seeking guidance from a mental health professional on how to manage your mental health, can benefit everyone.
7. Resolve to End the Stigma –
Support for the mental health field has increased greatly in more recent years.
It is not as common for someone to be called weak for seeking counseling or therapy. However, I think it should be everyone’s goal to “end the stigma” that seeking out counseling is just for people with mental illness.
Just like it’s important to get yearly physicals, teeth cleanings, and vision checkups, mental health maintenance should be included in normal health management.
Learning about yourself, your actions, and becoming more self-aware can make you a better person. This practice also gives you the tools to become more resilient to life stressors.
8. Volunteer –
Volunteering is great for your community, but it’s also great for your mental health. A study done in the UK found that over time, the people who started volunteering became happier.
Volunteering can make you feel connected to others, and provide you with valuable skills and contacts to include on your resume as well.
Personal Finance Resolutions
Focusing on finances is a common goal around January. Maybe because Christmas just took a toll on your finances, or maybe because you’re feeling like it’s a new year.
A new year is a new chance to make better choices, either way, fiscal goals can be great, but they can also be difficult.
9. Start a Savings Account –
According to Sastista.com, the majority of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, and nearly half have nothing in savings.
Cut one luxury out of your day to day living, and put that money in savings instead. An example may be, If you have more than one streaming service, cut one, and put that money aside.
Have a yard sale to sell things you don’t use or need, then put the money in savings. Having a savings account, even if it’s small, can change your life.
10. Create a Budget –
If you don’t have a budget, making one can change how you spend your money in a very positive way.
It is a great first step in making better money choices and can help you pay off debt and increase the money in your savings account.
Make a resolution to create a budget, but don’t make it unrealistic and set yourself up for failure.
Spend the first month or two keeping track of receipts, bills, and bank statements. Then review all of it and figure out where your money is going.
Make your budget based on your expenses, and deciding if you can cut anything out or make different spending choices.
11. Make a Plan for Yearly Expenses –
Property taxes, insurance premiums, HOA dues, holiday and birthday expenses, are all things you can plan for ahead of time.
Instead of panicking at the time these expenses are due, divide the cost by 12, and set that aside each month.
If you’re in a relationship, 2020 may have sent you through a rough patch, and if it did, 2021 is the time to repair it.
12. Go to Couple’s Therapy –
Marriage counseling or couple’s therapy is not just for people in bad relationships. This can be a great way to prioritize your relationship after getting distracted by life.
You may have experienced a lot of stressors in 2020 and it is possible those distracted you from nurturing your relationship. Counseling can help give you new tools to make your relationship better.
13. Plan Regular Dates –
Time together is an important part of any romantic relationship.
If you’ve been neglecting having dates, especially if you have children, then make a resolution to have regular date nights.
If you just can’t go out, plan a date night at home where you make a special dinner and maybe play a game together. You could also learn something together using the internet as a source of information, such as learning how to dance using tutorials online.
14. Learn to Speak Your Partners Love Language –
Take the 5 Love Languages quiz and find out what you and your partner’s love language is. Then take the time to learn to speak that language!
The Five Love Languages are based on the idea that we all feel and show love in a certain way.
Feeling and showing love is a very important part of your relationship. But if you’re showing your partner that you love them in a way they don’t understand, they will feel unloved and you might feel unappreciated.
Expanding your knowledge and education can make you a better person, and in many cases, you can support a local person or business by doing so.
15. Take Free Online Courses –
Many people don’t know this but Harvard offers free online courses in a variety of subject areas.
The courses are taught by Harvard professors and are self-paced courses, meaning you can learn on your own time.
While these courses do not qualify for any institutional credits, for a fee you can get a certificate of completion to add to your resume.
16. Read More Books –
Education doesn’t have to be formal. Reading books is a great way to expand your knowledge and keep your mind sharp.
Make a resolution to read a new book every month and try to read a book outside of your typical interest.
To make this even better, you can support your local library or bookstore by getting your books from there.
17. Take Lessons –
Learning something new can be a fun and exciting experience by taking lessons.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to know how to dance, or you want to expand your cooking skills or learn how to play an instrument.
Maybe you want to go diving or ride a motorcycle. There are so many courses that can help you learn something new. Many of these course lessons provide hands-on learning and can be exciting to participate in.
Positive Resolutions for New Year
As an individual, you have the ability to make a positive impact on the world, even through small acts.
18. Recycle –
If you aren’t already, why not plan to recycle this year? Start with one recyclable material that you can remember to toss in a box instead of the trash.
Then set a date on your calendar to take it to the recycling center if you don’t have recycling pick up in your area.
Not only is this extremely important to the environment, but it will also decrease how quickly your trash can fills up, which means fewer garbage bags, and fewer trips taking the trash out.
19. Donate Belongings You Don’t Use –
When you’re ready to do your spring cleaning, resolve to donate things you no longer need. There are some great places that need your donations that you may not have thought about.
Call your local women’s shelter, the Veteran’s Affairs department, or Child Services and ask who they know that is in need.
These places rely on donations and the items go directly to people who need them. So before you throw away, or give away your things, reach out to those places with a phone call.
You could also utilize your local social media pages to see if anyone is in need.
20. Donate Your Time –
If you have time to spare, you can put it to good use in your community.
Volunteer at the soup kitchen, pick up trash in your local area, or visit a nursing home and enjoy a visit with a person who may not get visitors.
Volunteering is great for your mental health, and the impact it has on your community is invaluable.
21. Write Letters –
If you are overwhelmed with managing your time and don’t think you can work in your schedule going somewhere to volunteer, considering writing letters instead.
Nursing homes, deployed soldiers, and even inmates can all receive letters, and these letters provide them with hope and comfort.
There are a lot of organizations that help facilitate the sending of letters and cards to those who need it the most if you need help getting started.
If you want to write to nursing home residents consider calling your local nursing home to see if they have a resident you can write to specifically or if they accept letters addressed to any resident.
Fun New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s resolutions seem so strict and serious to me! It’s like people are adding another thing to their plate that sets them up for feeling like a failure.
Failing to lose weight, failing to save money, failing to eat better, etc. All of it starts out with the intention to better your life, but it’s really just another chore on your list.
There is a ‘better way’ to “better” your life.
22. Plan a Monthly Adventure –
Be adventurous and explore parts of your city or state that you haven’t seen before.
Look up small state and national parks to visit, find trails to walk, go floating, or kayaking down the driver.
Go ride a bike every week, ride a horse, take up a new hobby, learn a new game.
Whatever you decide to do, this is one resolution you won’t feel pressured by.
23. Visit More Museums –
Museums are a great way to learn something new and have fun.
Find small museums around you and make a plan to visit them. By visiting the museums you are supporting them and your community.
Also, be sure to leave a review on their website or social media page to encourage others to visit as well.
24. Set Aside Time for Yourself –
As an adult, it is easy to get caught up in responsibilities and fail to set aside time for your own hobbies. Be more intentional and consistent with giving yourself time.
Whether you enjoy crafts, working out, or learning, doing something you enjoy is important to your mental health and will better your life overall.
25. Fun for the Foodie –
If you’re a foodie then make a plan to visit one local restaurant a month that isn’t a chain restaurant.
Get out of your comfort zone and try new cuisines. Drive out of your city and find a small diner.
Supporting small businesses is great for your community and who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite food while you’re out there.
26. Make a Bucket List and Check Something Off –
You most likely have an idea of things you want to do before you die, but have you made doing them a priority?
Write that bucket list out now, and then make a plan to check at least one thing off the list.
Want to see the Grand Canyon? Start saving money now, set a date, and make a plan.
Want to go Skydiving? Call around and get quotes, then make it happen!
New Year’s Resolutions can take many forms. They can be easy to do or hard. Don’t make too many resolutions that there is no way you can complete them
The trick to being successful with resolutions is to write them down on a piece of paper! Then refer back to them on a weekly basis to see how you are doing.
Just remember where you put the list! Maybe a good New Year’s resolution for 2021 is to improve my memory skills!
Joy of Today