Best Life

31 New Year’s Resolutions for a Happier and Healthier You

New year resolution ideas

Whelp, it is that time again.  The time to start a new year and start fresh!  Time to reflect on what we did the year before and how we can make this year our best year ever.  Time to set some resolutions! Ugh!

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I know what you are thinking.  I barely survived last year.  I made it through by the skin of my teeth (whatever that means).  I don’t need a resolution, I need a redo!  

Okay, okay.  I understand.  But, we have to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, the positive glow from the new day.  And in the words of Taylor Swift “shake it off, shake it off.”  Get rid of the darkness that has been riding around on your shoulder.  Put on your positive pants and let’s get this new year on!

So with that being said I have created a list of goals for you and your positive pants.  Please do not think  I am saying you have to complete all 31 things.  Oh, no!  I want you to pick one or two to start with.  Simple things that you can do to keep your mindset happy and to keep your life moving in the right direction.  

These are goals, which are like resolutions, but a lot less scary and much more manageable.  Remember small and simple.  Slow and steady.  Baby steps if you will.  

We cannot go back to last year and fix it.  I don’t even think that it is fixable.  But we can keep moving forward.  Forward is the right direction.  Keep going that way and I promise it will get better.  

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Quit Procrastinating

This is the first one because instead of saying we will do it later, STOP!  Do it now.  Later, (don’t get mad when I say this) may never come!  Do it now.  If it makes you happy.  Do it now.  If it is something you always wanted to do and finally have the opportunity.  Do it now.  

Procrastination just gets in our way of allowing us to be truly happy.  I want you to be happy.  Don’t you want to be happy?  So do it now!

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Create a Budget

Everyone wants to have more money or live like no one else (Thank you Dave Ramsey).  So start a budget for yourself or your family.  Give your money a purpose.  Write out your incomes and expenses and see where your money is going.  

You do not even need fancy tools for this, a notebook and a pencil and maybe your phone calculator and you’re all set.  You can do this.  

Create a monthly budget and then on every payday reevaluate where your money is going.  What can you do to trim up your expenses?  How can you save more money?

This might be eye-opening for some of you that have never thought about your expenses.  But it is so good to do and can be really rewarding especially when you are able to pay off some of those debts.  Plus it takes like ten minutes so go do it now.  

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Declutter your Stuff

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to go through your closets, cupboards, and drawers.  Open up that junk drawer.  I mean really open it up.  All the way.   And really see what is hiding in there.

This is something I definitely do not want you to tackle all at once.  I want you to take your time.  Make a list of places in your home that need to be decluttered and then schedule a time for each place.  

Not every place, all at once.  You have other things in your life you have to do.  So keep it simple.  That’s the point.  Get rid of your clutter and simplify your life.  

Check out this post from early last year about decluttering.  It includes a FREE 21 Day Declutter Your Stuff Challenge you can get your very own copy FREE by clicking this link.

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Learn Something New

There is never a better time like the new year to learn something new.  You can take a class, read a book or watch a video on something new that might give you some inspiration.  

If you do not have any extra time to actually go somewhere to learn you can check out a webinar or an online class that you can sign up for free or even really cheap.  

I personally have used Udemy over the years for an easy learning experience.  They offer many classes on pretty much any topic you can think of and it won’t break the bank either.  Click this link if you want to find a class so you can start learning something new.  

There are also a lot of Youtube videos out there on all kinds of things like how to fix your dishwasher to how to knit, crochet, play the guitar, or even learn how to cook.  

Plus, when we do something new that our brains are not familiar with it helps them stay strong.  So then it’s like exercise for our brains!  Whoop!

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Sleep More

I know, I know, who has time to sleep more?  Well I am here to tell you that you do!  Or at least you need to make some more time.  And here’s why…

Sleeping is so good for our bodies, giving them the ability to reset and refresh so we can start the next day new.  We are able to let our brain relax, our stomachs digest, and our muscles stretch.

There is no reason that you should not be getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night.  Your body needs it.  

So, whether you go to bed an extra fifteen minutes early or sleep in an extra fifteen.  Start small and work your way up to 30 extra minutes every night.  

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Show Gratitude

We all have someone in our lives that are always doing things for us.  You know who that person is to you.  So think of that person and show them some gratitude.   

Find a way to show gratitude to those around you.  People who you interact with on a regular basis.  This could be coworkers, family members, friends, grocery store employees, etc.  

Everyone likes to feel like they are important so reach out today.  Make it a goal to show gratitude to someone once a day.  

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Go Outside

I know in some parts of our country it’s probably cold when you are reading this but that is still not an excuse.  Go outside and get some fresh air.  

Take a walk or sit on your porch and watch the traffic go by.  Grab a book and a blanket and go read under a tree or have a picnic.  Play in the rain, or build a snowman.  Your activity is your choice.  

Fresh air and sunshine can be just the thing you need to help you get out of that funk you’ve been living in the past couple of months.  Trust me you need this more than you know!

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Volunteer

There are so many opportunities for you to fill a need.  This is something that will not only help the people receiving your time but also help you.  It has a hidden opportunity for you to feel good about yourself while helping others.  

So get out there and find a place.  Help a neighbor with their lawn, pack lunches for a shelter, walk dogs, play cards with a senior citizen, build a house, organize a clothing or food drive, or clean up an area park.    

There is something for everyone so find some time once a week or even once a month and help someone else.  Put your abilities to good use without taking up much of your time.

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Eat Less or Eat Cleaner

It is no secret that eating out at a restaurant, fast food or otherwise, everyday can be a complete mess on your health, not to mention your digestive health.  Finding ways to eat healthier is really what I am trying to get you to accomplish with this goal.  

I am not saying you need to go vegan but I am saying try to stay home and cook a meal.  Or eat something that is not packed full of preservatives, like an apple or a carrot.  

You can totally eat what you want when you want but your body will thank you if you choose to put healthier things in it.

It doesn’t have to be hard either, it can be as simple as eating more fruits and veggies and less french fries.  I know french fries are yummy and I’m not even asking you to stop eating them completely but maybe try a cauliflower fry instead.  

And if you need some extra inspiration or help in the kitchen then you should check out Freshly.  They will send an environmentally friendly box straight to your door full of fresh flavorful meals.  They are prepared by a chef ready for you to eat.  They are not only nutritious but delicious!  

So help yourself out and click the link below to save some money on your first couple of boxes of Freshly. Save $25 on your first two orders of Freshly, use code FRESH25.

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Read a Book (an actual book)

This one is my favorite and something that I myself have been making more time for.  But that’s the purpose of all this is finding time to actually do the things we want, or maybe should do.  

Pick up a book and read it.  Sounds simple right?!  You can do it!  Set a goal to read one book a month.  And then maybe read for a half hour before bed.  Before you know it you will be reading multiple books a month!  

The best part about reading is there are so many genres you can choose from that if you get bored with one you can easily switch it up!  I suggest starting with a self help type of book.  One that can give you some inspiration to complete one or two of these resolutions (goals) on this list.  

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Make Time For Your Hobby

I know many of you out there have plenty of things that you are good at doing. Or think of something that you like or love to do for fun.  I am thinking along the lines of knitting, kayaking, woodworking, painting, etc.  

These are activities that are always first to be pushed aside in our regularly busy lives.  That’s okay I totally get it but now is the time to pull them back in.  

So let’s schedule ourselves time with our hobby.  Even if this only means one day a month.  Make some time for doing things that allow you to relax even if it’s only for a little bit of time.  A little is better than none.  Remember to start small.

So open up Pinterest and get some inspo for your next project.

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Travel

Let’s make it a goal to travel to one place new, this year.  It doesn’t have to be ridiculously far away.  It can be within driving distance and only for a weekend, a day, an hour.  But go.

Find somewhere that you have always wanted to go or something you have always wanted to see.  Write it down and figure out the expenses involved.  How much will it cost?  How will you get there?  How long can you stay?  Where will you stay?

These are just a few questions that I want you to be able to answer and write down.  After you have all this information gathered then start to make a plan.  What will it take for this to happen?  Less Starbucks trips.  More eating at home.  

Whatever it is, like Nike says “JUST DO IT.”  Whatever it is you can make it happen.  Leaving our nest even for a short period of time can be so refreshing and can remind you to appreciate where you came from.  

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Five Year Plan

Speaking of making a plan brings me to the next thing I want you to write down.  I want you to sit somewhere quiet with your coffee or tea and a pencil and notebook.  I want you to think about your life as it is now.  Are you happy with where you are at and what you are doing?

Now I want you to think about what changes if any need to be made.  And when thinking of these changes think about where you see yourself in five years.  

Sometimes it is hard to see that far but I want you to write down a few goals for yourself for the next couple of years.  So for example, If you want to make changes, what do you need to do?  Where do you want to be living, working, married, single, children, pets, etc.

You know five years is not really that far away.  And believe me when I tell you this it will sneak up on you like a rotten potato.  So let’s get a plan in place.

Write it down and put it somewhere safe so you can refer back to it later.  But make sure it includes actionable steps you can take to make these goals happen.  For example if you want a new job then what are the things you need to do to find new employment?  School, training, etc.  

Think about it, write it down, because no one likes rotten potatoes.  

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Move Your Body

This is one of those goals that we need to make more time for this year.  It is super important for us to stay healthy now more than ever.  

I am not saying we all need to run out and get gym memberships but I am saying we need to take the stairs more often.  Or we can park in the last parking spot in the lot so we have to walk a few more extra steps.

Whatever way works for you is good.  I am a firm believer that if you do 10 minutes here 10 minutes there, those 10 minutes of time will add up.  Which means yay you!  You just did 20 minutes of movement.  

One of my favorite at home workouts is Body Boss.  It comes with a guide that shows exactly what to do and how to do it. Check it out here on Amazon. It’s easy to use and you can workout at your own pace.

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Make New Friendships or Nurture Your Old Ones

As adults I know it can be hard to make new friends.  I have experienced this for myself.  But sometimes it can be motivational to be around people who are different or new.  They can give you new ideas or allow you to confirm some of your old ones.  

And I am not saying you need to get rid of your old friends.  If you are not interested in making new friends then make it a goal this year to nurture the friendships that you do have.  Check in with someone who you haven’t seen or heard from in awhile.  Send a note to let them know you are thinking about them.  

A simple text message or phone call might be all you need to catch up.  So make sure you are doing that because they are your friends for a reason.  And I’m sure you want to keep them.  

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Work Goals

I talked about a five year plan earlier and that is definitely still important and very much so related to this goal.  However, I think it is very appropriate to take a minute to focus on your goals for yourself in regards to your career.   

We should know the direction that we are headed in with our job.  Note I did not say the destination, because who really knows that, but at least the direction.  

Grab that paper and pencil again and write down some pros and cons about your job.  After about a minute look at your list and see how it looks.  Do you have more things on the pros side?  Or maybe more on the cons side?  

What does this tell you about your current working situation?  Are you happy or unhappy?  Think about some long term situations that you could be in at your current place of employment.  Would you still be happy there doing the same thing you are doing now in say 2-3 years?

See there is so much to think about, I really only hit the tip of the iceberg with this one.  But I bet I got you thinking and hopefully seriously enough to make some changes in your life for the better.  

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Journaling

This is an excellent goal for the new year.  Starting off the year with a fresh notebook and pen.  Writing down all your thoughts, hopes, and dreams.  

Okay I know journaling isn’t a magical activity that brings peace to our mind and soul.  But I do know that journaling can be very reflective and can be very healing.  

And journaling does not have to be a day to day log of what you did that day.  You can journal about anything.  You could write down your daily food/calorie intake, your budget, your kids, your spouse, your faith, and so on.  

So maybe pick an area of life that you want to journal about and try it out for a month.  See if you can journal once a day for say,  ten minutes.  Set a timer.  I know you are busy but you can do this and you might find you actually like it!

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Side Hustle

I know, I know, who has time for a side hustle?!  Well, you do! There are so many different things you can do nowadays to earn extra cash. It’s awesome!  

For instance, you could drive for Uber or be a grocery delivery person for Shipt.  I think both these are great ideas because the hours are super flexible and you can work it around your day job and your life.

Another great option is to get crafty and make things that you can sell.  I know that is a little more time consuming but might help if your hobby is sewing or crafting.  Etsy is a great place to sell the items that you make.

What about selling shampoo?  I know it sounds crazy but you can earn a decent amount of cash and have great hair all at the same time!  And you do not even need to leave your home to do it!  Perfect!  Click this link to find out more. Or send me an email at emptynestedmama@gmail.com for more info.  

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Stop the FOMO

It definitely is a sign of the times to see people on their cell phones wherever they go.  We have immediate access to information at the touch of our fingertips.  I know for me it can get overwhelming at times trying to keep up with it all.  

But, I also don’t want to feel like I’m left behind either.  Don’t you just hate that feeling when everyone knows a secret but you?  

Well this is what I am talking about we need to stop with the FOMO (fear of missing out) and say who cares!  I promise you the secrets aren’t that good anyway.  

We do not need to be on our devices 24-7.  They do not need to be in our hands all of the time.  

Start small, say for one whole day you will not look at social media or play on your phone or other device.  Then try for two days.  

Now I know most or some of us at least need our technology for work purposes and that is acceptable.  I do not need anyone getting fired here.  Check that email!

But we definitely do not need to be watching all the latest and greatest videos on Tik-Tok until our minds are numb.  Give yourself a break already!

Tik-Tok will still be there tomorrow and so will all your Facebook friends and Instagram followers!

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Prepare Your Documents

This is a much more serious goal but it is something very important and needs to be done ASAP.  When I say prepare your documents I mean get all your ducks in a row.  

Make sure you have your things ready (and I am not trying to be morbid here) for when the end is near.  A will, would be a great place to start if you do not already have one.  Plans for a funeral, burial, and organ donations should also be considered.  

I recently lost my grandma.  And I was so impressed with the way she had everything planned out even down to what she wanted her headstone to say.  It honestly made the work of having to deal with all the “stuff” so much more easier.  And as a family we just had to deal with ourselves.  

You might want to look at all your financial business and see if there are any loose ends that need tied up there as well.  

And don’t forget about Rover and Fluffy.  Make sure they have a home if something should happen to you.  

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Get Cultured

Here is another learning opportunity for you.  You might set a goal for yourself this year to learn about the world and the many cultures that make it up.  

I am definitely not saying you need to travel the world but I am saying you need to step outside of your box and step into someone else’s.  Even if it’s for a short while.  

Take a drive around your city and see what cultures make up the area you live in.  Then do some investigative work and find out more.  See how you can immerse yourself by participating in festivals or activities.  Attend a place of worship.  Eat in places that you’ve never tried before.  Meet a new friend.  

Whatever you do, make it authentic.  The goal is not to offend but reach out and learn about someone else.  

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Healthy Priorities

Making your health and wellness a priority is always a good goal to set for the new year.  Look at some small changes you can make to your routines to make yourself healthier.

For example, making doctor appointments for all those yearly things we need to have done to make sure we are healthy.  Even simply getting a well check once a year would be a great goal to set.  

Another area of focus could be, skincare.  I know especially as we get older it is so important for us to take care of our skin.  Using moisturizers and creams can help our skin stay vibrant and young looking.  

The best place to purchase any type of skincare items is from Sephora.  I love the variety and the natural and clean products which I find to be my absolute favorites.  Click here to shop online and have it sent straight to your door.  The best!

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Less Worry, More Happy

This is definitely a lot easier said than done, but remember we are starting small.  Think of the one thing or place that makes you happy.  Whenever you get stressed or worried, just remember this time or place of happiness.

You deserve to be happy and have less things to worry about.  Even if you make a goal to have five minutes of your day dedicated to your happiness you will be creating a new habit of happiness!

And when you are able to experience natural moments of happiness hold onto those for as long as you can.  Breathe in the happy, blow out the worry!  This should be our new year’s mantra.  

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Family Relationships

Everyone’s family looks a little bit different.  I personally have friends that I consider to be family.  But just like I mentioned earlier with our friendships.  We need to nurture our relationships with our family members, as well. 

Make sure the ones that are close to you know how important they are to you.  And reach out to the ones you haven’t talked to in awhile and see how they are doing.  

I love getting those family newsletters at Christmas time where people tell all about their year.  I think those are really great and help people still feel like they are in touch with you even when they are so far away.  

Some of us have better families than others.  But hang on to the ones you have. Love on the ones near and dear.  And send love to the ones far away.  

I know one thing for sure.  Life is too short.  Don’t let a few miles or years stand in your way.  

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RAK

Random Act of Kindness.  Do it.  Anything goes as long as it’s kind.  And it can be free.  Smiles and compliments are free.  Buy the guys coffee behind you in line.  Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant.  Hold open the door for someone.  Help a mom load her groceries in the car.  

It’s simple, and free (or can be).  Make a goal for one RAK a day.  You will see so much good come your way.  Sorry that rhymed.  

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All About You

You time.  Set a goal for you time.  It’s needed and should be done.  Even if it means taking a bubble bath or an extra long, hot shower.  Make sure you are saving time for yourself.  Only you can make sure you do not get too worn down and too caught up in the day to day.  

So set a goal for 15 minutes a day.  Or if that’s too much than 30 minutes a week.  Find something that is just for you.  Not the kids, not the s.o., not the dogs, you.  

Looking back at this list this is the easiest one.  You could spend time laying on the couch if that is what you so desire.  You can do that, it’s all about you.  

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Bad Habits

There is no time like now to get rid of bad habits.  Whatever your habit is, make a goal this year to get rid of it.  There are many things that we do to ourselves that are horrible and disgusting.  I can think of a few gross things right off hand.  

Speaking of hand, how about biting our nails.  That is one of the most disgusting habits.  I know because I’ve done it.  There are all kinds of tricks to get yourself to stop biting, like apple cider vinegar on your finger tips, etc.

But that’s the thing right.  These are habits we do them probably unconsciously and it’s going to take more than apple cider vinegar to get us to stop.  

Choose one bad habit.  Not all of them, that is totally unrealistic.  And set a goal to focus on quitting whatever this nasty thing is that you are doing.  Don’t tell me I don’t want to know.

But after you’ve conquered one you will be able to conquer the next.  That is supposing you have more than one bad habit.  But good news, if you do not then you are free from all of your bad habits! Yay!

You got this.  There are harder things you will have to do in this life,  remember that.  

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Fly Solo

What I mean is, do something alone, that you typically would with other people.  So if flying is something you would do with others then by all means book a solo flight and go somewhere on your own.  

This might be harder for some people or easier for others.  For me it is a piece of cake. I am alone probably 50% of my life.  So being alone does not bother me.

If flying is a little too high to reach right now,  try eating out at a restaurant alone.  I mean a full sit down waiter serves you restaurant.  This might be more intimidating than flying.  

It isn’t really about being alone and spending time with yourself. It’s more about being alone and looking at the world through your own eyes.  

Sometimes we get caught up in the visions of the people we are with but when we are alone we only have our own thoughts to contend with.  It is very satisfying to know we can have our own ideas without others dictating or influencing in some way.  We get to know ourselves for who we are.  

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Save the Apologies

Why do we always say “I’m Sorry?”  We drop those words more than we think we do.  Let’s save the apologies for when they are truly needed.  Not just for the mindless accidents that occur.  

Save them for the time when you truly hurt someone or think you have.  

Save them for the people who matter the most.  

Save them for the meaningful moments that take our breath away and we wish we could take it back.

Save them for the times when that is the only thing left to say.

Don’t waste them.  Save them.  

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Have an Abundance Mindset

Believing there is good in the world and that happiness can prevail is part of an abundant mindset.    It is about going out there and finding what we need to survive and thrive.  Doing the things that make us the happiest.

Instead of being pessimistic be optimistic.  Spread joy and kindness as some of my earlier goals suggested.  

This is a mindset, so again you must start small, simple.  Do not try to have an abundance mindset overnight.  

Read, watch videos, learn about what it means to have an abundance mindset and what amazing affects it can have in your life.  Click here to check out this awesome book to help you get started. We can change our mindset one day at a time.  We just need to take it slow.

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Patience

My final goal for you for this new year is patience.  It is something that we all might think we have until that one moment when we blow up at someone we love or even a complete stranger.  

We must practice patience just like any other skill.  Think about the situations that make you the most impatient.  Why are these circumstances so difficult for you to get through?  What can you do to make them easier to handle?

For me it’s waiting in lines.  So boring and such a waste of time.  So, I know that when I am going somewhere like the DMV and I will be waiting, I prepare myself.  Not just physically, but mentally.  I get my mind wrapped around the possibility of waiting in a long torturous line.  I visualize what it is going to be like or remember from last year! 

I come prepared with things to do.  Make my grocery list, bring a book, download a game on my phone, or have a friend on standby to text with.  These are all things that will help me stay calm and remember I am there for a purpose and so is everyone else.  

Patience is something we must practice but if we know what our triggers are we can learn to deal with them appropriately and effectively.  

And done!

There you have it folks!  All 31 ideas for you to start your year off right. Not resolutions, so much, but goals.  Goals for us to take actionable steps to complete.  Goals for us to feel successful when we can check off those steps.  

So lets have an amazing year! Better than the last (which shouldn’t be too hard to beat). Am I right?!

I hope this post gave you some inspiration for the new year. 

Let me know in the comments any you are going to try or if there are any ideas not on the list you are going to start working on.  I would love to hear from you! 

As always thank you for stopping by!

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