Now that Christmas has come and gone, it’s time to start thinking about the new year. Typically, now is the time when everyone is thinking about what resolutions they want to set for the new year. Now I understand you can start a new habit whenever, but a new year is a great time for a fresh start! It’s easy to come up with unrealistic goals for ourselves, resolutions we know we will never be able to keep – but this year I vote we look at things a little more realistically. Maybe the trick is to start off small, and build from there; hopefully then we can avoid crashing and burning. SO, here I have gathered 12 realistic new years resolutions – ones you are actually capable of keeping! Hopefully you will be able to gather a little inspiration from this list, and maybe take away a few new tips and tricks to use in the new year!
1. Drink more water
You’ve heard it before, and I’m here to tell you again – you need to start drinking more water. Giving your body water has plenty of benefits, including: helping you to perform better, preventing headaches, help you lose weight, lower your joint pain, flush out waste and bacteria, make your skin glow, and feed your body. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day (ex. if you weigh 160lbs, drink 80oz). Try carrying a bottle of water with you where ever you go – I find that the cuter the water bottle, the more likely I am to drink from it! You can also eat more raw fruits and vegetables, since they are dense in water. You might not realize how big of a difference this can make – but try it for a week and I guarantee you’ll be hooked!
2. Eat out less
Are you guilty of grabbing fast food when you’re running out of time, feeling lazy, or don’t have any food in the house? Well, quit. Not only is the majority of fast food terrible for you, but it’s also draining your bank account. Make time during the week to go grocery shopping and work harder to plan your meals ahead of time, so you know what you’ll need. I don’t want to say NEVER eat out – because everyone needs a greasy Culver’s burger when they’re feeling emotional – but doing it less will make a huge difference. Lets say you eat out three times a week, try cutting it down to one. I like to save mine for weekends, because it’s the best time to indulge!
3. Workout at least three times a week
I will be the first to admit that making time to workout can sometimes be difficult, but it’s not impossible! They aren’t lying when they say you only need thirty minutes. When I only have a small amount of time, or a million other things to get done, I reach for my 20 minute tabata workout (which I will share below!)! It’s quick, but still effective. Another option is to pack your gym bag in the morning and take it with you when you leave for work or school. Having my bag ready is a constant reminder for me to get my butt to the gym. Need accountability? Find a workout buddy – someone who can help keep you motivated and push you to keep going. Not only is working out a solid stress reliever – but it heightens endorphins, helps you sleep better, increases your strength and flexibility, gives you an energy boost, and so much more! You don’t need to spend three hours in the gym, seven days a week… a little goes a long way! Especially when you have a jam-packed day, your body (and mind) could use the break!
20 Minute Tabata Workout (alternate moves for 4 minutes, working for 20 seconds and resting for 10)
- Plank hold
- Push ups
- Mountain climbers
- Full sit ups
- Flutter kicks
- Alternating reverse lunges
- Tricep dips
- Russian twists (feet off the ground)
4. Make your bed every day
I like to make my bed simply because it makes me feel organized and makes my room look better… but besides that, I was surprised to find there are actual benefits to doing this every day!
- It starts your day off right: it’s a small accomplishment that sets the tone for the rest of the day. You’ve now completed your first task of the day, and it will motivate you to continue completing other tasks.
- It encourages you to keep the rest of your room tidy: when the bed is made it helps the rest of the room look styled, even if it’s not perfect. From tiny beginnings, great things grow.
- It leads to better productivity: daily bed making can create a keystone habit, which can kickstart a chain of other good decisions.
- It lowers your stress and improves your mood: you spend roughly a third of your life in your room, and the appearance of it has an effect on your mood. A properly made bed makes the entire room look pulled together, showing you care about yourself and your home.
- It just looks and feels better: there’s just something about a made bed that makes you feel better at the end of the day – partly because it makes the bed look cleaner, and partly because when a bed looks good, it also feels good.
5. Make time for breakfast
You’ve heard it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well, breakfast not only gives you energy to start a new day, but it’s linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance. Feel like you don’t have time or not sure what to eat? Need some quick suggestions? That’s what I’m here for!
- a veggie omelet and some whole-wheat toast
- a whole-wheat English muffin with cheese, a scrambled egg and a slice of tomato or ham
- smoothie made with fruit and greek yogurt (you can even throw in a scoop of protein or Shakeology!)
- whole-grain cereal with fresh fruit and low-fat milk
- yogurt smoothie and a breakfast bar
- a banana with peanut butter, wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla
6. Try one new recipe each week
Hi, have you met Pinterest? If not, you NEED it in your life! I have found a BUNCH of new recipes – healthy foods, sweets and treats, anything and everything! While some recipes are hard, others take little to no time to prepare! It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with meals, especially when you find something you like that is also easy. But it’s important to continue trying new things and expanding your recipe book. So pick one night each week to try a new recipe – breakfast, lunch, dinner, DESSERT – it doesn’t matter! You might just find a new favorite.
Bonus: tie this resolution into your weekly date night (#11)! Make dinner together, try something new, and see how it turns out!
7. Call one family member/good friend each week
It’s so easy for us to use the excuse, “I’m too busy”, when it comes to keeping in contact with everyone. Which, I get it, is a valid excuse. But regardless of the million things we have going on and the thousands of things we have to do, it’s still important to make time for the people you care about. Choose one person each week to call or see. It could be a short fifteen minute phone call just to catch up, or maybe a quick lunch or coffee date! We’re all busy, I know – but making that time to connect with loved ones is SO important. Work, chores, homework, whatever, it’s all still going to be there an hour from now.
8. Set aside 30 minutes, three times a week, just for yourself
Alone time, me time, relaxation… whatever you want to call it, you need it! We are so busy running around, pulling ourselves in a million different directions, doing this, doing that – that we often forget to take a moment to just be. I’ll admit that there aren’t many times when I take a little time for myself, but I can always tell when I NEED it! For me, it’s grabbing a burger, putting in my favorite movie, and cuddling up in bed with 50 blankets. Maybe for you it’s making yourself a cup of coffee and sitting on the porch to read your favorite book. Find something that works for you – something that relaxes and de-stresses you – and do it!
9. Take a full day off from social media once a month
Social media has the potential to be a very positive thing, but it can also have negative effects. Sometimes your mind (and your sanity) needs a break. Unfortunately, our generation is defined by likes, tweets, and snaps, which can all be very distracting at times. Social media ultimately leads you to focus on other people more than yourself; studies show an increase in anxiety and low self-esteem in those who spend a significant amount of time on social media. It prevents us with a distorted version of reality, where you only see the things people want you to see. It can become dangerous, putting you in the mindset of seeking validation from others. Social media distracts you from the moment – so instead of enjoying what is, you’re worried about posting or tweeting for others to see. It also tends to make your life more public, posting things that may not necessarily need to be shared with everyone. It can lead you to live in the past – constantly seeing posts and pictures from previous relationships can make it even harder to move on. We all need a reminder that there’s an entire physical world out there, and we shouldn’t be afraid to explore it!
(I’m a huge culprit of this, and while writing this I had an idea – taking a week long break from social media for the sake of a blog post. I’ll let you know how it effected me, the benefits and possible downfalls, etc. Keep your eyes on the look out for this!)
10. Put your phone away an hour before bed
I’m well known to be one of those people who scrolls through their phone before going to bed, and doing the same when I wake up in the morning… but using your phone so closely to sleep can have negative effects. The light reflected from the screen negatively impacts our internal clocks and causes our sleep patterns to scatter. These lights prevent the melatonin from being released from our brain, which is a vital hormone that informs our body it’s time to sleep. When melatonin isn’t released, sleep is much harder to achieve. Ultimately, the light reflected from your phone is telling your brain not to sleep. It might be a challenge, especially if you’re used to using your phone to “help” you fall asleep, but I think it’s worth a shot! Flip it over, turn it off, or just move it away from your bed – whatever works best for you.
11. Plan date night at least once a week
Okay – who doesn’t love date night?! It could be something fancy, or it could be something simple. Sometimes we get so caught up running everywhere, doing this and doing that, that we forget to make time for each other. Spending time with your significant other is obviously important – and there’s no doubt it’s going to make you feel better! My boyfriend is an incredibly hard-worker, and he doesn’t like to stop moving, so sometimes finding time to spend together proves to be a challenge. But I think setting a time in advance and planning around it prevents you from letting all those distractions get in the way. It doesn’t always have to be dinner and a movie – it could be something as simple as renting a movie, popping some popcorn, and cuddling! Make homemade pizzas together, go for a walk, literally anything!
12. Plan a vacation
Your mind and body both need a break every once in awhile (even if you don’t want to admit it). It’s important to not only make time to relax, but also make time to get away from reality. You can take a sick day off work simply to re-fuel, but that’s never really the same. I think it’s important we all start making a little more time for vacation – take the family, take a friend, take your significant other! It doesn’t have to be a cruise or a cross-country getaway, it can be as simple as getting a couple hours outside of town and exploring a new territory! So make it a point to plan a trip – pick a date and start saving now!
Well, there you go – 12 new resolutions to add to YOUR list! The new year is almost here, and I hope you can look back on this past year with an open mind. Maybe it was good, maybe it was bad… whatever it was, I hope you learned something, I hope it made you better. Lets take on this new year together! Thank you for joining me here on my blog, I hope you keep coming back!