Waking up to January 1st is like opening a brand new notebook with 365 fresh blank pages before you. This is your year to really do something! Here are 23 noble resolutions to focus on this year to fill your “notebook” with beautiful images and meaningful notes.
23 New Year’s Resolutions That Can Make You a Better Person
1. Start meditating 5 minutes each day.
Meditation has been around thousands of years and is a way that effective people relax, harness life’s energy force, and come to realizations. Meditation can be good for you too!
Start by taking five quiet minutes of your day to sit or lie comfortably. Close your eyes (but don’t go to sleep) and breathe naturally. Focus on the air filling your nose and chest and pay attention as you exhale. Quiet your mind and let your body just feel the moment. You’ll be amazed at how centered you feel after.
2. Learn a new skill or hobby.
The world is full of endless things to learn. Become a better person by trying your hand at a new skill or hobby. Try cake decorating, photography, coding, entrepreneurship, or learn a musical instrument. All of these skills will make you a more interesting and diverse person.
3. Do something scary.
It can be so warm and cozy in our comfort zone, but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take (Wayne Gretzky).
This year, do something that scares you, like ask for that raise or go for that promotion. Make a bold move you normally wouldn’t. Wear red lipstick or try out for a play. Start that small business you’ve been talking about for years. Take that little idea that’s been whispering in the back of your mind and give it a voice.
4. Plan a trip.
Most of us just don’t travel enough. Life is for enjoying all of the incredible places on this earth! Here are some good places to start.
5. Eat fruits and veggies at every meal.
Want to know the one thing my pediatrician recommends for my kids at every well-check? Eat more fruits and veggies. Same goes for adults—no matter how many we are currently eating, we could always eat more. Plant-based lifestyles are gaining some serious momentum and here are some good tips to get your kids eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, too!
6. Exercise 5 days a week.
Who cares what you look like doing it, just move in whatever way you can! The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity at least 5 days a week for a total of 150 minutes.
As my girlfriend would say, run like Channing Tatum is waiting for you at the finish line.
7. Read a book from this list.
Reading not only improves your vocabulary, cognitive reasoning, and your memory, it can make you a better person too! Reading gives you something to talk about in social situations, it molds you into an intellectual, and makes life interesting.
If you read one book a month, from this list, you’ll be a better person for it.
8. Give up 1 hour of TV and devote it to your dream.
I know, I know the last thing you want to do come 9 ‘o clock at night when the kids are finally down is start writing that novel or build a prototype for that cool new product you’ve been imagining. What you really want to do is turn on Netflix and let your brain check out for a good hour.
But if you just gave up 1 hour of TV time per night over the course of the year, you’d have 365 extra hours to devote to your dream. That’s a total of 15 entire days! That is a heck of a lot of time to make a dream come true.
9. Spend 15 minutes of quality time with each child each day.
They crave it, they deserve it. This year, focus on spending at least 15 minutes of one-on-one time with each of your children a day. This could mean playing Go Fish together or setting up a LEGO structure. If your kids are grown, give them a call, shoot them a text, or write them an email.
10. Ditch your phone while driving.
Distracted driving is the plague of our modern society. Over 300,000 injuries occur each year from texting while driving and in 2014 alone, 3,179 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.
This year, take a pledge to ditch your phone when you’re behind the wheel.
11. Give your phone a bedtime.
Along the same lines, smart phones, like kids, should have a bedtime. Kids and adults who take their phones to bed with them stay awake much longer than is healthy and miss out on a calming bedtime routine. Try giving your family’s phones a bedtime and see what a difference it makes.
12. Decrease stress.
This year, don’t let stress get the best of you. Learn not to sweat the small stuff that you can’t control. Stress causes irritability, hair loss, and high blood pressure. I’m sure your family wants you around for a long time, so do yoga, go for a run, or hit the hiking trails to dissolve stress whenever you can.
(Photo credit: Cristi Dame)
13. Increase positivity.
Positive people are happier, more content, and wonderful to be around. Increase your positivity this year and become a better person by focusing on the good things in your life. Be happy for other’s successes, be grateful for the little things like stars in the night sky. Realize that when difficult things happen, they will always get better and that life is what you make of it.
14. Plan 12 dates a year with your spouse.
Get closer to your significant other this year by going on at least one planned date a month. A friend of mine does a smart thing and books a regular babysitter for the third Saturday of every month for the entire year. This way, her and her husband have no excuse not to go and they’ve actually had time to plan a whole year of dates. They’ve gone to the shooting range, the natural hot springs, golfing, and even in a hot air balloon!
Here are some other great date ideas you could plan out.
15. Organize all important documents.
If your documents look like mine, they’re all in a jumble in one particular drawer. There are tax forms mixed in with lawn mower manuals and everything is willy-nilly.
It’s a smart idea to organize all of those important documents once and for all. File them in a system like this one, keep them in a safe, or find a system that works for you. But make sure to tell someone like a family member or close friend about your system, just in case of emergencies.
16. Have a will.
We certainly don’t like to think about it, and maybe that’s why so many people don’t have a will, but if you don’t have one, this is the year to get one.
There are plenty of online options to make your own will, but getting a little legal help is always your best bet and fairly inexpensive too.
17. Accomplish more in a day.
Do you ever look back at your day and marvel at how busy you were but wonder what exactly you got done? Accomplish more in your day with the help of one little notebook. Here’s how!
18. Declutter your life.
January is the perfect time to let go of clutter and get organized. Start by donating or throwing away those extraneous “stuff” that doesn’t spark joy. Take it room by room until you’re left with the bare bones of what you need and what you love.
19. Make a new friend.
You are never too old to make a new friend. This year, focus on meeting new people and making new friends. You never know who is out there and who might make your life better just by knowing them.
20. Work your way out of debt.
Test out the Dave Ramsey debt snowball method to work your way out of burdensome debt. Start by paying off your smallest debts first—Macy’s credit card, bank credit card, etc. Then focus on medium debts like paying off your automobile and student loan debts. When those debts are taken care of, you can focus on larger debts like your home mortgage.
Obviously debt won’t be eliminated in just one year, but you’ll be a whole lot closer.
21. Become a better cook.
Cooking is a challenging and gratifying endeavor. Make it a resolution this year to become a better cook. If you’re a beginner, start at the beginning with simple cookbooks and recipes like our Easy Peasy series. If you’ve already got mad cooking skills, challenge yourself by improving your knife skills or working through a Julia Child cookbook. Wherever you’re at, improve upon it!
22. Become more self-reliant.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we rely a whole lot on technology these days. Microwaves to cook for us, if we need eggs, we head to the nearest grocery store, and Amazon delivers our diapers to our front door. Heaven forbid that we ever have to figure out ways to survive without so much technology.
Becoming more self-reliant is not only smart, but potentially life-saving. Do something this year to be more self-reliant. Get those chickens you’ve been thinking about. Learn how to can or turn wheat into flour. Going back to the old ways of doing things just might prove beneficial.
23. Make a difference in someone’s life.
Finally, one of the most important resolutions you can accomplish this year is to make a difference in someone else’s life. Do your part to help clothe the naked, assist in the refugee assistance movement, or make a big difference in your little part of the world.
Choose one, three, or all 23. Work at your own pace and realize that many of these resolutions take a lifetime of effort to master. But no matter how many you try, I promise you’ll come away a better person for it. Happy New Year!