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10 New Year's Resolution Ideas That You Can Actually Stick To

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The promise of a new year is full of possibilities for some people. It’s a fresh start and an opportunity to finally get closer to your ideal life. But for others, it’s more discouraging than anything. From losing 20 pounds to making more money, many people make big resolutions only to give up on them a month later.

“If you’re anything like the average American, you’ve probably made more resolutions than you can count that didn’t last more than a few weeks or months past January 1st,” Jules Schroeder writes in Forbes. “The unfortunate truth is that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. The rest fall off due to lack of motivation, stress, and resistance to change.”

If this sounds familiar, this year can be different.

No, really. It can be.

The key is to form smaller, attainable resolutions to gain momentum. Then maybe the big stuff will fall into place naturally. The following are some resolution ideas that you can actually follow through on.

  1. Cut down on electronic use.

You might use your phone and laptop more than you would like to. Start by tracking your electronic use and then make small goals to cut down. Eventually, you will have formed a new habit.

  1. Drink less coffee.

The average American drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day. If just the idea of this gets you all jittery, it might be time to cut down. Try starting with one less cup per day and go from there. Replace that cup with a glass of water for an extra boost.

  1. Walk whenever possible.

Park far away, take the stairs, go for walks on your lunch break -- there are plenty of ways to sneak in some steps. Decide what fits into your routine and make small changes.

  1. Send more letters.

When was the last time you sent a handwritten letter? It’s probably been a while. Try sending one letter to a friend or family member per month. You might realize how lovely this simple act feels.
  1. Stick with your yoga class.

Feeling those Winter aches and pains? About 80% of the U.S. population will experience back pain in their lifetime. If your back is stiff, it could be time to stick with the yoga practice you’ve started and restarted so many times.

  1. Create a morning routine.

You’ve read all about the benefits of waking up early, and now it’s time to put this into practice. Start by adding one new item to your routine each week. Meditation, reading, drinking coffee in silence, and going for a walk are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Read one book per month.

Winter is a great time to start a reading routine. One book per month, or perhaps every two months, is a great way to hold yourself accountable. You might even consider joining a book club.

  1. Practice self love.

Especially for busy moms, it can be difficult to make time for self love and care. Set off time every day to do something just for you, with bigger indulgences sprinkled throughout the month.

  1. Spend more time in nature.

Try committing to one outdoor activity per week. Generally, people who spend time outdoors are more centered and energetic. You might even pick up some outdoor fitness habits. And if you have kids, camping is the perfect family activity! About 85% of people who camp as adults first went camping as kids, so it's a great way to instill a love of nature in your whole family.

  1. Learn one new skill.

What is the skill you have always wanted to learn? Whether it’s knitting or carpentry, this is the year to commit. Sign up for a class or start learning with a friend to hold yourself accountable to this learning.

One of the best ways to actually commit to these changes is to keep a resolution log. By journaling your progress, you can see how you have grown over the year and decide what new goals you want to form for the next year.

And remember that goal achievement is not a black and white path.

“If you make a goal, don't force yourself into an all-or-nothing trap,” Dr. Jacqueline Simon Gunn writes in Huffington Post. “Set the aforementioned small goals and try your best to stick to them. But old habits are hard to break and new ones are hard to sustain; cut yourself a break if you have an off day.”

So, grab your notebook and start jotting down your resolution ideas. By committing to this journey, you are one step closer to being your best self yet.


  1. I have been getting in the habit of sending actual letters this year and I'd like to keep that up in 2018.

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