Forget losing weight and giving up smoking. We’ve come up with 10 better New Year’s resolution ideas to add to your list for 2019.
We all know how easy it is to let those #NewYearNewMe goals fall by the wayside after January. According to the head of the University of Sydney’s Coaching Psychology unit, Anthony Grant, up to 88% of resolutions fail due to a lack of planning and readiness for long-term change. Yikes.
That’s why we’ve come up with some new year’s resolution ideas you’ll actually want to stick to.
Because let’s face it – you’re not giving up the booze any time soon.
1. Spend More Time Outdoors
Trees and flowers aren’t just pretty to look at, people. Being outside in nature offers more than just a breath of fresh air – it’s been proven (by science!) to have a positive impact on our long-term wellbeing.
Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett, lead author of The Health Benefits of the Great Outdoors: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Greenspace Exposure and Health Outcomes, says, “We found that spending time in, or living close to, natural green spaces is associated with diverse and significant health benefits. It reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and preterm birth, and increases sleep duration. People living closer to nature also had reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and stress.”
Less stress and the chance of spotting some doggos? Don’t mind if we do. Making a regular date with Mother Nature is a must on our list of New Year’s resolution ideas.
Make-It-Stick Tip: Be specific. It’s easy to aim to get outside more, but it’s not exactly measurable. Tweak it to work for you. For example, your version of this resolution might be to eat your lunch in the park near your office every day, or take a hike in the forest every other weekend.
2. Donate to a Charity
If you really want to feel like a better you in 2019, consider donating to your favourite charity.
This is one of our favourite unique New Year’s resolutions as it’s perfect for us lazy folk. Many charities allow you to sign up and have a monthly donation automatically taken from your account. Or you can simply make a one-off donation and call it a day. You get to back a cause you care about and you get to tick it off your New Year’s resolution list without much effort at all. Win-win.
Make-It-Stick Tip: Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to choose your charity. Do some research and make a decision so you can sign up without hesitation in the New Year.
3. Cook More
If the only time you use your oven is to reheat your weekly bucket of KFC, it might be time to reintroduce yourself to your local grocery store.
You don’t have to be a culinary whiz to whip up something semi-edible from time to time, saving some cash and potentially your waistline. Give your UberEats app a rest and get cooking, good looking!
Whether your specific goal is to cook dinner twice a week or prepare a week’s worth of work lunches every Sunday, any New Year’s resolution that involves food is fine by us.
Make-It-Stick Tip: Make yourself accountable by sharing your goals with others. Letting yourself down isn’t a big deal, but letting down your friends and family is another story. The good folk at Harvard Medical School recommend making a written or verbal promise to others or posting your promise on social media to commit yourself to your goals. Because the internet needs more photos of food.
4. Watch Less TV
Ah, Netflix. Is there a better way to kill time? We think not.
But unfortunately your favourite way to spend a Sunday arvo is just that: a bit of a waste of time. While we’re not here to tell you to quit TV cold turkey (we’re not animals), reducing time spent in front of the idiot box is something we could probably all add to our New Year’s resolution list.
You might aim to stop watching at 7pm and pick up a book or another hobby before bedtime, or bring in Screen-Free Sundays, freeing up the day for friends, family, or an afternoon walk (refer to resolution #1).
Make-It-Stick Tip: Reward yourself. If you manage to go a whole weekend without binging The Office (again), give yourself a small reward for motivation.
5. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
This could mean a number of things to different people. Whether you finally take the plunge and go skydiving, take up dance lessons with a group of strangers, or take on that big client pitch at work, we can’t think of a better way to grow into your #BestSelf in 2019.
As with all New Year’s resolutions, make this one specific to you. If you can knock this one over, just think of the possibilities for 2020!
Make-It-Stick Tip: Choose just one thing to accomplish. Your chances of achieving your kind-of-scary-but-super-exciting resolution will be greater if you focus your energy on just one goal.
6. Say Yes
Is your instinctive response to any social invitation a big fat no? While your version of FOMO might be Feet On My Ottoman, you never know what you might be missing at all those events you’re turning down.
Try saying yes here and there – you might actually enjoy yourself (or at least bank some fun anecdotes or get some free food out of it).
Make-It-Stick Tip: Be realistic. If you’re unlikely to attend a social event every weekend, set yourself a more realistic goal, whether it’s an event per month or even an event per quarter.
7. Say No
On the other hand, if you’re prone to saying yes to things you don’t have the time or energy for – whether it be that extra project at work or the baby shower of someone you haven’t seen in 7 years – do yourself a favour and pluck up the courage to politely decline.
As a wise woman once said: Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Make-It-Stick Tip: Give people a heads up. If you’re particularly precious and get a mean case of the guilts when you turn someone down, let your friends and family know saying no when necessary is one of your unique New Year’s resolutions, so it’s nothing personal.
8. Expand Your Vocabulary
We were going to say to swear less, but some say swearing is a sign of intelligence, and who are we to ask you to dumb yourself down?
Learning a new word a day or week is a pretty easy New Year’s resolution to stick to. There are plenty of apps you can download to broaden your vocabulary, or you can go old-school with a word-of-the-day desk calendar.
Make-It-Stick Tip: Get your friend, partner, or colleague to join you. This will motivate you to stick to your goal and encourage you to use the word as often as you can.
9. Leave Work at Work
We know, we know. It’s easier said than done. But all our workaholics out there looking to improve their work-life balance should be adding this one to their New Year’s resolution list pronto.
With a rep for being laidback and carefree, you might be surprised to hear Aussies are ranked among the bottom third of OECD countries for work-life balance, according to a study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
If you’re guilty of letting your work get in the way of your downtime, be sure to add this one to your top 10 New Year’s resolutions.
Make-It-Stick Tip: Start small. If it’s unrealistic to aim to leave your work phone and laptop at work, try something a little more attainable, like turning them off after 7pm. A little progress is better than nothing, right?
10. Go Minimal
Apparently minimalism isn’t just a passing trend; it’s a pretty popular way of life. And it’s easy to see why.
Having less clutter can leave you with a tidier, more functional living space. Not to mention, it helps you focus on the stuff that really matters.
A few ways to live a more minimalist life in 2019 might include cleaning out your wardrobe, clearing out your garage, and buying less stuff.
Make-It-Stick Tip: Start early. If you’re really dedicated to going minimal, block out a weekend early in the year to cull the clutter in your home. If you come across furniture or other items crowding your home that you don’t want to throw away, consider hiring a self-storage unit.