6 New Year Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

New Year’s is an exciting time for many people. There’s a chance for fresh possibilities, and for many Americans, it’s a chance to start over and pursue new goals.

Unfortunately, those goals rarely come to fruition. Most folks don’t get past January 31 with their new habits, and many look back on the year in December feeling disappointed. Still, a new January comes along, and they try again.

Why not make a change this year? We’re not talking about no resolutions, but rather resolutions that make so much sense that you’ll actually follow through. Need ideas? Here are six!

1. Make Movement Fun

Probably the number one new year’s resolution that people set is to exercise more and lose weight. Unfortunately, many people have a very narrow understanding of what that looks like. They think they need a gym membership and a steady diet of salads to hit their goal. That turns out to be unrealistic, and they fall off the wagon before Valentine’s Day.

What if you approached this goal differently and simply decided to make movement fun? Movement is exercise, and there are many ways you can do it that won’t get you stuck in a traditional gym.

Some examples of fun movements include dancing, swimming, hiking, walking, and more. Whatever you enjoy that gets you moving counts — even hopscotch or jump rope! If you set a goal to make movement fun next year, you’ll get a lot further in your health and weight loss goals and be more satisfied with yourself in the process.

2. Make Your Bills Smaller

Another common goal that people have is to save money. Again, they often go to the extreme. They will declare that they are not eating out for the entire year and will only order takeout once a month in January. Because this is so far from their normal behavior, they quickly give up and return to their old spending habits.

Why not set a goal to go through your bills and make each one smaller? For example, can you make your home more energy-efficient, so you spend less on electricity? Can you look at Freeway Insurance reviews and call them to get lower  auto or home insurance? Can you negotiate your cell phone bill or television package?

You’d be surprised how much money you can save simply by reducing your monthly bills. And best of all, these savings are permanent, no willpower required!

3. Read 5 Pages a Day, 5 Days a Week

Reading is a great way to relax and gain new information. However, many people feel they just don’t have the time to read. That doesn’t stop them from making a lofty resolution of reading 50 books in a year, though. Then March comes, and they haven’t even started!

One of the best ways you can actually keep your goals is to make them much smaller. Mini habits can make a huge difference by creating a small change that adds up over time. How does this look when it comes to reading? Simple! You decide that you’ll read a certain number of pages per day. Not every day, though — only five days a week. If you did only five pages a day, five days a week, you’d read 1,300 pages by the end of the year. That’s a lot of extra knowledge or relaxation, depending on your taste in books. It really adds up over time!

4. Cook Dinner Once a Week

Are you addicted to takeout? Rarely cook anything that doesn’t use a microwave? You’re not alone. Many Americans rely on restaurants and takeout for a lot of their meals. However, it’s challenging to eat healthy that way.

Instead of swearing off restaurants for the entire year, decide on a small, simple goal. For example, cook dinner just once a week. You can get a lot of manageable recipes online — don’t try to be a gourmet! Finding easy ways to cook chicken or ground beef can get you started.

Over time, you might find you enjoy cooking or have a lot of recipes you want to try. As a result, you might start cooking more than once a week. But don’t make it difficult — keep your goal to once a week. A year from now, whether you stick to your goal or exceed it, you’ll have a lot of great cooking experience, favorite recipes, and confidence!

5. Set a Bedtime & Stick to It

There are a lot of people who want to improve their productivity in the new year. They may have schedules and plans and even a nice planner to keep track of it all. But the best-laid plans won’t work out if you’re not getting enough sleep.

That’s why our #1 productivity tip for the new year is to set a bedtime and stick to it. You can set an alarm 30 minutes before so you can start getting ready for bed. It doesn’t have to be excessively early, but you need to create a strong bedtime habit.

When you stick to your bedtime, you’ll find that a lot of your mornings are automatically more productive, and you have more attention throughout the day as well. Bedtimes aren’t just for kids. They’re for anyone who wants more out of their day.

6. Start a New Micro Habit

No matter what goals you have in the new year, the best way to achieve them is to start small. Very small. For example, one blogger started a workout program by setting a goal to do one pushup a day. Some days he did more; some days, he didn’t. But setting that very small goal helped him overcome his dread of working out.

Creating a very tiny habit is a great way to make a long-term permanent change in your life. Small changes compound over time, giving you confidence in your own ability to improve your life.

Is Your Resolution Small Enough?

Many people think that the new year is a time to “go big,” but the opposite is true. If you want a New Year’s resolution to really stick, it needs to be small and attainable.

Take a look at the examples above and pick one you’ll try for the new year. And remember — what’s small is what sticks.