It's here! Now is the time many take to set goals for themselves in the brand new year.
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? If so, you’re not alone—about 40% of Americans make a New Year’s resolution each year, according to polling from the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. Though many of us start with the best intentions—whether it be to exercise more, make new friends, or finally take that dream vacation—most of us end up failing somewhere along the way. In fact, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February!
To help keep your resolutions on track, we’ve rounded up 10 tips for achieving some of the most common resolutions made each year.
1. Save Money
Almost 38% of Americans plan to make this their top resolution. We all could save a little more money, especially after the toll holiday shopping can take on our wallets. To save on expenses, try cooking more at home. Adding a few healthy, low-cost meals to your routine (like soup or oatmeal) is a great way to keep daily costs in check. Don’t eat out much? Try to limit your spending on entertainment instead. Keep an eye out for free events in your community, like plays or concerts.
2. Eat Healthier
Eating healthier doesn’t mean you have to completely revamp your diet. Adding a fresh fruit or veggie to one meal a day can be an easy way to instantly add more nutrients to your regimen.
3. Get More Exercise
Fitting more exercise into your day can be tough, especially if fitness isn’t already a part of your daily life. Instead of setting a singular, lofty goal like exercising every day, focus on getting a small amount of exercise one or two days a week to help establish a routine. Feel like you’ve hit an exercise plateau? Try sipping a cup of Community® coffee an hour before you hit the gym—studies have shown that coffee can help improve athletic performance. Check out our blog post for more about the potential benefits of a caffeinated workout.
4. Land a New Job
Use the buddy system. Make your friends and family aware of your goal to find a new job, so they can motivate and support you, check in on your progress, and help hold you accountable. Friends and family are also a great first step in professional networking!
Taking time off of work and cost can be huge barriers to making your travel resolution a reality. If taking time off of work is a concern, focus on visiting new places that are within driving distance—traveling can be as simple as exploring a new restaurant in a nearby town. Signing up for cheap flight alerts like Skyscanner or Airfarewatchdog can make long-distance travel more affordable.
6. Get More Sleep
Since the blue light of phones, laptops and electronics can negatively affect sleep patterns, avoid screen time 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Going to sleep at the same time each night can also help establish a regular sleep schedule and regulate your body’s internal clock.
7. Learn a New Language
Learning a new language offers a multitude of personal and professional rewards, not to mention it can help keep your brain sharp as you age. As you begin to learn the basics, supplement your learnings by listening to the language conversationally, whether it’s in person or through radio and TV shows.
8. Find Love & Connections
Finding love is no easy task, but focusing on being present in the moment can create more opportunities for connection, says relationships researcher Justin Lavner, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at the University of Georgia. If you find yourself in a social environment, try to eliminate distractions (like your phone) that can prevent you from immersing yourself in a conversation or engaging with those around you.
9. Read More
Start small. Avoid overwhelming yourself and set a goal that is easily attainable, like reading 10 minutes a day or finishing one book every month. Selecting books that genuinely interest you or subjects you know you enjoy can also make it harder to put them down.
10. Feel Less Stressed
Though there’s no way to completely limit the stresses of life, a few simple tricks can help you relax. Take a 5-minute break each day to focus on your breathing. Slowly breathe in through your nose, and try to breathe out of your mouth for 10 seconds. “Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure,” psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD, says. Setting aside a few minutes each day to meditate can also help ease anxiety.