Even if you’re not a fan of the new year’s resolution practice, this list of 18 ways to step up your game will be sure to get you thinking of lifestyle habits you may want to consider pursuing.
19 of the Best New Year’s Resolutions: Becoming Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise!
While hardly an exhaustive list, here are what I believe to be eighteen of the best new year’s resolutions for this upcoming year!
New Year’s Resolutions to be Healthy
Let’s get right to it! The best new year’s resolutions to be healthy…
1. Watch less TV
We all love a good show on Netflix or Hulu, and it can be a great way to unwind when you just need a mental break after a long day. And sure, it may be a solid documentary like Playing with Fire, but I’d recommend saving that level of nerdy excitement for an in-home date night.
I’m not here to hate on watching TV from time-to-time, but there is something to be said about spending too much time pursuing this mindless hobby.
In fact, you may be surprised by how much TV Americans actually watch. According to Neilson stats as reported by the Atlantic, Americans spend more than 7 hours a day per household watching TV! This statistic doesn’t even include what we watch on streaming apps.
I have NO DOUBT that we could be spending our time a bit more productively than that. For those that claim to have no time to work out, pursue their hobbies, learn a new language, etc., I just found a few extra hours for you. You’re welcome.
2. Take a social media fast
So maybe watching TV isn’t your vice, but it’s possible you’ve fallen victim to the mindless scroll.
Good ‘ole social media. The lifeblood of blogs like this. Social media has made an incredible contribution to society. The ability to have a voice and be able to connect with others you may never have had an opportunity to connect with are reasons enough to celebrate its existence.
These online communities we find can help challenge or support our worldview, provide insight and inspiration and even help us feel connected to the world around us.
Yet, ironically, social media can also suck us into an alternate reality. It can be one that shifts our perspective into that of always needing more:
- information, and
- more stuff…
We can get sucked into the black hole of content and enter a time warp of sorts. Our brains, eyes and hearts need a break from this constant stream of endless content.
Apps like Instagram will let you set daily time limits and alert you when you’ve reached your daily max. Or, install the Facebook newsfeed eradicator. It’s a free web browser extension that provides a daily quote, blocking your newsfeed while still allowing you to utilize the rest of the platform as usual. It’s crazy how much you won’t miss seeing the endless stream of info.
Finally, consider deleting the apps from your phone for a week or so and see how much you really miss them. Give yourself a break from social media and decide how you can incorporate it back into your life in healthier proportions.
3. Try intermittent fasting
It’s likely you’ve heard about intermittent fasting, which operates basically like it sounds – a pattern of nourishment that alternates between periods of eating and fasting in an effort to improve one’s overall physical health.
The premise is that it doesn’t so much matter what you eat so much as when you eat.
There are a few different patterns you can follow, including:
- Fasting for 16 hours and only eat within an 8-hour window.
- Consuming only 500 calories two days a week and eat regularly for five.
- Fasting for 24 hours twice a week – this done by skipping dinner twice a week on non-consecutive days.
Some of the benefits include:
- an increase in cellular repair,
- brain hormone BDNF (which may aid the growth of new nerve cells), and
- anti-aging benefits, as well as…
- a decrease in body weight, inflammation, and insulin resistance.
You can learn more about the challenges and benefits here, and you never know, it could end up becoming one of your best new year’s resolutions to date
4. Consider the Clean 15 & The Dirty Dozen
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to worry about certified organic food versus non-organic. However, it’s tough to avoid the heavy use of pesticides and GMOs so commonly found in today’s industrialized farming methods. It can also be tough to afford only organic foods.
For the sake of your health and your wallet, there is a middle-ground. Since research has shown us that some fruits and veggies fair better than others when it comes to conventional farming methods, the “Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen” lists were born.
Without further ado…
The Clean 15 List for 2019 (These foods should be washed, but do not need to be stamped USDA organic)
- Sweet corn
- Frozen sweet peas
- Honeydew melons
The Dirty Dozen List for 2019 (you should buy this produce certified organic if possible as these are the most heavily contaminated with pesticides)
Now you can expand your produce palate without shrinking your wallet or harming your health. Happy produce shopping in the new year!
5. Wash your hands more frequently
Did you know that according to the CDC researchers in London estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, one million deaths could be prevented each year?
While this may seem like an unusual new year’s type of resolution, simple changes in your personal hygiene could seriously increase your health and longevity.
Regular hand washing will help prevent you from becoming infected with the common cold, stomach bugs, and a host of other bacterial and viral infections that can wipe you out for a few days.
While some situations seem to obviously require a wash-up post haste:
- after touching a cut,
- sneezing into one’s hand,
- after cleaning up after pets,
- or using the bathroom.
The CDC includes a few more situations that call for a cleaning:
- before, during and after food prep,
- before eating,
- after caring for someone who is sick.
I don’t know about you, but if a few extra minutes a day of hand washing prevents days or weeks of being sick, sign me up! This may be the easiest and best new year’s resolution yet!
Of course, we all know by now that regular exercise has many health benefits and it’s something we SHOULD be doing. We get it.
In fact, it’s recommended that we get about 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic exercise (walking at pace where you can still hold a conversation) or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (running or swimming).
But let’s skip the gym membership this year and just focus on simply moving our bodies for 20 minutes a day, everyday.
I promise, if you can scroll Instagram for 20 minutes, you can get up and…
- Do a series of jumping jacks/squats/running in place/etc.
- Put on your favorite tunes and dance it out
- Join your kids on the trampoline or get a game of tag going
- Take a brisk walk on your lunch hour (and phone a friend if you need the added motivation).
We over-complicate exercise. Starting slow and steady will eventually lead to an increase in activity and physical stamina. Before long, you’ll find yourself pushing yourself to go just a little longer.
Not so bad for an exercise resolution, right?
7. Drink more water
Ah, yes. This resolution may feel a bit tired. But maybe it’s because it’s not getting enough hydration. 😉
I’ll just give it to you straight. 60% of our bodies are made up of water. We lose this hydration on a daily basis through breathing, digestion, and basically just functioning.
Drinking several cups of water everyday prevents:
- toxic waste build-up in our bodies,
- an imbalance of electrolytes that affect our ability to think and reason coherently,
- joint pain, and
- a plethora of other issues.
The best way to tell if you’re drinking enough? Drink whenever you’re thirsty, or drink a glass of water every few hours throughout the day. (Just be sure not to overdo it, because it could literally kill you.)
New Year’s Resolutions to be Wealthy
Sure, some of these “best new year’s resolutions to be wealthy” may not be completely new concepts for you. In fact, maybe you are already crushing most of them. But a new decade calls for some serious re-commitment and re-imagining of life as you know it.
Consider this your refresher course and decide how you’re going to make these resolutions some of your best!
8. Commit to a side hustle
As you may know by now, a side hustle is best described as an income-generating activity you do outside of your regular full-time role.
When getting started with a side hustle, it’s good to set aside maybe 10 to 20 hours a week so you can effortlessly work it into your existing schedule without burning out.
- Some individuals find that waking up super early – between 3 AM and 5 AM – helps them find the extra hours they need to work with their hustle.
- Others enjoy their full time job and view their hustle as a creative outlet that just happens to earn them additional income.
- Some use their hustle as a way to bulk up their savings
- While some work on to growing their hustles into their own business.
No matter how you do it, there’s really no downside to increasing your earnings and it’s a great way to beef up that emergency fund.
Want to know the toughest part? Starting.
You can read about till the cows come home, but if you don’t set a date start, you’ll always just be in research mode.
Read More: 40+ Side Hustle Ideas Anyone Can Do
9. Increase your savings rate by 10% or more
Regardless of where you are in your financial journey – maxing out all your savings accounts or just getting started – you should start to scrape another 10% off the top of all your income to pay yourself first.
How do you find it?
Here are some places to start looking:
- Cancel any subscriptions you can truly live without.
- Consider becoming a one-car household.
- Utilize fee-free, cash-back credit cards.
- Use apps like Acorns that automatically round up your money and force you to save.
- Keep your thermostat low in the winter/high in the summer.
- Get that side hustle going
- Ask for a raise!
These ideas just skim the surface, but they are small ways that you can start to find that extra 10% in your budget. Once you get started, you are likely to find you can slash costs and increase your income more than you even imagined!
Read More: 8 Fun Ways to Save Money
10. Maximize your tax deferred retirement savings
If you are reading this blog, it’s likely you are already taking advantage of all your tax-deferred retirement savings. But if not, 2020 is the perfect tine to get started!
Here are the contribution limits for 2020.
- Employees can now contribute up to $19,500 a year.
- Age 50+ is eligible for an additional catch-up contribution of $6500 a year.
- Employer combined contribution limit is $57,000 (or $67,500 for catch up contribution).
- The total of all your individual contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA cannot exceed $6,000; or $7,000 if you’re 50 or over.
- Individuals seeking to contribute to a Health Savings Account in 2020 must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan with a deductible of at least $1,400 for individual or $2,800 for family. They must also have an out-of-pocket expense limit of $6,900 (individual) or $13,800 (family).
- If you meet the above criteria, you may contribute up to $3,550 for self-only coverage or up to $7,100 for family coverage, excluding any employer contributions.
So if you aren’t already, get cracking on this contribution resolution!
One of the best new year’s resolutions is to simply try a no-spend month.
A no-spend month does not literally mean you spend no money. It simply means that you do not spend money in ADDITION to your regularly scheduled bills.
The concept is more about forcing ourselves to pay attention to the financial categories we are likely to pay less attention to or allow to go over budget.
For example, many people will cut out:
- clothing purchases, etc.
Some people prepare by stocking up on grocery items and other necessities right before the month starts. While that feels like it’s missing the point, it actually helps in the long run as it requires more intentional meal planning.
If something outside the usual spending category needs to be replaced, there is more motivation to do without or find creative solutions for it. Many utilize trade groups like freecyle.
It’s more about changing your mindset towards spending and challenging yourself to really rethink what you consider a necessity.
Looking for inspiration on how to get started? Consider joining the Frugalwoods for their Uber Frugal Month challenge in January!
12. Make a case for that raise
Asking for a raise can be one of the most terrifying experiences. (Especially the first time you attempt it… ;)) But in reality, it’s only as difficult as we make it out to be.
In a nutshell, you are bringing a set of skills and experience to your role and are being compensated for that value. The more value you bring, the more you are worth.
Put together a list of all the tasks you do – broken down by:
- weekly, and
- monthly responsibilities.
At the end, summarize how your role adds value to the organization and make suggestions on how to streamline certain tasks so that you are able to take on greater responsibilities.
Oftentimes, managers are so swamped in their own roles, they don’t get to see all that you do on a regular basis and have no way of really appreciating your contribution.
At the end of the conversation, the worst they can say is no.
So where’s the silver lining?
Well, now you now have a clear picture of what your skill set and capabilities include and can use this to launch your career with another organization if you find the time as come to move on.
It may not feel like the best new year’s resolution in the moment, but it will open up a whole new world of possibilities no matter the outcome.
13. Plan for long-term success
We already know plenty of tactics exist for saving and building wealth, and there seems to be no end to creative, logistical solutions. However, there are some other pretty significant factors that impact wealth building.
In no particular order:
- Your spouse or significant other must be in alignment with/and support of your financial goals.
- You should be surrounding yourself with people who are smarter, wealthier, and more experienced than you so you can learn from their example.
- You must commit to short-term pain for longer term gain. Living below your means and taking advantage of opportunities to earn extra income wherever you can will change your future in bigger ways than you even imagine right now.
- ERADICATE DEBT and eliminate the debt mindset. Stop borrowing money and I promise you will “magically” figure out a way to pay for things you really want.
- Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Always.
- Invest somewhere. Anywhere. Just get started. Read everything you can about investing and start today.
No doubt you have additional insights. Even choosing to focus on just one of these will guarantee to be one of your best new year’s resolutions yet.
Best New Year’s Resolutions to be Wise
Below is a collection of some of my favorite quotes that have motivated me over the years. I hope that some of these will resonate with you in a way that both challenges and inspires you.
14. Develop Positive Habits
“Over the long run, however, the real reason you fail to stick with habits is that your self-image gets in the way. This is why you can’t get too attached to one version of your identity. Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.”
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” – James Clear
15. Develop Self-Governance
“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.” – Aristotle
16. Invest in Yourself
“Investing in yourself is the most important investment you’ll ever make in your life. . . . There’s no financial investment that’ll ever match it, because if you develop more skill, more ability, more insight, more capacity, that’s what’s going to really provide economic freedom. . . . It’s those skill sets that really make that happen.”
“It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor.” – Tim Ferris
17. Invest in Others
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” – Mother Teresa
18. Do Everything on Purpose
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
“Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.” – Dale Carnegie
19. Remember that every day is a fresh start
“The beginning is always today.” – Mary Shelley
I hope you’ve found this list of best new year’s resolutions to be helpful! We would love to hear what you would add as 2019 comes to a close! Leave us a comment below!
AUTHOR Kerah Kemmerer
Hello! I'm Kerah. I'm a writer and personal finance enthusiast with a background in marketing. I'm also a wedding and portrait photographer, part-time RVer and a lover of simple and minimal living. Always up to some project or adventure over @krisandkerah on Instagram.