Alternatives to New Year’s resolutions

Think about your goals for the new year in a different way

New Year’s resolutions are so last year. But really: How many of us go into a new year with those same pesky resolutions we made last year … and the year before … and the year before that?

Maybe it’s time to switch things up and think about your goals for the new year in a different way. Here are some ideas to help you seize this fresh start and make the most of the year ahead.

Set a theme for each month, and do things that support that theme. So, if you decide March’s theme is “giving,” sign up to volunteer and give your time at a local charity. Or give away those clothes you don’t wear anymore to someone in need. You could even give your mom, daughter, sister or friend a surprise bouquet of flowers to simply brighten her day. Find creative ways to live out each month’s theme that fulfill you and push you to do things you may not otherwise do.

Create a bucket list of the things you want to do and experience in the next year. Learn how to paint, conquer one of your fears, go to a concert, run a marathon or read three new books. Map out your bucket list at the beginning of the year so you can plan ahead, and put a copy on your fridge to help hold yourself accountable (and keep you excited about the things you’ll cross off your list).

Come up with a 30-day challenge for each month of the year. Make sure each challenge is attainable within 30 days, and do one activity every day to reach your goal. If one of your challenges is to deep clean your kitchen, set aside 20 minutes every day to tackle one drawer, one cabinet or one pantry shelf at a time until you’ve made your way through the entire space. Planning out these small spurts of focused activity turns a normally daunting task into a manageable one and gives you a sense of accomplishment as you chip away at your goal one day at a time.

Reboot an area of your life that you want to get back on track. Perhaps you’ve been feeling tired and sluggish for several months because you can’t seem to get those precious eight hours of shut eye, and you just want to hit the reset button (instead of snooze). Start by banning blue light, which comes from your phone, TV, tablet and other electronic devices. Blue light keeps you from winding down and falling asleep, so it’s recommended you turn off your devices at least an hour before you go to sleep. You can also start waking up around the same time every day (even on weekends), which will condition your body into a rhythm and help improve your sleep quality. Check out these other tips for a healthier night’s sleep.

Reimagining your New Year’s resolutions in these ways can help keep things fresh, exciting and motivating throughout the year. Get more inspiration for your New Year’s resolution alternatives here.

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