It’s estimated that roughly 80% of the population fails to keep their New Year’s resolutions. Part of the reason sticking with your New Year’s resolution can be such a challenge is that we often make unrealistic and sometimes even damaging goals.
If you want to land in the 20% of people who succeed in their resolutions, the key is to start with healthy, realistic aims.
From there, you need to start a goal-setting planner to make a realistic plan to stick with your New Year goals. In this guide, we’ll be going over some New Year resolution ideas that can produce a noticeable change in your life.
Add Meditation to Daily Life
Meditation is the practice of taking some time every day to focus on your breathing. To begin, simply set aside ten minutes every day to sit in a comfortable position while breathing in and out deeply.
When you first start mediation, you’re going to notice your mind wandering a lot. This is completely normal. Don’t beat yourself up for experiencing perfectly normal thoughts.
Instead, acknowledge the thoughts, then focus back on your breathing. If you’re worried you aren’t meditating right, there are numerous videos and resources you can use to begin.
Since meditating brings a host of health benefits, it’s one of the most important things you can do. According to this collection of studies, meditation can help with things like:
- Relief from anxiety, depression, and stress
- Lowering high blood pressure
- Reducing pain
- Improving sleep quality
- Preventing relapse with substance use disorder
- Improving weight loss
- Helping with ADHD, PTSD, and cancer treatments
If you stick with mediation for long enough, you’ll begin to recognize patterns in your thinking. Maybe you notice that you constantly worry about money or your relationships when you begin breathing.
When you become aware of these frequent thoughts, you can begin to alter your relationship with them.
Mediation is a great gateway into this type of mindfulness. However, you won’t get any of the benefits if you don’t stick with it. As such, setting resolutions to meditate more is always a good idea.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
In the past, there was a lot of stigma about asking for help for mental health concerns. To avoid feeling judged, many people simply buried their feelings.
Sadly, this can cause them to emerge and lash out during unexpected times. The good news is that the stigma surrounding mental health is beginning to break down.
These days, both the healthcare system and society at large are better equipped to handle things like anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other forms of mental illness. If you’ve been feeling sad or uneasy for a long time, consider prioritizing your health as a New Year’s resolution.
This typically begins by going to a qualified therapist. Now, many people experience significant improvement in their mental health simply by talking to someone about it. However, with certain conditions, it might be appropriate to go on medications.
Just make sure to keep an open mind if you require these medications. There’s nothing wrong with you for taking them. And, for many people, they can have a significant impact on the overall quality of mental health.
Invest in a Hobby
Hobbies can provide a respite from the stresses of life. In many cases, they can also connect you to a community of hobbyists that you wouldn’t have access to before. The specific hobby you choose isn’t important. Some good ones include things like:
- Playing an instrument
- Joining a sports team
- Reading more or joining a book club
- Joining a board game group
The important thing is that you invest. For example, if you want to play guitar, invest in both a good guitar and a teacher to help get you started.
Or, if you want to cook more, then try cooking a new recipe or ingredient at least once per week. Setting goals for yourself in this way is a great way to stick with it.
Cut Back on Drugs and Alcohol
Drugs and alcohol don’t just affect our health; they can have a lasting impact on our relationships with friends, families, and ourselves. If you feel that you’ve been relying a little too much on substances, consider cutting back.
One way you can do this is through a dry January. This involves taking a month off from drinking. However, a more impactful change can come from reducing the amount of drinks you have each week.
By limiting consumption to only special occasions, you can drastically improve both your health and your relationships with drugs and alcohol. Keep in mind that this advice goes for people with mild drinking or drug use habits.
If you struggle with substance use disorder (or SUD), you shouldn’t be cutting back, but rather eliminating usage together. This can be incredibly challenging and unsuccessful on your own. As such, we recommend checking this resource to learn about some of the ways you can recover from SUD.
Limit Your Social Media Activity
Social media can be a great way to connect with family and friends. However, it also often ends up taking away a huge amount of our time. Besides eating time, social media can also cause things like insecurity, depression, and anxiety.
As such, it’s a good idea to try to limit your time on these platforms. If you have the willpower, you can cut back on your own. However, there’s no denying that social media can be incredibly addictive.
As such, if you’re having trouble, we recommend downloading an app that limits the usage for you. That way, you aren’t tempted to get on when you shouldn’t.
If you have kids that use social media, consider getting them involved in a break. You can also use the opportunity to discuss topics like cyberbullying. While these conversations might be tough, they have the potential to save
Take a Vacation
If you’ve been caught up with work or family, ask yourself when the last time you took a break was. If you have time off saved up, then 2024 is the time to spend it.
Just make sure you ask yourself what you want from your vacation. For example, if you need rest, consider going to a beach resort. While traveling to Europe or similar places can be fun, it also involves a lot of sightseeing and planning, which can be stressful.
If you’ve always wanted to see a specific city, then go for it. Just keep in mind the purpose of the trip when planning your vacation.
Get More Sleep
Too few of us prioritize a good night’s sleep in our lives. Often we’re so caught up in work, relationships, and hobbies, that we ignore it. Sadly, the restlessness that follows this can cause positive feedback loops where we develop insomnia, which in turn causes us to get less sleep.
Sleeping is vital for both our mind and body. Feeling rested after your sleep comes with a host of benefits. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, it can provide benefits like:
- Improved immunity
- Staying at a healthy weight level
- Reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions
- Reduces your stress levels
- Improves your mood
- Helps with cognitive function
- Makes it easier to socialize
So, how many hours of sleep should you be getting? The answer depends on how old you are. Younger kids and teens need more sleep than adults.
However, for the average adult, seven hours of restful sleep is a good amount. If you can squeeze in a full eight hours, more power to you!
Set Boundaries With People
All too often, people pleasers will prioritize making other people happy instead of themselves. While there’s nothing wrong with making people happy, it shouldn’t come at the expense of your mental well-being.
The solution to this is setting boundaries with people in your life that are causing you strife. There can be many different examples of implementing this. Maybe you quit drinking recently and it makes you uncomfortable to see your friends drinking around you.
Let them know this and organize activities and events that don’t involve substance use. Or maybe your boss constantly reaches out to you after hours for work-related things.
Set a firm boundary in terms of when you’re in the office and when you’re off the clock. If you’re constantly fighting with another member of your family about politics, consider sitting them down and asking them to avoid the subject while you’re around each other.
Setting boundaries can be hard for people. However, they have the potential to significantly improve your life. And if people refuse the boundaries you’ve set, consider walking away from that relationship or job.
Ready to Change Your Life? Choose Cenikor
We hope this guide helped you learn how to set new goals to achieve a healthier you in the New Year. Here at Cenikor, we know that the most important resolutions can often be the most challenging to achieve.
Tackling substance use problems certainly falls into this category. That’s why we maximize your chances of achieving it through a comprehensive line of services that are personalized to your needs.
So if you’re ready to make the ultimate New Year resolution of getting sober, find the right program for you.