New Year Resolution Ideas: 70 Achievable Goals to Set for Yourself

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List of New Year’s Resolutions for 2024

January 1st is right around the corner!

notebook paper with goals on pink background

It’s exciting and maybe a little bit scary, but it’s true, it’s almost the start of a new year and 2024 will be here soon.

Are you thinking about taking on a new years resolution or two?

Cliché or not, deciding to be better is great! To help you get started, I have a list of good new year resolution ideas.

As you’re looking through these ideas keep in mind:

I suggest starting small and focusing on one goal at a time. The best resolutions are the ones you can actually keep and little things add up over time!

Personal Growth Goals

1. Drink plenty of water

This may be one of the most common new year’s resolution ideas…

But, that doesn’t make it a bad one!

We could all use a little more water in our daily lives. You can keep track of your water intake with an app, journal (free printable) or a marked water bottle.

2. Move more, sit less

Between desk jobs, long commutes, and stay-at-home orders, I think we’re all guilty of sitting too much. And it turns out that sitting is the new smoking (it’s terrible for your health).

So:

Make it a goal to start taking daily walks, going for bike rides, or even running. Just something to get you up and moving a little more often.

3. Make plans to take a mini adventure

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of uncertainty about the future. So setting a goal for big travel plans might still be a bit restricted for international travel.

Instead, you might take a camping trip, visit the next town over, or explore some National Parks. There are 6 opportunities for you to visit National Parks for free in the upcoming year!

Whatever you do, just shake up your usual routine.

4. Volunteer more often

There a lot of mores on this list of new year resolution ideas, huh?

Well, that’s because the goal of personal development is to enrich our lives, so we have to add MORE to it!

And volunteering time to help improve your community is one of the best ways to give back. After all, you can never go wrong with charity work.

5. Send handwritten letters

Older folks, like grandparents & aunts/uncles, LOVE getting snail mail. Distance makes it challenging to get in some quality time, but a handwritten letter is the next best thing.

Brighten a relative’s day and get in touch with your offline self by sending a few handwritten letters this upcoming year.

Also – did you know that there are services (like Handwrytten) that handwrite letters/cards for you?

Pretty neat to know if you’re ever running short on time or if you just don’t love your own handwriting.

6. Call mom/siblings/grandparents more

Be the one who makes the first move!

A phone call is always more personal than a text or email. And people close to you (such as your mom, another family member or your chosen family like a best friend) really appreciate hearing from you.

It’s only because they love you sooooo much. ❤

7. Live simply, consume less

You don’t have to go whole hog with a minimalist lifestyle, but try being a little more conscious of your spending decisions.

You’ll end up saving money and decreasing junk clutter in your life. Win-win!

8. Perfect one recipe

I’m sure you can make scrambled eggs. But can you make perfect scrambled eggs?

Make it a goal to pick a recipe you love and truly master it.

Get so familiar with it you can remember every step by heart. Then when there’s someone you want to impress, you’ll have a little something up your sleeve like a kitchen magician.

9. Remember your goals and the big picture

It’d be a shame if all the new year’s resolution planning you did went to waste.

So:

Be sure to write down your goals and keep them somewhere where you’ll remember to do them. Like in a planner!

10. Set a monthly budget

The first step to taking control of your finances is evaluating where you are.

And:

Reexamining your budget (at least monthly) is the key to long term budgeting success. Give it a shot with a free budget template.

11. Try something new to you

This idea is pretty open-ended:

You could try: puppy yoga, molecular gastronomy, DIY projects, meditation, tai chi, axe throwing or classes to develop a new skill. The list goes on and on. A new hobby usually means meeting new people, so it’s a big win-win situation!

What’s something you’ve been wanting to try? It’s a great time to finally do it!

12. Take more frequent breaks

The Pomodoro technique is a productivity hack that really works.

This is how you use it:

how the pomodoro technique works infographic
Source:inkley.us

13. Ditch one bad habit

It could be nail-biting, smoking, eating out of boredom, not flossing regularly, etc.

Examine some old habits, then pick one that’s that’s dragging you down and work on eliminating it from your life.

You can’t expect perfection overnight, but with consistency and small changes, you’re sure to achieve your goal.

14. Get in touch with your creative side

Paint, draw, read, dance, sculpt – do things that inspire you! Consider which creative outlets help you relax and recenter yourself.

Get back in touch with your creative side in the next year and see how you feel.

15. Embrace spontaneity

Challenge the idea of what kind of person you are and take a step outside of your comfort zone. Be open to impromptu decisions!

Of course:

You don’t have to say “yes”, to every spur of the moment opportunity. But do try to go with the flow when you can and see how you feel.

16. Go Skydiving

…because, why not do it at least once?

Life is short and it’s not as expensive as you may think! $200 is the average cost.

17. Make 2024 your to-do list era

Start making use of to-do lists on the daily and you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.

Supercharge your productivity with this cute weekly planner printable!

18. Complete a no-spend month

no-spend month is a real test for your self-control. It’s a great way to “reset” your relationship with money, too.

19. Make coffee at home more often to save money

It turns out that:

Crafting cold brew coffee is surprisingly simple! I personally use this cold brew coffee maker, which makes it even easier.

But don’t forget to treat yourself to a special coffee on occasion, too.

Okay so maybe this goal isn’t too hard to accomplish with the current events. But maybe there’s another indulgence you want to cut back on?

20. Clean out your closet

Seriously! How much clothing do you have hanging up in there that you can’t even remember the last time you wore?

Take some time this year to go through your belongs and declutter your life.

Whatever you end up not keeping, you can donate or sell for extra cash. Poshmark is a great place to list any name-brand clothing you might be getting rid of.

21. Recalibrate your work-life balance

Striving for more balance in your life is an excellent goal.

Think about how much time you dedicate to work, play, relaxation, and other aspects of your life. Where does the scale look unbalanced? What are you needing more of? What are you needing less of?

22. Try going Meatless on Mondays

Cut back on your meat consumption a little and help the planet out.

If you haven’t tried them yet, the plant-based meat alternatives are actually quite convincing!

23. Reduce your debt

Getting out of debt is a good New Year’s resolution, but that might not be entirely possible.

However, one thing you can certainly do is work on reducing your total debt.

24. Learn a new language

If you have aspirations to travel the world someday, learning a new language will be super useful.

There are even free apps (like Duolingo, infamous for their pushy Owl mascot) that can teach you.

25. Be more involved with local government

When you think politics, the national election is probably the first thing that comes to mind.

However, casting your vote for president is far from the only way you can be involved as a citizen. In fact, being informed and active regarding local and state government is one of the most powerful ways you can influence real, positive change.

Check out this post for 13 ways to get involved on your local government.

26. Watch a few documentaries

Documentaries are a great way to learn new information while being entertained.

Expand your horizons by watching a few documentaries and see what you learn.

27. Complete one money-saving challenge

Personal growth is all about challenging yourself. So why not take on the challenge of saving money?

Sacrifice a little and watch your savings grow! Find tons of money-saving challenges here.

28. Send thank-you cards

The Dollar Store is a great place to buy cards of any kind.  I think it’s more fun to choose ones that don’t match the occasion and then use a sharpie to make edits.

29. Read at least one new book each month

Now is the perfect time to start working on your to-read list that’s been collecting dust for far too long. Or maybe, you’ve always had an interest in joining a book club and have never gotten around to it.

There are too many good books out there to not be a reader.

30. Balance your checkbook (debit account) daily

Being cooped up at home many of us have turned to online shopping for entertainment. But don’t let your spending get out of hand and spoil your budget!

It’s easy to stay on track when there’s an app right on your phone.

I’ve been using Wismo because it’s simple and I like that. The daily reminders are pretty helpful for my forgetful self, too.

31. Use a habit tracker for developing healthy habits

The best way to develop a new habit is to track your progress as it helps you better visualize where you’re at. MyFitnessPal and Lose It! are well-known apps for monitoring eating habits, but habit tracking includes so much more than just calorie counting.

It’s a great idea to use a habit tracker for any good habit you want to develop. Tracking helps you stick with it in the long run!

Mental Health Goals

32. Adopt an attitude of gratitude

The simple act of giving thanks has scientifically proven benefits.

Gratitude is a small perspective shift, but it can significantly change your life. Kickstart this personal goal with a gratitude journal like this.

33. Spend 5 minutes a day cleaning

Cleaning just a few minutes each day will keep small messes from snowballing into a bigger problem.

Or:

Maybe some areas are already looking like a disaster zone. The 5-minute technique will make dealing with it feel more manageable.

34. Watch less TV: turn on music or podcast instead

I like having white noise in the background when I’m doing stuff. Music and podcasts (The Last Podcast on the Left is favorite of mine!) are a nice alternative to flipping on a show. To me, it’s more motivating and way less distracting.

Plus:

There’re always better things to be doing than watching TV. 😉

35. Practice intentional breathing

Intentional breathing is the quickest way to recalibrate the nervous system. It’s a simple but powerful tool for reducing stress.

Studies (12) also suggest that breath control has additional health benefits, too. Healthy goals like this help you get back to the basics so you can be more present in your life.

36. Make time for self-care

Out of all of the New Year’s resolution ideas, this one should be a priority!

So make a goal in your personal life to do something nice for yourself once a week. It could be carving out time to read your favorite book, enjoying a long bath, playing video games, or treating yourself to a pedicure.

Pick something that recharges your batteries BIG time.

37. Take a 24-hour break from social media every month

You know it’s a good idea, you just have to make yourself do it.

Need a little motivation? Check out a film called The Social Dilemma.

38. Take time to appreciate your accomplishments

A lot of modern-day life is go, go, go. Once one thing is finished, it’s on to the next.

Break the status quo and take a little time to appreciate yourself. Small steps are still steps in the right direction. Give yourself a pat on the back next time you finish a task because you did good!

39. Start a dream journal

I think that dreams are SO interesting. Upon waking the details fade almost immediately, though.

Use a dream journal to capture the weird and wacky recesses of your mind. Not only is it good for your emotional health, but it’ll also be so fun to read the entries later!

40. Make a new friend

After what feels like forever on the Covid roller coaster, we’re all craving more social interaction.

See if you can branch out, meet someone new, and form a long-lasting connection. You can try Bumble for new friends or search for local interest groups in your area through MeetUp – many have gone online for regular gatherings.

41. Practice the “Do-It-Now” rule

Is procrastination something you struggle with?

Try this:

If something will take you 10 minutes or less to accomplish – take care of it right away. The next time you encounter a small task, think “do it now”.

42. Keep a jar of things you’re grateful for during the year

I love this New Year’s resolution idea!

It’ll be nice to pull out your gratitude jar during Thanksgiving and reflect on the year.

43. Double the time you spend outside

Did you know that 42% of Americans are vitamin D deficit?

You can up your own vitamin D just by spending 20-30 minutes a day in direct sunlight. It’s as simple as walking your dog, going for a walk/hike, or lying on a blanket in the grass to soak up some rays.

Physical Health Goals

44. Pick a time to wake up & stick to it!

It’ll be difficult at first with your warm, comfy bed calling to you. But in the long run, waking up at the same time will help you improve your sleep quality.

Which in turn, is great for your health!

And if you’re at all interested in the neuroscience of sleep, this Stanford researcher’s podcast on the subject is worth a listen.

45. Develop a skincare routine

Tire of never being able to predict when your skin is going to be irritated and when it’s going to be clear? Or maybe you just want to up your game?

Make this year the year you get serious about your skincare.

This guide is a great place to start. It’s super helpful for when you have no idea where to begin.

46. Be consistent with meal times

New research has revealed that breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. So there’s no need to feel bad if you’re not really a breakfast person.

Now if you want to give your metabolism and immune system a boost:

Develop regular eating patterns.

Several studies (123) have found evidence that irregular meal frequency is linked to negative consequences. Eating irregularly (i.e. snacking at random times) can send confusing signals to your body.

Consistency helps your digestive system know what to expect. Which in turn, helps it functions better.

47. Floss every day

For real. Easier said than done, but your dentist (and teeth) will love you for it!

48. Create a bedtime routine

This circles back to having a set time for waking up every day and it all ties into sleep hygiene.

As easy as it is to get sucked into playing with your phone all night, it’s been shown to have negative effects on your health. Developing new routines like this are always a worthy goal.

49. Slow down while eating and savor each bite

Live in the moment, live in the now!

As a bonus:

Slow eaters are 42% less likely to be overweight or obese. Food for thought.

50. Swap soda or other sugary drinks for tea

Research has shown that sugar is a source of inflammation in the body.

So:

Cutting down your intake of sugar (and other mysterious ingredients) is sure to have a positive effect on your physical health.

51. Try an online fitness class

Are you more motivated by group sports than solo ones?

Give at-home spinning, Pilates, hip-hop, or belly dancing a try to get your sweat on!

52. Start your morning with a stretching routine

We’re all not getting any younger, and you’re gonna want to preserve the mobility you have now for as long as possible.

That’s why:

Adding a stretching routine to your day is in your best interest. I like to do mine in the morning, but really any time of day will work.

53. Wear sunscreen daily, even when it’s cloudy!

Since you’ll be spending more time outside it’s important to protect your skin. Daily practice is key to solidifying this habit!

Because it turns out that:

Clouds don’t filter out UV rays, and you’re actually more at risk for skin damage on cloudy days.

54. Put your phone away an hour before bed

Creating better sleeping habits is a process.

Electronics can disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm. You can opt for reading a book instead of scrolling through social media before bed.

55. Get an annual checkup

When was the last time you went to the doctor? Prevention really is the best medicine.

56. Work on lowering your daily sugar intake

Sugar is in EVERYTHING these days.

And the scary part is sugar causes inflammation in your body. Track how much sugar you consume in a typical day – you might be surprised by the total.

Slowly swap processed food for whole foods and watch your daily sugar intake drop.

Simple Goals

57. Prioritize eco-friendly choices

Making a positive impact in the world might feel futile as an average person.

Little decisions add up as a whole, though. Voting with your wallet is an important step you can take towards being more eco-friendly.

58. Clean out your inbox

Start the year right with a fresh, clutter-free email inbox.

Instead of just deleting emails you NEVER read, unsubscribe to them. Now they won’t be clogging your inbox all the time and you can more easily find the important stuff.

59. Get rid of underutilized subscriptions

While you’re in decluttering mode:

You might as well take a look at your subscriptions. Evaluate which ones you get the most use out of and which ones can go on the chopping block.

You could even start rotating them, maybe you want to binge Netflix shows this month and HBO the next.

60. Do a little random act of kindness weekly

A little kindness goes a long way. ❤

Here’s a few small random acts of kindness ideas:

  • Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru
  • Pay for an expired parking meter
  • Pick up a piece of trash on the ground

61. Keep a notepad next to your bed for ideas that come to you at night

I always feel like my best ideas come to me at night.

So this year I plan to keep a pen and a small notepad on my nightstand. I’m not letting those good ideas get away anymore.

62. Go through your music library

Audit your music library and rediscover songs you forgot about. And clear out the songs you can’t stand anymore because you listened to them way too many times.

63. Check out your local farmers/flea market once a month

Venture out into your local community and see the unique things it has to offer.

Adding locally grown fruits and veggies to your plate is sure to give you the warm fuzzies inside. And for more than one reason!

64. Record 1 second of your life every day

Record 1 second everyday for an epic movie of your life.

65. Put a kit of essentials in your car

It’s never a bad idea to have a bag of essentials in your car, in case you need to leave NOW.

Think things like:

  • Jumper cables
  • non-perishable snacks
  • a spare phone charger
  • a blanket
  • band-aids
  • sunscreen, etc.

66. Deep clean your keyboard

Keyboards can be really nasty under the keys.

Be sure to give yours a deep cleaning to get out all of the crumbs (and other things) stuck inside there.

If it’s been a while, I’m sure you’ll be amazed, and disgusted, by what you find.

67. Organize your photos

Organizing your photos is another great idea on this list of New Year’s resolutions.

It’ll only make locating your favorite memories easier.

Delete duplicate pictures, and put them into folders! Make them quick to search for and easier to share with your loved ones.

68. Delete unused apps on your phone

Spring clean and organize everything in your life!

Getting rid of unused apps will probably help your phone run a little smoother, too.

69. Start a recipe box or journal

Save all your favorites so you never have to wonder what you should make for dinner.

It’ll also be nice to pass along to your kids in the future, too!

70. Put together an emergency kit

Try this easy-to-make 5-gallon bucket kit.

Who knows, you might just discover a new interest in survivalism.


FAQ

Resolutions for the new year are more effective than commonly believed.

But 80% of resolutions fail by February, right? John Norcross’ research was the original source of this information. And he calls the statistic, “nonsense.”

The psychology professor has found that by June, 40% of people haven’t given up on their new goals.

Resolutions often fail is because they aren’t specific enough.

For instance, “eating healthier” is a vague goal. It doesn’t address how you’re going to eat healthier.

“Eat a salad 5 days a week and drink no more than 2 sodas per month” are specific goals. New years resolutions stand a much better chance when you make them SMART goals.

Goal setting video: how to set SMART goals


glasses toasting for new year's

Final thoughts on ideas for new year’s resolutions

So that concludes this post on good new years resolution ideas to try in 2024.

A new year represents 364 new opportunities to make a change for the better. Take it one day at a time and don’t be too hard on yourself. Every step, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction.

What are your own new year’s resolutions? What other ideas should add to this list? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!


New Year’s Resolution List Infographic

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infographic list of new year's resolution ideas

Good New Year’s Resolutions

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6 Comments

  1. The approaching new year brings excitement and a hint of apprehension. Embrace the opportunity to set resolutions; cliché or not, deciding to improve is commendable. Consider starting small, focusing on one achievable goal at a time. Remember, progress isn’t linear, and little efforts accumulate overtime

  2. Every year I set so many unachievable goals for myself. Setting simpler tasks that can be implemented into everyday life will be much easier this new year!

  3. This is a great list. It’s the little things like clearing the inbox and cleaning out the closet that make a huge difference. Not to mention consistency on the bigger goals!

  4. It’s April 1, but it’s never too late to follow this list. My favorite is to try something new. I will do it ones a month to build more motivations.

  5. Really very good, and some good habits, good ideas I got after reading this. Very helpful and thank you for all the great ideas.