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20+ New Year Resolution Ideas BESIDES Losing Weight

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Inside: You'll find over 20 awesome New Year Resolution ideas. And while weight loss resolutions can be awesome, today let's talk about ideas for New Year's Resolutions that do NOT involve weight loss. FYI- Affiliate links are included in this post.

How to pick a New Year's Resolution Goal

Every year when New Year's Day rolls around, we start seeing ad after ad for gyms and weight loss products. We all know it is the time of year most people associate with starting a diet.

New Year Resolutions have become synonymous with weight loss but there are so many other admirable goals to consider. (Plus this year I made an October Weight Loss Resolution, so I'm ahead of the pack!)

You have personal goals, professional and even relationship goals to consider.

What will you focus on in the coming year?

Below you will find ideas broken up into the following categories:

  • The Business of Life
  • Personal Health
  • Relationships
  • Better Yourself
  • Selfless Resolutions

Sound good? Let's jump in!


Awesome New Year Resolution Ideas

Before we get to all the New Year Resolution ideas, just a quick reminder that you should always set S.M.A.R.T. goals, no matter what aspect of life you are focusing on. I will provide some examples for each New Year Resolution but you can obviously tailor each of these to your own life.

The Business of Life New Year Resolutions

1. Living on a Budget – Are you always strapped for cash or have you always wanted to organize your finances? This is a great goal for the coming year.

SMART Goal Example: I will decrease my monthly spending by 5% each month by summer. Actionable steps would be to start with 25 Budget Transformation Stories for some inspiration, then check out 19 Tips for the Newly Frugal. Map out where you can shave off money each month.

Related Book Recommendation: Living Well Spending Less


2. Start Saving – Similar to living on a budget, sacking away cash can seem like an impossible feat when bill after bill creeps up on you. Whether you just want a cushion or you're saving for something big, set your sights on saving this year.

SMART Goal Example: I will save $1200 in 2017. Actionable steps would include finding the most favorable savings account option, setting up an auto transfer and read things like The Beginners Guide To Savings.

Related Book Recommendation: The Total Money Makeover Workbook

RELATED CONTENT: How to Be a Stay At Home Mom On One Income

3. Living Clutter Free – For some people there is a method to their mess. But yet the idea of getting RID of all the STUFF sounds kinda… glorious. I went through a huge declutter this year when we moved. Tip#1: Find that friend or relative who LOVES organizing. You probably have one. Ask them to help. Chances are they will literally jump with joy at the idea of sharing their organizing gifts with you. If you don't have that friend, maybe try an online Decluttering Challenge!

SMART Goal Example: I will declutter one room per month so I can host the holidays without clutter this year. Actionable steps, aside from finding that friend, are to read up on decluttering strategies and find places that accept donations. Bonus points if you find one that will pick up your donations. If so- set a pick up date the last day of every month to add extra motivation. A great place to start is this epic list of 200 Things to Throw Away Today. She also writes about living with less and it's a great resource for this lifestyle.

Related Book Recommendation: Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home Mind and Soul

4. Get Organized – Maybe you don't have that much stuff (or maybe you DO and you are starting with the Resolution above!) but your stuff is all over the place and there is NO method to that mess. Set a New Year Resolution to get organized. But that is not specific enough- is it?!

SMART GOAL: I will organize each room and organize each closet in my home, one room per month until I am done. Action Steps would be to follow 52 Ways to Organize Your Home (One for each week!).

Related Book Recommendation: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Helpful Resource: Finally- A Catch All Planner (Budget, Meals, Family, Cleaning and More)

5. Set a House Cleaning Schedule – All that organizing and decluttering doesn't do you much good if your place is dirty. If you have always struggled to keep your home clean, this can be the year that you make a SMART goal, schedule out some actionable steps and stop fearing an impromtu visit from your neighbor!

SMART Goal Example: I will set a cleaning schedule that works for me and clean twice a month. Action steps: Learn to clean! If you've never learned the right way to clean house, you'll be wasting time- every time! Learn the right way by asking a relative, taking a class or reading a book. Next, write your regular cleanings on your calendar. If you need some cleaning guidance, you should be reading Clean Mama. If you just need a simple checklist, check out this House Cleaning Checklist from Molly Maids.

Related Book Recommendations: Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook  OR Simply Clean by Becky from Clean Mama.

6. Maintain a Laundry System – I know, it SEEMS like this would fall under the ones above. But let me tell you, you can hire a professional organizer and cleaning ladies but chances are even if you magically had EVERYTHING else taken care of…guess what you are STILL stuck with laundry duty. If you are like I USED to be, living with a mountain of clean laundry in one spot and a regularly replenished mound of dirty laundry in another spot, then ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

SMART Goal Example: I will do one load of laundry, start to finish, every weekday. Actionable steps include putting ALL clean laundry away before you start. Like right now. Research to find a laundry system would work for you. If calendar reminders help you, add it to the calendar.

Related Book Recommendation: Laundry: The Home Comforts Book of Caring for Clothes and Linens

20+ Rewarding New Year's Resolutions - Ideas for personal growth

Personal Health New Year's Resolutions

7. Detox Your Personal and Household Products – In this day and age of an ever-growing list of household chemicals and personal products that we need to live our lives, it is important to take a good look at the chemicals we are putting onto our bodies and in the homes we live in.

SMART Goal Examples: I will ditch one beauty product with harmful ingredients to a safe one, per month. Actionable steps include looking up your current skin care products on EWG's Skin Deep Database to see which of your products are the biggest offenders. Research safer alternatives for the whole family like Beautycounter.

Related Book Recommendation: Toxin Toxout

Related Freebie: Detox Your Personal Products Cheat Sheet

8. Go Organic – As with the resolution above, the new year is the perfect time of year to say, “Out with the old, in with the new!” If you are starting with the food you eat, that means making sure we know what chemicals we are putting into our bodies.

SMART Goal: I will buy the Dirty Dozen from the organic section this year. Actionable steps include finding a store with a good organic foods selection and learning about which foods you want to buy organic.

Related Book Recommendation: In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

9. Be More Active – Whether you have a weight loss resolution in mind or not, moving from a sedentary lifestyle  to a more active lifestyle is proven to be a smart move! You don't have to stand on the scale to tell whether you have been active. But you can take steps to make sure you move your body.

SMART Goal: I will get up and walk once every hour that I am at my desk. Or, I will run a 5k before summer. Actionable steps would be to find a race near you and research training programs. Gadgets like a Fitbit are not required but they are handy- they can even buzz to remind you to get up and move. Check out 50 Totally Doable Ways to Break Out of a Sedentary Lifestyle and these Tips To Increase Physical Activity.

Related Book Recommendation: Running and Being

Related Resource: 15+ Fitbit Hacks

Relationships New Year's Resolutions

10. Be Present With Your Kids – Whether you find yourself looking at your phone or tablet a lot, or working so many hours that you barely have time to spend with your kids, or even if you feel like a task-master homeschooling parent, this is a great goal to set for the new year.

SMART Goal Example: I will play one game with the kids each weekend and we will plan one special trip each quarter. Actionable steps would include looking at school calendars to see what days are good, talking about activities you enjoy doing together. Check out ideas like these Gifts for Family Together Time and 20 Ways to Spend Quality Time with Kids. Consider ideas like Tech Time Out Hours. Add them to your calendar so they don't get bumped. Think of your kids' favorite subjects! Maybe try a Science Box Subscription or Find your child's love language using the book below.

Related Book Recommendation: The 5 Love Languages for Children

11. Spend Quality Time with Your Partner – Relationships take work no matter how young or old the relationship is. Sometimes the daily grind gets in the way and you forget to tend to the one you love. Set a course to change that this year- for the better!

SMART Goal Example: We will book a standing babysitter on the third Saturday of every month for date night. Actionable steps include discussing a budget for your dating commitments, looking at your schedules and finding out what Love Language fulfills you and your partner. Need inspiration? Check out the Year of Dates Binder Set or 45 At Home Dates, if going out is not in the cards. No babysitter nearby? Find one in your area!

Related Book Recommendation: The Five Love Languages

12. Keep in Touch – If you live far away from friends and family, time can make it seem like you are drifting apart. Of course there is social media, but if you are missing that warm cozy feeling of really, truly connecting, make this your resolution.

SMART Goal: Call or write one relative per week, visit once per quarter. Actionable steps include updating your address book, making a list and writing your calls in your calendar. If you are more of a paper and pen person, you MUST check out these adorable Fold and Mail Stationary pads, who could resist writing letter on these?

Related Book Recommendations: The Friendship Factor or Friendtimacy

13. Make New Friends – If you are striving for a more local connection or have recently moved to a new city, this would be a great new year resolution. Purposely taking steps to meet friends may seem daunting but if you explore your favorite places and hobbies, then you at least have a common connection with anyone you encounter.

SMART Goal: Attend one event each month where I can meet someone new. Just being mindful about your goal of trying to meet new people will open you up to new conversations. Actionable steps would be writing a list of your favorite places and hobbies. Typing them in to the search bar on facebook or meetup.com can lead to finding groups in your area.

Related Book Reco: Friendships Don't Just Happen! OR How to Make Friends as an Introvert

14. Record Memories – Social media makes it amazingly easy to snap a shot, share it and move on. The pace of life seems to be ever-quickening. So much so, that as a friend once pointed out, we may find ourselves in an “archival crisis” in the years to come. Think about how we learn about the past: through photos and printed word. But with more of our photos being eaten up by Facebook and Instagram, we don't have much to look back on.

SMART Goal Example: I will order 100 prints per quarter. I will make one scrapbook page per month. I will order a Blurb Book every quarter. Actionable steps would be to decide which family memory preservation system is best for you, prints, photo books, cloud storage. Get some inspiration with these 20 Memory Keeping Ideas.

Better Yourself New Year Resolution Ideas

15. Cook More – Another research-backed way to boost your health is to cook more at home. If you have a hard time meal planning, or never have time to get to the store, or just plain don't know how to cook, there are tons of resources out there to help you overcome your obstacles. Services like Blue Apron ship personalized, pre-measured ingredients for delicious, nutritious meals- right to your door, complete with color photo recipes. Peapod is a common grocery delivery service that can do the shopping for you if that is your obstacle.

SMART Goal example: I will cook at home once per week during my busy season and twice per week during my slow season. Actionable steps would be to explore meal delivery kits like Blue Apron, Plated or maybe take an online cooking class. If your hurdle is actually the meal planning part, you def need to check out this Meal Planning App (there is a free trial but def use my code LALYMOM10 if you love it as much as I do!).

Related Book Recommendation: How to Cook Everything: The Basics OR The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook

Related Info: 7 Reasons to Try Blue Apron, And One Reason Not To

16. Be Happier – This may seem like a kooky resolution but hear me out- especially if the past year was a bit blue for you. If you spend a lot of your time down in the dumps- of course there are times when therapy is the answer. But outside of therapy you can take steps to try to be happier. The Happiness Research Institute studies the reasons why some people are happier than others, so they are a great resource to follow if happiness is what you seek!

SMART Goal Example: Increase my Happify Number by 20% by Summer. OR I will Stop Yelling at My Kids by February. Actionable steps will vary depending on your happiness goal. They could include making a list of the happiest moments in your life- keep them handy to look at from time to time, and see what you can glean about the things that make you truly happy. You can also try a Mom's Anger Management Course or   Find music that makes you smile and set reminders to listen to it. I love the Feel-Good Alternative Playlist on Amazon Music.

Related Book Recommendations: The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu OR 10% Happier

RELATED: 31 Quick Self Care Tips

Related Freebies: Try a 14 day Free Trial of the DayBreaker D.O.S.E. App, which uses playful movement and meditation to activate the happiness chemicals in your brain. They have a cool quiz to determine your Happiness Blueprint

17. Find More “Me Time” – Whether you have a demanding job or you are a tireless stay at home mom, it's important to take care of yourself by finding that elusive “me time.” If you struggle in this area, it's time to be more purposeful!

SMART Goal Example: Schedule a day off work once a month. OR Hire a Mother's Helper twice a week. Actionable steps would be to discuss some reasonable boundaries with your boss, or engage your spouse in a discussion about how to avoid- or get out of a Mom Funk! You can't take care of everyone else unless you take care of YOU!

Related Book Recommendations: An Invitation to Self Care or Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self Exploration

18. Learn Time Management – Improving your own efficiency will help you squeeze even more joy out of life. Whether you are a chronic procrastinator (like someone who writes a New year resolution blog post on December 31st!?) or just need to learn to prioritize, you can find ways to systematically improve.

SMART Goal Example: Practice a new Time Management Skill every month. Actionable steps would include researching time management best practices, writing in your calendar what skill you are focusing on and interviewing people you know who seem to manage their time well.

Related Book Recommendation: Eat That Frog!

19. Learn a New Skill – On a similar note- is there a skill or hobby that you've always wanted to explore? Either it can remain a day dream or you can make it happen! Which one are you going to choose!?

SMART Goal Examples: Learn to play 3 songs on piano by next year's holiday party. Learn to knit in time to surprise my sister with a gift for her baby. Continue Learning to Draw So I can sketch a family photo for parents' anniversary. Take cake decorating classes so I can make my own gorgeous wedding cake.

Related Book Recommendations: Browse Amazon's Crafts & Hobbies Section for Inspiration

20. Read More – Oh can you just feeeel it? That yummy feeling of curling up on the couch, something warm in your mug, cracking open a nice new b- Oh wait there's TV? Screw it, my show is on! If that describes your life and you've been longing to get back into reading, it's time to make a resolution to get thy nose back into books!

SMART Goal Example: I will read one book per month this year. Actionable steps include cutting back on TV or whatever keeps you away from books- maybe you set a timer every night to remind you to turn off the tube. Join a book club (hint: check your local library, craigslist or neighborhood facebook groups to find one!). Try out Audible or Kindle Unlimited. Renew that library card.

Book Recommendations: Browse this week's New York Times Bestsellers List.

Selfless New Year Resolution Ideas

21. Donate – If you see those sappy donation commercials on TV and are always meaning to chip in, or if there is a cause you care greatly about but you don't have time to volunteer, this is a great selfless resolution to do some good in the world. If you cannot afford a cash donation, look around your home and donate items in good shape to a homeless shelter.

SMART Goal Example: I will donate $100 per quarter to 4 charities. Actionable steps would be to research various charities on Charity Navigator to see who gives the most per dollar to the cause at hand. You could set up an automatic payment so you don't forget or add calendar reminders. Also remember to file the receipt where you keep your tax information. Another way to automate your giving is with an awesome app called Changur, which allows you to donate the digital change from your online purchases to the charity of your choice.

Related Book Recommendation: How to Be Great at Doing Good

22. Volunteer – Got more time than money? Why not log some hours helping out at a local soup kitchen, Boys and Girls Club or other organization? If you have kids, this is a great time to make service part of your family traditions. I love Pennies of Time as resource for volunteering and service ideas with kids.

SMART Goal Example: Volunteer at the local homeless shelter every third Saturday. Actionable steps would be finding an organization that speaks to your heart, reach out to their volunteer coordinator and find out their needs.

Related Book Recommendations: Change of Heart OR The Busy Family's Guide to Volunteering

Let's Hear in the Comments: What New Year Resolution are YOU making this year?

PS. Don't forget to grab your free New Year Resolution Goal Setting Printable! And share this post with anyone who could use it. HAPPY NEW YEAR!


20+ Incredibly Rewarding New Year Resolution Ideas Besides Losing Weight

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