Normally, I'm not one to write down New Year's Resolutions. After a while, they got a little stale for me personally; I prefer more creative outlets than boxes. But with the new decade upon us, it got me thinking about “What unique New Year's Resolution ideas can I come up with?” Looking back on the last decade really opened my eyes to how much things can really change. How even the smallest of New Year's resolutions can still make a big impact. Thus, I decided to make the ultimate list of unique New Year's Resolutions for 2021! Not because I think I'll achieve every New Year's resolution idea on the list perfectly, but because setting the intention can lead to radical change over time!
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Ultimate List Of New Year's Resolutions for 2021:
Since this list is so long, I decided to organize our New Year's resolutions into categories based off the most common New Year's resolutions: health, finances, relationships, self development, career and business, experiential/travel, and spiritual. You can jump to the category that suits you best or scroll through them all!
Ultimate List Of Unique New Year's Resolution Ideas By Categories:
- Health – mind, body, health
- Financial – money, debt freedom, growing wealth, early retirement
- Relationships – friendships, romantically, and family
- Self Development – emotional wellbeing, mental health, relationship to yourself, coping with feelings, self care, self love, personal growth and development
- Career & Business – career, entrepreneurship, side hustles, shattering the glass ceiling and all of that
- Experiencial – community work, travel, adventure, life outside the home/bubble
- Spirituality – relationship with a higher power, connecting beyond the seen world
Remember, to get creative with your New Year's resolutions and make them your own. At the end of the day, a good New Year's resolution is something you're passionate about and is moving you towards the person you are becoming.
It's not about perfectly achieve/practicing them, but about setting the intention to improve your life! Don't worry about crossing things off a list as fast as you can. If you've ever tried the latter, you know it doesn't work in creating lasting and fulfilling change. You can also read more about intention setting here!
All of the areas we'll be talking about are connected, so when we take care of our mind and body, we take care of our emotional life too, and so on. Try to choose at least one thing from each area of your life to work on if you feel called too.
Let's ring in the New Year with more intention and celebration now!
How to write New Year Resolutions:
Before we jump into the list of New Year's resolution idea, I want to talk about making things your own! If you're looking for unique ideas, then you probably are a creative person too after all. Look at the list below and ask yourself, “how do these align with the person I'm becoming? What are exciting ways I can put these into action?” Also, don't be afraid to change your mind and adapt! E.g. some weeks I'm all for eating leafy greens, then other weeks I'm all about fruit. Both are healthier than processed and I lean into them based off what excites my palette.
Ultimate List Of New Year's Resolution Ideas: Health
The most common New Year's Resolution of 2020 was related to health. More specifically, 50% wanted to exercise more and in third place 43% wanted to eat healthier. You physical life makes up everything from your overall health to your body and mind. This is where our diet and sleeping habits have the largest impact.
Here's a list of New Year's Resolution Ideas for improving your health:
- Regular walks outside
- Take the stairs
- Drink more water (here's my favorite water bottle that purifies on the go!)
- Cut back on caffeine intake
- Find a workout you love, versus just working out to feel skinny/reach a goal
- Improve sleep by going tech free for an hour before bed (the blue light messes with your body's natural melatonin production!)
- Get a work out buddy or personal trainer (some of my favorite workouts)
- Work out at home (here are my essentials)
- Quit smoking
- Keep your regular doctors and dentist appointments
- Quit drinking alcohol or do a 30 day sober challenge
- Stretch for at least 5 minutes a day
- Detox your liver (we add this into our morning smoothie and I love this supplement).
- Eat one more serving of vegetables each week; or better yet, do a weekly vegan day!
- Cook one more meal at home each week (here are some tips for How To Save Money On Groceries Every Month)
- Practice yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, or another regular mindfulness practice – Get started with this Beginner’s Guide To Meditation: 5 Tips To Get You Started
- Pay attention to what you're body is telling you. Inflammation, aches and pains, brain fog are all signs of needing a detox or having an allergy. I love this book for discovering what detox is best for you and this kit for discovering allergies.
Ultimate List Of New Year's Resolution Ideas: Finances
Financial well being came in as the second most common New Year resolution of 2020 with 49% of those surveyed wanting to save more money. Finances are often one of the biggest areas of stress for people. When we can reduce stress, we can sleep better and improve our health and relationships! You see how it all is connected? So let's take some time to figure out what is going on with our financial life, where we are spending our money, and whether or not it lines up with our financial goals.
Here's a list of New Year's Resolution Ideas for improving your financial life:
- Create a budget & stick to it. This is the simple budget I use!
- Get 3-9 months of expenses in an emergency fund. Check out my Complete Guide To Your Emergency Fund here
- Get rid of credit card debt using these strategies
- Reduce regular spending by following these 19 Tips For Affordable Living On The Fly to help you spend more frugally without depriving yourself
- Implement money saving tips across daily spending, but also for major life events (re: for your Wedding, baby, buying a home, travel, and more)
- Improve your credit score by understanding it and following the steps in this post
- Tackle your student loans
- Get a rewards credit card that actually benefits you
- Stop Overspending Money with these 17 Tips
- Pay off your auto loan
- Utilize tax free accounts and find ways to limit your tax liability (more details in this post: 15 End Of Year Money Moves You Need To Make Today)
- Create a passive revenue stream
- Plan for your retirement (read:How To Achieve Early Retirement in 11 Steps)
- Increase your income with a side hustle like starting a blog
- Subscribe to a financial blog like mine, plus grab my money saving checklist:
Ultimate List Of New Year's Resolution Ideas: Relationships
Personally, this is the most challenging. Start simple by asking yourself what qualities and characteristics do you want in your relationships? How do you feel in your relationships? How can you show up differently to your relationships so they align more with what you're mapping out?
Here's a list of New Year's Resolution Ideas for improving the relationships in your life:
- Spend quality time together unplugged
- Forgive others and ditch grudges
- Say what's on your mind instead of being passive aggressive
- Speak your truth with love in tough situations (read: How To Respond With Love To Toxic Communication)
- Do a random act of kindness each week
- Seek to understand the other person's perspective
- Say “I love you” and “I care about you” more often and follow it up with actions
- Love yourself and accept yourself so you can share that gift with others
- Set up regular FaceTime's or brunches to stay connected
- Send a “thinking of you” text
- Learn their love language and speak to them in it
- Stop complaining and gossiping and ask others to hold you accountable if you backslide
- Attempt to define ambivalent relationships (one's where you don't know where you stand, like “do they like me or are they talking sh*t about me?”)
- Remove toxic or draining friendships
- Set better boundaries with friends or family
- Ask for feedback on what people could use from you more (for instance, “How can I show up to be a better daughter or friend?”)
- Attend more local events to meet new people
- Practice healthy communication habits like these
- Read a parenting book
- Give a compliment to someone everyday
- Let your children teach you and guide their development
- Heal family trauma and ancestral wounds through therapy and spiritual practices; this course is a great starting point!
- Give back to strangers
Ultimate List Of New Year's Resolution Ideas: Self Development
Self development is this huge sector that impacts so much of our life. Self care and self love have been all the rage, but now it's time to really integrate it into your system. Our mind is one of the most powerful muscles in our body, but are you working it out regularly? Create a regular practice for your personal life that fosters self love and self care. Really dive deep and take note of areas where you're feeling anxious, insecure, and chaotic. Come up with New Year's resolutions based off those. Emotions can be beautiful, but they can also destroy us in their enormity when we don't know how to cope with them. Make this the year that you stop running from your emotions, and learn to process and release them.
Here's a list of New Year's Resolution Ideas for self development:
- Create a daily gratitude practice – Get started with this 30 Day Gratitude Challenge
- Practice the pause. When you feel yourself getting reactionary, pause and excuse yourself so you can respond from a place of love instead
- See a therapist
- Do a random act of kindness each week – generosity has been linked to better internal wellness
- Allow yourself to feel your feelings fully rather than stuffing them or avoiding them
- Right out a list of fears and ask, “so what?” keep going until you are no longer afraid
- Practice forgiveness not for others, but for your own well being
- Develop a new coping skill or stress reduction technique (Here are 15 coping skills)
- Stop the negative self talk by silencing your inner critic or redirecting it
- Practice regular journaling
- Spend more time alone to get to know your own likes and dislikes – (read: 10 Things to Do Alone At Least Once in Your 20s)
- Seek professional help for panic attacks, substance use, eating disorder, or anything else coming up that you don't understand
- Join a support group
- Accept your yourself fully by identifying the parts you've rejected in the past and acknowledge how they're helping you in becoming the best version of you
- Shift your perspective, thoughts, and words from the negative to the positive
- Avoid negative people, conversations, news when it's impacting you
- Prioritize yourself and your needs by setting healthy boundaries around friendships, family, or work
- Limit technology after a certain time of day or do a tech free day once a month
- Celebrate your wins and accomplishments
- Unfollow accounts and friends who leave you feeling insecure or less than. But also learn to love that part of yourself and recognizing that you are enough exactly as you are
- Stare in the mirror and say three things you love about yourself every day outloud
- Look yourself in the eyes and repeat “I love you” for 3 minutes a day (you may want to work up to this)
- Play more – make your food talk to itself on your dinner plate, be silly, use your imagination
- Create a note on your phone for all the fleeting “to-do” thoughts to clear your mind
- Regularly declutter and keep your space clean
Ultimate List Of New Year's Resolution Ideas: Career & Business
Do you hate your job? Are you tired of underearning? Have you reached the level of professional success you've always dreamt of? 2021 can be the year that you finally make your career or business dreams a reality. All you have to do is start with one step at a time.
Here's a list of New Year's Resolution Ideas for improving your career:
- Utilize a headhunter or these 10 Uncommon Job Seeking Tips
- Figure out where you feel like you're lacking in your current career
- Consider quitting your job if you hate it (if you're scared, check out these signs it's time to quit your job!)
- Research your current earnings against industry averages for your area
- Revise and refine your resume
- Learn to Network Like A Boss even as an introvert!
- Ask your boss for a promotion or raise
- Create a personal brand to establish more value outside your 9 to 5
- Start a side hustle like a blog
- Turn a hobby or passion into a business
Ultimate List Of New Year's Resolution Ideas: Experiences
Every day we have the opportunity to experience something new that lights our soul on fire; are you? From your day to day routine, to traveling the globe, ask yourself how can you improve the quality of your life to bring more joy in? What experiences do you need more of? What experiences do you need less of in 2020?
Here's a list of New Year's Resolution Ideas for improving your life through experiences:
- Plan a bucket list vacation
- Attend a concert or festival you've always wanted to go to
- Do a hobby or passion from your childhood
- Read a new book
- Create a healthier and happier morning routine
- Immerse yourself in a new setting where you can listen and learn
- Visit somewhere you've never been but have always wanted to go
- Commit to one new experience once a month
- Ask yourself what would bring you joy today/this week/this month then do it
- Volunteer with organizations you're passionate about in your community
- Go on a “one tank” adventure
- DIY something around your home
Ultimate List Of New Year's Resolution Ideas: Spirituality
Your spiritual life can be anything from a connection to a higher power or something greater than you, to a connection to the unseen world, or a deeper connection to the unspoken parts of yourself. If you've struggled with anxiety or depression, this is an area to anchor more deeply into. Ask yourself, do you even feel a connection to something spiritual? If so, how can you deepen this connection? If not, how can you redefine and explore it more?
Here's a list of New Year's Resolution Ideas for improving your spiritual life:
- Define what spirituality means to you. Is it G-d? The Universe? Your highest self? Mother Nature? If you feel stuck, ask people what their spiritual connection is to and what it means to them
- Follow Instagram accounts that allow you to go deeper into this connection
- Join a community group to deepen this connection whether it's a prayer and meditation group, reiki, church, yoga, etc.
- Create a regular practice to deepen your spiritual connection like going to church every week or writing intentions with the moon cycles (just a few ideas – Here's my Meditation Ritual To Get You Feeling All The Good Vibes)
- Spend more time in nature listening to your spiritual calling
- Read a book to strengthen yourself connection or explore new paths (here are some books I love)
- Listen to spiritual podcasts (here are some of my favorites)
- Interview people about how their spiritual path has evolved over time
Now tell me, what ideas for unique New Year's resolutions did you come up with? Did these spark any creative ideas of your own? Which would you like to add to the list? How do you plan to write your New Year's Resolutions and hold yourself accountable?
Remember, New Year's resolutions aren't just to go to the gym to get skinnier, but they are a practice in setting intentions to cultivate a life you love. Focus on celebrating your wins and successes, and not berating yourself for falling short. Start small by choosing just one of these unique New Year's Resolutions to kick off your 2021!