It's that time of year when we start thinking about who we want to be in the coming year. Typically, people make goals around a fitness habit, career advancement, reading a certain number of books over the year, or learning something new. The best thing about New Year's resolutions is that you can set out to do anything you want to do.
It's common to set a broad goal for the new year, but time and time again, we see New Year's resolutions that are difficult to conceptualize. "Eat clean" or "create a fitness habit" doesn't give you much to work with. How will you accomplish a goal like that? What does your day-to-day look like? What's the measure of success?
We know that goals should be specific enough that you know what you need to do to get there, and that they should be attainable. Here are a few ideas for realistic goals to set for yourself this year. Pick a few to focus on, or mix-and-match to work toward your best 2023 self.
Instead of: "Exercise more"
- Try a new type of exercise activity every month. Changing up your routine can prevent boredom, so setting a goal to move in new ways every month can help you stay motivated.
- Do four "workout snacks" per day. It's less intimidating to pick up a dumbbell that's sitting under your desk than to carve out time to change clothes, drive to the gym, work out, shower, drive back, etc. There’s more information about workout snacks in this article.
- Start an audiobook walk habit. Your local library probably has audiobooks available for you to download from home so that you can get your reading and walking in at the same time.
Instead of: "Eat clean"
- Do a 30-day no sugar challenge. There are thousands of different diets out there, but they all have one thing in common: Sugar is out. It might sound daunting because sugar is in everything, but with the right support, you won't miss it one bit. Join our sugar-free 30 day challenge here.
- Cook 90% of your meals at home. That means you're only getting takeout or eating out 1-2 times per week. Make use of slow cookers, pressure cookers, meal prepping—whatever it takes to take the pressure off of cooking every meal.
- Eat an extra serving of colorful vegetables at every meal. Eating more veggies will make you feel more full, and you won't have as much room on your plate for starchy carbs.
- Set a water intake goal. A good rule of thumb is to divide your weight by two, and drink that number in ounces per day.
Instead of: "Prioritize self-care"
- Start a meditation habit. You don't have to go far to hear about the benefits of meditation. Starting with just two minutes a day and working your way up to 10 or more minutes can do wonders for your mental health.
- Read one personal development book every month this year. Imagine where you would be next year if you took one nugget of wisdom per month from the ones who are already achieving what you want to achieve.
- Learn something new. Always wanted to play an instrument? Itching to try pottery? Do you have dreams of losing yourself in a tray of watercolors and a brush? Look up local classes in your area and try something you've never done before.
Notice the difference? It's hard to visualize what actions you need to take to achieve broad goals like "lose weight." But if you get specific, you know exactly what you need to do. Here's to making 2023 your best year yet!