The past few months have been difficult. We are all exhausted – mentally, physically and emotionally. We’re excited by the prospect of a new beginning, a fresh start, some untarnished territory. Of course, we realize that turning over a new leaf is easier said than done, and it’s especially difficult amidst the ongoing challenges of social distancing, remote work, virtual learning and, well, every other monkey wrench that has been thrown our way.
This is precisely why, now more than ever, our New Year’s resolutions need to be reined in. Rather than creating lofty goals and mega missions, let’s set ourselves up for success by setting tactical intentions that are doable, achievable and manageable because, honestly, our plates are already pretty friggin’ full. In this vein, we’re sharing six totally attainable (but still super satisfying!) resolutions to make in the New Year. You’ve got this.
Carve out time for yourself.
These days, we are all beyond busy. For many of us, our home is also our office which is also the local school. The lines are all blurred, and this can make it feel like we’re always on and perpetually available, whether that’s to help with homework, respond to work emails or cook all the meals.
No doubt, there is a lot to juggle, and the very concept of “me time” may have you rolling your eyes and scowling. But, the reality is, we can all manage to carve out 30 minutes for ourselves every day — no excuses.
Whether this means getting up earlier in the morning to work out before anyone else is awake or putting on the TV for your kids so that you can escape into a relaxing bubble bath, it’s important to prioritize self care. Plan how you’ll use your special time each day, and it’ll give you something to look forward to.
Sleep is sacred, and we all need more of it. Resolve to be healthier and happier by going to bed earlier every night, getting better quality Zzz’s and establishing smart sleep hygiene habits in the New Year. It’s really simple, and while it may take a little practice, we’re confident you’ll thank us in a few short weeks when you’re no longer a walking, talking zombie.
First and foremost, set a realistic bedtime for yourself. Next, force yourself to wake up at the same time every morning. This will help reset your sleep cycle. Finally, if you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying snoozing, layer in some extras. Try a weighted blanket, use a relaxing meditation app and, of course, monitor and reduce your caffeine intake.
Save money without even realizing it.
Saving money doesn’t haven’t to feel daunting. There are a few simple steps you can take to help you accumulate extra bucks in your bank account. The cliched coffee rule is a good starting point. Skip the expensive to-go latte every morning, and brew a batch of java at home. It may seem like an insignificant spend on a day-to-day basis, but it can seriously add up over time. Better yet, do all your shopping with Rakuten to earn Cash Back on purchases. What’s more, Coupon Magic automatically finds the best coupons and promo codes for you, so you’re doing minimal work. It’s a win-win when you can shop and save. If you’re not yet a member, join Rakuten for free today and get a cash Welcome Bonus after your first qualified purchase.
Read more books.
If you’ve taken a hiatus from reading, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. But once you do, you’ll find your nose perpetually buried in a book. It’s all a matter of picking up a paperback and forcing yourself to start. So next time you’re about to binge a new Netflix show, step away from the television and dive into a good novel.
If you’re already an avid reader, and your goal is to consume more literature, adopt some creative tactics to squeeze in some extra book time. Bring a hard copy or tablet reader with you in your purse or keep it in your car, so that you can manage a few pages while waiting in the school pickup line or when you’re stuck in the waiting room at your doctor’s office. Check out some of our top book picks this year:
Yes, this seems like a broad goal, and while it’s not specific, it is achievable. You want to seize the moment and make the most of every day. But if this resolution advice seems too cliched and motivationally corny, then go with this much more tactical tip: Turn your cellphone off and stop checking emails past 6 PM.
It’s too easy to find yourself swept up in work drama after hours or to mindlessly scroll through Instagram throughout the day. Set boundaries for your online “connectivity,” so you can connect in real life with those around you.
Find a hobby.
When was the last time you tried something new? An activity that engaged your mind or body and appealed to your sense of play? Whether you want to take up tap dance or learn to crochet, there is no time like the present to give it a shot.
And now that there are a plethora of online options, you can take up a new hobby without having to leave home, getting a babysitter or spending big bucks. It’s a silver-lining win of everything going virtual, so don’t hesitate and find your new passion.
New Year’s resolutions can feel futile, especially when we set ourselves up with unrealistic or broad-reaching plans. Of course, it’s good to think big and set your sights on success, but, first, start with a few smaller, more attainable resolutions with the single-minded mission to make yourself a happier, healthier, more balanced you. And once you’ve checked those to-do’s off the list, reach for the stars. Just take it one simple goal and one doable resolution at a time!
Lauren is a digital editor, freelance writer, and Instagram aficionado with a feisty five-year-old boy and a sassy two-year-old diva at home. With a passion for family, travel, style, and alliteration, she spends her days chasing children, chugging coffee, and daydreaming about sleep. As a veteran lifestyle editor and media mom, Lauren loves to find ways to make the aspirational attainable for all the overwhelmed parents out there—because we really need to stick together! Lauren lives with her husband and kiddos in the suburbs of New York City.