10 New Year’s Resolution Ideas


Fireworks for the new year. Public domain image from Unsplash.

Sofia Rest, Staff Writer

Hello everyone, and welcome to 2021! I don’t know about you, but 2020 was definitely not my year. I think we can all agree that 2021 brings new hope for a return to normalcy. To get you started with your New Year’s Resolutions, here are some ideas and improvements you can put into effect this coming year.

  1. Start journaling. Keeping a journal is one of the most positive ways you can establish a routine and a source of constancy in your life. Journaling is very beneficial to your mental health and can help you process emotions or events in your life. To start, all you need to do is begin a digital journal on Word or another word processor or buy a physical journal and pen. Then, simply write down anything that comes to mind. As you keep journaling, you may find that the most helpful things to write about are the events of the day, any emotions you felt, or just lists of things you did/watched/read.
  2. Read more books. Reading is a great hobby to keep up if you love watching movies or shows, and there’s a book for everyone! You can start this hobby by compiling a list of books you’d like to read or find interesting. Your local library may have an online database of books you can access with a library card. This is a fast and cheap way to access new books instead of buying them in person or online! After you have a list, try reading a new book every week or so. Keep track of which books and genres you like, and edit your list as you keep reading according to these preferences. This will help you hone in on your favorite genres.
  3. Take a break from social media. If you’ve been hooked onto social media apps for a while, taking a short break from these apps when you feel like they’ve gotten too toxic can be a great way to spend time off your phone. First, name the apps you’d like to take a break from. Then, create a strict schedule for yourself by downloading a time limit app and limiting the time you spend on each of these social media apps. You can also delete the apps entirely if you think they’re too distracting.
  4. Form better study habits. I think we’ve all suffered the negative effects of procrastination. If you find yourself spending late nights rushing through a project or paper you should’ve completed long ago, maybe it’s time to change your study habits for the better. Spreading out a task over time can increase the quality of your work and greatly decrease stress. First, you need to establish a homework planner that works for you (I use Google Calendar to map out due dates). After writing down when each assignment is due, make a plan for each night of the week where you challenge yourself to work on certain assignments and finish parts of certain projects.
  5. Spend more time outside. If you’ve found yourself more inside than usual due to the pandemic, there are other ways to get outside and take a break from family or stress. Taking a walk around your neighborhood is an easy and accessible way to get fresh air. If this is not a good option for you, try inviting a friend to take a walk with you at a nearby park where you can social distance and remain safe.
  6. Exercise more. There are plenty of ways you can exercise at home or in your neighborhood. Simply running around your neighborhood or in a park is a super simple exercise. You can also do at-home workouts by looking up YouTube videos on how to do in-place exercises. A great way to make exercising more fun is to do so with a friend or family member!
  7. Earn more money. If you’ve struggled to manage your funds in 2020, now is the time to search for a job you can work in your spare time or on the weekends. You can also begin the search for a summer job by setting up a LinkedIn profile and networking with potential employers, or just researching nearby opportunities online. Reach out to employers, and don’t get discouraged if you’re not hired! Get feedback on your resume to see if you can improve your chances, then try again.
  8. Revisit old hobbies. When you have time to do so, exploring and rediscovering some of your old hobbies can help you develop new skills. For example, if you liked to paint in middle school, why not pick up some supplies from the store and try your hand at painting again? Other ideas include knitting, drawing, baking, coding, or making collages.
  9. Go to bed on time. Getting enough sleep is such an important part to starting your day off right. If you find yourself staying up late because of schoolwork, use the tips I listed for the “Form better study habits” resolution. If you spend hours scrolling through social media, reference the “Take a break from social media” resolution so that you can get yourself to sleep earlier.
  10. Be kinder to yourself. If you struggle with self-esteem or insecurities, make it your goal this year to stop pointing out your own flaws and be kinder to yourself. Catch yourself whenever you think something negative or self-degrading about yourself, and reason through the thought instead. Ask yourself, “Is this thought productive/helpful/reasonable?” If not, change the thought to something more rational or kind. Other ways to improve self-esteem are forgiving yourself for past mistakes, doing activities that make you happy, and improving your self-care routines.

I hope these resolution ideas have given you time to reflect on ways you can make 2021 better than 2020! Take some time to think about aspects of yourself that you can improve as the new year rolls around. Most importantly, remember to break down more difficult goals into manageable tasks before you attempt to make huge changes too quickly. Setting lofty goals is an easy way to get demoralized or give up on your resolutions, so give yourself time to establish routine. Happy New Year, NDP!