2023 is finally here and with that comes the usual New Year’s resolutions. These ideas come to us as the year draws to a close and spend the first couple of weeks desperately trying to make them happen. However, for many of us, it can just be a little too difficult. Some say it takes 21 days to turn something into a habit, but those first 3 weeks aren’t easy.
In this article we’re going to look at the most common and best new year’s resolutions, as well as a few tips on how to stick to them this time around. Each person’s resolutions will be unique, but some common themes tend to emerge. Congratulations, you made it to 2023, now it’s time to try to stick to those resolutions.
New Year’s Resolutions
Supposedly it was 4000 years ago when the concept of New Year’s Resolutions originated. The Bablyonians, running their ancient empire in 1700 BCE, would have a 12-day festival in the new year. This was called Akitu. During the festival, the people would plant crops, beg for their gods for them to grow well, and then make promises to repay those gods in the year ahead. Although in today’s society our resolutions are quite different, the ideas still remain the same.
Nowadays we usually pledge to ourselves, planting metaphorical harvests in our own lives – so to speak. The turn of the year is still a momentous occasion to us – just like it was 4000 years ago – and people use this moment to reevaluate their lives and habits. What better time to try and make changes? Due to the global scale of the pledges, this means that many resolutions are very similar. According to Statista, 27% of people in the UK make NY resolutions. 39% of Americans do also. This highlights just how important they are to people. Statista writes:
“At the top of the list for the largest share of people is the classic… ‘improving fitness’ – 47 percent saying this has at some point been their resolution. Of course, for all of the good intentions behind New Year’s resolutions, they are often not kept… YouGov found that only 24 percent said they were able to keep all of the promises they made to themselves for 2019… 47 percent at least managed to stick to some.”
It isn’t easy to stick to New Year’s resolutions, but this is exactly the sort of mindset that stops us from making them in the first place. It’s always worth trying, even if we’re not sure that they’ll materialize to anything incredible. Let’s take a look at the top 8 examples. Who knows, maybe they’ll inspire you.
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Top 8 NY Resolutions
1 – Exercise more
As we’ve seen, this is probably the most popular resolution. This is no surprise, not only can exercise make you feel a great deal better in yourself mentally and physically, but it’s also something that many are pressured to do more of on social media. Many people resolve to get in shape or improve their physical health in the new year. To make this resolution stick, try to find an activity you enjoy, such as walking, running, dancing, or even bouldering. I started bouldering recently and, if I’m honest, it’s the first time I’ve actually enjoyed exercising in a long time. It’s also helpful to set specific, achievable goals, such as aiming to walk 30 minutes a day or run a 5K race. It’s being overly ambitious that often kills resolutions early.
2 – Healthier food
Similar to exercising more, resolving to eat a healthier diet can have a big impact on overall health and well-being. This can be a challenging resolution to stick to, as it involves changing long-established habits and possibly giving up favorite foods. It also requires time to learn how to make new and exciting recipes. It isn’t easy cooking new food – it takes confidence and patience. However, when you do it, it becomes addictive. A good way to stick to this resolution is to focus on adding more healthy foods to your diet rather than eliminating unhealthy ones. For example, try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables. Learn how to make them in exciting ways so you realise how fun and tasty they can actually be. You can also try meal planning and prepping to make it easier to eat healthy throughout the week.
3 – Quit smoking
Quitting smoking is probably one of the most common resolutions all year round but the turn of the year can be the biggest reason to at least try. Everyone knows the health risks of smoking and that it can lead to numerous health problems, including lung cancer and heart disease, so there’s no point in reminding you. Oops – I just did. Nonetheless, with the popularing of vapes increasing, never has there ever been a better genuine chance to stop. Buy yourself a decent e-cig and use them instead of cigarettes. Whilst vaping has its own issues, it certainly is better for you than smoking. It’s also important to notice the moments in the day when you would usually have a cigarette, it’s these triggers that need to be observed. For instance, alcohol is a common cause of smoking. Be weary of these specific moments and try to either reduce them or use something else – like a vape – to quench your thirst.
4 – Dry January
Dry January is a very common New Year’s resolution and for good reason. It’s hard to feel positive about life, organise anything, or basically have a level head when you’re constantly hungover. Being alcohol-free for at least the first month of the year will give you time, space and money to start 2023 correctly. As you know, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a wide range of health problems, including liver damage, cancer, and addiction. But on a smaller scale, it can weigh you down with an overall sense of sadness. Why not try stopping, even if only for a bit? When you start, you’ll probably start noticing how boring drunk people are and how you need alcohol in order to make them seem exciting. But this is only the first hurdle. If you can get past this and find other things to do with your time, then you’ll soon reap the rewards of an alcohol-free life.
5 – Finances
Saving money is a good resolution for 2023. By the end of the year, especially with Christmas and NYE, it’s easy to get a little irresponsible with your finances. That is why many people resolve to save more money, whether it’s for a specific goal like a down payment on a house or for a rainy day fund. To stick to this resolution, try to create a budget and track your spending to get a sense of where your money is going. Look for areas where you can cut back, such as eating out or pointless subscriptions, and consider setting up automatic savings transfers to make saving easier. If you stick to this, you may have the extra money for a holiday by the time summer comes around.
6 – Organization
Do you think 2022 was a little unorganized and hectic? Resolving to get organized can help you save time, reduce stress, and increase productivity. It will also stop people from berating you for never knowing what you’re doing from day to day. To make this resolution stick, the first step is to buy a diary. Honestly, it makes all the difference. Then, start by setting specific goals, such as cleaning your room or writing your plans for the day on a posted note. Once you start, you’ll see how much more drive and purpose it gives you. If you’re someone who likes being chill and unpredictable then, don’t worry, you can still give off that impression whilst knowing what day it is.
7 – New skill
Did you pick up a clarinet in January 2022 and now can’t bear to look at it due to how little you’ve learnt over the year? Learning a new skill can be both challenging and rewarding, and it can also give you a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Maybe you want to learn a new instrument or a new language, whatever it is, it takes dedication. But it also rewards you back if you stick to it. To make this happen, choose a skill that you are genuinely interested in and that is realistic for you to learn within the time frame you have in mind. Maybe don’t expect to learn fluent ancient Greek in only a year, instead say that you’ll try and learn a bit by the end of 2023. You might also consider finding a class, teacher or friend to help guide you through the learning process.
8 – Wanderlust
Travelling more and quenching your wanderlust is an adventurous New Year’s resolution but it’s certainly a great one. Seeing more of the world is a great way to broaden your horizons, understand people of different cultures and, ultimately, bring more joy to your life. There’s a whole world out there, beyond just your phone and computer screen, and It’s easy to forget that sometimes. Again, the key here is to be realistic. Make a list of the places that you want to go and list them from top priority to bottom. Then see how much disposable income you’re going to have and where they could fit in around your work schedule. The next step is simply to have the courage to book. Your future self won’t regret it. If you find it hard motivating yourself to book a flight then try watching YouTube videos and movies about that specific place, this might give you the drive.
New Year’s resolutions are both the best and worst promises that you can make. They make you feel great at the beginning, but can just as easily leave you with a sense of worthlessness at the end. Even if you’ve had a history of breaking resolutions in the past, the key is to believe in yourself again. If you keep trying, eventually something will change. Even if you don’t, trying is at least something. If you want inspiration – these were 8 top NY resolutions and some tips on how to stick with them. So, good luck and, of course, happy new year.
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