Although we can (and should) set goals for ourselves at any moment we choose, there's something about a new year that makes us want to start fresh. One challenge, however, is actually sticking to those goals. The solution? Giving yourself easy yet meaningful New Year's resolutions for 2017 that you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle and realistically maintain.
The statistics are somewhat shocking, with some saying that as much as 24 percent of us don't keep our resolutions every year; what's more, a mere eight percent actually are successful at keeping them. The bright side is some stats say people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than people who do not. So what's the problem?
One issue is that we sometimes set unreasonable goals with unreasonable expectations. Saying you're going to delete your Facebook account might be a tad overboard; saying you won't go on it after 7:00 p.m. is not. Another problem, in my opinion, is that we don't give ourselves concrete resolutions. "I want to be healthier." Great. How? How will you measure it? Track it? How about this instead: "I'm going to start taking a multivitamin every day." See the difference?
Do it right, this year. Set smaller New Year's resolutions you'll actually keep.
Psst! Check out the "You IRL" stream in the Bustle App for daily tips on how to have an empowering 2017 starting Jan. 1. Right now, tweet @bustle about how you plan to make 2017 the best year yet. Use the hashtag #2017IRL, and your tweet could be featured on our app.
Is there a certain charity close to your heart that's fighting for a good cause? Even if you're only donating a few bucks, it makes a difference. Automate the process so that you never forget.
This is easy when you sign up for Shine text or Facebook messaging. I am obsessed with Shine. Every weekday, they send you a positive message, and I look forward to it every morning.
The key to having more is to appreciate what you're already got. Keep a journal, and once a day, jot down one thing you're grateful for. Just one. That's manageable.
One of the most common resolutions is to get more active, and it can also be one of the most challenging. Take it one step at a time and commit to sitting less. Sitting too much is worse for your health than many people realize. Set a timer at your workplace to remind you to get up a few times an hour.
If, for example, you want to help the homeless population, pack plastic baggies with essentials like snacks, water, tissues, deodorant, tampons, etc., and keep them in your glove compartment or trunk. You may meet someone who would really appreciate it.
I know I'm not the only one who's vowed to save more money. This can be as simple as downloading Honey, a Google Chrome extension. It automatically applies available coupons to your online purchases to save you money. Sweet!
This one is a biggie — and so, so hard. Get a helping hand by checking out apps that stop your smartphone addiction. They can notify you when you're spending too much time staring at your screen, and in some cases, force you out of it.
Instead of trying to do a 180 and completely overhaul your diet, try starting small. This might mean swapping out the refined sugar you bake with for honey, agave, etc. Maybe you decide to start shopping organic. Another idea is to drink at least a liter of water a day. Forming healthier habits doesn't have to feel so overwhelming.
Schedule things on time. Like, for example, your dentist appointments. There's a good chance that like my own, your dentist tries to schedule your next appointment when you're paying for the current one. Do it. That way, you won't forget, and you're less likely to procrastinate (which I totally do).
And while we're on the subject...
So many of us vow to be more organized in the new year; but it's hard to stick to any resolution that doesn't have a concrete, actionable task. Get a better hold of your life with an online to-do list like Todoist. This is a lifesaver for me. It helps me function so much more efficiently.
The EPA estimates that around 75 percent of our garbage is recyclable, but we only recycle 30 percent of it. Every bit matters, so commit to recycling plastic bottles, glass, aluminum cans, etc.
A common resolution I've heard from my gal pals is to watch less TV. If you can do this, awesome sauce for you. If you can't, well, at least make it a goal to watch better TV. For example, why not swap out that reality dating show you love (because they are oh-so-good) for a documentary? You might still be sitting in front of the tube, but at least you'll be learning something valuable.
Reading more is another common resolution. Get yourself excited and motivated by joining an online book club (or Goodreads, another one of my obsessions) to be involved in a community and get awesome recommendations.
Kick financial butt in the new year. I'm talking about cash-back deals with your credit cards, and websites like Ebates. It won't make you a millionaire; but it'll put a little money back in your pocket when you spend. Kind of awesome, if you ask me.
Don't panic — hear me out. If you want to learn a new language, programs like Duolingo make it fun and manageable. How about an online course? Udemy has classes for everything you can imagine, and you're likely to find something affordable. Learn something cool on your terms and your budget.
Check out the "You IRL" stream in the Bustle App starting on January 1 for daily tips on how to have an empowering 2017.
Images: Hannah Burton/Bustle; Bustle (15)