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16 New Year’s Resolutions for 2016

Updated on December 21, 2015

Having trouble deciding on a 2016 New Year’s resolution? Looking to make a resolution you might actually be able to keep? Well here are some great new year’s resolutions to consider.

How to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions

Now sticking to resolutions is hard. Most people set something arbitrary and fail fairly quickly. The reason for this is simple, we tend to set vague resolutions that can’t actually be achieved.

For example my resolution #6 below–read more books. If that is your resolution, to read more books, you can never really achieve it. Did you mean read more books than last year? Or did you mean read more books than your girlfriend? Or just read books in general?

To set an achievable resolution you have to set a specific and measurable goal. You can do this by setting deadlines like “read 20 books before September” or by creating a list “read 20 books on my to-read list” or just by having a set number “read 20 books in 2016”. Whatever your strategy it’s important that you personalize it to fit your needs. You want goals that make you feel accomplished and that will help you become a better whatever (be it person, employee, boyfriend, etc). If your goals aren’t specific then they aren’t measurable and they won’t do you much good.

Here are some New Year's resolution ideas to consider:

1. Spend more money on experiences than things in 2016

Life is expensive. We're spending money on rent, utilities, food, transportation, and all kinds of often-forgotten necessities. And, more often than not, we're spending excess money on possessions we don't need and will probably get rid of in a few years. It's not economic.

Instead of wasting money in 2016 think hard about the things you buy. Will you admire it in 6 months? Wear it? Eat it? Enjoy it? Does it help you in some way? If no, don't buy it. Spend your money on experiences instead. Don't buy coffee every day, save up for a trip. Go to a concert instead of eating out every week.

Spend money making memories.

Set a goal (ie going to a music festival next summer) and work towards it.

2. Have a vice? Quit it. Or, if you can’t quit, reduce the frequency

Do you smoke too much? Drink too much? Buy too much soda (guilty)? Choose the vice that adds the most negativity to your life and quit it.

Can't quit it? That's fine. Set measurable limitations for yourself. Say three beers a week. One pack of cigarettes every two weeks. Only drinking soda on weekends. Figure out what you can actually do–don't set unachievable goals–and do it.

3. Get involved with something new

If you're getting tired of the same-old same-old vibe in your life, or you're just restless, try something new. Pick up a new hobby like biking, hiking, painting, or a local sports club. Or maybe try volunteering a couple times a week. Join the PTA. Whatever works for you.

Dedicate yourself to a trial period–say a month, to see if you like it. If you don't, then try something else. Use this resolution as an opportunity to try stuff and fail. You get points just for trying.


4. Pick a skill and learn/master it

This doesn't mean try to master the entire French language in a year. Most people don't have time for that.

What it means is if you want a skill and have no experience in it, 2016 is the time to start. Learn French, coding, whittling, glass-blowing, pay-per-click advertising, blogging, Renaissance architecture. Whatever makes you happy. There are local college classes, online courses, and apps that can help you learn just about anything. Use goal-setting through these sources to keep you on track.

Already know a little German? Did you paint in high school? Pick it back up and try to master it!

5. Do what you need to do to reduce stress

We're all stressed. I mean, as long as bills exists we'll probably be at least a little bit stressed. But if your stress is occasionally debilitating it's a sign you need to put time aside to de-stress, however you may do that.

Some example de-stressing goals:

  • Set aside 10 minutes a day to meditate
  • Take a yoga class once a week
  • Take a weekly hot shower
  • Put your work aside on weekend

6. Read more books

Reading makes you smarter, whether you're reading fiction, biography, fantasy, textbooks, whatever it may be. Set aside a reading goal that fits into your schedule, and how much you like to read, and record whether you reach it.

You could:

  • Make a book list and try to read at least 20 books on it
  • Try to read 20 books by 2016
  • Try to read 60 books by 2016
  • Finally read the books that you bought but never read

7. Start saving money/budgeting/getting out of debt

Figure out what your 2016 money goals need to be. Do you need to open a savings account, start saving for a trip, budget, or finally deal with your student loans? Do the math and figure out amounts you'll need to save, dates you need to meet, and write it all down. Put it in your planner, calendar, on your fridge. And then do what you need to do to reach your goals.

Dealing with finances is never fun, but it can have a huge impact in your life. This New Year's resolution will certainly take work, but it has a high payoff.

8. Let go of your grudges

To be fair, this resolution is less measurable. But letting go of your grudges is important, and the new year is an opportunity for you to make a fundamental change. Let go of old grudges, or resolve to let go of them going forward. Write this resolution down on sticky notes and leave them everywhere in your life, so you can remind yourself.

9. Get more organized

Actually start that planner you've always meant to use. Start using your calendar app. Write things down.

Set a date to check your progress. It's April and you aren't using your planner like you meant to? If so adjust your organization strategy and try to figure out what organization works for you.

10. Put yourself out there

Are you an introvert? Me too.

Sometimes it can be hard to motivate yourself to go out and meet people. Try signing up for art classes. Promise yourself to go out and get drinks with friends three times a month. Go to six networking events next year. Try to put yourself out there.

11. Start drawing/writing/playing music again. Pick an old hobby back up

Most people have some form of outlet–be it creative or athletic. But unfortunately when life gets busy people often drop guitar, soccer, drawing, writing, etc because they think they don't have time. Well make time. Bring back your old hobbies. Promise yourself that you'll play pickup soccer at least once a week through September. Write a blog post a month. Practice your guitar on Sunday mornings.

As Nike always says, Just Do It.

12. Keep a journal

If you've always wanted to keep a journal but never got around to it 2016 is your year. Promise yourself to write two entries a week, or an entry a month. Whatever goal you think you'll be able to reach. Then supply yourself with the tools you'll need, put it in your calendar, and start writing.

13. Pay more attention to causes that are important to you. Maybe even get involved

Read a news article a day. Go to a rally a month. Listen to the presidential debates (hey even turn them into a drinking game). Figure out what's important to you and what you need to know and get involved.

14. Validate the people in your life more. Remind them that you love them.

There are so many ways to validate the people in your life. Promise to get your significant other a gift a month. Or write your friends letters. Send your parents a postcard in the mail. Find the people that are important to you and try to, at least a couple times a year, remind them that you think they're important.

15. Stop judging people

Judging people is human nature, but it's a part of human nature we can overcome. Unfortunately it isn't as easy as making the decision and *poof* you're no longer judgmental.

So try to walk in other people's shoes a bit. Read three biographies next year about people vastly different than you. Take a trip in 2016 and talk to locals about their culture. Get in discussions on Twitter with strangers. Try to expand your comfort zone so it's easier for you to forgo your judgements.

16. Get a mentor or become a mentor

Befriend someone with experience in your career path and try to get lunch with them once a month. Or befriend someone with less experience and help them grow. Mentorship is a rewarding path and an easy goal for 2016. It can be as easy as making a new friend and having standing lunch plans!

Now Go Make Some Plans for 2016

I hope these New Year’s resolution ideas can help you narrow down what’s important to you. Setting goals will help you focus and have direction in your life–and it’s important to set goals that you might actually reach.

Good luck!


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