Let’s be real: New Year’s resolutions are hard. It’s easy to say we’re going to do something at the start of January and much harder to stick to it by the time June rolls around. Resolutions can also cause us to make promises to ourselves that are actually harmful, like dedicating our year to weight loss or to a romantic relationship that isn’t working anymore.
January is a lot more freeing—and sets us up for an amazing year—when we make realistic and positive New Year’s resolutions that will continue to change our lives for the better. Here are 30 resolutions to get you started or inspire your own affirming, life-changing resolution for 2019.
1. Spend more time with and on the people who matter most to you.
2. Give back to your community, whether that looks like volunteer work, organizing events, or getting out the local vote.
3. Add more gratitude to your life, and share what you’re grateful for with other people.
4. Cut back on your social media time—especially right before bed.
5. Make more time for a new hobby or skill you’ve wanted to learn or miss doing.
6. Take trips alone, even if it’s just a local day or weekend trip and not a full-on vacation.
7. Practice self-care, but even the hard stuff. Do the dishes when you need to. Make those appointment phone calls. Re-organize your workspace.
8. Instead of making weight loss a 2019 goal, make unlearning diet culture your goal. Leave it in the past and move forward with fat acceptance and love for all bodies.
9. Say no more often, especially if you’re over-stretching yourself.
10. Put yourself first every once in a while. Take at least one day a week to spend a couple of hours with yourself, doing whatever you want to do.
11. Let go of the toxic relationships (romantic, platonic, family) that are no longer working for you.
12. Put more effort into a couple of newer relationships with people you think you’ll really like getting to know.
13. Learn more about something that makes you curious.
14. Do something to take action against oppression in your community, like talking to a friend about a racist or ableist view they have.
15. Make an active effort to unlearn your own oppressive views and consume media (books, blogs, videos, podcasts) created by marginalized people.
16. Spend less time complaining, and more time taking positive action toward the life you want.
17. Check in at least weekly with people you love, especially the ones who might need it in the moment or who you can’t see as often.
18. Read a book (or listen to an audiobook or podcast, or watch a documentary) about a subject or person you don’t know much about.
19. Take time at least once a week to ask someone else to tell you about their life.
20. Be more vulnerable with people you can trust—show up authentically, exactly as you are, faults and fears and all.
21. Show empathy and compassion to people instead of judgment.
22. Be kind to those in public-facing jobs, like cashiers, waitstaff, taxi and rideshare drivers, customer service representatives, and mail carriers.
23. Give yourself more grace, instead of going over your past mistakes and being too hard on yourself.
24. If you find yourself comparing yourself to others, refocus your energy on what you love about yourself and what’s really working about your life right now.
25. Cut down on the time you spend over-working (not saying your career isn’t important, just that it isn’t everything and shouldn’t be a 24/7 thing) and use that time to catch up with someone you love or work on a passion project.
26. Do something really out of your comfort zone at least once every three months, and do something slightly less out of your comfort zone once a month.
27. Spend more time in nature in both big and small ways whenever possible.
28. Find manageable ways to live a more sustainable, low-waste lifestyle.
29. Make a list of the times you were happiest in 2017. What made those moments so worthwhile? Replicate that.
30. Do at least one thing every month that scares you a little but that you think will make you so much happier.