A resolution is simply a promise to yourself to get something done, ideally along with a plan to make it happen. A resolution can be a goal that you set informally and keep private, or you can share your goals and plans with other people. Reviewing resolution examples is a good way to brainstorm options when you’re ready to commit to improving an aspect of your life.
New Year's resolutions are goals that you set for yourself at the beginning of each year, typically focused on bettering yourself in some way. Most people select one or more resolutions prior to the end of one year, and implement their plan to accomplish their resolution(s) on the first day of the new year. There are many common examples of New Year’s resolutions.
Many people make personal New Year’s resolutions aimed at improving their overall health and well-being.
- losing weight
- quitting smoking
- drinking more water
- cooking at home more in order to eat out less
- eating more vegetables
- reducing junk food consumption
- cutting back on alcohol
- incorporating exercise into your workday
- going to the gym everyday or a set number of days each week
- exercising a certain number of hours or minutes each week
- seeing a therapist or counselor regularly
- getting enough sleep
Because managing money can be so challenging, it’s not surprising that people often emphasize personal finance when making New Year’s resolutions.
- paying off credit card debt
- staying out of credit card debt
- stopping credit card purchases beyond what you can pay in full each month
- putting extra money with your mortgage payments to pay your house off faster
- saving a portion of your paycheck each pay period
- living within your financial means
- making smarter money decisions
- committing to sticking to your budget
- starting a retirement savings plan
- identifying ways to trim unnecessary spending from your budget
- implementing frugal shopping habits
- learning how to repurpose/upcycle rather than purchasing everything new
Related to the topic of financial resolutions, career-focused resolutions tend to be a common focus area at the beginning of a new year.
- going back to college, either to finish a degree or earn an advanced degree
- making higher marks in school if you’re already enrolled
- acquiring a new career skill
- earning a professional certification
- updating your resume, being sure to include career-focused keywords
- applying for a promotion at work
- looking seriously for a higher-paying job
- building your portfolio to highlight your expertise
- seeking a side-gig to earn extra money and boost your marketable skills
- looking for ways to make money from a hobby
- starting your own business
- applying for awards programs specific to your profession
Prioritizing personal relationships is a common New Year’s resolution category.
- spending more time with your family
- being nicer to your family members
- committing to call home more often
- letting go of old grudges
- deciding to be a better husband or wife
- promising to stop gossiping about family or friends
- committing to seeing your friends in person more regularly
- sending personalized thank you notes to people who do nice things for you
- connecting with people in real life beyond just social media
- telling the most important people in your life how you feel about them
- taking time out for yourself (self-care is just as important as relationships with others)
Time management can be a struggle for many people. Those who find it difficult to use their time efficiently and effectively often opt to improve their time management skills when making New Year’s resolutions.
- limiting procrastination
- identifying and reducing or eliminating time wasters
- spending time more productively
- finding and using a schedule management system that works
- learning to say no to requests that don’t represent a good use of your time
- being firm about boundaries
- learning how to set priorities
- building your project management skills
- getting around to completion of creative goals
Social responsibility goals make great New Year’s resolutions. Whether you dedicate yourself to a cause or you focus on getting more involved in your community, these types of resolutions can help you better yourself while also improving the world around you.
- committing to reducing your carbon footprint
- dedicating yourself to service
- donating your time and talents to help those who are less fortunate
- pledging to support charitable or non-profit organizations
- becoming active in causes important to your community
The start of a new year isn’t the only time a person can make personal resolutions. The best time to resolve to change something in your life is whenever you are ready to commit to making a positive change. You can make any of the resolutions above at any time of the year. Sometimes, the decision to make a personal resolution is prompted by a specific event.
- saying no next time a bossy and annoying colleague wants you to go out to lunch
- committing to reduce carbohydrate consumption after your doctor says you are at risk for diabetes
- doing better at work after your boss criticizes you
- taking care of a family member in a difficult time after visiting an ailing relative in a nursing home
- going to bed earlier and waking up earlier in the morning when you realize how late you stay up
- getting out of the office at lunchtime each day after someone mentions that you're always in the break room
- spending more time volunteering following a school-wide charity drive
- driving slower following the car accident of a friend
- saving your receipts when you break something that can't be returned
- going jogging after your brother mentions that you've put on some weight
- taking more time for yourself after you realize you put everyone else's needs first
- looking into starting the business you've always wanted to after you don't get a raise for the third year in a row
- walking your dog more when the vet says he is getting fat
Of course, resolutions or firm promises to yourself can also be made with no prompting at all. Any day is a good day to set a resolution for yourself. What matters is that you set goals for yourself and stick to them so you can make a lasting change for the better.
The answer to the question, “What is a resolution?” isn’t a difficult one. The challenging part is to decide what resolution(s) you should focus on and commit yourself to following through with any promises you make for yourself. If you’re ready to make positive changes in your life, consider starting with a personal mission statement. Review these examples of personal statements for inspiration.