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12 Simple New Year’s Resolutions

Hand Painted Number Twelve 12 On WoodNow is an appropriate time to think about what you’d like to accomplish in the coming year. If every day is a fresh start, it’s always an opportunity to begin anew.

Here are 12 simple New Year’s resolutions that may encourage you to find that spark, reinvigorate your drive, or help problem-solve your way to success.

  1. Work at making small changes. 
    You can’t do everything at once. Just try carrying an overloaded laundry basket upstairs and you can get the concept of trying to tote too much at once. The same principle holds true when you try to make too big of a change at once. Gradually work your way up to the tougher items on your list of desired or necessary changes by working on smaller ones first.
  2. Tackle one change at a time. 
    No sense jamming up your to-do list and trying to do it all at once. That will only lead to frustration and, most likely, ditching the list completely. Start small and devote your entire focus on just that one item.
  3. Write down your goals. 
    Not only does it help to write down your goals, they also serve to track your progress. Keep your goals handy to help with motivation and discipline and to modify, add and eliminate those that are no longer applicable. A written list of goals also ensures that you don’t forget things that you feel are important and want to strive for.
  4. Get support from family and friends. 
    Who knows you better than family and friends? When you need help, ask for it. You’re not being a burden to them by asking for support and encouragement.
  5. Research and read. 
    Resolve to learn all that you can about a project or goal you have on your to-do list. If it means something to you, it’s worth absorbing as much knowledge as possible. Good preparation is a huge part of success in any endeavor.
  6. Pray and meditate. 
    Resolve to begin or continue the practice of praying and/or meditating. Say a prayer if it comes to you. You can also sit relaxed and alone in a quiet room. Close your eyes and allow thoughts to come and go. The practice of prayer and meditation can help ease pain, decrease stress, restore balance and allow your mind to clear.
  7. Write a daily gratitude list. 
    Instead of beginning each day thinking about the mountain of obstacles or things you have on your daily list, start by writing down what you are grateful for. When you recognize what it is that you are thankful for, it helps refine your focus. It also helps you see how far you’ve already come.
  8. Know your boundaries. 
    It’s important to always know your boundaries, to respect them and be proactive. If you are prone to get into arguments with certain people, for example, it might be better to resolve to steer clear of them until you are better equipped to carry on a conversation that’s constructive and not tinged with emotion. If your best time is first thing in the morning and you tend to wear down later, allocate important decision-making to when you are fresh and more likely to see the task through. Know your boundaries and take appropriate action to safeguard and maintain forward momentum.
  9. Substitute “I can” for “I must, need, have to” — 
    Words are incredibly powerful. They act on the subconscious and help or hurt in demonstrable ways. Here’s a simple resolution that you can do right away. Instead of saying or thinking “I must see six clients this week” or “I need to finish the project by tonight” or “I have to get my finances in order,” substitute the words “I can” instead. This simple substitution is an acknowledgement and intention-setter at the same time. Using these words puts the activity or behavior in a more positive light and galvanizes you to act.
  10. Keep focus on what matters. 
    When you feel down or encounter challenging obstacles, resolve to keep your focus on what matters. If the reasons you wanted a goal were important before, they likely still are. Remembering why you wanted a goal helps reinforce your commitment to it. Keep that focus today. It will help see you through when you need it.
  11. Create new family memories. 
    Spend quality time with your family and go out of your way to do something special for them. Listen to what they say. Laugh with them, play games, go out to the movies or engage in physical exercise. Take a short trip or extended family vacation. Show your love in every way that’s appropriate. These are precious family memories that you are helping to create.
  12. Stay optimistic. 
    Life is so much more pleasant and workable if you resolve to stay optimistic. Some days will be downright difficult, maybe even painful, but certainly challenging. Maintaining an optimistic outlook will help ensure that you not only weather the storm but learn something valuable from the situation as well. Remember that there are always two ways to look at anything: positive and negative. Start today to find the positive in all that you think, say, and do.
12 Simple New Year’s Resolutions

Suzanne Kane

Suzanne Kane is a Los Angeles-based writer, blogger and editor. Passionate about helping others live a vibrant and purposeful life, she writes daily for her website, She is a regular contributor to Psych Central. You can reach her at

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APA Reference
Kane, S. (2018). 12 Simple New Year’s Resolutions. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 27 Dec 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.