For many people, the start of a new year is a chance for amazing personal transformations. And although setting goals is an admirable thing to do, New Years resolutions tend to hold a lot of weight. They’re often laced with the expectation to completely turn things around. But let’s be real — all good things take time and patience. If anything, choosing easy New Years resolutions that you can accomplish is the best way to go. This kind of approach breaks up the bigger dreams into smaller, realistic goals.
It also proves that every little effort counts. Even the simplest actions will add up over time. Personally, I like to think of resolutions as ongoing practices. These are habits and accomplishments that need to be gradually worked on. It also serves as a reminder that we are all changing and growing every year (and day). To top it off, there’s a lot less pressure attached to this mindset.
Once you knock off a small goal, it’s that much easier to move on to the next step. And it will feel downright awesome. To get you started, here are 12 sweet and simple New Years resolutions that you can totally accomplish in 2017. You got this.
1Show More Gratitude
After the chaos of 2016, it really wouldn't hurt to show more kindness and gratitude toward others. In fact, it might be what our world needs right now. A simple smile and a "thank you" to a stranger, barista, or cashier can totally make someone's day.
2Unplug Before You Sleep
No, this isn't about the outlets in your house. It's about detaching your mind from the digital world. Make it a point to turn off your phone before you go to bed. Use a separate alarm clock, if you must. This will grant you "me" time right before you sleep and when you wake up. It'll also prevent aimlessly scrolling through Facebook when you actually need to get ready for work.
3Live In The Moment
This might sound like a bit "woo woo," but hear me out on this one. Much like unplugging before bedtime, it might also help to do the same in other areas of your life. Put your phone away at dinner, parties, or shows. I mean, let's be real — is tweeting really more important than the experience right in front of you? Never.
It's safe to say that Mother Nature is pretty darn beautiful. So why not treat her with respect? You can do your part by making an extra effort to recycle a little more in 2017. The simple act of putting out a recycling bin can make in this easy in a hectic kitchen.
5Use Reusable Shopping Bags
This is right up there with recycling. The simple act of using reusable shopping bags can make a huge difference. Plus, it gives you the chance to shop around for some cute totes. Consider leaving them by the door or in your car so you'll never forget them.
Ah, finances. It will always have a spot in the traditional list of New Years resolutions. Luckily, this can be easier than you think. It all comes down to your technique. Link your checking account to your savings and set up a weekly transfer. Even $10 can make a difference. You can also kick it old school by placing all your spare change in a piggy bank.
7Be More Active
I can see you rolling your eyes from here. Is regular exercise hard work? Of course it is. But it doesn't mean you can't fit in little bursts of physical activity in your daily life. Try parking your car on the other side of the parking lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do a few jumping jacks while waiting for your toast to finish. Every little bit counts.
8Bring Lunch From Home
Eating out can be fun, but it can also do a number on the wallet. Save yourself some cash by packing lunch whenever you can. And if the morning rush is a factor? Do yourself a favor and prep on Sunday night. Divvy up the food in separate containers, if you must. This way, you can just grab it each morning.
Like exercising, reading more often can be done in small doses. After you unplug from your phone, cozy up with a book or magazine. Even just a couple pages each night is better than pursuing Instagram. You can even read while you walk on the treadmill or commute to work.
10Write In A Journal
Journaling is awesome for the brain. It can boost mental and emotional health while letting you de-stress. Try writing in a journal every night by keeping a notebook and pen by your bed. Even just a few sentences will do the trick. It's an awesome way to unwind and reflect after a long day.
Often, so many misunderstandings and conflicts can be avoided by simply listening. Even if you don't agree, just pause and listen to another person. Don't be afraid to ask tough questions for the sake of progressive discussion.
Of course, this is easier said than done. It's too easy to focus on the not-so-great aspects of yourself. But when you realize that loving yourself is an ongoing practice — and not a single event that happens overnight — it suddenly seems more feasible. Try using that journal to write one awesome thing about yourself each day. This can be anything from something you achieved to a compliment you received. Don't forget to treat yourself once in a while, too. Massages, relaxing baths, and alone time are all fair game.