8 New Year’s Resolutions That Are Actually Reasonable and Realistic


Are your New Year’s resolutions realistic?

As 2013 comes to an end there’s one question at hand: are you going to make a list of resolutions?

While New Year’s resolutions are admirable – making an effort to make positive changes in our lives is certainly a good thing – often we make ones we can’t keep. “Eat better” or “be healthier” aren’t realistic resolutions as they don’t have any parameters. How do you measure your success? Set up a resolution that you can’t keep and you won’t get the benefit of succeeding.

About 45 percent of Americans make resolutions, but only about 8 percent actually keep them. Looking to make some resolutions for the new year? Here are some that are good for you, the environment and the community, and that you can adapt according to your own needs to ensure that you are successful in the new year.

1. I will take one evening a week to unplug

I mean no iPhone, no iPad, no social media, not TV. Nothing. Read a book. Write a letter. Draw a picture. Sit and think.

2. I will go one month without buying anything new

Try to not buy anything new during the month of January. Groceries don’t count of course! If you succeed in January, try again in February. The goal is to reconnect to your consumption habits; we all could do with buying less, and when we do feel the need to buy something, why not buy something second hand? It’s more economical and environmentally friendly.

3. I will eat one, two, three or even more, additional vegetarian meals a week

We all know that we should be eating less meat, so in 2014 if you’re not a strict vegetarian, commit to it! Choose a number of meals per week that you can realistically go 100 percent meatless and to make things easier, plan out those meals in advance.

4. I will look at hangtags and have that guide my shopping decisions

Want to do something to change the world of fast fashion? Look at your hangtags and think about the purchases you are making. If it helps, make a list of places you don’t want to be buying from.

5. I will not eat at fast food restaurants

It’s 2014, people, you should have stopped doing this a long time ago anyway.

6. I will incorporate a daily morning routine of meditation/breathing/yoga/stretching

No one is asking you to run a marathon (although if you want to do that this year, that’s a great goal), just plan out a short morning routine to get you going. After a few weeks of a daily practice, you’ll be surprised at how much your body craves it.

7. I will explore one new place a month

You don’t have to travel across the world to have an adventure. Commit to exploring in your own neighborhood, be it a new park, restaurant or even just a street you have never walked down.

8. I will smile more

It is proven to make you happier after all. Try one smile at a stranger per day and just see how much better you feel.

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Anna Brones

Anna Brones is a food + travel writer with a love for coffee and bikes. She is the author of The Culinary Cyclist and Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Catch her weekly column, Foodie Underground.