New Year’s resolution ideas and how to crush them: 10 steps to take

New Year’s resolution ideas and how to crush them: 10 steps to take


As the year draws to a close, the arrival of the New Year brings with it an opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth. 

With 2024 nearly here, that means a whole new list of resolutions.

Fox News Digital rounded up some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions that are sure to be big in 2024.

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Keep reading for the list — as well as some quick tips from lifestyle experts on how you can crush these goals in the year ahead.

  1. Losing weight and improving health
  2. Strengthening finances
  3. Developing professionally
  4. Getting organized
  5. Quitting alcohol
  6. Maximizing productivity
  7. Giving back to the community
  8. Minimizing waste and living more sustainably
  9. Getting more sleep
  10. Practicing more self-care

1. Losing weight and improving health

It’s widely acknowledged that setting goals for weight loss and health improvement ranks among the top New Year’s resolutions. (iStock)

It’s no secret that weight loss and health improvement resolutions are two of the most common New Year’s goals people make.

These two resolutions are also some of the easiest for people to abandon. 

If you’re looking to shed pounds or be healthier overall, slow and steady wins the race.

“To achieve weight loss as a New Year’s resolution, consistency and making small changes are key,” said Jinan Banna, a nutrition professor at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. 

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“For example, if you’re shooting to lose weight and decide to go vegetarian to help yourself get there, you’ll want to consider if this is going to be a drastic change for you. If you currently eat a lot of meat, you may want to think about setting a different short-term goal, such as making a couple of meals per week vegetarian — rather than doing too much all at once.”

2. Bettering finances

saving money

Whether you’re trying to get out of debt or you’re trying to save more money in the year ahead, creating a long-term strategy will be your best bet. (iStock)

Whether you’re trying to get out of debt or you’re trying to save more money in the year ahead, creating a long-term strategy will be your best bet.

“The most important thing when looking at keeping your financial resolutions is to set SMART goals,” said Jay Zigmont, certified financial planner and founder of Live, Learn, Plan, based in Tennessee. “SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.”

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He continued, “It isn’t enough to say, ‘I want to get out of debt.’ A SMART goal would be: ‘I’m going to pay off $12,000 of debt over the next year.’ The result is that you have a measurable and realistic goal of paying off $1,000 per month. You can track your progress each month and adjust as needed. It is the same if you change the goal to, ‘I want to save $12,000 this year.’”

3. Developing professionally

Choosing professional development as a New Year’s resolution can fuel career growth and success. 

When you set your mind to this resolution, it’s a commitment to enhancing skills, knowledge and expertise — plus opening doors to new opportunities and advancements. 

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Professional development is more than just acquiring new skills. It reflects a mindset centered on constant improvement. 

By prioritizing ongoing skill enhancement, individuals position themselves for long-term success and resilience in their career journey.

4. Getting organized 

closet organizing

Tired of losing things or missing appointments? You’re not alone. Many people view the New Year as the perfect time to get freshly organized. (iStock)

Tired of losing things or missing appointments? You’re not alone. Many people view the New Year as the perfect time to get organized.

Tips for organizing cluttered homes or workspace include getting rid of items you no longer need. These can be donated, shared with family members or thrown in the trash, depending on the condition of the items.

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You can also pair up with a friend or neighbor if you need motivation and support to stay organized. 

Said one New York woman about her recent re-organization project at home, “Having accountability through others is a huge help. You know that you’re not alone in the effort — and that you can have another person to check in with periodically to help you stay on target.”

It’s best to tackle your home decluttering project at a slow place. Work on one area of your home at a time, said Sarit Weiss, founder and lead organizer with Neat & Orderly, a home organizing company in New York

“Start with one specific room, closet or shelf to prevent getting overwhelmed — and continue to the next area or space only after you’ve fully completed the current one,” she told Fox News Digital.

5. Quitting alcohol

quitting alcohol

While plenty of folks will be participating in “Dry January,” some may feel inspired to give up alcohol on a long-term or permanent basis. (iStock)

While plenty of folks will be participating in “Dry January,” some may feel inspired to give up alcohol on a long-term or permanent basis. If you’re looking to quit drinking for your New Year’s resolution, you’ll need to take small steps and find alternatives.

“[First, you have to] decide to take a break from alcohol. Taking a break can really allow your body to rebalance on a massive level, remove cravings, and dramatically improve your mood,” said Karolina Rzadkowolska, a life coach and founder of Euphoric Alcohol-Free who is based in San Diego. 

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She also recommended substituting alcohol with journaling, self-reflection or a good old mocktail or alcohol-free beverage.

“Alcohol tricks our brain into thinking it’s highly pleasurable, but there’s a whole world of passions and new activities you could discover when you start exploring new ways of having fun,” Rzadkowolska said. 

“It’s perfectly OK to socialize or decompress with a drink — just change the drink. There are thousands of options these days.”

6. Maximizing productivity

talking into phone

Whether you want to banish procrastination, start a business or get serious about school or career, increasing productivity is a top New Year’s resolution. (iStock)

Whether you want to banish procrastination, start a business or get serious about taking your schooling or career to new heights, increasing productivity is a top New Year’s resolution.  

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Tips from experts include using time-blocking as a technique; starting with the hardest tasks first, to get them underway and complete; and focusing on different tasks at one time, rather than trying to multi-task.

Also, learn to say no to projects or invitations that you’re not 100% invested in, say experts. 

This way you are creating more time for the tasks that truly matter to you and that will help you achieve your goals. 

7. Giving back to the community

Embracing the idea of giving back as a New Year’s resolution creates a powerful ripple effect of kindness and transformation. 

It goes beyond individual acts of service or volunteering, fostering empathy, purpose and stronger community bonds. This commitment sparks conversations about societal challenges, inspiring collective action for positive change.

By actively participating in initiatives for social good, this resolution could become a foundation for building a more supportive and empathetic society, setting the stage for meaningful change throughout the upcoming year and beyond.

8. Minimizing waste and living more sustainably

throwing trash away

If your New Year’s resolution involves you being kinder to the Earth, your goal might be to reduce waste or live a more sustainable life. (iStock)

If your New Year’s resolution involves being kinder to the Earth, Dr. Erica Dodds, chief operating officer at the Foundation for Climate Restoration, has a few tips to help you achieve your goal.

She recommended unplugging big appliances when the electrical grid is “stressed” (e.g. weeknights from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.), refilling empty bottles and containers from eco-friendly manufacturers and retailers, shopping secondhand, donating or volunteering at climate nonprofits, using produce before it expires, and investing in a carbon footprint reduction subscription service like Climeworks, which reportedly reduces 1 kilogram of carbon dioxide from the air for every dollar spent. 

Quality sleep is foundational for optimal health, impacting physical, mental and emotional states. 

Climeworks is a Swiss company that uses direct air capture (DAC) technology to fight climate change. The company said on its website that it “captures CO₂ directly from the air, reducing the atmospheric concentration of CO₂ by only using renewable energy, energy-from-waste, or other waste heat as energy sources.”

In 2022, it became Microsoft’s first long-term carbon removal supplier. 

“Envision the planet that you want to see in the future,” said Dodds, who is based in California. “Align your actions with the outcome you want to see, and take heart in the fact that your actions make a difference. The more you can do to make the planet livable, the less eco-anxiety you’re likely to have.”

9. Getting more sleep

Prioritizing better sleep as a New Year’s resolution offers profound advantages for overall well-being. 

Quality sleep is foundational for optimal health, impacting physical, mental and emotional states. 

Committing to improved sleep habits can sharpen cognitive functions such as memory, focus and decision-making. 

It bolsters the immune system, aids in mood regulation and diminishes the likelihood of various health concerns

10. Practicing more self-care

yoga in field

There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic was stressful. So, it’s not surprising that people are looking to practice more self-care. (iStock)

The COVID-19 pandemic was extremely stressful for many people.  

So it’s not surprising, heading into the year of 2024, that people are still looking to practice more and better self-care to ensure their physical and mental health remains strong.

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Experts in healthy living recommend making time to socialize with family and friends; building in regular periods for exercise, fitness and meditation; eating well; and allowing for personal downtime amid busy schedules. 

New Year’s resolutions serve as guiding lights, inspiring positive changes and personal growth.  

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The key to successful resolutions is setting realistic, measurable goals and fostering consistency and determination. 

Daniella Genovese of Fox News Digital, as well as Erica Lamberg and Cortney Moore, contributed reporting.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.



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