The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution Idea List And Success Plan

Do you feel excited or intimidated when you think about making New Year's resolutions?

Maybe you feel a little bit of both — excited at the possibility of success and intimidated about the potential for failure.

Most of us do give up on our resolutions within weeks of setting them. We begin with bang and end with a whimper, once again feeling like we don't have the “right stuff” to follow through on our new habits and goals.

If it makes you feel better, you aren't alone. Developing new habits is hard if you don't know what you're doing. Most of us don't know how to approach goal-setting and habit creation in a way that fosters success.

When we make our resolutions, we often begin with goals that are ill-defined and too big:

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    I'm going to lose weight this year.
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    I'm going to start running.
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    I'm going to write a book.
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    I'm going to learn to speak Spanish.

Then we just start — without a plan, without breaking it down, without any accountability. And of course, it gets overwhelming or boring or painful, so we give up.

What Are Good New Year's Resolutions?

In this post I'm going to show you how to approach your new year resolutions in a more productive way and give you some great ideas for resolutions you can adopt that are actually doable — so you don't feel like a failure before you cross January off your calendar.

Here is Your 2018 New Year Resolution Ideas List:

Now before we get started on the list, I hope you'll read this next section. I know you are eager to choose your resolution and get on with it, but it will make such a big difference in your ability to develop new habits and reach your goals if you learn how to do it the right way.

Your brain is a stubborn machine. It's like a wild horse that you have to break. For any new behavior to become automatic, you have to train your brain to accept it — slowly, patiently, and repeatedly.

When you develop habits, you're creating new neural pathways in your brain. It's like forging a path in an overgrown forest. At first you have to chop away at the trees, bushes, and brambles. It's hard work, you have to go slowly, and you have to pay attention every step of the way.

But as you keep traveling the same path, you clear the way without meeting resistance. You don't have to work so hard or be as focused. Walking the path becomes automatic and easy.

So it goes with forming habits. At first it's baby steps, with loads of mental brambles to get past. But as you groove that neural path, it becomes easier and easier.

So as much as you want to jump right in to your New Year's resolution, don't do it. It would be the equivalent of trying to run a forest path that hasn't been cleared. You're going to fall on your face.

How to Form New Habits and Reach Your Goals

Habits and goals aren't necessarily the same things. When you set a goal, it's often something big — like writing a book, completing a big project, or starting a business.

Goals require many, many steps before you can reach them. And those steps often involve daily habits.

If you want to write a book, you have to develop the habit of daily writing. If you want to start a business, you have to carve out time every day and create the habit of working on your start-up.

Habits don't always have to be part of a bigger goal — they can stand alone. You may want to develop the habit of journaling or eating more vegetables every day because these are important to you.

Either way, you want to begin with the smallest possible actions you can take to help you achieve what you want to achieve, and then build from there.

Let's take a look at the most popular New Year's resolutions to help you see how to break it down.

The digital marketing company, iQuanti, compiled a list of the most popular resolutions based on Google search terms occurring from January 2016 through October.

Here are the most popular resolutions according to their data:

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    Get Healthy
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    Get Organized
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    Live Life to the Fullest
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    Learn New Hobbies
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    Spend Less/Save More
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    Travel
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    Read More

As you can see, most of these are pretty big goals that need to be broken down into smaller goals and habits.

You've probably seen the acronym SMART goals, right? This acronym helps you understand how to break down your goals so you can develop habits around them to get them done.

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
  • Assignable – specify who will do it.
  • Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

Get Specific

Getting healthy involves soooo many actions — from fitness activities to dietary changes. So you first have to decide what specific part of getting healthy you want to work on.

Exercise? Changing your diet? If it's exercise, which exercise will it be? Walking? Going to the gym?  Or do you want to eat more veggies, start eating lean meat, or add more water to your diet?

You get the picture here. Break it down. Make it specific. Start with just one change at a time.

Make It Measurable

Next you want to decide what you want to achieve for the long term and for your short term goals.

For the long term, you might decide you want to run five miles within six months or you want to increase the number of vegetables you eat a day from two to eight.

Then you need to decide what you can accomplish in the short term, as you get started developing your new habit and working toward your goal. More on that in a minute.

Assign It

That's easy. Unless you're working on a project with another person or group, you are the person taking the actions.

Make It Realistic

This is the part where most people get tripped up. They set themselves up for failure by biting off more than they can chew in the beginning.

Break down your goal into small habits and your habits into small actions. For example, if you want to start running, and you haven't been a runner before or in a long time, you need to make it so easy that it's hard to give up!

The first week, maybe you just want to just put on your running shoes, step outside, and run in place for a few minutes. Or if you are working on your diet, you might want to add just one veggie to one meal a day.

Determine Your Time

You want to determine a time to finish your goal or develop your habit, but be sure to give yourself a realistic amount of time to achieve it.

For example, if you want to run five miles, you not only have to develop the habit of running, but you also have to build your endurance.

Setting a time goal of one month isn't realistic, but reaching that goal in six months to a year (depending on your fitness level) is more doable.

You also want to begin your habit with a very small amount of time (like five to ten minutes) and build from there.

The reason for this is that you want to get used to practicing the habit in an easy way before you start building on the habit and working on it for the desired amount of time.

You can increase the time you spend on the habit incrementally every week until you reach your time goal.

Other Habit Formation Steps

In addition to the SMART goal steps, there are other techniques you can use to ensure your work on your new resolution is productive and leads to success.

Perform the habit at the same time.

If possible, work on your habit at the same time every day. This will help reinforce the behavior in your brain. Having a regular routine helps remind you to work on your habit.

Be sure you choose a time that will work for you in the long run when you increase the amount of time you work on your habit.

Use a trigger.

A trigger is a habit you already have firmly established in your routine, like brushing your teeth or making your morning coffee.

Performing this old habit will remind or trigger you to perform the new habit. You'll want to perform the new habit immediately after your trigger.

Be sure you choose a trigger that you perform every day.

Practice every day.

Speaking of every day, to ensure you groove the habit, practice it every single day in the beginning — at the same time after your trigger.

You may eventually cut back, but until you feel the habit is automatic, work on it daily.

Increase your time slowly.

Remember, start with just a few minutes a day. Then build up by adding a few more minutes each week until you reach the desired time.

Yes, this will take some time, but following this time restriction will ensure you don't quit to soon by overwhelming yourself. Even if it feels ridiculously easy at first, stick to this rule.

Set up accountability.

You need public accountability to stay on track. Find an accountability partner, or report your daily results on Facebook or other social media.

Knowing that others are paying attention to your results will make it harder to quit.

Get back on the wagon.

If you skip a day or mess up with your habit work, please don't use it as an excuse to quit. We all have setbacks.

Just get back on the wagon and start again. Go back to a few minutes a day if you've found you're resisting the amount of time you're spending on your habit.

Keep going until it feels automatic.

Different habits require different amounts of time to solidify them. It could be four weeks for some habits and two months for others.

Don't add any new habits until the first one you work on is easy and automatic.

So now that you know how to set goals and work on habits, let's go over some New Year's resolution ideas that can work for you based on the most popular annual resolutions.

Here are dozens of ideas to inspire you:

Fitness Habits for The New Year

Rather than trying to join a gym or take a class initially, work on developing a fitness habit on your own. The time it takes to drive to gym and attend a full class or conduct a full workout might discourage you in the beginning.

Get yourself in the fitness groove by accomplishing one solid habit before you tackle something harder. Here are some good ideas for you.

Walking

Walking is one of the best ways you can initiate a daily fitness routine. No, you won't become buff and trim just by walking, but you can lose some weight and groove the habit of moving your body.

In time you may want to up your game by running.

Set a time of day after a trigger, put on your walking shoes, and start by walking for five minutes. Then increase your walking time slowly until you reach your desired walking goal.

Make it fun by listening to music or a podcast as you walk.

Running

If you think you can start out running, by all means, go for it! But again, start slowly. Begin with a slow jog for a few minutes, gradually increasing your time and speed.

If you overdo it, you will not only feel overwhelmed, but you could injure yourself.

There are plenty of great free running apps like RunKeeper and Endomondo to help motivate you and keep you on track.

Free Weight Training

Want to get your arms, shoulders, chest, and back looking toned and feeling strong? If you have free weights, set up a daily routine of working out various parts of your upper body.

Start by picking two exercises you can alternate each day, like bicep curls and tricep extensions. On day 1, do five minutes of bicep curl sets, and on day 2 do five minutes of tricep extensions. Then the next day go back to biceps and keep alternating through the week.

As you add more time to your weight training, add in more exercises for shoulders, chest, and back.

Leg Workout

You can follow the same routine for working out your legs, using exercises like squats, lunges, reverse lunges with knee lifts, calf raises, side lunges, and squat jumps.

Start with two exercises to alternate each day, starting with five minutes. Add time and more exercises every week, or alternate between arm and leg workouts every day.

Core Work

Getting your core strong will help you with all of your other fitness goals. This is a fitness routine you can keep to five to ten minutes a day and see great results.

You can alternate between crunches, planks, reverse crunches, raised knee-ups, flutter kicks, side planks, and bicycle kicks. Again, start with a couple that you can alternate, adding time and different exercises as you get stronger.

You can add core work into an entire body strength routine once you solidify the habit.

Rebounding

Rebounding is my favorite winter exercise because you can do it inside, it's really fun, and it is a great workout.

It's so easy to hop on and do a quick five-minute routine before you jump in the shower or while you're watching the news. But you'll want to stay on for longer!

I've written a lot about rebounding and the best rebounders for beginners.

Biking

Once of the best finds for my home exercise routine is a cool gizmo that turns my bike into a stationary exercise bike.

We were thinking of buying a piece of equipment, like an elliptical machine or traditional stationery bike, but this saves you tons of money if you already own a bike.

If you enjoy biking but don't want to go out in the cold or get suited up only to spend a few minutes biking (in the beginning), then this is a great solution.

You can easily start with a five minute routine while still in your pajamas! Check out this cool and cost saving indoor bike trainer exercise stand.

Yoga

Yoga is a mind/body practice that is not only a great exercise but also a wonderful way to reduce stress.

It combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. It increases flexibility and muscle tone, and helps with weight reduction.

You can find some wonderful yoga exercise routines on YouTube that are only five minutes to help you get started. If you're looking for an exercise program that isn't high intensity or bad for your joints, yoga is a great place to start.

Dancing

This is one of the easiest and most fun at-home exercises you can perform. Put on your favorite dance music, crank it up loud, and dance your heart out for five minutes.

Dancing can improve your cardiovascular health, coordination, and mood. And it doesn't cost a thing!

Workout Videos

If you're one of those people who need to follow instructions for your workout, there are plenty of good fitness class videos available on YouTube.

You can start with a short five to ten minute program, and then look for other longer, harder routines as you build you endurance and solidify the habit.

Jumping Rope

Another easy and effective cardio workout is jumping rope. You can start and stop it easily, and perform the habit while watching your favorite morning show or before you hop in the shower.

This is a great exercise to add at the beginning of a strength training workout to warm up.

Stretching

Stretching keeps your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. Muscle flexibility also helps maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight.

You can easily practice five minutes of stretching as soon as you get out of bed to warm up your body and prepare for any other exercise routine you might add to your goals.

Look online for a variety of five minute stretches live this one.

Diet Habits for The New Year

A lot of diet habits involve breaking bad habits — which is much harder to do than adding in good habits. So let's begin by adding some good diet habits to your New Year's resolutions.

You won't be successful with a diet if you try to do too many things at once or deprive yourself so much that you find eating a bore.

Instead, focus on adding good foods to your diet and portion control rather than starving yourself! Try one of these changes at a time to build on creating a healthy, new diet for yourself.

Drink Water 

Develop a habit of drinking two full glasses (16 ounces) of water every morning when you get up.

Having this morning fill of water will hydrate your body, energize you, and help stave off hunger cravings. It also helps metabolize food and break it down more efficiently.

You can use getting out of bed or brushing your teeth as your trigger.

You might also try drinking a glass of water before you reach for a soda or juice. You might find that the water satisfies your thirst, and you don't want the sweet beverage any longer.

Add One Additional Veggie A Day

At lunch or dinner, add in one more healthy veggie to your plate and eat it before you go for the starchy food or an extra helping of meat.

Throw some kale or spinach into your soup or on your sandwich. Add a helping of steamed or stir fried broccoli to your dinner. Slice up a tomato and drizzle it with olive oil and vinegar.

Make Breakfast Healthy

Change up your morning meal so you know it's healthy, getting your day started on the right foot.

Make an omelette stuffed with veggies (and just a sprinkle of cheese). Blend up a smoothie with lots of spinach, almond milk, and strawberries. Fill up on some steel cut oatmeal with banana. Make a bowl of Greek yogurt and blueberries.

If you start your day with a healthy meal, you may be more inspired to make lunch and dinner healthy too.

Stock Up on Healthy Snacks

If you don't have chips and ice cream in the house, you won't be tempted to eat them.

Instead buy snacks that replicate the taste and feel of your favorites but don't have the added fat, sugar, salt, or calories.

If you love ice cream, try Greek yogurt instead. If chips are your guilty pleasure, switch to air popped popcorn. If cookies are your downfall, go for a healthy nutrition bar.

Choose Lean Meats

If you are a meat eater, focus on eating lean meats like salmon, tuna, and other healthy fish, skinless chicken, turkey, and red meat with the fat trimmed.

Keep your portions small — the size of the palm of your hand is plenty.

The best way to stick to this habit is by purchasing these lean meats and keeping them in your freezer. Then grill, bake, or pan fry using a healthy cooking oil.

Keep a Food Journal

If you're trying to lose weight and eat healthier, one of the best habits you can form is keeping a food journal.

Writing down what you eat forces you to take a realistic look at your eating habits and make better decisions.

You'll have to use variable triggers to remind you — every time you eat, write it in the journal. Keep your food journal with you at all times, or use a phone app to help you.

Switch to Whole Grains

Rather than choosing white bread, white pasta, and white rice, stock up on healthier whole grain option like whole wheat bread, brown rice, and whole grain pasta.

Add in some grains you may not normally eat like quinoa, whole wheat couscous, and bulgar for variety.

If you are a white grain fanatic, start by switching to whole grains for just one meal.

Use a Salad Plate

Rather than reaching for a big dinner plate, use a salad plate for your meals to reduce your portion sizes.

After you finish the meal, sit for five to ten minutes before going for a second helping. You may find that you feel full and don't need more food.

Organization Habits for the New Year

Getting organized at home, at work, and in your car is an excellent habit to develop because it makes you feel more in control of all areas of your life.

If you aren't naturally organized or you tend to be messy, this can feel like a daunting task. But when you break it down into small actions and daily habits, you'll be surprised at how quickly you can get things in order.

If you want a step-by-step guide for decluttering and organizing, check out the book, 10-Minute Declutter.

Make Your Bed Daily

Making your bed is a “keystone” habit — one that inspires you to perform other good habits.

When you start your day with one positive achievement before you leave your bedroom, you'll feel good about yourself and be motivated to continue getting things done.

It only takes a minute or two to make your bed, so use getting out of bed as your trigger to make it. You can even pull up the sheets and straighten the comforter while still in the bed!

Declutter One Space

Choose a time and trigger to declutter one space for five minutes every day.

You might choose a drawer, a surface area, a closet, or a cabinet. Declutter for four minutes and use the last minute to put anything away that you didn't get to.

Then pick up again the next day until you complete the project. Then move on to another space.

Fill A Donation Box

Spend five minutes a day walking through your house collecting items you can donate or give to other people.

Walk through your closet, storage spaces, and living areas. Look in drawers, cabinets, and other closets for anything you don't need or use.

Do this every day until you run out of things to give away.

Fill A Storage Box

As you go through your house looking for things to give away, you'll find things that you're unsure about. Should I keep it? Will I need it down the road? Will Grandma be hurt if I let this go?

Take five minutes a day to fill a box with clothes and other items you just can't let go of yet but don't want or use regularly.

Label the box with what's inside, and put it away in storage. Revisit the box in a year to see if you can let go of anything or wnat to reclaim anything.

Organize Your Clothes (by color, type or season)

Get your closet looking spiffy by organizing your clothes for five minutes a day.

You can organize by color, the type of clothing, or seasonality — or all three.

Work on this after you fill your donation and storage boxes.

Organize Your Desk

Spend five minutes a day decluttering and organizing your desk. First clear the clutter on top of your desk, then move to the drawers.

Keep a trash can nearby to chuck old papers and keepsakes you no longer need.

Organize Your Computer

This can be a big job, but if you tackle a little every day, you can have your digital files in tip top shape. Use the beginning or end of your lunch break as your trigger for working on this goal.

Start where you need the most help — which is often your email or desktop. Use the book, The 10-Minute Digital Declutter, to help you get things sorted.

Work On Kitchen Cabinets

Are your kitchen cabinets a disaster, disorganized and spilling over with too much stuff?

Choose one cabinet and begin with the top shelf in the cabinet. You can likely get one shelf cleaned, declutter and organized in five minutes.

Keep moving down the shelves and on to other cabinets until you finish all of them.

Clean Your Car

Before you drive away every morning, take five minutes start cleaning out your car. Begin with the driver's side, then move to the passenger side, then the back seats, followed by the trunk.

Keep a trash can and a box near your car for things to throw away and things to put away in the house or at work.

Living A Full Life Habits for The New Year

This is my favorite resolution on the list. Finding ways to enrich your experiences, find more contentment and happiness, and create meaning every day will transform your life from just okay to amazing.

How you life your life to the fullest is a personal decision, but there are many habits you can adopt that can make you happier, more centered, and more passionate in general. Here are some to try.

Spend More Time With Family and Friends

One of the biggest regrets of the dying is that they didn't spend enough time with their family and friends.

They worked too much or had too many other distractions that got in the way.

Don't let this be one of your regrets. Carve out time every day to be fully present with your family members. Start with your spouse or children, and spend five minutes every morning engaging one-on-one.

Then expand your connection time to include more family members and friends. Make time to call or Facetime people out of town (rather than texting them). Set up lunches or outings with the people you care about.

Learn to Meditate

If you want to have more presence with other people, more peace of mind, less ruminating, and more contentment in general, take up meditating.

You can easily begin with just five minutes a day and work your way up to more time.

The steps for meditating are simple and don't require any special equipment. You can mediate in any quiet, distraction-free location, at any time of day.

Keep A Journal

Journaling is a mindfulness activity that helps you process your thoughts and feelings and keep a record of your activities and achievements.

Journaling also helps you feel gratitude for the positive events and people in your life, allowing you to savor these good memories and feelings for a longer period of time.

Writing a few minutes a day can sharpen your creativity and focus and improve your writing skills. If you'd like to improve your mindfulness while keeping a journal, check out The Mindfulness Journal.

Do Something for Someone Else

If you want to live life to the fullest, studies have shown that doing things for other people brings you happiness and fulfillment.

Set a time and trigger, and take five minutes to do something nice for a friend, neighbor, or even a complete stranger. Send someone a book. Sweep your neighbor's driveway. Write a letter of gratitude to a mentor.

Do One New Thing A Day

Write a list of small, new things you can try every day — a new recipe, a different way of dressing, a new beverage at Starbucks.

Maybe you want to work on learning a new skill, and you work through a course or tutorial for a few minutes daily.

You might also strike up a conversation with a new person to learn more about them or get a different perspective on a topic that interests you.

Then pick one new thing to do every day and see how it expands your life!

Find Your Passion

If you're in a job your don't like, or if your life feels boring or uninspired, spend five minutes a day seeking your life passion.

To get started, you'll need to know the steps to find your passion, and then take action to make it work for your life circumstances.

This requires some self-discovery work, research, experimentation, and planning — but the effort to find your passion is more fun than you might expect.

This is an excellent resolution to work on this year to set yourself up for more fulfillment in your work and in life.

Practice Affirmations

If you want to live life to the fullest, you have to start with your own mindsets and beliefs.

Most of us spend too much time trapped in negative self-talk. This becomes a bad habit you can only break by changing your negative thoughts to positive.

Positive affirmations can help you rewire your thought patterns so you reinforce productive beliefs rather than destructive thoughts.

If you practice them a few minutes a day, you'll find it becomes more natural to turn off negative thinking and seek out positive thoughts instead.

Hobbies Habits for The New Year

Do you want to learn a new hobby in the coming year? Continuing to learn is so important for your brain health, longevity, and overall happiness.

And thanks to the internet, you can learn just about anything online. It just takes a few minutes a day to become a master at a new skill.

Learn A New Language

Learning a new language is always at the top of the list of hobbies and skills people want to adopt. There are so many online language training programs that you shouldn't have difficulty learning any new language.

If you're just getting started, you can get your feet wet with the free Babbel language learning program. Set a time, define a trigger, and just start with five minutes of training.

Take Up An Instrument

Same thing goes with learning an instrument. Whatever you want to learn, you'll find instruction online.

All you need is the instrument and five minutes to get started building the habit.

Learn to Quilt 

Do you enjoy crafts? Quilting is seeing a resurgence in interest from not only Baby Boomers but also Millennials and every generation in between.

If you want to create beautiful gifts and legacies for your friends and family, this is an amazing and creative habit to take up.

Learn Photography

You don't need an expensive camera to learn how to take amazing photos. If you have an smartphone with a decent camera, you can use that to learn the basics and expand your creativity.

Again, there are so many tutorials online to help you create the most amazing photographs with your phone.

Just set aside some time to do your research, and once you have a few new skills under your belt, take your camera/phone out for some experimentation.

If you find you love photography, then you may decide to invest in a better camera down the road.

Write A Book

As the author of several self-published books, I can attest first-hand to how much pleasure and fulfillment comes from writing a book and seeing it published.

Everyone has a book inside of them — whether it's a nonfiction “how to” guide or the next great American novel. If you devote just a few minutes a day to writing, you'll have your book written in just a few months.

If you need some steps to get started, check out this free 46-point self-publishing checklist that gives you all of the actions to take to begin your book and start the publishing process.

Saving Money Habits for The New Year

Saving money is a resolution most people want to commit to — especially after the holidays when pockets are empty from all of the shopping and gift giving.

Saving money requires more than just throwing extra cash in a bank account. You need to have a good handle on your income, expenses, and financial goals.

If you're married, be sure to work on this resolution with your spouse, as you may have different ideas about how much you can save.

Clarify Your Expenses

Ugh. This can be such a boring and unpleasant habit, but it doesn't have to be if you chunk it down.

Spend the first day taking five minutes to write down all of the expense categories you have, from your rent or mortgage payment to your water bill and groceries.

Spend the next few days filling in these blanks with what your expenses actually are in each of these categories. Some expenses are fixed, and others you may need to reconstruct by looking back at your checking account or credit card statements.

Try to work on this in five to ten minute increments until you have a good handle on your monthly expenses.

Determine Where You Can Cut Back

Look over your expenses to see where you might be able to cut back. Maybe you eat out less or hold off on making a big purchase for the next few months.

This might be a one time exercise, or you might need to work on it in small chunks over a few days.

How Much Income Can You Devote to Savings?

After you look at expenses and where you can cut back, determine how much of your income you can sock away each month.

Set up an automatic bank draft into your savings account so you won't even think about spending the money.

Traveling Habits for The New Year

Another big resolution you see on many people's list is traveling. It's always at the top of my yearly goals list, as I love to travel.

But travel can be expensive, so it's something you need to plan for and work toward if you want to make it happen.

It takes a lot of small habits to succeed at making this resolution part of your life!

Save For Travel

You know that savings account you were working on in the last resolution?

Maybe you want to tag that account for travel. (But only if you can pay your bills and have an emergency fund set aside.)

If you don't have spare cash sitting around, start putting aside a few hundred dollars a month for a travel fund.

Write Your Travel Bucket List

Sit down and brainstorm all of the places you want to go, both near and far.

Take five to ten minutes and just do a brain dump of every location that appeals to you. (Use this list of travel ideas to help you.)

Then pick your top three or four locations and write them down.

Create A Realistic Budget

For each of the trips, figure out how much it will cost and how long you want to travel.

Be sure to include airfare, gas (if going by car), ground transportation, accommodations, food, activities, and shopping. Then cushion the budget a little for the unexpected.

This research can take several hours total, so chunk it down into five to ten minute increments that you work on every day.

Decide How Many Trips You Can Take 

Once you have a budget for your top four trips, make a decision about how many of these you can afford over the next year.

Maybe you take one trip a quarter, with two being shorter, less expensive trips and two being longer more adventurous trips.

Book The First Trip

Give yourself plenty of time to plan and book your trip, especially for the longer, more expensive travel.

Spend a few minutes a day for a couple of weeks looking at accommodations, finding the best deals that work with your itinerary.

Think about what you want to do each day of your vacation, and book any special tickets for events, sightseeing excursions, etc. that require advance reservations.

Prepare a list of activities and landmarks you want to see in advance. It's better to be over-prepared than wondering what to do at the last minute.

Plan Your Next Trip

Once you get back from your first trip, you can start thinking about the next one.

Make sure there are no financial surprises that might eat into your travel budget before you get started. That's why it's better to book one trip at a time, just in case you need the money or something happens in your life that prevents you from traveling.

Try to stick to your budget for each trip and continue saving for travel if it's a priority for you.

Reading Habits for The New Year

Reading has been a life-long habit for me. I read every single night before bed to wind down.

But for some, reading isn't their natural go-to leisure activity, even though they'd like to read more. If you aren't in the habit of reading, it can feel like one more chore you have to accomplish.

Once you get into it, however, you'll find reading is a pleasure you don't want to give up.

Decide on Your Reading Time and Trigger

When do you want to read? If your reading is for pleasure, then you might enjoy reading at night before bed like I do. But if you tend to fall asleep while reading, then maybe make it your after-dinner activity.

If you're reading for work or to learn something, you want to be completely alert and awake, so the morning might be a better time.

Choose the time that works best for your goals and schedule, and determine a good trigger to remind you.

Pick Your First Book

If you're reading for pleasure and just getting started with a reading habit, I wouldn't recommend a heavy, serious novel or biography. Choose a novel or mystery that can grab you from the start.

If sitting down and reading a book is too daunting, you might prefer an audiobook you can listen to in your car, during your workout, or while you are doing chores.

Here's a list of books that includes some great mysteries and novels, but if you prefer self-improvement books, there are so many life-changing books to choose from.

If you're reading for work or to learn a new skill, then you'll need to pick out the best books for your goals.

Make It A Game

See how many books you can read in a year by announcing every book you've finished on Facebook or another social media platform. Start a group discussion about the books you've read.

Another idea is to join a book club so you are motivated to finish a book before the next meeting.

The point is to keep reading. The more you read, the more you'll enjoy it, and you'll improve your vocabulary and expand your knowledge.

Wrapping It Up

Don't give up on setting resolutions for the New Year. Just be realistic about what you can achieve and how you go about reaching your goals.

Make your goals SMART.

Start small with one habit at a time.

Begin with just five to ten minutes a day and work up from there.

Set up a trigger and an accountability system.

Celebrate the small victories and successes.

Don't beat yourself up when you have a setback.

Let every day be January 1st, knowing you can always start again!

If you follow these strategies, you'll be one of those people who can say, “I didn't give up on my resolutions!”

What resolutions are you planning for the New Year? Please share them in the comments below.

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