So many of the New Year’s Resolutions are about how we can make our finances or bodies better, but very few people consider New Year’s Resolutions that will actually make them happier. When happiness is the key ingredient to a happy life, that can really seem crazy when you think about it. So, using the best research available, here are 12 New Year’s Resolution ideas that will actually help you to live a happier life.
Read more books
January is the perfect time to snuggle up with a new book. To stay on track throughout the year, why not team up with friends and peers to discuss the best pages you’ve read? Together, you’ll have a clear idea of how many books you’ll finish by year’s end.
Cook something new each week
In the quest for a healthier diet this year, consider adding more variety to your meals. After all, variety is the spice of life. Trying new things and expanding beyond the things we know can be exciting and add genuine delight to something that had previously been a chore. Challenge yourself to try a new dinner recipe at least once a week.
Drink less alcohol
You already know that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time. Why not make this year the one where you cut back and embrace the sober curious movement? Reducing alcohol intake can improve your mood, sleep, skin, and immune system, not to mention save you money in the long run.
Commit to a healthier sleep routine
Poor sleep can lead to various health issues, so it’s essential to improve your sleep hygiene. Your sleep plan may vary depending on your daily activities and needs. Your brain relies on cues to regulate your internal circadian rhythm, and your daily choices can impact this. Take control of your sleep by following these 20 tips.
Start a hobby and join a club
When researchers followed 7,500 people for 25 years, they found that those who complained of major boredom were roughly twice as likely to die from heart disease. Save your heart and make your life more interesting by taking up a new hobby. Why not choose a country and learn to make their traditional foods, or start attending theatre, or pick up chess? Starting a new hobby is great, but doing it while also joining a club can help you meet new people along the way. Creative clubs can also support your journey to master a new craft.
This year, consider taking steps to address your mental health. You can begin from the comfort of your home with various free digital resources and apps. When you are ready, take the next step and sign up for a weekly session. There is absolutely nothing like dealing with your past and putting issues to bed for overall happiness.
Research suggests that regular volunteering can reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Additionally, repeated studies have shown how altruism can benefit happiness. Start by scheduling a day of service to kickstart a long-term commitment to giving back. You can also involve loved ones in this meaningful goal throughout the year.
Decorate Your Home with Family
In cultures known for happiness and longevity, people often display family heirlooms, photos and mementoes. Embrace this tradition by hanging your grandparents’ wedding portrait or showcasing meaningful memorabilia on your shelves.
Start walking more
Even if you can’t commit to a rigorous fitness routine, a simple walk around your neighbourhood can make a significant difference. All health services recommend daily movement and even a short walk is better than none.
Write to yourself
Combat your inner critic by jotting down the kind words you’d offer to a friend in the same situation. This practice can help you shift your perspective and show self-compassion, as recommended by Emma Seppala, Ph.D., from Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research.
Head outside without your phone
Many of us lose track of time while on our devices. To reclaim some productive moments, consider using built-in tools on your smartphone to monitor your app usage. Take breaks and enjoy the outdoors without distractions.
To boost your mood, immerse yourself in culture by visiting museums, attending theater performances, or enjoying concerts. Research indicates that regular trips to these cultural attractions may reduce the risk of developing depression.