health

5 New Year’s Resolutions That Have Nothing To Do With Losing Weight

by Karen Belz
Karen Belz has written for sites such as Bustle, HelloGiggles, Romper, and So Yummy. She's the mom of a sassy toddler and drinks an alarming amount of Sugar-Free Red Bull in order to keep up with her.

We’re getting right into 2020, which means that there’s a chance you already stalled on your New Year’s resolutions.

While resolutions can seem pointless to some, they’re actually a great way to get motivated. And they don’t have to start on January 1.

Sure, that may defeat the purpose of a promise for a “new year,” but the goal of a resolution is to better yourself in some way. Putting a bunch of pressure on yourself on a certain day is just setting yourself up to fail. Instead, gradually working toward a goal means there’s a much better chance that it will stick and become a complete lifestyle change.

That said, if your goal is to lose weight, you should stop right there. Yes, it’s important to be healthy — but focusing more on the weight aspect and less on the activity aspect will make you unhappy in the long run. It’s better to focus on your mental health and not beat yourself up for enjoying a donut during a coworker’s birthday celebration. You’re not a failure for having a cheat day turn into a cheat weekend (or a cheat week). If you go back to your goal — with any resolution — you’ll be successful.

This year, your resolution should focus entirely on ways to make yourself happier. You deserve to put a little focus on yourself and your own well-being. Here are five great resolutions to make your 2020 as bright and positive as it can be.

Read more books.

dog-reading

Reading a book before you go to bed can be the perfect way to relax after a long day. The University of Minnesota reports that reading can reduce your overall stress level by 68%. By getting lost in a story, it’s almost like you’re taking a mental vacation. Plus, reading is a great way to learn something new. You might depend on Google to answer all of your questions, but by paging through an actual paperback, you’ll learn a lot while reducing your screen time.

Join a social group.

ladies group

Something that I wish I knew earlier is that it’s ridiculously hard to make friends as an adult. That’s why it’s important to get into a group of some sort to, at the very least, practice your socialization skills. Whether it’s a walking group, a mom group, or a book group, you never know where you might meet your next best friend. The best part about this resolution is that you can spend some time researching local groups in your area before committing to one. Check out local meetups on Facebook or Meetup.com to find a great match.

Spend money on developing an interest.

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In the new year, you should think a little bit about how you budget. How much money do you spend on things you don’t actually need? If you’re the type of person to go through an iced coffee from Starbucks every day, or a bottle of wine every couple of nights, think about how you can use that money to develop an interest.

If you’ve always liked photography, now’s the perfect time to enroll in a class or spend money on a better camera. Love pets? Maybe you can finally build up that dog-walking business you’ve been dreaming about and put some money toward flyers and ads.

Drink more water.

Drink more water.

Last year, the New York Post was one of many outlets that reported on a study comparing hydration to happiness. The study specifically stated that 67% of respondents who drank “more than enough” water daily had the highest levels of happiness. It’s understandable — water is so important for us to function. Buy yourself a reusable water bottle you love and see if upping your intake will improve your mood. It may even prevent you from grabbing a beverage on the go, which will help the environment.

Buy yourself flowers every month.

flowers

Or if not flowers, something else you enjoy. There’s always something out there that won’t necessarily break your budget but falls into the category of “I really shouldn’t.” Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to a manicure or a massage every once in a while. You deserve it — especially if you’ve found that your mental energy has been tapped out week after week. It’ll improve the way you feel and make your day special.