If you're sick of the word "resolution," then read on.

By Ariel Klein
Updated December 06, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement
Getty Images

Sure, you can pledge to eat more greens or log additional hours on the elliptical, but what about some personal growth goals you’re actually excited to tackle? Achieve a better you in the new year with these easy life hacks that’ll have you eating, looking, and feeling better by February.

1
Set Intentions

Why start the new year with rigid resolutions that will most likely result in stress and guilt? Creating intentions (and actively writing them down) is a much more realistic approach to setting goals for yourself. Draft up daily, weekly, and monthly intentions to help take the pressure off your daily schedule and allow you to focus on the big picture.

2
Discover a New Hobby

A hectic work schedule and bustling social calendar can make it difficult to break out of your standard routine. While you may feel short on time, it's essential to carve out time for yourself to try new hobbies and identify new interests. Dying to make pasta from scratch? Test out an irresistible Cacio e Pepe recipe. Interested in trying Pilates? Ask a friend to go to a class with you. Commit to your interests, and even a small effort will feel like an accomplishment.

3
Pack Your Bags

Whether you’ve been wanting to travel to Europe or depart on a brief weekend getaway, do whatever you can to hit the road. Some of the best memories are made while traveling, and you'll ultimately feel recharged, whether your vacation includes a journey to the Bahamas or a jaunt in the Berkshires.

4
Face Your Fears

We’ve all been advised to “do one thing every day that scares you,” but it’s a powerful sentiment that isn't exactly realistic for someone with a full-time job, responsibilities, and a comfortable weeknight routine. If your fears include skydiving, feel free to do just that, but know that more mild acts of bravery apply as well—karaoke nights and new hairstyles included.

5
Make Sense of Your Space

Cleaning up your physical space both at work and at home does wonders for your headspace. If the idea of a thorough deep clean sends you into a clutter-induced panic, tackle each organizing task in 20-minute increments. Simply set a timer on your phone, plug into your favorite podcast and start organizing. Do this a couple of times over the course of a few days, and you’ll create a tidy space even Marie Kondo would approve of.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Make Your Home Feel Cleaner Than It Is

6
Develop a Routine

If endless online shopping and holiday parties have left you feeling out of sorts, kick off the new year with a refreshed daily routine. Anything from a daily morning walk to a nightly bath creates the illusion or order, and serves as the perfect excuse to decompress before or after a busy day.

7
Break a Sweat

There’s no ideal time to break a sweat, but staying active for 30 minutes per day is enough to move you toward your 2020 fitness goals. Not all exercise has to be strenuous either—consider morning stretches, gentle yin yoga, or a brisk walk during your lunch break.

RELATED: How to Start Working Out (If You Basically Haven't Moved in Ages)

8
Practice Gratitude

Regularly expressing gratitude has been shown to shift your perspective for the better. Take stock of what’s going right in your life by expressing it out loud or by writing it down. To make the act of gratitude expression even easier, jot down your daily thoughts in a bedside journal, like this Good Days Start With Gratitude notebook ($18; anthropologie.com).

9
Volunteer Your Time

Giving back to your community or a cause you're passionate about can make a lasting impact. Research where and when you can volunteer on a local level, whether it means collecting canned food or clothing donations. To view thousands of feel-good opportunities in your neighborhood, check out VolunteerMatch.com.

10
Put Down Your Phone

Between the onslaught of texts, emails and Instagram notifications we receive hourly, our smartphones are now a permanent fixture in our everyday life. In an effort to be more present, spend less time on your phone with this simple hack that'll trick you into drastically cutting down your daily screen time.

11
Treat Yourself

Daily life can get hectic, which is exactly why intentional self-care is crucial. Make time for a miniature reward with either a weekly manicure, morning meditation or a new purchase that genuinely brings you joy. Whether you gift yourself with a new book or a few minutes of solitude, prioritizing time to do things for yourself will make you happy and keep you sane.