10 Fresh and Fun New Year's Resolution Ideas!

10 Fresh and Fun New Year's Resolution Ideas!

I've never been big on celebrating the new year. It was just never a huge event in our home; January first was always 'just another day'. That's probably why I've never been big into setting goals for myself at the end of each year. I've always held the perspective that I don't need a new year to decide to make changes in my life. Although this may be true, I have definitely noticed that a new year brings a new sense of motivation and drive to do and be better, which is why so many people set goals as January approaches!

Now, when I think of New Year's resolutions, my first thought always goes to the usual "losing weight," "eating healthier," etc. These goals can be great, but when setting goals, it's important to make our goals more desirable and FUN! Because if we set the same, mundane goals year after year, oftentimes goals that we just aren't all that excited for, you really don't set yourself up for much success.

That's why I love finding fun and fresh New Year's resolution ideas each year that will keep me motivated all year long! Here are some of my favorites from year's past!

1. Read one new book each month

We all know how beneficial reading can be. I always LOVED reading as a teenager, but since becoming a mom to two young kids, it's been hard for me to find time to sit down and enjoy reading.

Although it can be difficult, I've found that setting aside time to read not only helps me de-stress, but it also improves my focus and helps me remain calmer with my kids throughout the day. 

That's why one of my favorite goals is to read one new book each month. If that's easily achievable for you, try to read two or three each month. I've found that setting a goal to read a certain amount of books per month was much more achievable than saying, "I want to read every day." This is because I could physically see my progress, and I didn't feel quite as discouraged when I'd get busy and miss a day. And honestly, one book per month was a lot more manageable and I found myself reading more often than I was before.

One fun way to achieve this is to start a book club with friends. For me, not only does this encourage you to read, but also allows you to gain greater and deeper friendships, which is ALWAYS a goal I have for myself.

(If you're looking for a great book to start off your new year, I definitely recommend Atomic Habits by James Clear!)

Woman Reading a Book

2. Try a new recipe each week

I've never been a big fan of cooking. But I do love a good home-cooked meal. And I know my family does as well! I've found that making it a goal to find a new recipe I'm excited to try can give me that motivation I need to cook, and it allows me to discover meals that I can add to our dinner rotation! Plus throwing in some new meals is great for getting kids to try new things!

This is also a great way to get the whole family to eat healthier, more nutritious meals next year (which I know is a common goal for many)! Planning and trying new recipes can keep you from going out and grabbing fast food as often, all while helping you incorporate meals with specific, nutritious ingredients. 

Not sure where to start? Here are some fun and easy family-friendly recipes you can try!

New Recipe

3. Save for a family vacation

I know saving money is probably a goal we all have. But I find that if I don't have something fun to save for, it's a lot harder to do it! One of my favorite things to save for is definitely family vacations! 

Sit down as a family and pick a place you'd all love to go! Then look at when you'd like to take the trip and estimate how much it will cost. You can then divide that by how many weeks you have to achieve it. 

For example, if I wanted to go on a little vacation next October for Halloween and it's going to cost me $2500, I have about 43 weeks to save enough money for the trip. That means I'd have to save about $58 each week. Although that may seem like a lot, I've found that I spend $20 here and there throughout the week on unnecessary things, and if I cut those things out, we could be there in no time!

Setting a specific amount of money to save each week as a family makes it easier and can help you avoid unnecessary spending. And honestly, you may find it helps you change your spending habits in the process, saving you more money in the long run!

And honestly, what motivates you more than a family vacation?!

Family Vacation on Beach

4. Try a new restaurant each month

Life can get pretty mundane at times. But trying new things can help bring more excitement to your life! (And to your relationships with your spouse and your kids!) An easy way to do this is testing out a new restaurant each month! Even in smaller cities, you can often find little local eateries that you've never tried before! And who knows? Maybe it will become your family's favorite new place to dine!

Not sure if there's any restaurants you haven't tried? Try asking friends and neighbors for some suggestions! You can also pile the kids in the car and drive around, and you might just find some places you've never heard of before.

Trying new restaurant

5. Keep a journal

Journaling is definitely a common New Year's resolution! When I first had my daughter, I knew I wanted to have a written record of the cute things she did that I could look back on when my memory was fuzzy on certain things, while also giving her something she could keep, read, and enjoy as well.

However, journaling can be really challenging to achieve. It's easily forgotten, and even when we remember to do it, it can be difficult to motivate ourselves to pull out the pen and paper when it would be easier to flip on our favorite tv show.

But it doesn't have to be! One way to get started is to find easy and manageable ways to journal. Whether it's writing little notes on your phone throughout the day when your kids do cute things, or simply ordering prints from your phone and writing simple notes on the back of them, making journaling simple is the best way to motivate ourselves to do it.

For some of my favorite journaling ideas, check out my blog post with all the tips on how to make journaling easy and enjoyable!


6. Schedule a weekly date night

Prioritizing your relationship with your spouse is one of the best goals you can set. You hear all too often how people fall out of love with their spouse. Although there can be a plethora of reasons why some people feel this happens to them, one of the best ways to avoid it altogether is to date your spouse. And scheduling in and prioritizing a weekly date night, where you have one-on-one time with that person, is a great way to do that.

As parents though, this can be hard. Especially if you live far away from the help of extended family (free babysitting, am I right?) This was the case for us the past three years while my husband was in school. We didn't have a ton of extra cash to pay a babysitter. But I found that it was better to spend the money on a babysitter, which allowed me to get that much needed time with my spouse, than to not go out at all. 

We ALL need that for our relationships. Even if it's something small, find and set aside some time each week to spend some alone time together. Even better if you can schedule a specific time each week, giving you something to look forward to throughout the week! 

Need some fun date ideas? Check out this blog post here!

Go on date

7. Go out by yourself once a month to do something you LOVE

As moms, it can be so hard to give ourselves the love and care we deserve. But we are often the ones that need it the most! That's why it should be EVERY momma's goal this year to make self care a priority!

Everyone's definition of self care will differ, but for me, getting out of the house by myself for just a little while, even if it's once a month, is what I need to feel renewed! For many women, going out to get a mani/pedi once a month is their favorite thing! For others, it may be going to get a massage, going shopping, attending a class you've always wanted to attend, or even just going for a walk.

No matter what it is for you, pick something specific that you LOVE doing or that will bring you joy and schedule it into your month!


8. Take a class for a skill you've always wanted to learn

I was always that kid that loved school and learning new things. However, once I graduated from college and became a parent, it became much more of a challenge to find opportunities to continue learning. Although there's always YouTube, I've always been the type of person that learned best in a classroom setting where I could interact with others and get feedback. 

With a little research, I've found that there really are a lot more opportunities for classes than I realized. By searching and finding a class for a skill you've wanted to learn, not only do you get some time to yourself each week, but you may also meet some new people that will bring additional value to your life!

Here are some fun classes you could look into taking to help you learn something new next year:

  • New language class (such as Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, etc.)
  • American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Cooking class
  • Crochet/knitting class
  • Sewing/quilting class
  • Music lessons (piano, cello, violin, etc.)


9. Attend a FUN exercise class each week

Of course, it wouldn't really be a New Year's resolution post if I didn't talk about exercise, right? In the past I've set fitness goals, but looking back I've never achieved them because my goal was to exercise to lose weight rather than to do it because it was something I enjoyed.

I've found that if you want exercise to be a positive thing for you, then you need to find something you enjoy doing. For me, that was finding an exercise class I love because I do not do well in tradition gym settings. (I'm that person that can't even figure out how to adjust the seat on gym equipment haha!) 

Once I found a class or a variety of classes I loved, I found I was motivated to exercise just for the joy that the class brought. It became less and less about losing weight and more and more about getting time away to do something for myself.

Whether it's yoga, a swimming class, HIGH fitness, Barre, cycling, or something else, find something you enjoy that fits your schedule and go! And even better, take your friends and enjoy it together while also getting in that exercise our bodies need!

Exercise Class

10. Write a letter/text an old friend once a month

Since getting married seven years ago, our family has moved cities several times. Each time, I'm so sad to leave friends that I've grown to love. Although these days we have social media to stay in contact with friends, I've noticed that there are still a lot of people who don't use it regularly, including myself! I often lose track of what's going on in my friends' lives, and vice versa!

That's why one of my favorite goals to set is to text an old friend once a month. It's a great way to rekindle friendships, to stay up-to-date on what's going on in their lives, and to remind them how much you appreciate and care for them! 

This is also one of the best ways to serve others, which is always something I try to be better at each day. It reminds others that they're not alone, that you care, and that you're always there if they every need you-which is something I think we all need a little bit more of!

If you like to be old school, send them a letter in the mail! I think we all love going out to the mailbox and getting a happy surprise from a friend instead of more junk mail!

Messaging a Friend

Tips on Setting New Year's Resolutions

Once you've found some fun goals you'd like to achieve, it's important to put a plan in place to help you to actually achieve them!

You can find countless advice on how to set goals and how to actually achieve them. In fact, there are thousands of books on this topic. With the excess of knowledge on the subject, though, it can be challenging to know where to start. Although this is not EVERYTHING you need to do or know to make, set and achieve your goals, it should help you get on the right path! 

Here are my top tips that have helped me achieve goals in my own life!

1. Be Realistic & Specific

I've noticed that one of the biggest reasons I've failed to achieve goals I've set for myself is because my goals are WAY too big or broad. It's good to dream big, but it's always better to set smaller goals that you can achieve more easily. As I have started doing this, I've found that I'm much more motivated because I'm actually achieving something. Smaller goals that build up to a larger goal is almost always more successful than one huge goal.

I've also found that being specific about what my goal is gives me better vision, allowing me to know exactly what I'm shooting for. For example, if I want to learn how to crochet, saying that my goal is "learning to crochet" is too broad. This is because there's no specific thing I'm striving to achieve. Do I only achieve that goal when I can crochet the most elaborate blanket known to man? Setting a specific goal, such as "I want to learn to crochet a pot holder" is much more manageable and gives you something to work towards.

It's also helpful to be specific about when you'd like to achieve your goal by. Without a deadline, things just don't get done.

2. Record & Share Your Goals

Thinking about the things we want to achieve is GREAT. But just thinking isn't going to lead to any real action. That's why it's so important to write our goals down and share them with those around us. 

One of my best friends always creates a vision board for herself. This is a great way to make our goals visible to us on a daily basis, which reminds us what we're working towards. 

Telling our spouse or friends can also be very beneficial because then we have someone we are accountable towards. Pick someone you trust that you know will help you achieve your goal.

Friends Supporting One Another

3. Don't Give Up

We all fail sometimes. But just because we don't achieve a goal exactly how we planned on the exact date we planned to achieve it by does NOT mean you're a failure. If you mess up, that's ok. If it takes longer to achieve than you thought it would, that doesn't mean you'll never get there. So don't give up! 

Sometimes all you need is to adjust your goals a bit by making them more specific or more manageable. And sometimes doing just that can give us the motivation we need to keep going.

4. Offer Praise Along the Way!

As parents, we all know how important praise can be for our children. Not only is it one of the best motivators, but it reminds our kids that we see their efforts. Unfortunately, this rarely translates to adults, and we often fail to give ourselves that same praise that we would readily give our own kids. 

For example, when my daughter was learning to write her letters, there were several times when she'd get frustrated or upset because, despite her repeated efforts, she just couldn't get it right. But having me right there next to her, encouraging her and praising the things she DID do right, she continued to practice, try again, and eventually she got it!

Doing this for ourselves, our spouses, and our friends is just as important but is often overlooked. This is one of the reasons why I find it so important to not only write down your goals, but to tell your spouse, friends, and even kids what those goals are so that they can offer encouragement and praise to help you keep going!

Although we probably ALL have experience with setting goals or resolutions that we feel we "fail" by January 2nd, I've come to discover that that's not really what resolutions are about. It's about taking the time to sit down, consider the things we want to be better at and how we could improve our lives, and setting a plan to make that happen. It's not about being perfect every day. It's about doing our best to try harder, even if that means taking baby steps each day, month and year to get to where we want to be.

As the new year approaches, all of us here at The Baby Cubby wish you the best of luck at achieving your goals so that you can build the life you're dreaming of! Just don't give up, and know that, no matter how the next year goes, that we think you are amazing!

For more fun ideas and tips, be sure to check out our blog at babycubby.com!

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