How to pick a meaningful New Year's resolution

Lauren Corona

A meaningful resolution can give you a whole new outlook for the new year.

Ask any number of people about their New Year's resolutions and you'd be surprised how many variations on "lose weight" you hear. The fact is, the start of the year is a great time to focus on things other than diet and weight loss. And we'd love to help.

We've put together some suggestions on how to pick a meaningful New Year's resolution, so you can start the year with a healthy outlook.


You might decide the new year is the perfect time to improve yourself. It can be useful to reflect on and figure out how we could do better. A step on the journey to self-improvement is knowing yourself better, and resolving to keep a journal is a good way to do so. Writing down things you are thankful for or have accomplished each day and reading them back is a great start.

Improving your mind by learning something new is an excellent resolution. You could take up a language or teach yourself to code. If you'd prefer to learn something simpler, you could resolve to take a pottery course at your local adult learning center, or teach yourself to cook one new dish each week.

While weight and appearance don't need to be the focus of your resolution, there's nothing wrong with keeping your body healthy. Resolutions that focus on what you might add to your life versus what you shouldn't do provide a positive outlook. You might resolve to cook from scratch more often, or buy a fruit or vegetable you haven't tried when you find one at the store. You may decide to find a sport you truly enjoy and engage in it regularly. Perhaps you simply want to drink more water?

Helping other people

A meaningful New Year's resolution needn't be about yourself, it could be focused on helping other people. If you have some spare time, you could resolve to volunteer at a local food bank or literacy program. There are such a large number of organizations that are in need of help--even a few hours a month could make a big difference.

If you don't have the time to volunteer, you could make your resolution to increase your charitable giving, whether you commit to regular donations or save up your spare change in a jar or piggy bank and donate it to a cause of your choice.

Another resolution is to offer assistance when you witness someone struggling. It could be a mother trying to maneuver her stroller down some steps, a shopper whose grocery bag has split, or a friend or family member who's having problems with their health. Keep your eyes peeled and lend a hand--you might notice more people need help than you previously noticed.

Helping your community

Not only does a resolution to help your community benefit your neighbors, it can also be extremely fulfilling and allows you to become engaged in your area in a new way.

How you help your community will depend on where you live and what's going on in your area. You could seek permission to plant a community garden or spruce up some common spaces. If there's a litter problem, organize a community cleanup. To foster community spirit, consider starting up a town choir or a book club that's open to everyone.

Helping the environment

It's no secret that the environment needs all the help it can get. You could make a general resolution to live in a more eco-friendly manner, or you could make a specific resolution to go greener in a particular way.

If you regularly drink takeout coffee, the resolution to switch to a travel mug or other reusable coffee cup could save hundreds of takeout cups going into landfills each year. You might resolve to go completely plastic-free, or only use cloth tote bags or paper bags instead of plastic grocery bags.

A simple eco-friendly resolution is to switch out any standard light bulbs in your home for energy-saving LED light bulbs.


Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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