Try These Alternatives To New Year’s Resolutions For 2024

Tired of making and failing to keep the same old New Year’s resolutions? It may be time for new ideas instead.

The New Year brings a sense of new beginnings for many of us, which is why we tend to make resolutions to better ourselves over the course of the year.

However, as well-meaning as they may be, it can be difficult to stick with resolutions, from the broad to the specific. Studies have shown that 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to keep them by the end of January.

READ ALSO: Revitalize Your 2024: Unique New Year’s Resolutions Paired With Practical Tips For Achieving Success

It’s a longstanding tradition that just may not work for most of us. So instead of forcing ourselves to do the same thing all over again, here are some alternative activities you can try to start the year on the right foot.

Reflection Over Resolutions

Before thinking about everything you want to achieve in the next few months, why not take a moment to reflect on how the past year went for you? 

Instead of making New Year's resolutions already, reflect on the past year first
Image by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

You may be reminded of all the challenges you’ve had to face in 2023, but you made it through. How did you overcome them? Have they changed you in some way? What would you do differently if faced with a similar circumstance?

“Reflecting on personal growth and learning from experiences, both positive and negative, can provide valuable insights that shape your approach to the new year,” Wellnite’s mental healthcare newsletter shared.

Give yourself time to process all the emotions you’ve felt. And don’t forget to celebrate the things that brought you happiness, even the smallest wins.

Make A Bucket List

Now that you’ve reflected on the past year, it’s time to list down the things you can look forward to in 2024. It could be an event you’ve already planned or a trip you’d like to embark on. It could be something as simple as cooking your favorite meal or as monumental as completing a marathon.

The good thing about bucket lists is it keeps you engaged throughout the year. As you cross off completed activities, you can just keep adding more as you come up with new ideas.

Make your own 2024 bucket list
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“You’re imagining a new potential future—one with good times and challenges overcome instead of a bleak, powerless tomorrow,” said Ryan Howes, a clinical psychologist. 

After the pandemic put a pause on our lives, having something to look forward to has its benefits. A bucket list keeps us positively anticipating the days to come.

Try Month-Long Challenges

If you’re someone who has trouble committing to a year-long resolution, maybe shorter challenges are more suitable for you. 

For example, during the first month of the year, some people join a challenge called “Dry January.” Participants refrain from consuming alcohol for a month, which is a great chance for your body to recover from all the holiday drinks.

According to a study done by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, even in about two months, people can form habits that stick. This makes month-long challenges a great starting point for those daunted by big changes.

Take up new hobbies or revisit forgotten ones this new year
Image by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

You could gear these challenges towards hobbies that you may not have had time for lately. Try learning new recipes, checking out writing prompts, or taking up a fitness challenge.

Change it up every month or as you see fit. What matters is you get to try new things that make you happy and improve your well-being.

Give Yourself Time

At the beginning of every year, many of us put a great amount of pressure on ourselves to become our best selves.

However, licensed clinical psychologist Terri Bly said that sometimes we can’t commit to long-term resolutions because we’re just not ready for change. There’s a Stages of Change model which describes the process people go through before they’re even psychologically ready to take action.

Try these alternatives to New Year's resolutions this 2024
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It’s only after contemplating and preparing that we’re ready to change something about our lives. Bly posits that “The people who stick with their New Year’s resolutions are likely at the Action stage when they make their resolution, while those that fail are not. This indicates that people who make New Year’s resolutions on a whim are unlikely to succeed.”

If you’re just not in the right mental or emotional state, give yourself the space and time you need to adjust. Being kind to yourself is just as important as working towards improvement.

Once you feel you’re ready to make some changes, it’s never too late in the year to start!

Banner image by Tairon Fernandez via Pexels.

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