New Year’s Eve feels more cheerful and promising than it has in many years, a true celebration as the future holds hope in 2023. Annual resolutions have never been more crucial as a way to take stock of what’s truly important in your life — and you should pause to reflect long before family and friends cheer at midnight on December 31. If living through a global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t take health and wellness for granted. In 2023, zeroing in on your body, mind and soul is a great way to organize your long-term goals for the new year.
And focusing on your health and well-being doesn’t always translate into a new diet or workout plan. Expand your sights on taking charge of your mental health, finally optimizing a better sleep routine or diving headfirst into reclaiming your space (wave bye to messy closets and disastrous bathrooms!).
Create a list of attainable New Year’s resolutions that allow you to make healthier lifestyle tweaks every day. You’ll start the year with a stronger, well-nourished body and an enriched mind if you adopt any of the daily objectives we are sharing here. Our resolutions help you calm down, easing stress and anxiety, while taming the crazy ebb and flow of daily life — featuring some of the best tips and life-saving tricks from our Good Housekeeping Institute experts.
Stay on track with resolutions using a planner to help you, checking off daily fitness goals and frequent decluttering tasks that feel much more achievable. This year, it’s time to put you first!
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If there’s one New Year’s resolution that will help you the most in the long run, it’s making a vow to save more money.
Before you head back to the office in January, outline a rough budget that works for you — and make a plan for how you’ll stick to it. Apps like Mint and You Need a Budget (YNAB) can help you do this as painlessly as possible. And supercharge your shopping habits by rethinking when and how you buy things for your home and family; often, there are savings you’re leaving on the table.
RELATED: 41 Best Money Tips From Highly Successful People
Anxiety can nag at anyone during any season, in all parts of life — and it can be easy to let the idea of the future or past experiences inform your reality of the present. Practicing mindfulness means doing everything you can to be grateful for what you have in the moment, where you are in life, and who you are right now, shared Sabrina Romanoff, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist in New York City and Yeshiva University professor. Romanoff and other leading psychological experts say committing to mindfulness can help you become a better person in less than a year’s time.
Cook something new each week.
Everyone wants to eat healthier in the new year, but you should also try to eat more diverse foods. After all, variety is the spice of life. This year, choose an easy dinner recipe you’ve never tried before at least once a week. And pick up a copy of our new Dishes for Two cookbook that contains 125+ recipes that you can explore each and every week this year.
January is the perfect time of year to snuggle up with a new book. To keep yourself accountable all year long, why not link up with friends and peers to connect over the best pages you’ve read? Our Good Housekeeping Book Club can help you get started on this and, together, you’ll have a clear snapshot of how many books you’ll end up finishing before the year’s out.
RELATED: 40 Life-Changing Books You Should Read at Least Once
Create a cleaning schedule you’ll stick to.
Keeping your home tidy without doing what feels like a deep clean every week can feel like a big ask. It’s true that you may be under cleaning some tricky spots, but it’s also true that you may be overdoing it elsewhere.
Carolyn Forté, executive director of the Good Housekeeping Institute‘s Home Appliances & Cleaning Products Lab, created a printable checklist to make sure keeping the house neat doesn’t suck up endless hours of time on weekends anymore.
RELATED: The Ultimate Cleaning Schedule for Your Day, Week, Month, and Year
Make dinner easier.
Weekly Meal Prep Planner With Grocery Lists
Commit to a healthier sleep routine.
Starting a new hobby is one thing, but joining a club will help you meet new people in the process. Sites like Meetup can help you find a group of people with similar interests, and you can work on creating digital meetups with new friends in the process.
Creative clubs can also be a boon in helping you stick to mastering a new craft.
Learn to love vegetables.
Whether you’re working on weight management or towards a balanced diet, vegetables are your friends, says Stefani Sassos M.S., R.D.N., C.S.O., C.D.N., NASM-CPT, deputy director of the Good Housekeeping Institute‘s Nutrition Lab.
Fiber-rich vegetables are especially crucial for healthy hearts and strong veins: “A heart-healthy diet emphasizes produce, balanced by fiber-rich whole grains, fish, nuts, legumes, and lean proteins,” she says.
The healthiest vegetables that you should try to eat daily often double down on gut-healthy fiber.
RELATED: 15 Low-Carb Vegetables Nutritionists Love
Prioritize annual health screenings.
Open your calendar app (or planner!) and make your appointments for the year in one sitting — not only will you get the anxiety-inducing nuisance over with, but exams will be less likely to get squeezed out as life gets bonkers. Start with your primary care provider, and ask which screenings (e.g., mammogram, colonoscopy) you’re due for. Slot those in, then move on to the dentist’s office and head over to your ophthalmologist, too.
RELATED: 25 Types of Doctors and What They Do for Patients’ Health
Swing by the garden center after brunch this weekend. Just the presence of indoor plants can lower human stress levels, research shows, and one study found that actively caring for plants calmed the autonomic nervous system and lowered blood pressure.
And when people work near plants, they report greater concentration, satisfaction, and perceived air quality.
RELATED: 10 Best Indoor Plants for Your Health, According to Research
Take 10 minutes to run up the stairs in your office or home. A published study in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that tired women who climbed stairs for 10 minutes got a bigger energy boost than those who had the caffeine equivalent of a can of soda or half a cup of coffee (and burned calories too!).
Start doing yoga with your partner.
A Sunday morning couples’ class could make Sunday afternoon much more fun. Experts at Loyola’s Sexual Wellness Clinic believe partner yoga helps couples get more comfortable with each other’s bodies, a boon for richer intimacy. Solo yoga can increase enjoyment as well, affecting arousal, desire, and satisfaction — the practice helps relax your mind and strengthen pelvic muscles.
RELATED: 7 Best Yoga Apps You Can Use Anytime and Anywhere
It’s time to treat yourself — and for good reason. Research indicates that spa services, particularly intensive massages, are effective in managing stress-related cortisol levels while boosting your serotonin, empowering individuals to regulate feelings of anxiety or sadness. A spa service can fulfill the need for human contact, especially under the guise of a licensed, qualified spa technician or massage therapist.
A day at the spa doesn’t require you to jet on an otherwise expensive vacation; in fact, there are numerous leading day spas likely awaiting you just a road trip away. Visitors to The Spa at The Breakers (pictured here, services start at $215) can opt for a multitude of restorative services and work on practicing mindfulness for the rest of the day in their common spaces, which include saunas and a tranquil outdoor respite. Treating yourself to a day spa experience may be the key to stress relief you simply can’t achieve at home.
RELATED: 25 Best Day Spa Getaways in Every Region of the U.S.
Make time for cuddling.
If you’re reevaluating your intimacy, start by thinking about time spent simply in the arms of your loved one. Cuddling is often underestimated for its ability to bolster physical intimacy. But relationship experts say cuddling can help you feel more connected to your partner than ever. Cuddling just for fun can fight stress and improve both of your moods’ by increasing oxytocin hormones, which research adds may also bolster blood pressure, too.
“When you’re regularly physically affectionate with your partner, they’re more likely to see you as trustworthy and likable,” explains Jessica O’Reilly, Ph.D., sex and relationship expert. This kind of attraction doesn’t always need to result in sex or erotic exchanges to impact your relationship positively, as well.
RELATED: 12 Best Cuddling Positions Designed to Strengthen Your Relationship
You know you need to hydrate — but it’s especially important when you get only six hours of sleep (or less!). You’re more likely to be dehydrated the day after a disrupted night of sleep, because a hormone that regulates your body’s water conservation is released during later stages of sleep. So down some extra water on those days if you can — and remember that too much water can be tricky for your gut, too.
Jumpstart a new career.
Get in a body-positive mindset.
Social media can be a big asset in helping you jumpstart new health goals in 2023 — but it can also be easy to get led astray by certain trends and social pressures. There is a growing movement that embraces all shapes, sizes, colors, strengths, abilities (and disabilities!) if you know where to look. Some of our favorite body-positive accounts teach us more about all the amazing things each and every body can achieve.
Listen to novels while you work out.
If you’ve already mastered your cardio workouts in the past few years, why not try incorporating a new routine? A quality set of dumbbells can help elevate your workout, improve your stamina, and build muscle. Plus, they work well with many of the other gadgets in your home gym to reinvigorate your workout.
Give your feet better support.
Check out these Good Housekeeping Institute Wellness Lab tips to start the year off on the right foot:
- Shop in the afternoon. When feet are slightly swollen, it’s easier to find the right size and avoid pinchy shoes.
- Bring in your old pair. Staff at specialty stores can assess which areas are most worn to suggest a pair with appropriate support for your gait.
- Do squats. Lace up and do a couple of knee bends. If the shoes are properly supportive, your knee should move over your foot, not inward.
- Then, buy a pair of the best walking shoes. The ASICS Gel-Quantum 180 4 has good support for both walking and running.
Try a guided workout or class.
You don’t need to pay for a new gym membership or shell out for a new premium subscription to try a new routine! YouTube holds a ton of programming from qualified experts that may get lost in the shuffle; everything from dance classes to 15-minute core workouts. Many channels offer a full suite of programs that you can follow for weeks at a time.
Try a new diet plan.
Learn or hone a new skill.
Leaving your home to learn something new from an expert located across the world isn’t necessary anymore. Turn to global leaders and celebrity leaders to boost your memory skills and more. MasterClass has recently announced plans to launch new courses from inspiring leaders like Indra Nooyi to musicians including John Legend in 2023. There’s a keen focus on intentional courses like successful wedding planning 101 led by Mindy Weiss and even topics like intentional giving led by Melinda Gates.
You’ll partake in instruction videos, assignments and can even enroll in abridged classes known as MasterClass Sessions, which are completed in just 30 days. The best value clocks in at $180 for an Annual Membership, allowing you to take as many classes as you’d like as well as download programs for offline travel.
Continue fun learning at home.
Your little ones may have finally returned to school, but you can still continue to spend quality time learning and playing together at home. Incorporating STEM activities into fun playtime is easier than you may think and is a great way to enjoy quality time with your graduate-to-be. And one of Good Housekeeping‘s newest books focuses on involving your little ones in the kitchen, too; pick up our 1, 2, 3 Cook! cookbook today.
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Stop procrastinating a tough decision.
The stress around a major life decision often causes individuals to freeze in their tracks. Mental capacity has been known to be reduced by stress and anxiety, but a major change requires a fair amount of brain power to navigate. The ironic aspect of this is that prolonging what needs to be done can further exacerbate stress — and restart the vicious cycle. Empower yourself to begin making hard decisions this year with what’s known as the B.R.A.V.E paradigm, which can help you cut away from this endless loop.
Decorate with family history.
In happy and long-lived cultures, people often display items from their families’ pasts, says The Blue Zones of Happiness author Dan Buettner. “They remember and honor where they come from,” he says. “We find that in happier cultures around the world, folks feel like part of a continuum.” So hang your grandparents’ wedding portrait, or put meaningful memorabilia on shelves.
Feeling sore? Visitors to the sprawling Spa at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Avon, Colorado, can switch between 10 minutes in a hot sauna and 30 seconds in a 60°F bath, a treatment known as hydrotherapy.
The temperature shock helps to increase blood flow in your body while mitigating pain, stiffness, or even menstrual pain, per the Cleveland Clinic. Research suggests that hydrotherapy may aid in muscle recovery more than a day of rest. For at-home treatment, end a hot shower with a burst of ice-cold water.
A large study found that people who spent money on time-saving services, such as using Good Housekeeping Institute Lab-tested TaskRabbit to get someone to clean out the garage, obtained greater life satisfaction and happiness than those who shelled out for material goods. If money is tight, take on the least favorite chore of a friend and have she or he do the same for you.
Keep clutter out of the kitchen.
If you can hardly see your counters through all the papers, Post-its, and not-yet-put-away groceries, you may pay for that chaos later when it comes to meals. Take 20 minutes to whisk it all where it belongs, and it can help you eat more mindfully in days to come.
RELATED: 22 Smart Ideas for Kitchen Organization
Wear workout gear that makes you feel good.
Spend the afternoon shopping for workout clothes that flatter your body: Studies show that what we wear affects the way we feel, which impacts our ability to get stuff done, says Hajo Adam, Ph.D., a professor at Rice University. It’s a phenomenon known as “enclothed cognition,” and it’s as true in Zumba as at work.
Experts in the Good Housekeeping Textiles Lab are fans of the Lululemon Align Pant II, which are lightweight with a high-rise fit.
RELATED: 16 Best Workout Brands to Shop Online
Upcycle your wardrobe for good.
Bye-bye, too-tight jeans. “Keeping smaller clothes as motivation to slim down is baloney,” says Kit Yarrow, Ph.D., a psychologist at Golden Gate University, “and it tends to backfire.” Studies show that muffin-top shaming doesn’t help, but focusing on being healthy does. After doing your Goodwill drop-off, take a lighter-cooking class or meet a pal for a hike.
Another sleepy Sunday? Today’s the day you try Ethiopian food, attend a ballet, or take a painting class — whatever feels fun. When researchers followed 7,500 people for 25 years, they found that those who complained of major boredom were roughly twice as likely to die from heart disease.
Give yourself a new look.
Working on your look is just as refreshing as turning over a new leaf internally. Taking off a few inches can make you feel (literally and figuratively) so much lighter in the new year. Even a simple new style or hair color could brighten your days and put pep back into your step in 2023.
Invest in your skincare routine.
Blasting any happy-making tune can work multiple mind-body wonders including reducing pain during exercise, elevating mood, and lowering stress, research shows. So make a playlist — any songs that boost your spirit will do the job.
When your inner critic picks up her bullhorn, jot down the kind words you’d say to a friend in the same situation. “We have such a hard time channeling compassion for ourselves,” says Emma Seppala, Ph.D., of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research. “Writing it down makes it easier to shift perspective.”
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Do one thing at a time.
Multitasking doesn’t make you more efficient, but it does stress you out, says mindfulness expert Pedram Shojai, author of Focus: Bringing Time, Energy, and Money Into Flow. “If your focus is fragmented, you’ll likely find yourself getting anxious as new items come up when old ones are still incomplete,” he says.
Instead, he suggests, organize your activities into chunks of time, such as kid time and cooking time, and then “commit to being focused in those allotted minutes and see what happens.” It’ll help stop you from overthinking everything.
Make chaotic zones calm.
Make the chaotic zone by the door a calm, happy space, advises Carly Moeller, founder of interior design firm Unpatterned. Set up simple systems (a mail basket, a shoe bench, hooks) for tidying. Then move art or flowers from the living room and invest in a mirror or a colorful rug. “You can be a little cheeky because it’s a small area,” she says.
Embrace your new work schedule.
Make your bed every morning.
Go to bed on time, with your partner.
Getting sufficient zzz’s can make you feel ready for action. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who got more sleep had more desire the next day and an overall easier time becoming aroused. Every additional hour they slept increased their likelihood of having sex by 14%. So skip late-night web searches and hit the hay.
RELATED: How to Go to Sleep Fast, According to Sleep Specialists
Stay glued to the windows (with sunscreen, of course).
Spending as much time outside as possible is a great thing for your health — but even when the weather becomes frigid, sunlight is crucial to regulate your mood throughout the day. Sunlight can help regulate our circadian rhythms, which directly impacts how productive we are as well. If you can’t find natural light in your home, try investing in a few supercharged lights for indoor living, and watch as your mood brightens over time.
Treat yourself to more facials.
Give yourself more compliments.
Repeat after us: “Today is my day. I’m thankful for me.” Positive self-talk can help you focus on what’s good in your life, says psychologist Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D.
Research shows that a little vitamin G (for gratitude) can make you feel happier and more satisfied and even improve your sleep. “If you repeat an affirmation related to gratitude in the morning, you’re likely to show and feel more of it throughout that day,” Bradford says. You’re so welcome!
RELATED: 10 Ways to Stop Negative Self-Talk About Your Body in Its Tracks
Head outside without your phone.
In a previous GH survey, 83% of people told us they lost track of how long they spent on their devices. But short of deleting all social apps, it can be hard to trade screen time for more productive pastimes like walking the dog and coffee with friends. Whether you’re Team iPhone or Team Android, download the latest software to access built-in tools that help you track your personal app usage.
RELATED: These 6 Apps Actually Get You to Unplug
Say goodbye to toxic friends.
It may feel impossible now, but there is a way to break up with a once friend turned frenemy without imploding your social life. Sometimes, ghosting is appropriate — but more often than not, approaching the situation with a structured conversation can help you get the closure you need to grow.
Be current about the news.
It can be hard to keep up with what’s going on in the world given the lightning-fast news cycles. But it’s more important than ever to stay informed. If you’re sick of sifting through clutter on social media feeds, join Flipboard. Think of it as your personal news hub.
Download the app, then list your interests, pick outlets to get updates from, follow your fave Twitter users and more. The app curates it all in one place with a smart, stunning design that makes scrolling easy.
Add more citrus to your grocery cart.
When you see all those gorgeous in-season grapefruits, oranges, clementines, and pomelos in the produce aisle, grab an armful.
Winter citrus can help keep skin looking healthy thanks to vitamin C, which aids in collagen production. In fact, an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that people who ate foods high in C had fewer wrinkles and less age-related dry skin than those who didn’t. Try clementine sections sprinkled with pistachios or sweet grapefruit dipped in Greek yogurt for a snack.
Chow down on blueberries and walnuts.
Separately or together, these berries and nuts have health superpowers: Blueberries have been shown to help people with metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and too much belly fat), and walnuts can help reduce LDL, the bad kind of cholesterol. Toss them on oatmeal or in a salad, and eat up for a healthier 2021!
Bathe for a better sleep.
Next time you have trouble nodding off, there’s a research-backed idea that could help: Take a hot bath! It helped people fall asleep about 10 minutes earlier and have a better quality snooze. The best time to do it? About an hour or two before bedtime, says most research.
Take more trips with no destination in mind.
This year is going to be all about the road trip — simply getting out into the world around you for quiet time alone in nature. Travel overseas might be off the itinerary for a while, but a solo trip in the car is a great way to get out for a change of pace. Hit the road and forget social media!
Ease stress with kindness.
Kindness toward yourself, that is! Recent research shows that practicing self-compassion slowed people’s heart rate and sweating, two symptoms our bodies produce when under chronic stress. So take some time each day to focus on something you love about yourself.
Make your home more fragrant.
Because smell is associated with the parts of the brain that process emotion and store memories, certain aromas can affect mood, says olfactory expert Rachel Herz, Ph.D., author of The Scent of Desire. Research shows that vanilla makes people more relaxed and joyful (mmm, baking), while peppermint can boost energy and lavender can zap stress.
Makeover your daily routine.
If you’re still on the hunt for even more goals to help you change your life for the better, why not undertake a challenge that’ll last a month? This guide of 28 mini daily goals can help you revolutionize your routine if you’re unsure of where to start first. It’s guaranteed to get you thinking more about the best resolutions to keep!
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