Setting a New Year’s resolution is traditional! Following through with it? Less so. Let’s change that for 2023!
New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and that means it’s just about time to gather with friends and family, sip champagne (if you’re old enough!), and reflect on the past year. Of course, New Year’s also means resolutions — those pesky promises we make to ourselves before promptly forgetting about them.
In any case, if you’re feeling bold this year, maybe you’re ready to take on a resolution — and perhaps even see it through to the end? If so, check out these six popular New Year’s resolutions that you can actually follow through on.
1. Learn to cook
Cooking is a life skill that will not only keep you healthy and protect your wallet, but it’ll impress your friends, too. You won’t become a great chef overnight (or even over the course of the year), but learning about ingredients and spices will help you develop your skills in the kitchen.
Even if you live in residence, where kitchen access isn’t the easiest, there are lots of heat-free recipes that can help you explore the world of cuisine on your own terms.
2. Read a book each month
Lots of people want to read more often, but the pace of life can make relaxing with a book seem decadent, if not downright impossible. But squeezing in a little reading time each month can be done. Reading a bit before bed, or on the bus to campus, can work wonders.
You don’t need to choose the latest door stopper, either! Books come in all shapes and sizes. If you’d like to read more, but aren’t sure where to start, consider books of short fiction or even poetry, which can be read and digested on your own schedule.
3. Practice saying “no”
Some folks are people-pleasers, meaning they say “yes” to every little thing someone else asks, even if they’re not really feeling it in the moment. If this sounds like you — and you’re a little embarrassed to admit it — maybe you should focus more on saying “no” this year.
Refusing a request or an invitation can take willpower, and it’s not always appropriate. But if you think saying “no” might be good for your mental health, it’s worth a bit of practice. Check out this guide to saying “no” (politely).
4. Become a plant parent
A plant is kinda like a pet that doesn’t move around or require much cleanup. Okay, the simile doesn’t work perfectly, but taking care of a plant can be good for your physical and mental health, just like a pet!
Caring for a plant is a responsibility, but not a particularly large one. Depending on your plant, it may be able to handle a stretch of hardship — did someone say exam season? Succulents can last a long time, and grow slowly: over time, you may find you’ve formed quite the bond with your little green friend!
5. Downsize your stuff
Whether or not you subscribe to the idea of “the life-changing magic of tidying up,” most of us could stand to downsize a little. Society can be very “things”-focused, which isn’t always healthy.
If you’ve got a closet full to bursting, consider cutting a few items out by donating or selling them. Downsizing can be both stressful and cathartic, but lots of people feel a stronger sense of clarity when they’re not overwhelmed by all the stuff around. If you’re looking for a change, but not exactly sure how, you may get a sense of satisfaction out of getting rid of some things.
6. Explore your city, country, or the world
Travel is one of life’s greatest teachers. By going outside your normal environment, you’ll learn more about yourself. Travel can also be expensive — but it doesn’t have to be. Backpacking as a student has a long tradition, and with the world re-opening, and free language lessons online, 2024 could be a great time to explore.
You don’t have to go around the world, though! Even just taking a different route to school, or wandering a new neighbourhood in your city, can offer the sense of excitement and discovery that only travel can provide.
Most of the suggestions on this list are cheap, or even free, so you won’t have much at stake in giving them a shot. 2024 is right around the corner, so we hope these resolution ideas help make 2025 your best year yet! And even if you don’t maintain your resolutions throughout the year, at least you can say you tried!
Happy New Year, all!