Now that the ball has dropped on 2024, many people are thinking about what they want more or less of in their lives in the New Year. If you are looking for resolution ideas that you will be inspired to keep, read on.
Let’s be real: Setting New Year resolutions is something most of us do, but many of us find hard to keep. As many 44% of Americans are likely to make a resolution for the New Year, but only 22% stick with a resolution long enough to achieve it. We want to help you change that.
There’s a lot of trendy talk around making resolutions…reframing them as intentions, personal priorities, and focal points. You might even hear about choosing a word or phrase for the year, kind of like a New Year mantra. No matter how you label it, be clear about one thing: You are making a promise to yourself, to own your actions and be accountable for the process of moving toward whatever it is you want to bring into your life. We believe you’re worth that promise, and we hope you do, too.
Top New Year’s Resolutions for 2024
Every year, the top of the resolutions list is filled with the desire to exercise more, eat healthier, lose weight, improve fitness, and take better care of one’s mental health. 2024 is no exception to these trends. The Forbes Health survey of 1,000 U.S. citizens (October 2023) shows improve fitness as the top resolution (46%) and improve finances is in second place (38%). Close behind, in third place in the Forbes survey, is improve mental health (36%). Another data source, Statista, indicates the goal to save more money is tops for people (59%) with exercising more, eating healthier, spending more time with family/friends, and losing weight rounding out their top five 2024 resolutions.
Taking these trends into consideration, we’ve put together six 2024 Mind-Body New Year’s resolutions for your consideration.
- Align resolutions with your values and aspirations. That is, make sure whatever you choose is meaningful for you. Identify a powerful ‘why’ as your reason for wanting to make this promise to yourself in 2024.
- Establish the conation to work toward your resolution. Conation is fancy word for the ability to apply intellectual (and emotional) energy to a task to achieve its completion. Set yourself up for success with a positive mindset and secure the resources (social support, scheduling, etc) that you’ll need to follow-through with your resolution.
- Be kind to yourself. Achieving any goal or fulfilling any promise is a journey, not just a destination. Allow yourself to enjoy the process. Be realistic about what you want to achieve. Seek help when you need it. Plan for setbacks and how you might handle them. The best way to do this is to be kind to you: Recognize that each day (each moment, really) is an opportunity to renew your commitment to yourself and your goal; grant yourself a little grace to pause or take a side-step on the journey.
1. Get More Restful Sleep for a Healthier Mind & Body
With all sorts of gadgets glowing in our eyes and Pavlovian alerts conditioning us to check messages at all hours of the day and night, it’s no wonder Americans complain about not feeling rested–even when we do get several hours between the sheets. Lack of restful sleep affects both mind and body: Energy drops, concentration and memory can be impaired, reaction times slow, immunity weakens, and even metabolism goes haywire, making it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. We can feel more easily agitated and depressed when we don’t get restful sleep. If you can do only one thing in 2024 that can promote a heathier mind and body, resolve to get more restful sleep.
- Ditch the digital devices in the bedroom. Research clearly shows that using devices within one hour of bedtime negatively effects sleep and health.
- Keep a Consistent Bedtime Routine. Just like kids need a bedtime routine for better sleep, so do adults of all ages. Get to bed and wake at consistent times throughout the week. Avoid spicy foods within 2 hours of bedtime. And create ambiance in the bedroom with a cool temp and soft lighting.
2. Be Mindful about Movement: It’s Good Medicine
The evidence is compelling: exercise is medicine for body and mind. Regular bouts of exercise—healthy movement that gets your blood pumping—supports a strong immune system, strengthens the heart, lungs, muscles and bones, and supports emotional resilience to stress. Rather than focus your New Year resolution on the popular goal of losing weight or exercising more, place emphasis on movement that feels good to you, and which is easy for you to sustain a few days a week (if not daily) for at least 30 minutes per session.
- No Notifications Zone. To exercise mindfully, take note of Apple CEO, Tim Cook’s exercise routine: Cook works out one hour a day and never checks his phone during a workout (hint: turn off notifications on your Apple watch).
- Mind in the Muscle. During exercise, keep your full attention on the way your body is moving and how it feels. In other words, put your mind in the muscle, not on what’s going on around you or what happened at work that day. Tai chi, yoga, and martial arts are great ways to develop mindfulness in movement—and get a great workout!
- Live Actively. Sitting isn’t just bad for your back; is lousy for your health. Plan to move more often throughout your day. Set a time to Get up from your desk each hour to take a walk or climb the steps. Park further away from store entrances to get a extra steps in. Incorporate more time outdoors—to hike, garden, bike, or play with the kids.
3. Focus on Healthy Nourishment
It’s time to get rid of the New Year’s diet resolution. A better, kinder, and more holistic approach is to reframe food as nourishment to sustain your energy, focus, and optimal physical and emotional wellbeing. Healthy nourishment begins with a mindset shift through which you see food not as reward or punishment, but as essential to creating vitality. Learn how to become more mindful about eating by recognizing emotional triggers that can lead you to making less healthy food choices or over-indulging.
One bite at a time. Slow down. Savor your food one bite at a time. Also, recognize that every meal is an opportunity to support your mind and body with the nutrients it needs.
Eat a rainbow. Fill your plate with color…and not with processed foods. Fresh fruit, vegetables, quality protein, and healthy fats should be the source of your dietary rainbow at most every meal.
4. Build Your Resilience Muscle to Counter Stress
Stress that isn’t effectively managed is the underlying cause of many chronic health conditions and emotional distress. It needs not be an unavoidable side effect of our modern lifestyles. Rather than setting a New Year resolution to reduce stress, place your focus on building inner resilience—your ability to bounce back from adversity. A variety of practices and habits can build resilience, helping you maintain calm, even in the face of chaos.
Practice mindfulness. In as little at 10 minutes a day, a few days a week, a mindfulness meditation practice can help you become more resilient and create \ improvement in your physical and emotional wellbeing by reducing stress, improving focus, and enhancing overall health. Try these mindfulness tips to get started.
5. Cultivate Happiness on Your Own Terms
Happiness is a harmonious state of being, feeling content and satisfied…and a sense of hopefulness. If you’ve been struggling in the happiness department, you aren’t alone. Americans, generally speaking, have reported low happiness for the past few years. Of the top 20 developed countries in the world, the U.S. comes in at #16 on the happiness scale. While there are exceptions among us, this downward trend in happiness is concerning because subjective happiness is correlated with better health. One reason for this downward trend is that Americans tend to believe success (material, career) brings happiness. That thinking is backwards, according to the latest research: It’s happiness that fuels success. You can cultivate happiness for yourself in the New Year by defining it on your own terms and following the tips below.
Nurture relationships with family and friends. You’ll want to focus on quality, not quantity of relationships. Creating special memories by sharing intimate and authentic moments and experiences, from something as simple as meeting for a walk in the park to committing to an annual family gathering.
Practice gratitude. A simple practice of writing down one thing each day you are grateful for can shift your outlook toward happiness.
Cultivate optimism. Look for things to be hopeful about. Focus on the good, rather than investing energy in the negative. Be mindful. Staying focused on the present moment, not getting caught up in future worry or regret over the past is a key to cultivating happiness in the here-and-now.
Be Kind & Do Good. Doing kind things in service of others can help you feel a bit happier. A small gesture, such as donating items to charity or greeting a person as you hold the door for them are simple ways to add a bit of happiness to your day.
6. Plan a Digital Detox
Over 33 million Americans across age groups acknowledge struggling with addiction to social media. Even if you have good screen time limits, the way digital devices have become an integral and immersive aspect of our lives requires everyone to consider planning a digital detox in 2024. If you find you turn to your device compulsively, or when you are bored or feel in need of validation, then a digital detox may be an essential new year’s resolution for you. You can approach a digital detox in a variety of ways, but generally this is something you resolve to do by reducing your screen time and allocating more time to in-person interactions and outdoor activities without bringing along a phone.
Tips to Spend Less Time on Social Media
- Pick one day a month or an entire weekend to halt use of your devices, including TV.
- Plan ahead to engage in activities where your phone would be useless to have with you such as kayaking, hiking, camping, and other adventure-based activities.
- Go see a play or live music.
- Invite friends to a game night and ask them to check their phones at the door.
- Join a club. Volunteer your time.
Remember, your New Year Resolution is a promise you are making to yourself and the beginning of a health journey that embark on for 2024. You have 365 days to navigate this journey. If you’ve chosen a resolution that is meaningful to you and you’ve put thought into the resources and support you need along the way, then you will most certainly be able to keep your 2024 New Year’s resolution.
- Be specific: When choosing your new year resolution 2024, aim to be specific. For instance, don’t just state you’ll ‘get fit’, identify how you will do this ‘work out 3 times a week’ and put those dates and times on your calendar for the first 30 days.
- Write it down: And we mean write it down—on paper, on sticky notes you post on your fridge, mirror, in your care and at your desk. Set it as a reminder on your phone that chimes once a day so you can see it there. And, add an encouraging note “You got this! I am proud of you.”
- Get Support: Accountability is a powerful motivator that can significantly increase your chances of keeping your New Year resolution. Enlist the support of trusted friends, family, or a health coach who can help you stay on track with your 2024 resolution.
by Karen M. Rider, M.A. Resources
Branka. Social Media Addiction Statistics 2023. TrueList.com published 7 Jan r 17 Dec 2023: https://truelist.co/blog/social-media-addiction-statistics/
Lloyd, Maddie. “2024 New Year’s Resolutions” Forbes.com published 15 Nov 2023. Retrieved 17 Dec 2023: https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/new-year-resolutions-survey-2024/
Ricci, Jeanne. The Growing Case for Social Media Addiction. California State University System News Online. Published 28 June 2023. Retrieved 16 December 2023: https://www.calstate.edu/csu-system/news/Pages/Social-Media-Addiction.aspx
Sanders, L. “How Many Americans are Sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions in 2023?” YouGov.com published 9 Feb 2023. retrieved 16 Dec 2023: https://today.yougov.com/society/articles/45203-americans-are-sticking-new-years-resolutions
Raemer, Vanessa Mae. “11 Happiness Statistics”. Science of People.com Retrieved 17 Dec 2023: https://www.scienceofpeople.com/happiness-statistics/
Statista.com Database. Items retrieved 17 Dec 2023: _____ Most Popular New Year’s Resolutions in the U.S. for 2024: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1076508/most-popular-new-year-s-resolutions-in-the-united-states/
_____ 2022 New Year’s Resolutions: https://www.statista.com/statistics/378105/new-years-resolution/
_____ America’s Top New Year’s Resolutions for 2023: