The Best New Year’s Resolution Ideas and How To Actually Keep Them This Year

So you can finally accomplish those goals this year.

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This post will show you tons of New Year’s resolution ideas, plus tips for actually achieving your resolutions this year.

Girl standing on mountain looking towards the horizon.

It’s a new year, and for many of us, that means creating New Year’s resolutions for the coming months. However, these resolutions can sometimes fall by the wayside as the sparkle of the new year eventually fades.

To continue following your new year’s goals, it can be helpful to have a source of inspiration to help you remember why you made the resolution in the first place.

{RELATED POST: The All-Time Best New Years Resolutions for Students}

To help you stay inspired, I’ve rounded up tons of New Year’s resolution ideas, plus everything you need to know to make them a reality.

Whether you need new years resolution ideas or just creative ways to achieve yours, read on:

New Year’s Resolution Ideas

Travel More

Two people makes plans of places they want to visit

Who doesn’t love to travel? There is so much to see out there, but you have to make the effort to get out there to see it.

Make it a point this year to find a new place to go each month. For instance, find hidden gems in your capital city or explore a nature preserve nearby. If you have the means to go further, travel to a new state or, better yet, a new country!

Tip: Start by exploring your town/city — we did a whole post on this idea. It’s fun to challenge yourself to try something new without going too far. Plus, it’s budget-friendly.

Also, here are a couple of videos to help you with this goal:

It takes money to travel, so why not DIY a cute box to store your travel funds? This is the perfect place to put your spare change, and you’ll be able to watch as your savings add up!

How to Pack like a Pro | Pack with ME 4 Day Carry-On Trip | Travel Organization Hacks | Miss Louie

Watching packing videos always makes me want to go on a trip! If your goal is to travel more this year, watching packing videos and travel vlogs could be a way to help motivate you to make your travel dreams a reality!

Spend More Time Being Creative

We can all be more creative — it’s a skill like anything else! The key is to make time for it in your daily life. Here are a couple of ideas to help you do just that:

Easy Upcycled Wall Art Ideas

DIY gallery walls are perfect for adding some creativity to your dorm room! The ideas are endless, and this is something that you can work on throughout the year.

THRIFT FLIP NO SEW // We turn OLD clothes into NEW!

Thrifting has become a popular creative hobby, and there are so many easy ways to transform your new finds. If you want to be more creative, this is a great place to start.

Be More Organized

I think all of us want to be a bit more organized in our everyday lives! Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

Plan With Me: 2023 New Bullet Journal Set Up | Easy Floral Bujo Theme

If you’ve never tried out bullet journaling, the beginning of the year is a great time to start!

Bullet journals require only an empty notebook and some pens. (Here’s how to set one up, step by step.) The great thing about this type of journal is that you can create pages for literally anything. This is a creative way to track your progress as you work towards your goals.

Get organized with dollar store items!!

If your dorm is messy, watch some organizational DIYs to inspire you to reorganize your space!

Prioritize Self Care

What better way to relax than sipping on some tea and doing some crafts

Life is stressful! Doesn’t it seem like you have a million things on your to-do list? It does for me. Sometimes life gets so out of hand that we forget to take care of ourselves.

So make this year a self-care year. You can do this by eating healthy, taking trips, indulging in naps when needed, drinking tea, or simply taking a break. Whatever it is, you deserve to be at your best!

Tip: Dedicate at least 30 mins to 1 hour a day to doing something that you enjoy or that makes you feel pampered and restored. Block out that time on your schedule!

Want more inspo? Here are some videos to help you with this resolution:

Meditation For Inner Peace - Yoga With Adriene

College can be stressful, and it’s easy to forget to slow down and simply relax. Fortunately, there are so many meditation videos out there to help you with this anytime and anywhere.


When I think of self-care, I think of face masks. But a face mask routine can be unrealistically expensive over time. The solution? DIY your own masks! You’ll be practicing a form of self-care while also knowing exactly what you’re putting on your face.

Up Your Insta or TikTok Game

One great New Year’s resolution idea is to improve your Instagram or TikTok. We can all up our game on social media, and luckily the internet is here to help us do just that!

How to ALWAYS Look Good in Photos + Take BOMB INSTAGRAM PICTURES ♡

Improving your Instagram is a popular new years resolution idea here at CF. If you love taking photos but need some new ideas, try watching some videos to get new ideas for poses!

"I can't do TikTok... I can barely manage Instagram!" | Beginner TikTok Tips!

If your goal is to grow your TikTok following, but you don’t know how to get started, this video is a must-watch! She breaks down everything you need to know about growing on TikTok — it’s simpler than you think.

Be More Environmentally Friendly

Being eco-friendly is one of the most popular new years resolution ideas. It’s great because there are so many little ways to be more environmentally friendly!

5 DIY Projects That Will Help You Be More Eco-Friendly

The video above shows you some DIYs you can start at home to help you become more eco-friendly in your daily life. Videos like this might even inspire you to come up with your own ideas for a more eco-friendly lifestyle.


Another idea would be to start focusing on making a particular part of your routine, like your lunch, more eco-friendly. When you’re able to show your personality with a reusable lunch bag, you won’t miss plastic bags!

Learn Something New

With such a broad focus, this one isn’t actually hard to achieve at all! Learning something new can be aided by the internet, where there are millions and billions of tutorials just waiting to be perused from the comfort of your home. 

If you’re not quite the baking master, try arming yourself with some recipes (I’ve used Life, Love, and Sugar with excellent results; also see our favorite food blogs) and some cute mixing bowls, and get ready to go! 

Alternatively, learn to finally play an instrument, maybe the ukulele. Learn some arts and crafts, maybe knitting. Learn a new language, maybe American Sign Language. Whatever it is, dedicate the year to learning it. Give yourself permission to be a beginner and just dive in!

You don’t even need to be moving to learn something new — these websites are the best for learning from your computer. And here are the best Youtube channels for learning. Ensure that you have a proper desk setup for productivity (you can see our tips on that here), and you’re set!

Be Grateful

A creative cute way to show your gratitude to someone with a little note tied to a little bottle.

Whether it’s money, clothes, food, a car, or whatever, it’s easy to look at our lives and see what we lack. But it’s time to step back and appreciate all that we do have.

I suggest watching the following video, which will put things into perspective:

Tip: Think of at least 10 things you are grateful for each day. See our post on how to practice gratitude for more tips on making gratitude a part of your life.


Breathe in the fresh air of nature. A good way to unplug is to plug into the beauty around us.

Living in an extremely tech-savvy age, it’s nearly impossible to step away from your phone. Especially with apps like TikTok and Instagram, you may feel left out if you aren’t scrolling through photos/videos 24/7.

But it can get excessive. And it’s okay to take a break once in a while.

So this year, let’s try not to be super-glued to our phones. I think this is one of the most important resolutions we can make.

Tip: Try to routinely take social media cleanses….take a week off from social media and just enjoy life. See our list of apps to help you focus for ways to block yourself from social media.

Let Go of Your Destructive Habits

A simple way to break a bad habit | Judson Brewer | TED

A bad habit isn’t going to ruin your life, but a destructive habit might.

Binge-drinking to avoid any difficult feelings, leaving productive relationships for fear of intimacy, not taking care of your mental health – these are all patterns that can appear in your 20s, and if you don’t recognize them and root them out, they could sidetrack your life, damage your health, and isolate you from the ones you love.

If you’ve developed a really scary habit, now is the time to start curating and implementing strategies to unlearn it.

This is where I truly believe therapy can benefit anyone, whether they have a mental illness or not. A therapist can help you recognize destructive behavior and give you tools to replace the behavior with; they can also help you practice implementing those tools.

(By the way, simply starting therapy can be a new year change to implement!)

Say Goodbye to Toxic Friendships & Relationships

8 Signs of a Toxic Friendship | Sharon Livingston | TEDxWilmingtonWomen

This isn’t a fun New Year’s resolution idea as much as it is an essential one.

Much like destructive habits, toxic relationships quickly degrade the quality of your life and make you feel lost and directionless.

People who make you feel bad more than you feel good, who don’t support you or actively try to bring you down, people who try to isolate you from the ones you love – those are the kind of people you want to root out, and root out fast.

Again, a therapist can be extremely helpful in these situations. They can help you recognize how toxic relationships are affecting you and help you create a plan to address them.

Release Your Shame

how i stopped caring about ppl’s opinions + how u can too.

I’ll tell you a secret: life is much easier when you stop caring what other people think and let your freak flag fly.

I used to feel ashamed for being “weird” or nerdy, but in the last year, I’ve reconnected to things I loved as a child — writing novels, making music, and drawing. I started sharing those things with people, whether with friends or on the internet because I’m tired of being afraid of what people will think when I express myself earnestly.

We say shameless like it’s a bad thing, something that’s not desirable. But a shameless person is a person who doesn’t feel limited by the beliefs of others or those that society has projected on them.

Sitting with your shame and understanding where it comes from is important, but it’s important to release it, too. This is one of the most important new year changes you can make.

Don’t Let Fear Control You

The Secret to Stopping Fear and Anxiety (That Actually Works) | Mel Robbins

Like shame, fear is a valuable emotion – when it’s warning us of immediately dangerous circumstances or the potential for danger. But much of the fear that we experience isn’t fear of our safety but the fear of judgment.

Are you afraid to write poetry because someone once told you it’s lame? Let go of that fear, and write your damn poems. Did someone once shame you for being interested in geology because it was lame? Screw ’em; get your Ph.D. Does someone say astrology is bogus? They’re probably a Capricorn; tell them to kick rocks and not to yuck up your yum.

So remember, you can’t start a fire while you’re worrying about your little world falling apart. Take the leap, even if you’re afraid.

Pay it forward

It’s so important to be kind and generous to those around you — including those you don’t know! This is an amazing New Year’s resolution idea that we all should try.

Whether I’m spotting the person who is a few dollars short in line in front of me or just helping someone carry groceries to their car, I want to put more good into the world this year.

Here’s a great video to get your inspiration going and inspire you to be kinder:

The Pay It Forward Station (Easy Ways To Spread Kindness)

Get up earlier

Sure, sleeping in is cool, but have you ever seen a sunrise? (Staying up all night to see one doesn’t count, guys.)

Every year, getting up early is a favorite New Year’s resolution idea. Want to know how it’s done? Here are some tips to make it a little easier on you:

how to wake up earlier WITHOUT feeling miserable 🙂

Keep in touch with friends

I’m that type of friend you haven’t seen or talked to in years, but when we’re together, it’s like nothing has changed.

Here’s what I want to change: I want to keep in touch regularly through all those years and really nurture my older friendships. It’s something I definitely need to be better about doing! 

If you want to try this New Year’s resolution idea, here’s a post on how to keep in touch with friends after graduation.

Be more current on current events

Ever feel like that dummy at family dinner when everyone is talking politics, and you have no idea what’s going on? Because same. Not this year! I’m going to read trusted, reliable (read: factual) news sources and keep up to date on what’s happening in the world.

If you need a little help with this one, here’s a guide to staying up-to-date on the news, with some helpful tips you can implement in your life.

How I Keep Up With The News | Christine Huang

Become more active in activism

Be active, not an activist | Saffiyah Khan | TEDxYouth@Brum

If you know what you stand for, you might as well stand for it in the new year. Being more active in causes you care about is an excellent New Year’s resolution idea that will make you feel good every day.

If you want to do this and need some help, read our guide to becoming a student activist.

Make an effort to see extended family more often

Here’s another simple New Year’s resolution idea that will make you feel so good when you achieve it.

You love your people, but life gets in the way, and we all get busy. No more! This year, vow to visit the people you love as much as you can! It’s a simple resolution that will have a big impact.

New Year’s Resolutions to Do At Home

Want to upgrade your space in the new year? Here are some New Year’s resolutions for the home that might just make your apartment or dorm better.

Let Go of Unnecessary Things

Honestly life is much more bearable when your living space is rid of unnecessary clutter

If we are honest with ourselves, most of us tend to hold onto items a little too long. For instance, we may have that dress tucked in the back of our closet, that we swore would fit us last year and the year before that and the year before that. And it never fits, but it still sits there.

Whatever your unnecessary items are, it’s time to part ways. Decluttering is the solution. You can even declutter your thoughts!

Tip: Try scheduling monthly decluttering sessions on your planner. Even just spending an hour one weekend decluttering can make a massive difference in your state of mind.

Put things back where they belong… immediately

Stack of books on a desk with a lamp

This is one of our favorite New Year’s resolution ideas because it’s one of those “start small” things. If you vow to “have a clean home,” that’s putting a lot of pressure on yourself to make sure everything is in order. Instead, make a resolution to spend five minutes every evening looking around and making sure things are in place

That outfit you tried on before school that you decided against? Hang it up – it takes twenty seconds, tops. Did you head to the living room to study? Grab those textbooks and put them back on your shelves. This will keep you from facing one of those marathon cleaning days.

Stick to a chore chart

Shot of someone's hand washing a fork in a sink, doing dishes

It sounds like living back with your parents, but this is a great chance to get everyone involved if you live with other people. Do you feel like nobody is pulling their weight around the house? Sit down with your housemates and have a real discussion about making a chore chart. 

If you’ve already tried this and it’s failing, or you gave up, talk about why. Be real and acknowledge your own shortfalls without blaming other people. If some people are averse to certain chores or too busy during certain time periods, create a workaround! If you hold each other accountable, you have a real chance of making the chore chart successful.

Lock the door/blow out candles/other safety stuff

Candle burning next to a laptop

Here’s another small one! One of my friends has a really bad habit of not locking the door to her apartment, simply because she walks out and says, “eh.” She’s taking an extra step to really make this a priority in the new year, and for good reason!

Another safety issue that my roommate has is not always blowing out her candles when she goes to bed. I know the chance of something catching fire is slim based on the candles’ placement, but you just never know. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you keep making the same safety slip, consider making it one of your resolutions! Forget to turn off your curler or straightener? Write a sticky note and leave it on your mirror. For instance, my friend is planning to consciously think about having her keys ready when she leaves, so there’s no excuse not to lock the door. These small things set good habits.

Must-Haves for Crushing New Year’s Goals in College

Now that you’ve seen some New Year’s resolution ideas, do you need some help getting them in progress? Here are 16 of the best items you can purchase to keep you on track with your 2023 goals, from college goals to personal goals!

Skincare Set

Skincare is so important, and keeping up with a skincare routine may be one of the goals that you set for yourself for 2023.

Keeping up with skincare can be hard, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to get ready in the morning. (And while we love our simple skincare routines, some other routines can get crazy complicated!)

However, if you purchase a full skincare set, this skincare set from The Ordinary will make your life so much easier because you will know exactly what you need to apply to your skin each morning or night.

For more on the brand, see our guides to the best products from The Ordinary and the best Ordinary products for acne-prone skin.


Everyone knows how important a planner is, but I’m going to reiterate it here: To help you stay on track with your 2023 goals, it is essential that you get a good planner.

A planner like this 2023 weekly and monthly planner will do the trick because it allows you to plan out your months and your weeks so you know exactly what you need to be doing to keep up with your goals.

The best part about this planner is that it’s super affordable at less than $20!


A journal like this super cute heart lock journal is a great motivational item for your 2023 new years resolutions.

Instead of just thinking of the goals you want to set for yourself, you should write them down in this journal so that you can remind yourself of what you want to achieve as the year goes on.

In case you didn’t know, you’re 42% more likely to achieve a goal if you physically write it down! So a journal is a must.

Also, you can write down your progress as you go throughout the year to see what you have already accomplished.

Apple Watch

If one of your goals for the new year is related to fitness, you should definitely think about getting an Apple Watch.

This watch is perfect for those of us who want to be more physically active because it can show you all the details about your activity each day so that you can make sure you are reaching those fitness goals. You can also compete with friends who have Apple Watches to keep each other accountable.

Hanging Collage Photo Display

Manifestation has become a very popular topic recently because it has been said to work miracles to help people achieve whatever they want. (This Instagram account is great for learning more about the process.)

One of the ways people manifest their dreams is through a mood board, which we’ve talked about on CF before.

You can create your own mood board with pictures of all the things you want to achieve this year on this cute hanging collage photo display that can even be used for home decor!

Art Set

Some of us may have set a goal for ourselves this year that involves starting new hobbies. A great option for those of us who want to start a new hobby is doing art.

This painting & drawing set will definitely motivate you to be creative because it includes everything you need to create awesome artwork.

Experiment with the different options and see what speaks to you!

Sound Machine

Sleep is also so important, and if you are one of those people who wants to make sure they get enough sleep this year, I recommend you purchase a sound machine ASAP.

A sound machine like this ocean wave sound machine will make sure that you are able to relax at night and be able to get the rest that you need so that you can be energized the whole year!

Cooking Set

Another goal you might have set for yourself is cooking more food at home or learning how to cook. By preparing food at home, you will be making sure that you are getting healthy meals every day.

This pots & pans set will be perfect for you because it includes all the essential cooking items you will need to be able to make great meals for yourself!

Desk Organizer

Having a clean desk is essential to keeping your life together. By having a clean desk, you will not feel overwhelmed with schoolwork, and you will be able to get your tasks done.

This can help you with your 2023 goals if they are related to your work or school life.

Therefore, I definitely recommend this desk organizer set that will keep all your papers and office supplies organized while also being a cute decor item for your room!

Water Bottle

Staying healthy in the new year is also a popular new years goal. If you want to focus more on your health this year, you should think about getting enough water each day.

This gallon water bottle will make sure that you stay hydrated every day and that you are staying on track with your health goals for the new year.

Chore Chart

Keeping your house clean and organized and keeping up with your chores can be tough for college students, especially when life gets hectic. But don’t worry because you can keep up with your goals of staying cleaner this year with this magnetic chore chart.

This chart is great because you can place it right on your fridge to remind you of what tasks you need to get done.

Also, if you live with roommates, everyone can have their own section — this will make it easier for everything to stay tidy around your house or apartment.

Bath Caddy

Relaxation is a great New Year’s resolution idea for 2023, and a perfect way to do that is by taking baths.

To make taking a bath even more relaxing, you should get this bath caddy. With this item, you can bring everything you need to be able to relax while you are in the bath, and it even has a place for you to put your phone.

Sticky Notes

Sticky notes are also a great motivational item to help you achieve your 2023 goals. By getting sticky notes, you will be able to write little notes to yourself about things that you need to achieve during the day.

You can make this even more fun by purchasing cute sticky notes like these heart-shaped sticky notes! They will look so cute on your (now totally organized) desk.


If one of your goals for 2023 is to be more clean and organized (is anyone else obsessed with The Home Edit on Netflix?), you should get these organizers asap.

These organizers come in all different kinds of sizes, and you can place them anywhere and put just about anything in them to keep your home and life organized!

They’re an affordable version of the popular Container Store organizers seen on The Home Edit’s show and Instagram.


Another great item you should purchase to help you stay on track with your 2023 goals is a whiteboard.

This whiteboard can be used to write down things you need to remind yourself of or even things like your favorite quotes to keep you motivated to achieve your goals!

Hair Care Kit

Repairing your hair or keeping your hair healthy is a great New Year’s resolution idea. And it may also be a goal you have already set for yourself.

If you are unsure what products to use to achieve this goal, trust me on this one: This Olaplex hair repair kit has everything you need to have healthy hair in 2023! It actually builds bonds in damaged hair and makes your hair feel incredible.

Tips on Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Just about all of us make New Year’s resolutions. It’s sticking to your resolutions that’s the tricky part. That’s where this section comes in handy! Here are our top tips on how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions.

1. Write Them Down.

The first tip is super easy and obvious. And that’s to write them all down! Whether it’s on a notepad, journal, or a scrap piece of paper, writing your resolutions down allows you to reference them whenever you want and helps with remembering them all. (It’s also often said that writing down your goals is key to following through.)

A few months down the road, when you get super busy with classes, note guides, and power points, you can reference your notebook and get back on track. With your resolutions written down, you will have a tangible reminder of what you’re trying to achieve.

New Year's resolutions list

2. Don’t Keep Your Resolutions a Secret.

The next tip is to tell someone. Sharing your resolutions with someone else, like your friends or family, will help hold you accountable. When you keep your resolutions a secret, it’s easy just to say, “oh, I’ll start this tomorrow,” which we all know almost never comes.

Telling someone your resolutions helps you keep your motivation up. If everyone knows what your goals are, you’ll probably think twice about putting them off until tomorrow in case your friends ask you how they’re coming along.

3. Make a Visual for Your Resolutions.

This tip lets you get in touch with your creative side. Make a collage or vision board of all your resolutions. Use pictures you take, draw or collect out of magazines.

Having a cute collection of visuals that you see every day makes it easy to stay motivated. Each morning when you wake up and see your board, you have no choice but to go over each resolution in your head. Also, having a vision board helps create the vision of you completing and sticking to your resolutions. They say things are 90% mental, right? Plus, they’re super fun to make!

Organized college desk with vision board

4. Set Yourself Up For Success.

If one of your resolutions is to drink more water, make sure you carry a water bottle in your bag around campus with you. Or keep one by the side of your bed; that way, you don’t even have to think – it’s just set up for you.

The key is to put your thoughts into action! Instead of just thinking to yourself, “I need to work out today,” a million times throughout the day, whip out your agenda and actually schedule some time for the gym. This way, it’s officially a part of your routine, so there’s no reason to skip out.

5. Set Reasonable Goals.

My last tip is to set reasonable goals and give yourself time. It’s common to set resolutions surrounding healthy eating and exercise. However, while “work out three times a week” is a great goal, “achieve the old school Victoria’s Secret Angel body in ten days” is not.

Most resolutions take time to achieve, and fitness is one of them. So allow yourself to breathe and know that it’s not gonna all happen overnight, and that’s totally okay! By setting a more manageable goal, you will see success every week, which will help you stick with it instead of being frustrated and giving up.

A Simple New Year’s Resolution Mantra

Finally, what if the typical New Year’s resolution ideas aren’t what you’re looking for? CF writer Bethany knows just how that feels. And here’s how she’s approaching it:

In the last few weeks, as I’ve started to think about the past year, the things I faced and overcame, and those I’m still struggling with, a theme started to emerge. I’ve been living my life in fast-forward, trying to get to the next thing, then the next, and in the meantime, I’ve let a few things fall by the wayside.

These things, like prioritizing my spiritual growth, getting enough sleep, drinking more water, flossing, eating healthy, exercising, etc, could create their own monster list of “Resolutions” for the year.

But when I really thought about it — and thought about how I typically handle resolutions — it became clear that a list of goals, with plans and charts and deadlines, wasn’t going to work. My mental health and schedule alone make keeping to plans and deadlines nearly impossible, never mind trying to keep track of 17 different goals for the new year.

So instead, I’m boiling everything down to just one resolution with two parts:

Take care of myself, and take care of others. 

If you’ll notice, the things I listed above are all related to these two things, and if you really think about it, they also go together.

When I thought through this year, I had to face some difficult truths about how I relate to other people, and how my actions and life — including my health — affect others, especially the people closest to me.

When I don’t take care of myself, I limit my ability to care about the people around me and can even end up hurting them through my neglect. 

As someone who is always living in fast-forward, focusing on taking care of myself — and giving myself the freedom to turn my focus outwards — will be challenging. These things require slowing down, which I’m very much not good at.

It also requires a lot of bravery to be honest with myself about things I do or don’t do and how those are affecting people, including myself.

To that end, my quote for this year, and to accompany these resolutions, comes from Kenneth Branagh’s adaption of Cinderella (2015):

Have courage and be kind

…to myself and to others.

If specific and SMART goals are what get you motivated, then you go, girl. Achieve those dreams. 

But if you, like me, struggle with deadlines or even just find yourself in a place where you need to start making better life choices for your own health and sanity, then I invite you to join me.

Give yourself the permission to make a flexible resolution, one that can adapt to your changing circumstances. Because some days, taking care of yourself may mean going to the gym and eating like a nutritionist, and flossing. But some days, taking care of yourself may mean eating doughnuts and watching Netflix in your pajamas.

And most importantly, taking care of yourself will mean giving yourself grace when you inevitably break your resolution, as we all do at least once. That’s when the Cinderella quote becomes useful: have the courage to try again, and be kind to yourself if you fail or make a mistake.

In 2023, let’s have courage and be kind – to ourselves and to others. 

What are Your New Year’s Resolution Ideas?

Which of these new years resolution ideas is your favorite? How do you stay inspired to follow your resolutions?

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