20 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions Besides Weight Loss

The new year is upon us (though, come to think of it, we’ve been saying that for the last three years), which means it’s time to start thinking about how we want to improve ourselves for this next lap around the sun.

If weight loss is one of your goals for the New Year, you’re not alone — in surveys, it usually ranks as the most popular resolution. Unfortunately, setting vague objectives probably isn’t going to get you very far.

“When you set vague goals like ‘lose weight’ or ‘get in shape’ or ‘build muscle,’ the goal can seem overwhelming,” says Lauren Gross, CYD, a licensed psychologist in Charlotte, North Carolina. “When setting fitness resolutions for yourself, try to make them SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.”

Here are 20 smart resolutions to help you start the new decade.

1. Try a new workout

Decide to branch out and try at least one workout that’s brand new to you, like a barre class or mud run.

2. Do an unassisted pull-up

Tower Up Tower Man |  Healthy New Year's Resolutions

Pull-ups are a great measure of strength, so even if you haven’t tried one since high school gym class, aim to get better at pull-ups this year.

3. Run a 5K

It’s easier to get motivated to run when you know there’s a medal and a free t-shirt at the end, so be ready when the racing resumes! If running three miles isn’t a sweat for you, set a time-based goal, such as finishing under 30 minutes.

4. Keep a daily journal

Writing in women's journals  Healthy New Year's Resolutions

Writing down your goals is a great way to hold yourself accountable, stay on-track, and monitor your progress. Follow a writing prompt, or list the steps you took toward your health goals that day.

5. Touch your toes

Losing weight and building muscle are worthy goals – but don’t forget about flexibility, which is a key component of fitness. Set a goal to stretch a few minutes each day.

6. Get more Z’s

Woman sleeping in dark bed  Healthy New Year's Resolutions

Sleep is important for your overall health and well-being, and it can also help with weight loss. But according to the CDC, one-third of us aren’t getting enough. Set a goal to get the recommended 7-9 hours per night.

7. Swap soda for water

A simple way to reduce excess sugar consumption: Nix the sugary drinks and drink water when thirsty.

8. Meals Prepare your lunch

Meal prep can help you stick to your healthy eating goals, so invest in some handy meal-prep containers and commit to preparing healthy lunches in advance each week.

9. Complete a fitness challenge

Try a 30-day fitness challenge — like a plank challenge, squat challenge, or BODi block — as a way to jumpstart your fitness journey and build a habit of being active every day. There are so many to choose from, you might decide to try a new one every month!

10. Hit your step count

Women running on the beach  Healthy New Year's Resolutions

Hitting 10,000 steps a day may not be a magic number for weight loss, but it’s a good way to make sure you’re getting the minimum recommended amount of activity you need each week to maintain your health. (If you’re stuck in a cubicle all day, here are some unique ways to get your move on!)

11. Eat vegetables at every meal

Vegetables are packed with nutrients and can support your weight loss goals, so make it a goal to eat them at every meal. If you’re not a veggie lover (yet), try blending them into a smoothie bowl or adding them to a sauce.

12. Meditate daily

Female living room house wine meditation  Healthy New Year's Resolutions

Meditation can help you feel calmer and more focused. Not sure where to start? Try a sample meditation from Unstress, our 21-day guided meditation program with the meditation app Unplug.

13. A tough mud tackle

Training for a physical challenge like a mud run or extreme obstacle course can help you stay motivated. Try Tough Mudder T-Minus 30 to help you get in shape when Tough Mudder events are staged in your area.

14. Master 3 new yoga poses

Female scorpion doing yoga  Healthy New Year's Resolutions

Instead of just deciding to “do more yoga,” set a goal to master the three poses you couldn’t do last year. Press play on Yoga52 to help you become a skilled yogi in the comfort of your own home.

15. Cut out alcohol

Alcohol is loaded with empty calories, so you may want to consider cutting back or giving it up entirely. Try Dry January — or booze-free 2023, if you’re up for the challenge.

16. Set a budget

Card Transaction Store Register |  Healthy New Year's Resolutions

Money is a major source of stress for many people. Setting a budget can help you feel more in control of your finances. Make sure your budget goals are specific and actionable — for example, “I want to reduce my monthly dining expenses by $200 and I’ll do this by cooking dinner at home five nights a week.”

17. Organize your home

List all the small organizational projects you want to tackle — like organizing your kitchen or closing your desk drawers — and tackle one project each week.

18. Clean up your beauty routine

Woman reading beauty product label pharmacy  Healthy New Year's Resolutions

Resolve to be kinder to your skin – and the planet – by switching to cleaner beauty products in 2023.

19. Wear sunscreen

Sunscreen is essential — not just when you’re lounging on the beach, but any time you spend time outside. Choose sun protection of SPF 30 or higher. (If you’re worried about the chemicals in some sunscreens, try a reef-safe sunscreen with less toxic ingredients.)

20. Define self-care

Woman doing upward dog yoga pose  Healthy New Year's Resolutions

“Me time” is important, so make self-care a part of your routine. Doing this on a daily basis is ideal, but at the very least, resolve to take a “self-care Saturday” to help you regroup at the end of a stressful week.

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