Since I love making lists and I love talking about setting goals (and even more, about achieving goals)… and since New Year’s is hands down my favorite holiday of the year… it was kind of inevitable that I would make a New Year’s resolution list!

Now I know that lots of people hate the whole idea of resolutions. And even if you like setting goals, I can’t guess what the best New Year resolutions are for you. So please don’t be like, “How dare you suggest that goal to me,” because I’m not saying any of them are right for your life. 🙂 Some of them even contradict each other! Different people are into different things.

But if you think it’s fun to make resolutions, and you are looking for ideas, here are 101 of them! I’ve broken them down into different categories.

I really believe in the SMART theory of goal-setting (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound.) For instance, a goal of “be a nicer person” is less likely to change your life (or anyone else’s) than “compliment a person every day.” Most of these suggestions are in that SMART vein. In some cases, I’ve put X’s in places of numbers, because you know what the right number is for you.

Please don’t get overwhelmed by the list. Maybe you only want to do one of them! Maybe you want to do none of them! It’s all fine.

List of New Year's Resolutions -- 101 Ideas! #setting goals #achieving goals

1. Write and/or edit a novel. (I may be able to help you with this one.)

2. Start a blog.

3. Write a blog post every week.

4. Share at least one photo on Instagram every day.

This gives you a visual journal of your whole year, so that’s pretty cool. 🙂

5. Write 3 short stories.

6. Write/paint/(other creative activity here) an hour every day.

7. Make some homemade gifts for next Christmas.

This could also be a thrifty financial goal!

8. Take a creative class or a workshop — in “real life” or online.

9. Submit my work to 25 journals/publishers.

10. Make a youtube video.


11. Read XX books this year.

I am going to read at least some of the books on my “might make me smarter” list in 2016.

12. Learn to play a musical instrument… at least a little bit.

13. Study a little Spanish/French/Arabic/whatever language I like.

14. Learn about geography.

15. Read an in-depth article about world news every morning instead of just skimming click bait articles about my own country’s politics.

16. Memorize a poem I love.

17. Learn CPR.

18. Visit 3 museums over the course of the year.

19. Learn some basics of self-defense.

20. Start or join a book club.

This could also go under Relationships!


21. Call my mom every week.

22. Go on a “date night” with my significant other once a week, or once a month.

23. Do something fun with a friend or friends once a month.

24. Have a fun outing with my kid(s) or grandkid(s) once a month.

25. Send a care package to someone.

26. Send a card to my mom/dad/grandparent for no particular occasion.

27. Remember people’s birthdays.

28. Go to 3 meetup group events and meet some new people.

29. Have lunch with somebody once a week instead of eating alone.

30. Invite people over for brunch or a party.


31. Drink 5 glasses of water every day.

32. Go to the doctor(s) and the dentist.

33. Go to bed by XX p.m., so that I get enough sleep to support my mental and physical health.

34. Find a cure for my insomnia.

35. Lose XX pounds/kilos.

36. Exercise X times a week.

37. Eat X servings of vegetables every day.

38. See a professional about my depression/anxiety. If I don’t like him or her, try another one.

39. Run a 5K (or a 10K, a half marathon, or a marathon.)

40. Floss.


41. Don’t take any sick days at work unless I am really ill.

42. Be cheerful and professional at work every day, even when other people are being awful.

43. Take an online course about a new skill.

You can learn a lot with a free trial membership on Skillshare or Lynda. Just make sure to cancel in time if you don’t want a paid subscription. Of course, you might decide you want one.

44. Find volunteer work that makes a difference, looks great on my resume, and gives me a strong new reference. Win/win/win.

45. Get a profile set up on LinkedIn.

46. Improve my LinkedIn profile.

There are lots of good articles out there about how to do this, including this one from Forbes.

47. Look my best for work every day.

48. Conduct three informational interviews with people at companies I’m interested in, or with people who are in a field I’m interested in.

49. Put together a sharp resume (and portfolio, if applicable.)

50. Apply to one new job that sounds good every week.

For most of us, job hunting involves a lot of rejection and non-responses. A resolution like this can keep you trying even when it gets discouraging. No matter the results, if you do your part, you have succeeded in your goal.


51. Attend a religious service once a week, or once a month.

52. Take a walk in nature once a week (even if it’s a short one.)

53. Do a random act of kindness every week, or every month.

54. Do a ritual/pray/meditate once a week.

55. Pay a compliment or give a word of encouragement to someone every day.

56. Read a little of the Bible/the Koran/the Vedas every day.

57. When I’m about to lose my temper, close my eyes and count to 100 before saying anything.

58. Make an extra donation to a homeless shelter or another good cause every month, even if it is a tiny amount of money.

59. Donate blood X times.

60. Read 5 books about spiritual paths to help decide what the right one is for me.


61. Clean out my closet(s) and donate or pitch everything I don’t want.

62. Repaint that one room in a color I love.

63. Plant an outdoor flower or vegetable garden, or a windowsill herb garden.

64. Tidy up for 15 minutes every morning before school or work.

65. Clean out and organize my bathroom and kitchen cabinets.

66. Cover an entire wall with a photo collage.

67. Refinish the floors or get new carpet.

68. Remodel the kitchen, or the bathroom.

69. Throw away one piece of useless crap every day until I run out of pieces of useless crap (or until the year is over.)

70. Decorate for the holidays.


71. Reduce my credit card debt by XX% percent.

72. Get rid of my credit card debt.

73. Bring my lunch to work every day.

74. Save $X a month.

Any amount is great 🙂

75. At the beginning of every month, quadruple a casserole recipe and freeze portions of it, so I have an easy delicious dinner on hand when I’m tired and tempted to eat out.

76. Set up and stick to a clothing budget.

77. Sign up for my company’s 401K, if it has one and I’m not taking advantage of it yet.

78. Make coffee at home and put it in a thermos instead of stopping at Starbucks.

79. Give “gifts of labor” for birthdays and holidays whenever possible — coupons for yard work, babysitting, pet sitting, etc. Free and so appreciated!

80. Identify and eliminate three unnecessary expenses — unused memberships, excessive Internet, cell phone, or cable TV plans, etc.

You don’t have to figure this one all out at once. You have all year!


This is my favorite category! If we’re not enjoying life, what’s the point?

81. Take a road trip… with or without a pre-determined destination.

82. Try karaoke.

83. Watch the Harry Potter movies, the Lord of the Rings movies, or the original Star Wars trilogy back-to-back.

84. Get a tattoo.

85. Get really good at makeup (or doing my hair, or doing my nails.)

86. Go camping.

87. Go zip lining.

88. Go to a drive-in.

89. Take a bubble bath by candlelight with soft music and a glass of wine.

90. Dance in the rain.

91. Try 10 new foods.

92. Try out 10 new recipes.

93. Visit a new city.

94. Go to 10 places in my own town or state that I’ve never been to before.

95. Get a massage.

96. Go ghost hunting at a place that is rumored to be haunted (without getting arrested.)

97. Have sex in 3 places I’ve never had sex before (again, without getting arrested.)

98. Stay up all night and watch the sun rise.

99. Go to a wine tasting… or a craft beer tasting, or a chocolate tasting.

100. Go to Disneyland… or Harry Potter World… or the state fair.

101. Have an amazing weekend…every weekend!


That last one is one of my 10 resolutions for 2016, which I’ll talk about tomorrow! A couple of others here are on my list as well. Thanks so much for reading!