The 10 Most Common New Year’s Resolutions

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With 2015 rapidly coming to a close, many people will be looking forward to the year ahead and hoping that it is the best year possible. Millions around the world will be setting New Year’s resolutions, which will typically involve some form of self-improvement. By talking with your friends, family and co-workers, you will often hear the same resolutions being made, as there are a few that are more common than others each year. So, if you are looking for a resolution for 2016 then why not try out one, of a few, of these classics.

10. Improve a Relationship

Over the holidays, there is a good chance that you will be catching up with friends and family members that you have not seen for a long time. This will inspire many people to improve their relationships with multiple people or perhaps just one person, and this is a great way to expand your circle. We all have a friend or family member that we care for deeply but struggle to stay in touch with, and this will often see them go off the radar. The start of a new year is a great way to bring these people back into your life, but of course it is a two-way street and it will take some effort on their part too. Sending them a message is a good way to get the ball rolling, and from there you can try to arrange to meet up and bring them back into your life.

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9. Spend Less Time on Social Media

One of the more modern New Year’s resolutions, but also one which is now hugely common, particularly for the younger generations, many people promise themselves to cut down on the time that they spend on social media. Social media has a label as the ultimate procrastination tool, and in the New Year people often want to be more productive. In addition to social media, many people will try and cut down their time spent on the Internet or watching television. For those who are looking to cut down their social media time, you should know that there are programs that will limit the amount of time you can spend on certain sites each day. These are terrific for when your self-discipline goes out the window, and before long, the days of seeing what people you went to school with are up to or watching funny videos of cats will be a distant memory.

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8. Volunteer

The New Year is often a time where people are very reflective not just of their own life, but also the lives of those around them. This will see many people give back to the community through volunteering, and this is a noble act which can make a huge difference to your neighborhood and city. It can feel good to help others, and there are always organizations and charities that could use a hand, particularly in the winter months. Some people may be put off as they feel that it will be too big of a commitment and they do not have the time, but even just an evening or a few hours a week can make a huge difference both in the short and long term. Volunteering can also be an eye-opening and life changing experience, and make you much more in tune with the world around you.

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7. Travel

There are few better ways to self-improve than expanding your horizons, and the best way to do this is to travel. This does not have to be a six month trip backpacking through the jungle (although it could be), as a simple weekend trip to somewhere new can be a real eye opening experience. The world is now more accessible than ever, and although many people have responsibilities that limit their ability to travel, there is always somewhere new to explore, even if it is within the same country. This is a great way to expand your horizons, break out of your everyday routine, reduce stress and make some memories that you will cherish for life.

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6. Eat Healthier

As this list proves, a lot of people focus on leading a healthier lifestyle in the New Year. Whilst many of the entries on this list will help, one of the key ways is to improve your diet. This could include reducing or cutting out junk food, eating more fruit and vegetables, eating more home cooked meals instead of fast food or microwaveable meals, or ensuring that you are eating three meals a day. Many people have unhealthy diets because they do not know how to cook properly, but by investing in a cookbook and practicing (see number 3) it will not take too long to get the hang of things and these skills can be hugely rewarding. For those limited by time, cooking large meals and storing additional portions in the fridge/freezer is an excellent option. By eating better, you will also be spending less money in addition to feeling much healthier.

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5. Be Smarter With Money

The thing that keeps millions of people around the world awake at night, money is a cause of enormous stress. Many people see the New Year as a way to get their finances in order by spending less and saving more. This is often aided by the fact that the holiday period can be extremely expensive, and many will be feeling the effects of this overspending all the way into February. It can be difficult to get your finances in order and it will be different for everyone, but a few of the other resolutions on this list can help to reduce expenses (numbers 2, 4 and 6). For many people this resolution is meant to bring them peace of mind, since it encourages saving money for a rainy day, whilst for some people it will be so that they can use their hard-earned cash on things such as buying a house or car.

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4. Drink Less Alcohol

After spending much of December socializing and indulging in a few too many alcoholic beverages, the idea of drinking early in the New Year will make many feel slightly queasy. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to drink less alcohol, and for a huge amount of people this now includes “Dry January,” where not one sip is had following the last one during New Year’s Eve celebrations. Many people try to reduce the amount that they consume throughout the year as well, and this could include choosing to stop drinking mid-week, only drinking one day of the weekend or simply having a few less whenever they do feel like a drink. Drinking less alcohol also rolls into many of the other more common resolutions which center on leading a healthier lifestyle, and of course saving your pennies too.

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3. Learn a New Skill

Although a lot of resolutions focus on quitting or reducing something, many people make it a goal to learn something new. New Year’s resolutions are generally about self-improvement, and there are few better ways to improve who you are than by learning something new. A few of the more common examples are learning a musical instrument, learning a new language, playing a new sport, learning to cook, knitting, woodworking and something artistic such as drawing, painting or photography. Thanks to the Internet, many of these skills can now be learned from home and there are even free online courses you can take. However, for many people, learning a new skill is also a great way to get out of the house, meet new people and be more social (another common resolution). Not only is this a productive resolution, but it can also be incredibly rewarding and good fun too.

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2. Quit Smoking

A classic resolution, and one with a particularly high relapse rate, quitting smoking is one of the most common resolutions every single year. One of the hardest habits to quit, smokers know all about the risks involved and how much it costs, which is why it is such a common resolution. Although one of the most difficult resolutions to keep, there are, fortunately, all kinds of resources and aides now which can make the process more manageable for some. This includes electronic cigarettes, nicotine gum and patches; however, for many people it is going cold turkey that is the best method (but a very stressful week or so). Quitting smoking goes hand in hand with “Dry January” and generally leading a healthier lifestyle, and although a real challenge, once you are over the hump it will make a huge difference to both your health and your wallet.

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1. Exercise More

The ultimate resolution which makes going to the gym a hellish experience throughout January, exercising more is the most common New Year’s resolution. For a lot of people this will be shedding weight (particularly after indulging over the holidays), whilst some people will be looking to bulk up, or they may have particular goals (such as running a marathon). This is a resolution which is made by people of all ages and fitness levels, and it goes to show the value that exercise has. Not only can exercise improve your physical fitness, but it can also do wonders for your mental health. It is important to set yourself realistic goals and know that it will take a while for results to show, but by committing to exercise (whether it is the gym, running, sport or yoga) you are on the path to a happier and healthier life.

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Jonny Hughes

Jonny Hughes

Jonny Hughes has been writing about movies and TV for Goliath since 2015.