25 New Year’s Goals To Make This Year The Best One Yet

A woman in a black sweater and sunglasses stands looking up in front of a mountain range.

The new year is an opportunity to reflect, reset, and identify new goals for yourself. 

Goals give us the little push we need to get out of our comfort zone and stretch ourselves. They give us something to aim for and learn from. You can set goals around your career, health, and home. Or create goals to cultivate more happiness and gratitude. 

Here are 25 ideas for new year’s goals that will help you nurture your career, personal life, creativity, and more. You can pick one goal from the list and make it a year-long project. Or pursue a new goal a month.

Keep track of your progress with a goal-setting planner and make sure to celebrate your wins along the way.

1. Take more risks

Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and do one thing a week that scares you. It can be related to your career, like speaking up in meetings. Or something you’ve always wanted to try, like performing at an open mic night.

2. Manage your personal finances

Whether it’s paying off your credit card debt or learning how to invest, use this year to gain financial empowerment. You can take small but impactful steps like reading a finance book or subscribing to a personal finance newsletter, or bigger steps like meeting with an adviser.

3. Create a side income

Maybe it’s a freelancing side hustle. Or setting up an Etsy shop. Do your research, get advice from people you trust, and create a year-long plan. With time, patience, and hard work, you’ll create a new flow of income and reap the rewards.

4. Maintain a self-care notebook

When we’re stressed or firing on all cylinders, we forget how to properly take care of ourselves. Create a heartsong journal or a happiness notebook and take note of things that make you feel good. That way, when things get tough, you’ll have a self-care manual on hand to help you nurture yourself.

5. Have a green thumb

Gardening has been shown to have a variety of mental health benefits. If you don’t have a green thumb, start small by taking care of a house plant, or volunteering at a community garden.

6. Try out a new recipe a week

In a cooking rut? Experiment with a new recipe a week. Bookmark recipes you’ve always wanted to try and create a meal plan in advance.

7. Be a tourist in your own city

Make a bucket list of all the places you want to explore in your city. Check out a new restaurant or walk around a new-to-you neighborhood. You’ll have a new appreciation for where you live.

8. Make new friends 

Much has been said about the challenge of making friends as an adult. It is possible to make friends as we get older–we just need to make a bit more effort. Sign up for a class. Volunteer with a group. Invite a coworker out to lunch. It also counts if you reconnect with an old friend!

9. Deepen your connection with your family

Family relationships need care and nurturing too. Schedule a weekly FaceTime. Send birthday and thank you cards. Keep a running list of gift ideas for loved ones. Or organize a family vacation. It’s never too late to strengthen your relationship with a loved one.

10. Organize your home

Start the year off on a clean slate and make a plan to declutter your home. You don’t have to do everything at all once. Do the zone cleaning method and tackle an area of your home a month. You can declutter your bedroom closet one month, tackle the kitchen the next. And after all your hard work, you’ll get to enjoy a clean and organized space.

11. Get noticed at work

Looking to build your reputation at work? Send your boss a weekly email update, maximize your one-on-one meetings, and demonstrate informal leadership–these are all ways you can flex your skills and get noticed. 

12. Develop a fitness routine you actually like 

Make your fitness goals more exciting by doing activities that are fun and challenging. Keep a fitness journal to log your workouts and measure your progress.

13. Learn a new language

Download a language app. Follow a language instructor on Instagram or TikTok. Find an accountability buddy so you can make sure you stick to your goals. If it’s in your budget, you can even book a trip to a foreign country to give yourself a fun deadline.

14. Read more books

Bring a book on your commute or download an audiobook for your drive. Stop by your neighborhood library or the free little libraries in your area so you always have books on hand.

15. Make time for writing

Writing helps us express ourselves. Keep a dedicated notebook for your thoughts and write in it every morning or whenever you need to clear your head.

16. Spend more time outdoors

Get more fresh air during the day by taking a walk after work, eating lunch outside, or reading in the park.

17. Do a digital downsize

Want to spend less time online? Delete an app, set usage limits on your phone, and keep a running list of things you’d like to Google rather than immediately googling it. Changing how we use and respond to technology can help us improve our relationship with it.

18. Do something community minded

If you’re looking to feel more connected to your neighbors and community, consider volunteering at a local organization or organizing a food drive or setting up a Little Free Library in your neighborhood.

19. Soak up some culture

The arts can help us unwind and inspire awe. Visit your local museum, attend a new play, or read a beautiful poem.

20. Have a comforting routine

When life gets unpredictable or stressful, the familiarity of an everyday routine can provide a sense of calm and stability. You may not always know what the day will bring, but you know that you will enjoy a cup of coffee and hot oatmeal in the morning. Or read a book before bed. Or take a stroll after work.

21. Sign up for a class

Classes are a low-pressure way to learn something new and have fun while you’re at it. Maybe it’s a cooking class or a flamenco class. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to knit. Let your curiosity be your guide. It will be challenging in the best possible way and you’ll gain a new skill out of it.

22. Set boundaries 

Boundaries are good for you. Set up an email auto-responder. Put your phone on “do not disturb” mode. Learn to say “no” without feeling you owe someone a lengthy explanation. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it will get easier with practice.

23. Create a productivity routine

Want to start off the new year feeling organized and efficient? Create a productivity routine that works for you. Try working with a timer. Create to-do lists. And organize your tasks by urgency and importance. Before you know it, you will have a system that helps you feel more on top of things.

24. Practice gratitude in the morning

Not a morning person? Try easing into the morning by making a list of things you are grateful for. It will get your day off to a solid and loving start.

25. Indulge in little pleasures

Sometimes we need a reminder to enjoy the daily pleasures of life. Savoring the aroma of a morning cup of coffee. Listening to bird song on your morning walk. Little pleasures always manage to leave a big impact on our everyday lives.

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