When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, we seem to hear the same ones over and over every January. While losing weight, giving up alcohol, or getting more exercise are definitely worth the effort, there are other ways you can make yourself a priority in the coming year.

We have five suggestions for resolutions that we hope will inspire you to come up with goals of your own. Dig deep and see what areas of your life you’d like to improve—then keep your resolutions to yourself! It may seem counterintuitive, but studies show that if you keep your resolutions private, you are more likely to achieve them. 

Stress Reduction

How many of us complain about feeling stressed? It’s a horrible feeling and it can sabotage the rest of your life. Whether you constantly feel overwhelmed or are struggling to sleep at night, stress can undermine our ability to cope with life’s daily struggles.

Take some time to reflect on the situations or obligations that cause you stress. How can you make these situations more manageable? Are there ways you can get more support, or cut back on certain obligations? Alternatively, can you make time for stress reduction practices like exercise, yoga, or meditation? Make a commitment to minimize stress in 2018. 

Find a Hobby

Have you always wanted to learn archery? Have your friends’ pictures from Paint Nite inspired your inner Picasso? Is there a cooking class with your name written all over it? If you answered yes, get out there and do it!

If you are struggling to come up with ideas or are worried about the cost of private classes, check with you local library, YMCA, or community college, all typically offer low-cost classes. Check discount sites such as Groupon and Living Social, too. Buy a certificate for something outlandish and push past your comfort zone. Or consider volunteering at your local family shelter, hospital, school, or SPCA. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community, meet new people, and learn new skills. It could be life-changing!

Have Better Mornings

The way we start our day is unbelievably important. Do you find yourself frazzled, running around looking for clothes to wear and food to eat? Do you fight the same traffic battle every morning because you left the house too late? Do you forget items at home because you are disorganized?

Take inventory of all of the things that typically happen before you even leave your house and make changes. Set your clothes out, pack your bag, and plan your breakfast the night before. Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than usual and actually get out of bed when it goes off. Try to fit in five minutes of stretching and breathing. You will be amazed by how impactful a few simple tweaks can be.

Assess Your Health

Health insurance woes aside, many of us put off seeing a doctor. When was the last time you had a checkup? Do you have some lingering issue(s) that should be evaluated by a medical professional?

It may be expensive and it might even be scary but don’t put off anything that has to do with your health. In many cases health issues, even potentially life-threatening ones, can be managed if they are identified early. A number of providers now offer low-cost services through smartphone apps; others are willing to arrange payment plans to manage large bills. You can’t put a price on peace of mind.

Reconnect with Real Life

When was the last time you sat with a friend or family member without glancing at your phone? Do you make eye contact with the people around you? Is every recent memory captured through the lens of a camera? 

Set aside time to catch up with the people in your life and make an agreement to put all devices away during your get-together. Make an effort to really listen and consider what your friend or relative is saying, and resist the urge to take a picture of your plate. It shouldn’t be so hard, but many of us are addicted to our devices and don’t even realize it. It’s time to change that!

By paying more attention to areas of your life you’d like to change, you’ll find yourself  able to more easily say goodbye to destructive habits and patterns.

What are your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions?