Our resolution ideas are often – what’s the word? – unsustainable? Unrealistic? Way too ambitious which sets us up to fail and then feel bad about ourselves thus creating a vicious cycle of self-doubt?
(that last one was 22 words)
If you’re nodding along because you’ve already abandoned your resolutions or good habits by January 9th, may I be so bold as to suggest one (or maybe two AT MOST) of these tiny, super doable resolutions instead?When we succeed repeatedly at tiny things, we're building the courage to take on big things. Click To Tweet
25 super tiny resolution ideas you could actually do
1. Clean the kitchen while your coffee is brewing or the microwave is whirring
You’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish in 30 second increments while your Chinese takeout is re-heating.
2. Make your bed when you get out of it
Fact: a room can’t look clean if the bed’s not made. It’ll take less than a minute, it’ll start the day with a win, and it’s so much nicer to climb into!
3. Turn all your clothes hangers backwards and when you wear something turn it right
It’s a super easy way to tell which clothes you don’t wear! If you haven’t worn it in six months, you can donate it without a second thought!
(Also: it is not an exaggeration that these hangers will change your life!!)
4. Have ‘going upstairs’ and ‘going downstairs’ spots in your house
I don’t want to trundle upstairs every time I tidy to living room and find something that belongs up there; the same goes for the basement. So I put all my ‘to go upstairs’ stuff on the bottom step, ‘to go downstairs’ stuff in the nook by the basement steps, and all the ‘should go out to the car’ stuff on the table in the porch.
5. Check your bank account every Friday
If you make it a habit you’re more likely to stick to your budget and you’ll catch any suspicious charges.
Addicted to your phone? Making it grey scale makes it much more ‘tool’ than ‘toy.’
7. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning
Start the day hydrated! You can make it even easier by keeping a carafe and glass on your bedside table. This set is super cute and the cup fits over the top of the carafe so nothing will get in your water at night!
8. Get an actual alarm clock and charge your phone outside of your bedroom
We all say we don’t want to look at our phones first thing in the morning, but it’s hard when that’s where our alarm clocks live. What if you got an Actual Alarm Clock and charged your phone in the living room? I will never stop singing the praises of our dawn-simulator alarm clock; it’s especially great for winter.
9. On Sunday night, plan your fun for the coming week
This is one of the things I shout about in Bank Boost. When we don’t have enough fun in our lives, we often self-medicate our boredom and malaise by over-spending. And 30% of our happiness from a given experience comes from anticipating it!
So sit down with your calendar and plan three or four fun things for the coming week.
10. Wear one thing every day that makes you happy
Even if you work somewhere with a strict or boring dress code, you can still sneak in something every day that makes you happy – your grandma’s ring, funny underwear, a concert tee under your blazer.
11. Find a fruit or vegetable you genuinely love to eat – buy more of it and eat more of it
Rather than denying yourself food you “shouldn’t” be eating, simply add more healthy things that you truly, genuinely love to your meals. I could eat my weight in clementines, cucumbers, peas, and fresh pineapple. So I’m going to!
12. When someone says something specifically meant to wind you up, say “Mmmmm” noncommittally while looking at your phone or out the window
My mom did this with us every time we tried to pick fights or whine and it’s an airtight strategy. You can’t argue with someone who’s politely ignoring you!
13. Stretch before bed
Even if it’s just for 45 seconds and it’s a half-hearted attempt to touch your toes or roll out your ankles, it helps!
14. Keep floss pics in the car and floss at stoplights
I know this is disgusting but I 100 PERCENT DON’T CARE!!! This is the only way flossing happens for me. So.
15. Send one networking email every Monday
And your ‘networking email’ doesn’t have to be all “I have an amazing opportunity I want to discuss with you!” It doesn’t even have to be an email. It could be an Instagram DM where you tell a professional peer that you loved their conference presentation.
Or it could be link to an article that made you think of that client you hadn’t heard from in a while. I guess what I’m saying is: find a way to stay in touch with the people in your network so you’re not only touching base when you need something. <- Nobody likes that and they alllllll notice if that’s the only time they hear from you.
16. Park at the edge of the parking lot
If I always park at the far end of the parking lot I a) always know where my car is b) will squeeze a few more steps into my day. (Obviously, be safe about this. If it’s dark, the parking lot is poorly lit, and you’re in an unsafe neighborhood by all means, park as close as you can!)
17. Take the stairs
Yup! Another easy way to add a tiny bit more movement to our days.
18. If you shop someplace constantly, get their customer loyalty card
Real talk: I weirdly hate coupons? Like, I just want to buy what I want to buy and, no, I’m not interested in saving fifty cents on something I didn’t particularly want in the first place. But if you always get gas at the same gas station or do 90% of your shopping at Target, you might as well get their customer loyalty card.
I have the Target Red Card and I love it – 5% off every purchase plus free shipping for online orders. (Not sponsored, just a very devoted Red Card user!)
19. Send the post-dinner party thank-you text
It takes 15 seconds and your hosts will appreciate it.
20. Take more photos of your friends, family, and self doing normal things
Only a small percentage of our lives are vacations and holidays. And it’s awesome to have photos of those things! But it’s also nice to have photos of your book club, your kid deep in thought over a puzzle, or your friends laughing over pizza. The One Second Every Day app is great for capturing these things.
21. Steer the plans towards cheap(er), health(ier) things
I’m sure there’s a Swedish word for that sinking feeling you get when the group text starts suggesting a night out that will easily cost $100 or derail your attempts to drink less. It’s hard to stop a moving train, so next time your friends start an “It’s been too long, we need to get together” conversation, be the one to suggest a potluck + game night at your house or a group hike.
22. Take walks without listening to podcasts or music
What if we gave our brains and ears a break and used a walk as time to have A Big Think or work through a problem? Or just look at the sky and the plants and the river? It’s hard to do those things when you’re caught up in what’s happening with MLMs on The Dream. (Have you listened to it yet? I am hooked.)
23. Upgrade your underwear
Yes. Toss out the stretched, the stained, the “I’d be embarrassed if someone unexpectedly saw me in these.”
24. Spend 15 minutes every day learning about something that interests you
There are podcasts about everything and Youtube channels about everything! Whatever it is that interests you – food photography, going vegan, living in a van – there are experts who want to tell you about it. Fifteen minutes a day adds up! Pretty soon you’ll be an expert, too.
25. Use Doulingo
It’s free, it’s fun, and learning a second language is sooooo good for your brain! I’d love to become properly fluent in Spanish (rather than ‘good enough to get around while not conjugating verbs correctly and gesturing a lot’) and start visiting more Spanish-speaking countries.
But I want to hear from you! Did you make resolutions this year? If you did – how are they going? What’s one teeny, tiny resolution you could make that you’d actually stick to?
I made a resolution to brush my dog’s teeth every day.
Same! We brush them every day before she eats breakfast so she knows that she gets something she likes (food) after putting up with something she doesn’t like (having her teeth brushed)
I’m definitely going to try some of these this year! I love that they’re so doable. No more excuses! 😉
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
I’m SO OBSESSED with The Dream. I already finished it and then I joined an anti-MLM group on Facebook and I will rail uninvited against any MLM company that comes up in my presence. Dang I hate MLMs! I’m going to try the networking tip – I need to keep in better touch with my professional peeps.
Yes! When people want to join my Money & Happy Facebook group, I make them answer three questions before I let them in and one is making them promise they won’t use the group for MLM purposes!
Love these! There are so many things that don’t take long to do but can greatly boost your happiness/health. And I second The Dream—it’s a must-listen!
I got a dawn simulation alarm clock for Christmas, honestly I was not expecting too much but it has been a HUGE help! I have gone from being a miserable, stuck-to-my-bed, fall back to sleep in 5 seconds grouch all my life, the past 2 weeks I have been waking up gently and feel actually, genuinely refreshed, glorious! Love it!
Right?! My husband was also initially skeptical but he says it’s “so much better than an alarm honking my awake in the dark.”
Unfortunately, I had to go back to using “normal” alarm clocks and my mobile in addition to the dawn simulation one, simply because I manage to sleep through the dawn simulation one without even noticing that it went off. (I can do the same with “normal” alarm clocks and managed to type in the code for my then mobile and turn off the alarm without noticing that it went on…until being called from work and asked if I was supposed to work that day…).
As for tiny resolutions: getting my training back up (3x a week) is definitively one – thankfully I enjoy the indoor-online-cycling, and well I shall try to not have sandwiches on three days a week again (fell off last year after a holiday with heavenly food).
Ooooh i think “scheduling fun during the week” is going to be my game changer. I don’t go to work till 3pm and my mornings are mostly filled with sleeping and reading and cat cuddling, which are awesome of course, but not things i super look forward to and get excited about during the week! Hmm time to start scheduling some fun activities and actually do them instead of being lazy and going back to bed. My word for 2019 is “nourishment” and planning more fun things to get excited about is perfect. What a great idea!
I think you’ll be amazed by the difference it makes!
What are some examples of the fun you plan in your week?
Laura, I like the idea of a “word” for the year. It’s simple and the word can mean so many things. Thanks for sharing. And Sarah, your the bomb! you mix practical and finance and soul stuff all into one article. Love it!!
Love all these ideas, but don’t waste the time to go through your closet and turn all your hangers around! Leave them as they are and turn them backward when you hang something up. At the end of the year donate anything not backward. Same concept but less work.
Oh, good point!
I just binge listened to The Dream and cannot stop talking about it!
Also, I set a time limit on my social media apps in my phone. When I have 5 minutes left for the day it sends me a warning and then locks me out of them for the rest of the day. It is taking time to stick to it but I am definitely more aware of how much time I’m spending on my phone especially when it says “you’ve reached the limit for the day”. It’s like, oh crap I need to get other stuff done!
What app do you use to do that?!
It’s ready to go on the iphone!
I LOVE THIS POST. These are really little things that can be done easily. I started wiping down the kitchen counter tops while I sanitize my daughter’s sippy cups – 2 minutes and boom!
I don’t park at the edge of the parking lot, but I do use my last break of the day to walk to my car and move it to a spot closer to the front door. I get a short walk, some fresh air, and I can dash out when the work day is over.
Berry Dakara Blog
First thing in the morning, I open my bedroom windows and air my duvet. My grandma does that every morning, and somehow I feel very accomplished to do that as well (plus, the bedroom is aired, and it’s easy to make my bed afterwards).
And, do a ten minute meditation every day. At least, listen to it.
I love these ideas! Turning your clothes a different way to see what you wear most is genius! I have so many clothes that I KNOW I don’t wear, so doing that might actually encourage me to wear them since they’re pretty much going to waste otherwise!
I also like the cleaning whilst the microwave is on trick. I usually put away the clean dishes that have finished drying, or just stack the dirty dishes in a more effective manner so that cleaning them later on isn’t such a hassle, and it all makes a huge difference! I think next on my list for 2019 is to upgrade my underwear, as I’ve been meaning to for a while now ?
Good ideas, thanks Sarah! 🙂 I especially like Nos. 11, 13 and 25. 25 reminds me that I haven’t signed into Memrise for a while (was using that to learn Spanish). i’m going to try Duolingo.
Duolingo has a podcast now!I listened to one episode and they tell a story where they mix Spanish and English – a really great option for some of us who have already had training in a language but need practice.