Top 10 Easy-to-Keep Resolutions for This New Year
10. Create (and Stick to) a Realistic Budget
If you have a little trouble keeping your spending in check, the best resolution is to start keeping a budget. With a tool like Mint, it's actually very easy to craft your budget and track each purchase you make, so you can stay responsible without having to do a ton of work. You can even set goals for those few things you want to save for, so you have motivation to stay on the wagon.
9. Get a Better Education
If you're starting to feel like your current education level isn't getting you where you want to go, maybe it's time to go back to school. Check out our recommendations for finding the right program for you, building it into your budget, and keeping your current job in the meantime. If you don't need an official education, you can always get a pretty awesome education online for free, too.
8. Make New Friends
If you haven't been branching out as much as you'd like, there are a few things you can do this year to get out there and make more friends. If you've just moved, check out our guide to settling down in a new city, and make sure you know how to make and sustain a good first impression. With a few tips and a good attitude, it shouldn't be that hard to meet people and make that leap from acquaintances to friends.
7. Keep Your Home Cleaner
Cleaning is one of the first chores we start to neglect when we start to get busy, but it doesn't need to be difficult. Start by de-crapifying your home, which will eliminate some of the unnecessary clutter, then make daily 15-minute cleaning dashes to keep things in a presentable state. Once you've got it somewhat clean, you can put those regular chores on autopilot to make life even easier, too.
6. Start Working Out
We've shared a ton of exercise tips over the years, but if you can't even get yourself to the gym in the first place, they won't do you much good. The more you can fit a workout into your daily routine, the more likely you are to stick with it. We've even shared a few good workout plans that make this easy, like the Lifehacker Workout or the gym-less workout. Just make sure you have that perfect workout playlist to keep you motivated, too.
5. Learn a New Skill
Whether its learning to code, learning to cook, or learning to play guitar, we all have one or two skills we've been itching to learn. Chances are, you can probably get a good head start in just a few days, and it isn't as daunting as you think it is. We've covered some of these skills (like programming and image editing) before, but check out our Weekendhacker on learning new skills for more general tips.
4. Get that Promotion (or New Job)
Whether you're itching to move up the ladder or move to a new career path, there's no better time than now to make it happen. We've shared a lot of simple tips on asking for a raise and how to negotiate it properly. If you're hunting for a new job, check out how to start freelancing without quitting your current job entirely, as well as how to get a job when you have no relevant experience.
3. Reboot Your Sleep Cycle
If 2011 found you exhausted more often than you were well-rested, its time to change the way you sleep. No matter what it is keeping you up, make it a priority to reboot your sleep cycle and get the rest you deserve. If you're having trouble with insomnia, snoring, and other common sleep problems, we've talked about how to fix those too, as well as how to achieve better sleep with technology. While you're at it, cultivate the perfect evening routine to make falling asleep that much easier.
2. Eat Healthier
One of the most popular resolutions around, the vague "eat better" is always a difficult one to follow through on. Before you go making untenable resolutions again, learn what eating better really means, and use tools like the food pyramid to help you out. If you're on a budget, too (see tip #10), that doesn't mean you need to eat poorly, either: you can eat like a foodie at home without spending a ton of money. For bonus points, combine this with a good workout (see tip #6) to stay fit and healthy.
1. Back Up Your Data
This is one of those things everyone says they should do, but so few often actually do. We stuck this at #1 because it's by far the easiest thing to do on this list: with a program like CrashPlan, you can set up a bulletproof, fully automated backup in mere hours that you then forget about, and have your data forever protected. If you're a heavy smartphone user, you might want to even consider backing your apps and mobile settings up as well, either using Titanium Backup on Android or PKGBackup on iOS.