33 Top New Year’s Resolution Ideas for 2024

Last Updated on Jan 31st 2024
New Year's resolution ideas

A new year is a blank slate, a fresh pitch and a chance to put the New Year’s resolution ideas you’ve been thinking about into action. There’s something about a new year that makes a promise to commit to your own self-improvement not only special but also achievable.

So, what are the top 5 New Year’s resolutions this year? What would really make you feel fulfilled in 2024? Are you struggling to come up with something meaningful? Our list of the top New Year’s resolutions in 2024 includes both simple and unique ideas that will really resonate. 

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Creative New Year’s Resolution Ideas

1. Take Up Painting

One New Year’s Resolution idea we can all toast to is to do more paint and sip! If you’ve already participated in a paint and sip event, like paint and sip in Indianapolis, you probably remember thinking afterward “why don’t I do that more often?” Well, get it on the calendar!

Use this tool to find paint and sip near you. Trying one class can help with learning how to find your art style, and then you can pick more targeted classes in the future. If there isn’t an in-person studio in your area, do it online! Paint and sip in NYC or paint and sip in Orange County are both great options. 

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2. Get Crafty in Pottery Classes

A lot of us need New Year’s resolution ideas that will help us put down the smartphone and spend more time on something concrete — like arts and crafts for adults!

Signing up for pottery classes near you is a great Saturday afternoon project that you can do with friends or kids. Pottery classes in Minneapolis make a ton of sense during winter months when outdoor activities are out of the question. Same with pottery classes in Boston. And pottery classes in Houston are perfect any time of year when you are feeling ready to focus your creative energy on something other than sending social media memes.

Not into pots? Check out virtual flower arranging classes, beading, sewing classes or candle making.

3. Dance More

When we were kids, just a few notes from the stereo and we were be-bopping along. Why? Because it feels so good! Committing to dancing more is a great resolution and you don’t need a nightclub to make it happen.

Lots of local dance studios offer events and private party options, like dance classes in the Bay areadance classes in Las Vegas or  dance classes in NYC. Not ready to take your tango prime time? Try online dance classes and get your groove on at home.

4. Be a Better Friend

We can get so busy with our own lives that sometimes we fall behind on honoring our friendships. Do you have that one friend who is always the one to reach out or the one who never forgets your kid’s birthdays?

This year, a good New Year’s resolution idea is to be a better friend to your friends. Be the one to call, remember their anniversary or just be there more. You can even be the one to plan the next get-together, like trying some fun girls weekend ideas!

5. Plant a Garden

It isn’t news to anyone that spending time with your hands in the dirt has multiple benefits for overall health and wellness. This article from Science Direct found that “gardening can improve physical, psychological and social health, which can, from a long-term perspective, alleviate and prevent various health issues facing today's society.”

If you don’t have a yard, try an indoor garden. Real Simple magazine did a roundup of the best indoor systems to make it, well, real simple. 

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6. Start a Self-Love Journal

The thought of journaling might seem like something you don’t have time for. Or maybe you have trouble putting words on paper. This New Year’s resolution idea doesn’t mean you have to write a book, and you don’t have to commit to writing every day.

What if you set a reminder to sit down once a week to reflect on how you’re feeling and to acknowledge all the good that you do each day? Each time you sit down, start by reading back over what you’ve already written and take precious time to celebrate you.

RELATED: 33 Best Journal Ideas for Expressing Yourself in 2023

7. Write Real Letters

What are some unique New Year’s resolution ideas? Use a pen instead of your fingers to send someone a message. There is a reason Zazzle and Etsy have pages and pages of personal stationery available for purchase.

Someone somewhere is still writing real letters. Get a special pen to go with it, and make a list of one person a month who deserves to receive a little surprise happy in the mail.

8. Repurpose Your Wardrobe

Not ready to take on the whole house? Then maybe a simpler New Year’s resolution idea is to go shopping in your own closet. First, take everything out. Start with your favorite go-to items and hang them back up.

Then find items that you still like but haven’t worn in a while and see what you can mix and match them with to create new outfits. Maybe that blouse you hardly wear will suddenly feel more special when you pair it with those earrings you got last Christmas and a pair of your favorite comfy jeans.

9. Redecorate Your Space

This New Year’s resolution idea isn’t about spending money and buying new things. It’s about spending time in your own space with the things you already love and seeing them in a new light.

Change furniture around, and freshen up family photo frames. With a small budget, you can add houseplants, or swap out throw pillows and blankets for a new color scheme. It will feel like a whole new home and inspire you to be grateful for what you already have.

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10. Take Up Birdwatching

Okay, maybe you won’t build one from scratch. But why not? Many adorable DIY kits and ready-to-use birdhouses are available at places like Michaels. Birdwatching is a good way to relax the mind and to practice stillness which we could all use more of.

This simple New Year’s resolution idea can be started in January when birds need a little help finding good food and then enjoyed even more when the spring months bring nests and baby birds.

Student New Year’s Resolution Ideas

11. Cook More

Let’s look at some New Year’s resolution ideas for students in 2024. How about committing to cooking more? It’s incredibly easy to just get takeout or delivery. But you know that eating out is not the healthiest idea, and you’re spending way too much money doing it.

This year, cooking for yourself more should be a top priority on your New Year’s resolution list. Need help? Cooking classes near you are simple New Year’s resolution ideas for 2024 that pay off all year.

You can do online cooking classes, which means you could sign up for cooking classes in Washington D.C. to learn one recipe and then take cooking classes in Portland and learn something totally different. Cooking classes in Chicago are top New Year’s resolution ideas in 2024 that also make great date ideas. 

12. Use Reusable Grocery Bags

If you live in California, you probably don’t need this New Year’s resolution idea. California has been charging for grocery bags for years, so most people have already formed a habit of bringing their own reusable bags with them.

It feels really good to not have so much unnecessary trash after the grocery trip. You can put your own bags in the cart and load produce items directly into them, which means you’ll waste fewer produce bags. It’s one of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions that is as good for the planet as it is for you.

13. Get More Steps In

New Year’s resolution ideas for 2024 inevitably include ways to get more exercise. If you aren’t ready to join a gym and commit to CrossFit, just make a pact with yourself to get more steps in.

Take the stairs more. Park further away from the store. Walk the dog. Walk yourself. Got a good friend you need to catch up with by phone? Walk and talk! Apps like Runkeeper make it easy to keep track of time and distance, and also to celebrate your milestones.

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14. Be Present in Class

This doesn’t just mean showing up for class more often. It means “be present.” Put your phone where you can’t see it and be instantly distracted or tempted when your attention span starts to be tested.

School is the one time in your life when you have the time and freedom to simply learn. Absorb knowledge from teachers who have signed up to share and expose yourself to as many different subjects as possible. 

15. Prioritize Wellness 

The demands of school and social engagements can tend to be a cycle of not-so-healthy habits. What are you doing to prioritize your own wellness?

That might mean finding time to rest your mental health, choosing activities that involve movement or practicing better anxiety, stress or time management. Out of 100 New Year’s resolutions you could make, this one might be the most important.

RELATED: 37 Best Self-Care Gifts for Health & Wellness in 2023

16. Quit Smoking or Drink Less

This is an oldie but a goody. It goes without saying that if you smoke, you should quit. There is nothing but terrible health consequences that come with years of nicotine intake not to mention yellow teeth, stinky breath and leathery skin. 

Drinking less is also a good resolution idea to consider. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a beer at a party or a glass of wine with the girls. But it does mean setting boundaries for yourself in terms of quantity and frequency.

A simple New Year’s resolution idea is to drink one glass of water between each alcoholic beverage. Now you’re hitting your hydration resolution at the same time!

17. Drink More Water

Still wondering “what should my New Year’s resolution be”? How about hydration? If you are already committing to getting more exercise, this New Year’s resolution idea goes right along with that.

In fact, this study by John Hopkins shows that increasing water intake alone can help with weight loss. It’s also great for better digestion and glowing skin. 

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Unique New Year’s Resolution Ideas

18. Learn to Mix a Proper Cocktail

Everyone enjoys a good cocktail before a nice dinner. But, boy, do those specialty drinks add up on the check! What if you could make a pre-dinner sipper at home?

A fun New Year’s resolution idea is to do just that. Try online mixology classes and impress your friends next time they come over. Not into cocktails? Try virtual wine tastings and learn a little something that will help you pick out the right bottle on your next fancy dinner date. 

19. Play Games With Family

What are the top 5 New Year’s resolutions? You can bet that spending more time with family is on the list. One of the easiest ways to honor this New Year’s resolution idea is to designate a family game night.

There are lots of online trivia games that make for simple fun if you don’t want to play board games. Virtual game nights are something the kids will embrace and whether you try virtual scavenger hunts or virtual escape rooms, it's a great way to encourage family bonding.

20. Volunteer 

You might not find this one on the list of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be on your list. You don’t have to commit major amounts of time to volunteer.

Is there an annual park clean-up near your home? A donation station that needs intake volunteers? How about volunteering to walk your elderly neighbor's dog for them or tidy up their garden? Everyone needs a little helping hand now and then.

21. Practice Meditation

If there is one gift you can give yourself this year, make it a promise to slow down and find more time for quiet contemplation. Those problems that seem to constantly occupy your mind will come into clearer focus.

Your mental task list will get some perspective so you can decide if all those to-dos are really necessary. A good way to get started with this New Year’s resolution idea is with apps like Insight Timer or Calm, which both offer free guided meditations for the morning, midday or before bed. 

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RELATED: 37 Best Vision Board Ideas & Tips to Manifest Your Goals in 2023

22. Practice Daily Gratitude

Of all the resolutions you might consider, this one is definitely the easiest, cheapest and potentially most life-changing. Make it a daily practice and before long it will come naturally.

Take two minutes before you get out of bed to think of two things you’re grateful for and two more when you lay down to sleep. The power of gratitude to transform our lives can’t be understated.

23. Pay It Forward

Part of being present in life is to recognize when someone does something that makes your life a little easier. Did someone pick up your kid from soccer practice this week? Did a coworker take something off your plate?

Make a New Year’s resolution to be present enough to recognize when you’ve received kindness and also to immediately pay it forward.

Simple New Year’s Resolution Ideas

24. Learn a New Skill

It’s a new year and it’s time to broaden your horizons. Do you want to be handier around the house? Try a woodworking class. Want to do something more unique? Creative hobbies like glassblowing are becoming more popular and classes are easier to find than ever.

Even if you just take simple sewing classes so that you can hem your own pants or replace lost buttons, learning a new skill is a great New Year’s resolution idea. 

25. Smile More

Every New Year’s resolution list should include this one. Now that we’ve gotten past the mask, don’t take it for granted. When you encounter people you don’t know, be the first to put a smile on your face. You’ll instantly feel more at ease. 

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26. Laugh More

Laughter is the best medicine, so if your New Year’s resolution ideas include ways to live a healthier life, then finding time for more laughter should top the list.

Put on that silly comedy show instead of true crime next time you turn on Netflix. Go see a children’s movie. Or, get the gang together and hit a comedy club. You’ll wonder why you don’t do it more often.

27. Read Books

Do you have a little too much screen time in your life? Are you in the habit of watching TV right before bed? It can seem like such a big lift to pick up a real book and focus on it but somehow once you get started it’s easy to get back into the habit. A unique New Year’s resolution idea is to take some time to make a 2024 reading list.

Get all the books now, and place them strategically in places where you’ll be tempted to pick them up. It just takes one really good story to get back on track. E-readers are still a legit option because they don’t have the same blue light effect that your smartphone or TV has. If you still struggle to focus on actual reading, try audiobooks instead. 

28. Say “I Love You” More

Use your words. This simple New Year’s resolution idea really needs no explanation. 

29. Eat More Vegetables

Here’s another unique New Year’s resolution idea that centers around the overall improvement of health and wellness. Did you know the average American eats approximately 200 pounds of red meat and poultry each year? That amount is significantly higher than is required to fulfill the daily calorie and protein requirements of a human.

Plant-based eating has never been easier or tastier, and it’s scientifically proven to be healthier. According to an expansive review published in the Missouri Medicine Journal in 2020, plant-based diets “were associated with a significantly reduced risk of negative health outcomes.” 

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30. Simplify Your Life

We are blessed with abundance in America. Roofs over our heads, refrigerators full of food and anything we could possibly want can be delivered to our front door in a matter of minutes. But does all that stuff make your life full, or just your space?

A good New Year’s resolution idea for 2024 is to simplify your life. Start downsizing. Donate. Check yourself before you buy new things. Shop in your own closet. Replace excess with frugality.

31. Stop Texting and Driving

This may be the single best and most important New Year’s resolution idea for 2024. While some of us do better than others, there is no doubt that the roads would be safer if we all committed to this one.

32. Set a Budget and Stick to It

When was the last time you really sat down and looked at your spending? Everyone’s credit card provides a spending summary and it can be a bit sobering to review.

How much unnecessary spending did you make last year? This year, maybe the best New Year’s resolution idea is to set a budget and stick to it. Learning to live without every little thing we want helps us to appreciate things more when we can actually afford them.

33. Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

More than half of Americans report that they wish they could get a better night’s sleep. One of the biggest culprits of poor sleep is that we have bad sleep hygiene. We’re not just talking about washing up and brushing your teeth (although those are important).

The best way to fall asleep quickly and get a better night’s rest is to establish a wind-down routine. Turn off the TV and put away the phone. Take a warm bath. Lower the lights. Listen to a guided meditation or just some relaxing music. Find what works for you and make it part of your evening routine. 

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While most of us live full and happy lives, many would agree that we are all a work in progress. Making a list of meaningful but achievable New Year’s resolution ideas is healthy. If there is something you really want to incorporate into your life in 2024, set that goal.

Share your New Year’s resolution ideas with family and good friends, too. Ask them what resolutions they have made for themselves, and then agree to support one another in accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions ideas throughout the year.

For even more fun ideas, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!