Making a New Year’s resolution is a historical tradition that goes all the way back to the Babylonian Empire. Each year, the Babylonians would make promises to their gods to earn their favor. The tradition continues in a variety of places across the world today, but many people struggle to keep their resolutions. Based on the early decline of Babylon, defeated by the First Persian Empire in 539 B.C., we can assume that the Babylonians weren’t very good at keeping their resolutions, either.


New Year’s resolutions in the present usually revolve around fixing bad habits, improving ourselves, and helping others. We researched the top New Year’s resolutions and found out that some of the most made resolutions are also the most frequently broken resolutions. In order to help out, we put together a few tips and pieces of advice that will help you keep some of the most common New Year’s resolutions.


1. Spend more time with family and friends.

To make more time for socializing with family and friends in the new year, try these tips:

  • Instead of meeting out somewhere, invite friends and family to your house. Having people over is cheaper, easier, and more convenient than going out.   
  • Turn date night into a double date so you can spend time with your couple friends.
  • Let your family know when you’re available to get together so they’ll think of you when planning an event.


2. Exercise more often/lose weight.  

To make physical fitness a priority or to lose weight during the new year, use these tips to fit exercise into your weekly routine:

  • Hire a personal trainer or purchase a gym membership. The gym should be near to your work or home so you don’t have to spend your limited free time driving.
  • Try out different forms of exercise, such as group fitness classes or intramural or community sports leagues. Some people enjoy this form of exercise because it’s more social than going to the gym alone.
  • Wake up earlier to exercise before work, school, and your daily responsibilities need attention.


Group fitness class with people exercising


3. Quit smoking.

To quit smoking, you need a lot of determination. These tips can help you quit smoking in the new year:

  • Look for free smoking cessation courses. Local public health organizations or your doctor may have information on these.
  • Avoid alcohol and other triggers that ignite the urge to have a cigarette.
  • Pinpoint your reason to quit and focus on it. You might want to protect yourself from lung cancer or your family from secondhand smoke. Whatever the reason, make it personal and powerful enough to overcome the cravings.


4. Spend less time on social media.

  • Set a social media bedtime. This is a set time when you no longer get on your phone or computer to look at apps. You’ll be able to sleep better and limit the time spent on social media.
  • Delete the apps from your phone. You can still use your internet browser to access the social media websites, but with less immediate access, you’ll spend less time on them.
  • Call or text your friends instead of scrolling your newsfeed. You’ll feel more socially connected when you actually talk to a friend than when looking at their photos and posts.


Girl walking outside and using an iPhone


5. Get out of debt.  

  • Don’t use your credit card unless it’s a real emergency. Stick to debit and cash instead.
  • Use the snowball effect to pay off your debt by paying off your smallest debts first. After you pay your smallest debt, put that money toward the next smallest debt. Learn more about the snowball effect here.
  • If you’re in a deferment period or still in school, pay off the interest on your student loans before the payment period begins. This will save you money in the long run and protect you from paying compound interest.


If your resolution wasn’t included in this list, don’t worry. There are more tips to help you keep your New Year’s resolution here that apply to any resolution. No matter what your goals are for this year, we hope you succeed.