11 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

We all need more realistic targets this time around.

What’s the last New Year’s resolution you actually kept?


If you’re better than us and have cut down on your spending, effectively managed stress, or lost ten pounds and actually used that gym membership, than you need not read any further.

For the rest of us, we’re going to try and make things a bit more manageable.

The first step to being successful at your New Year’s Resolutions is be being realistic about yourself. First things first: we’re all inherently lazy creatures. But that doesn’t mean we can’t form productive habits, and, in turn, fulfill otherwise daunting resolutions.


So, without further ado, desk-bound keyboard-toilers, here are 11 manageable New Year’s resolutions that can actually have a measurable impact on your life.

1. Take a screen-free walk at lunch

Free yourself from the screen! Instead of eating your lunch at your desk (which you really shouldn’t be doing), take a short walk to recharge. Enjoying the great outdoors, you know, with all that fresh air and stuff, will let you clear your mind, and give you that final push through the rest of the day. (Read more)

2. Embrace A Little Insecurity

Instead of faking it, embrace your limitations. People with a tinge of realistic self-doubt have a motivating force to improve–they’re more open to feedback, and tend to make smarter decisions. (Read more)


3. Skip The Coffee, And Call Your Mom Instead

Have you ever heard of “microbursts?” Microburst are small buts of physical activity–taking a brisk five minute walk (see resolution #1), a run up and down the stairs–that boost your energy levels in the long term.

Turns out the energy-boosting properties of microbursts translate to human interaction. So call your mom the next time you’re feeling sleepy instead of reaching for your coffee. (Read more)

4. Train Yourself To Wake Up Without An Alarm Clock

Yes, you can stop being a slave to your alarm clock. And it’s easier than you think. Your body wants to wake up in the morning (naturally), you just need to harness the power of your natural circadian rhythm, and put in your side of the bargain: consistency and trust. (read more)


5. Practice the 12 steps of more mindful living

Everywhere you go, people are telling you to live a more “mindful life.” We know: it’s hard to be mindful when the concept seems too abstract. That’s why ZenHabit’s Leo Babauta has devised a 12-part toolkit to get you started. (Read more)

6. Embrace Procrastination–Because It Might Make You More Productive

For years and years you’ve thought procrastination was ruining your work.

Guess what? With a new year comes a new outlook! According to Buffer’s Belle Beth Cooper, procrastination, when accepted as a critical part of our productivity process, can be extremely helpful. (Read more)


7. Finally, Finally Free Your Inbox From Clutter

2013 was a year of too much email.

This year’s solution? Put an autoresponder to good use. (Read more)

8. Beat Distraction By Getting Up Before It Rises

Fast Company contributor Paul Dejoe just couldn’t find peace. By 8 a.m. he was overwhelmed by the pressure and expectations of the day. Emails to respond to, meetings to attend, projects to plan.


His answer? Wake up before the competition. (Read more)

9. Plan Your Weekends So You Can Relax And Revitalize

It’s Sunday night. You’re miserable. You haven’t done anything this weekend!

If this is a familiar feeling, you’re not alone. Bottom line: a good weekend needs a plan. (Read more)


10. Embrace Social Media Already

Okay, look. It’s almost 2014. If you haven’t realized it already, social media’s here to stay. We’re not saying you need to make 15 new accounts to stay in the loop, but it wouldn’t hurt to learn some basic concepts about how social networks work, and how they operate in the business world. (Read more)

11. Don’t Listen To These Happiness Myths, And Know The Power Of Negative Thinking

This might be the only New Year’s resolution list that will tell you to not “maintain a positive mindset.” In fact, we say just the opposite: it’s beneficial to feel your emotions (all of them) and more productive to “focus on behavior, not internal states.” (Read more)


About the author

Former Editorial Assistant Miles Kohrman helped run Fast Company's homepage and completed miscellaneous tasks around the newsroom. He is a 2013 graduate of The New School.