10 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Tackle In Just One Day

published Jan 1, 2023
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As the new year begins, people are already thinking about what they want to tackle in the next 12 months. It’s easy to get carried away with resolutions that are more long-term, like cooking more at home or making a more conscious effort to meditate. But resolutions don’t have to be big and bold to be effective. They can also be quicker and quieter.

Don’t believe me? Here are 10 New Year’s resolutions you can tackle in just one day.  

1. Schedule Your Doctor Appointments

You’re likely looking at your phone a hundred times a day, but still don’t make time to schedule that annual physical or dentist appointment for yourself. Pick a day of the week where you dedicate at least 15 minutes to making necessary medical appointments for yourself and your family members. Keeping this resolution will be the best decision you make for your physical and mental health. 

2. Declutter Your Social Media 

The end of the year is a good time to take a look at your social media accounts and eliminate anything that isn’t serving you in a positive way. “Scan through the list of accounts you follow on Instagram,” says Dr. Jenn Hardy, a psychologist based in Tennessee. “Unfollow accounts that you are no longer interested in or that breed insecurity or competitiveness.” You can use this technique for all of your social media accounts. 

3. Have a “Throw Away Day”

Hardy also recommends having a “throw away day” where you take time to look through things that have been in your home for more than their shelf life. “Go through your refrigerator and medicine cabinet, checking those expiration dates,” she says. Discarding outdated prescriptions or over-the-counter expired medications could prevent unnecessary medical emergencies. 

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4. Donate Books or Clothes 

There is likely a stack of books or clothes you have every intention of donating, but haven’t found the time. Professional organizer Melissa Gugni recommends “taking bags that have been accumulating items for donation out of your hall, garage, or trunk to a place that accepts them. So many of my clients have had these bags hanging around for so long they start to look like they are part of the home’s foundation.” 

5. Create a Fun List 

Resolutions don’t always have to be serious. Making time for play is an important way to spend the upcoming year. Hardy recommends creating a fun list. She suggests that you “add a bunch of fun activities you’ve been meaning to do but keep forgetting to do. Add to your fun list throughout the year. When you feel stuck in a rut or low mood, pick something from the fun list to help shift your energy,” says Hardy. 

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6. Prune Your Pantry

Healthy habits start with what is in your fridge and pantry. Your long-term resolutions may be more successful by making a small change in this space. Take a look at your fridge and pantry and ask, “Is there anything that has expired and can be recycled or donated? Anything that you really hate and know you won’t eat?” says Gugni. She says you can automatically “enjoy a lighter feeling after a big kitchen purge and make space for only the things you love to eat or cook. I find it especially satisfying to tackle the spice rack (and give them a sniff!).” 

7. Block 15-Minute Session to Get Things Done 

Starting small is an effective way of getting things done. Most people fail at long term resolutions because it becomes overwhelming. Professional organizer Ben Soreff says, “Organizing isn’t about stuff — it’s about time. Tackle projects in bite-sized chunks. Don’t pull everything out of the closet and then quickly shove it back in when the phone rings for a work emergency, leaving it worse off than if you hadn’t ‘cleaned up.’” He recommends using a smartphone timer and focusing on 15-minute sessions. You can tackle an entire small space in that time, like clearing out a junk or dresser drawer. 

8. Make a Vision Board

Need inspiration and want to rely on your creative side? Consider making a vision board portraying what you want to accomplish in the upcoming year. It may focus on personal goals or professional goals. Gather photographs, inspirational quotes, and anything else that you want to tack on to your board. You can rely on this vision board throughout the year — especially when you need a reminder of what you wanted to do this year the most.

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9. Connect with Family or Friends

If you’re wanting to connect more frequently with friends and family, you can take some time to connect in ways that may be small, but meaningful. You can write a letter or send a card to let them know you’re thinking about them. Licensed marriage and family therapist Saba Harouni Lurie recommends sending a text to a friend you haven’t spoken to for a while. 

10. Pencil Boring, But Important Reminders in Your Calendar

It is easy to forget necessary appointments once the year begins and you’re busy with work and household duties. Hardy recommends going through your calendar and penciling in reminders for boring but important tasks. Some examples may include changing your home’s furnace filter, changing your toothbrush, and switching out your car’s oil filter. “You will appreciate the reminder and [ability to offload] some of the mental load,” she says.