11 realistic New Year’s resolutions you might actually keep

womand and child happy

Jenna Meade, Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted December 30, 2022

There's a good reason why 80 per cent of people fail their New Year's resolution before January 14 each year. Here's some inspiration for a resolution you can actually keep. 

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions every year, and despite having the best of intentions, they can sometimes prove too ambitious (running a full marathon without training), too expensive (buying a hypercar, like the $5 million Mercedes AMG ONE) or so hard that you simply give up - as do 21 per cent of people.

Of those who did set resolutions in the last year, the most popular was around being healthy, with a recent study finding that 30 per cent of people wanted to improve their diet and exercise.

Looking to set clear financial goals was also popular for 78 per cent of people, including saving more and spending less.

That said, the study also found 80 per cent of people routinely fail their New Year’s resolution by the second week of January. This can be due to resolutions not being specific enough (‘be healthy,’ rather than ‘ride bike to work,’) or giving up after making a mistake (eating some chocolate when being ‘healthy’).

This time around, instead of aiming to go from a couch-surfer to a marathon-runner in one week, set your sights on more rational and realistic goals for 2023. 

Here are some realistic and attainable resolutions you can make to set yourself up for success in the new year. 

Realistic and achievable New Year’s resolutions 

Have less screen-time

The Australian Institute of Family Studies found excessive screen time led to health issues, behavioural problems and negative affects to social and psychological well-being.

With some adults on screens for over 10 hours a day, this can also cause digital eye strain and discomfort.

To try and lessen screen time, start small. Most phones have in-built usage trackers, or you can use an app to track how much time you’re spending on your device per day.

Remember, when you’re engaging with a device, you’re disengaging from something else.

Consider taking small steps towards your goal by turning off the TV at mealtime, switching your phone to Airplane Mode after dinner, having screen-free Sundays, or making your bedroom a device-free zone.

Get outside more

Commit your 2023 to getting out and experiencing everything beyond your screen. 

One study found that people who spent just two hours a week in green spaces, such as local parks or other natural environments, were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological wellbeing than those who did not.

Think of exciting new ways you could see the great outdoors. Consider exploring in a botanic garden or park with the family, venturing down one of Victoria’s new hiking trails, making some dishes for a fabulous picnic with friends, taking your pup to a dog-friendly beach, or simply getting out in the garden.

person hiking

When was the last time you enjoyed the great outdoors? Image: Getty.

Move your body more

Shift your perspective and shake up your exercise routine. Rather than exercising because you feel bad about your body, look at it as a way to make yourself feel good.

There’s no need to continue running or cycling if you’re dreading it. And if the gym isn’t for you, work out from home with these easy hacks for making a backyard workout area.

Instead, commit 2023 to finding the movement you love. You may turn it down a notch and try swimming, yoga, or Pilates, or welcome the rush of endorphins with a boxing class with friends.

Add incidental exercise to the list to boost your output and remember, if you don’t make it for a day or two, that’s okay. There’s always tomorrow.

Stay connected with friends and family

While the festive season and summer are all about cheer, for some, it can be one of the loneliest times of the year.

With online calls and group chats now second nature, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with your nearest and dearest. Keep up the communication next year and reap the well-being rewards. By continuing to check in, you’ll prioritise and nurture the relationships that make you feel great.

Embrace in-person catch-ups at bars and restaurants, or, if that’s not possible, schedule in a weekly video chat to stay up-to-date on your loved one’s lives. Even a quick text or email can banish loneliness and make your friends and family - and you - feel loved.

Take a break

We all love having something to look forward to. One study found more happiness is found from experiences than material objects – so time to pack that suitcase!  

With travel back on the cards, 2023 is an ideal time for your next adventure. Whether it’s a stay at an RACV Resort, a luxury cruise, an exciting escape or summer road trip, explore all the world has to offer.

mother and daughter spa day

Life is busy enough. Take some time in 2023 to spend with family. Image: Getty.

Spend less, save more

Looking for new ways to save money is a strong resolution that when done correctly, is a great way to set yourself up for savings success.

As well as these 10 simple ways to save money, keep aware of deals that can save you big bucks, whether its saving 13 cents a litre on petrol, using hacks to cut your grocery bill, doing fun things for free around Melbourne, or taking steps to save on house bills.

Embrace the quiet

Sometimes we need to disconnect from the world to reconnect with ourselves. By carving out our own ‘me time’, we create a pocket of inner peace that can help us recharge and be our best selves.

Whether you commit to journaling each day, joining a tai chi class, starting a meditation or breathwork practice, just enjoy some time to yourself - though this resolution may be quite difficult for parents with young children!

In cases like this, perhaps look for the odd session of ‘me’ time if you can get it – a pamper day at One Spa, a relaxing afternoon in a float tank, or simply having some time to read with a cuppa where you can enjoy the silence and stillness.

Give back to the community

As well as helping others, volunteering can do wonders for our mental health, giving a sense of purpose, achievement and value while building social relationships and communities.

The past few years have seen a lot of hardship, from COVID-19 to the displacement of people and property due to bushfires, storms and flooding. If you’re looking to give back to the community, there are many ways you can do this and still fit it into your busy schedule.

If time is scarce, look into a one-off opportunity like a fun volunteering date afternoon, or if you are able to commit for a longer period, consider a charity or organisation where you can create lasting impact and change to make your 2023 more meaningful.  

Try new experiences

The past few years have undoubtedly been tough. Luckily, with summer here, there are a plethora of ways to say yes and enjoy the wonderful attractions and experiences Melbourne and Victoria have to offer.

Whether it's seeing the latest exhibition, going out to see the latest releases at an outdoor cinema over summer, heading to a new eatery or brand new musical, life is open for the taking and is ready for you to enjoy it! 

RACV Members also save at a range of attractions and experiences around Melbourne. 

woman on a hike

Put down the phone, get outside and enjoy everything the world has to offer this year. 

Have a better work-life balance

Finding balance and moderation is one of the key factors to happiness.

With work-from-home becoming the norm for many, the divide between work and home and when it is time to ‘switch off’ has become blurrier, with 1 in 10 employees working over 50 hours per week, leading to burnout, exhaustion, and poor mental health.

To achieve balance, look to set yourself clear goals that work best for your situation. For instance, if you’re a new parent, make 2023 the year you will never miss bath time, or if you’re a screen addict, try to turn off your phone and computer by 7 pm.

Start with smart realistic goals that help to achieve long-term balance for your future.

Learn a new skill

The start of the year is a great time to add new experiences and skills to your life resume. Not only does keeping your mind active keep you mentally sharp, but it can encourage you to visit new places, meet new people and explore talents you never knew you had.  

While skills like learning to fly a helicopter or driving a race car may take exceptional skill, education and practise, there are plenty or hobbies and interests you can get into to expand your own skillset – and some won’t cost you a thing.

Start cycling or bushwalking, bring out the roller-skates, start a veggie garden, learn how to knit or basket weave, start playing an instrument, get into golf, or start cooking up a storm.

2023 is your year – make it count! 

Looking to get outside and enjoy some quality time? 
RACV Members get discounts at RACV Resorts →