January starts with a burst of cold air and a wave of promise. Everywhere you turn, people are making resolutions to read more, eat better, and be their best selves. Come February, the excitement has worn off and old habits have crept back into our daily lives. This year, instead of setting your New Year’s resolutions aside, try taking a moment to reevaluate and to turn them into personal goals. 

Personal goals vs. New Year’s resolutions 

eating together outside

New Year’s resolutions have a deadline: you must conquer them within a year. Personal goals, on the other hand, can always be a work in progress. That means that it doesn’t matter so much if you slip up in February, as long as you remind yourself why you care, and keep working towards your goals in the long term. Personal goals should be achievable and full of wiggle room. It’s not about passing or failing, it’s about creating the life you want little by little. 

To get you started, here’s how five writers are thinking about their personal goals for this year. 

Anne Mauney from fANNEtastic Food

My personal goal is: Get fresh air every single day 

I find that getting outside, even if only briefly, makes a huge difference in my mood and mental wellbeing. Even if it’s just a quick walk around the block, fresh air always leaves me feeling refreshed and more able to tackle the rest of the day. Before covid started, I was always getting out in some fashion, but now with being home all day and working from home I found there were a lot of days where I’d never make it outside, and it really left me feeling bummed out. Getting outside, no matter how gross or cold it is out, is a simple and free thing that I can do every day for an immediate mood boost.

Hitha Palepu

My personal goal is: To re-evaluate my relationship with alcohol

I had gone into this resolution when the nightly glass of wine had already become two glasses, and was starting to become 3. My body needed the break and to establish a new relationship with alcohol. Reading the book Quit Like A Woman taught me a lot. I’ll be continuing Dry January for the foreseeable future without an end date in mind. 

Instead of pouring a glass of wine, I’ve been making a CBD-infused mocktail to mark the end of work. I’ve also been taking more baths as well!

Katherine Younger from Kath Eats Real Food 

My personal goal is: Replace bad habits with good ones 

I believe that our everyday habits create the foundation of our health, so I am trying to incorporate as many good habits into my days as possible, such as getting 8+ hours of sleep, having a salad for lunch or dinner, cooking as many of my meals from real food as possible, and reading a little each day (and many more!) I’m also working on some of my less-than-ideal habits like being a little too dependent on my phone and technology, multitasking less and focusing more, and not having too many glasses of wine each week 😎

What I have learned is that habits do not change on their own. And it’s easier to add than subtract. Instead of trying to eliminate a habit completely, the transition is easier if you replace it with a new one. So instead of saying no drink at all at 5:00, I’m trying to stock my fridge with healthier options, like kombucha or tropical seltzers, to sip while I cook.

Gina Harney from The Fitnessista

My personal goal is: To read more books this year

personal goal to read more books

To make this goal more specific, I decided to read three books each month: one related to personal development, one fun/fiction book, and one related to fitness or wellness in some way.I checked all three boxes for January!

 Moving forward,I’m counting audiobooks towards my goal. I have already discovered how easy it is to listen to audiobooks while doing chores,  things around the house, or while we’re on neighborhood walks. It’s a great way to multitask and learn while you’re doing other things. 

Grace Atwood from The Stripe

My personal goal is: To eat more vegetables

personal goal to eat more vegetables

So far, this is going really well! I have been having a green juice every morning, and I love BA’s Wellness menu. It’s a great way to sneakily get more veggies. 

So far I have learned that getting your vegetables doesn’t have to be boring. The tilapia with garlic and olives on a bed of chickpeas and tomatoes and spinach felt SO hearty, but it was also packed with vegetables and good for you ingredients.

Now it’s time to try it for yourself! Take a look at your New Year’s resolutions. If you haven’t already conquered it, try adjusting it to make it into a goal you can work towards year in and year out.