During the last few days of the year, we’re thinking about the goals that will help us become better in 2017. Whether you’re the type of person who picks one resolution and dedicates all of her energy to it, or the girl who writes down three to five resolutions to keep in mind throughout the year, I encourage you all to add one more thing to your list: keep setting goals.

This is the time of year when many of us feel our most motivated, but as we all know, life tends to get in the way. Don’t be discouraged if some of your resolutions don’t last past St. Patrick’s Day; at the end of the day, you tried something new and learned something about yourself. And remember, January 1st isn’t the only day you can turn over a new leaf – maybe it makes more sense to launch your business in April, or learn a new language when you have free time in the summer. Make 2017 your best year ever by coming back and reviewing your goals frequently, then feel free to adjust as needed. Keep reading for 17 of our favorites to get you started, and if your goal is to become a morning person this year, we’ve got you covered! 

featured image via oh happy day

photo via what olivia did

Plan for tomorrow.

Take 15 minutes every evening before bed to write down goals, to-dos, and scheduling for the next day. The simple act of writing them down makes it infinitely more likely that you’ll actually make things happen, plus you won’t be laying in bed at night worrying over forgetting something important. You can rest in the fact that it’s all already scheduled into your day!

photo via katerina dima

Do a digital detox one day per week.

Experts say that taking regular “digital detoxes” from your phone and social media increase mental clarity and provide breathing room that leads to more creative thinking.

photo from umbel/space

Try out one new recipe each week.

By the end of the year, you’ll have experimented with 52 new recipes, tried so many new flavor combinations, improved your cooking skills, and likely added some great new dishes to your repertoire!

photo from free people

Keep a gratitude journal.

Writing down a few things you’re thankful for each day will make you happier, less anxious, and more compassionate towards others.

photo from the school of styling

Take an online or IRL class to learn a new skill.

It could be photography, horseback riding, calligraphy, surfing, or anything else you’ve always been curious about! You might discover a new passion or meet new friends, and the sheer act of stepping outside your comfort zone will always result in personal growth.

Skillshareonline courses in topics like photography, calligraphy, and graphic design

General Assemblyonline and in-person classes to turn you into a web developer in a flash

Brit + Coonline courses like branding, photo editing, and other tools to help launch your biz

Informal Classes at UTin-person courses like backyard chicken keeping and the art of meditation

photo from camille styles

Shop at the farmer’s market.

Instead of sourcing your produce, dairy, and meat from the grocery store, try incorporating a once-a-week farmer’s market trip into your routine. It’s better for the environment, better for the local economy, and it’ll ensure you’re consuming only the freshest and most seasonal ingredients.

photo from career contessa

Start actually budgeting.

Most of us talk about spending less in really vague terms, but until you actually take the time to crunch your numbers, there’s no real way to measure and modify your spending habits. If it’s about time you got serious about your money, there are apps like Mint that make it easy to do so.

photo via career girl daily

Launch your blog, business, Etsy store, etc.

We all have our lists of harebrained inventions or side-hustle ideas. Why shouldn’t 2017 be the year you actually pursued one of them?

photo via homepolish

Get your (digital) act together.

Do you have old computers, digital cameras, and external hard drives hiding in your closet? Salvage the files you want to keep and sell or donate your outdated electronics. You’ll feel so much lighter once you’ve done it!

photo via harry crowder

Become a morning person.

A focused and productive AM routine is something almost all successful people have in common. Join us in the month of January for our #31mornings Challenge and start each day with a morning meditation, challenging yoga move, and healthy breakfast recipe.

photo via the everygirl

Prioritize your goals in writing.

You’re much more likely to achieve your goals when you’ve written them down clearly. Make a list of your goals for 2017 and list them in order of importance. Keep this list somewhere handy in your phone or computer and check in on it every week. As the year moves forward, make sure that you’re spending your time and energy in ways that directly serve your goals.

photo from gal meets glam

Teach an older person in your family how to use a computer or smart phone.

Set your grandma up with a Facebook account or teach your mom how to text photos. They will enjoy spending the time with you and using the tools for their own social lives. Have patience and remember that the language of computers may be entirely new to them!

photo from sea of shoes

Read one book a month.

Set aside some “me time” to relax and dive into a new book every few weeks. Join a book club with friends for endless recommendations, or check out our series What to Read, Watch, and Listen To This Month for our current faves.

photo from mydomaine

Complete a closet overhaul.

Nothing will make you feel more organized going into 2017 than a clean closet. Sift through yours and harshly choose which items you can donate or trash completely. Then reward yourself by stocking up on key pieces and exciting finds throughout the year.

photo from ohh couture

Try to learn a new language.

This resolution is always in the back of our brains… Kickstart the new year by deciding to take a crack at learning Italian, brushing up on your high school French, or deciphering Mandarin. Bonus: To test your skills, you’ll of course have to travel to a new country to master your accent!

photo from lena marias

Go to sleep earlier.

This could be the most surefire way to lead a happier, healthier life in 2017. The trick is sticking to a routine and staying off your phone one hour before bed. When in doubt, a hot shower will definitely help you hit the hay. And in the morning you’ll wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.

photo from camille styles

Choose to be happy.

Surround yourself with empowering friends, take care of yourself physically and mentally, and start every day with the intention of being happy. Make a conscious effort to find joy throughout the day, and don’t be afraid to treat yourself every once in a while!

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Comments (18)
  1. 1
    Vanessa @ Living in Steil December 30, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Love this list! I’m definitely going to incorporate a lot of these things into my life in the New Year (some of them I already do, but should make more of a priority). Thanks for sharing goals that we can all strive for!


  2. 2
    Jennifer Rose Smith December 30, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Great list, Carmen! Trying to learn a new language was one of my 2016 goals… now I am about halfway through Rosetta Stone for Spanish! My 2017 goal is to complete the program, then reward myself with a trip to Spain.

  3. 3
    Susan Krzywicki December 30, 2016 at 11:12 am

    I think the “teach an older person” attitude is not very helpful. Time to broaden your horizons and think about all humans as being competent and capable. Find a better term to describe your desire to transfer skills.

  4. 4
    Jill December 30, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Tangible goals! I appreciate the list so much and am inspired by many things on it.

  5. 5
    Caroline December 30, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Though I see your kind intent, Carmen, as an ‘older person’, I have to agree with Susan on that one.
    I never believed it until I hit my 60s, but it has slowly dawned on me that I am seen by the world (or at least a good part of it) as diminished somehow because of my age — less capable, less creative, and certainly less beautiful. The funny thing is, I actually have more to offer this mixed-up world after a lifetime of experiences. Let’s all make a resolution to look at everyone without preconceived notions in 2017. I am positive we’ll be better for it!

    • Jennifer Rose Smith December 30, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      Hi Caroline and Susan! I’m chiming here because I contributed this idea to Carmen’s post. I was inspired by a personal experience — I gave my 80 year old grandmother an ipad last Christmas and taught her to use it. It was basically her first computer, and has been totally life-changing for her. We email almost every week now, I send her photos from my travels, and this year she bought everyone’s gifts online! It was a special experience for the two of us, and I just thought others might be inspired to do the same with their own family members. I did not intend to imply that all older people are computer illiterate. I should have worded that more carefully. Apologies.

  6. 6
    Tanka December 30, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    This was a wonderful post. I love how so many of these resolutions are different from your average, “I’m going to lose weight” resolutions that are made. I also love how these resolutions can lead to a happier life and even better life for humanity in general. In a time where our society is suffering greatly and all compassion for humanity has seemed to go out of the window; by us making these small changes I’m hoping that the future as a whole will be better.

    xx- Tanka


  7. 7
    Caroline December 30, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Jenn, thank you for sharing the story of the gift you gave your grandmother. I can see how that gift enlarged her world while bringing her closer to her loved ones. That might just be the definition of a perfect gift 🙂

  8. 8
    Victoria December 31, 2016 at 11:38 am

    This was a brilliant and inspiring post! I’m definitely taking a few of these goals for myself and my 2017! X

    Victoria | VictoriaaHelenn

  9. 9
    TAMIKA RHODES January 1, 2017 at 8:22 am

    2017 intentions’ list made – check and check! Thanks again ladies! Always on point <3

  10. 10
    Sofia January 1, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Yes to all of this!! I’ve bookmarked this for later because, out of all the years I’ve read posts like this, I think is the best one. Thank you for so many great ideas to try for the new year! I hope your 2017 is swell!

    xo, Sofia

  11. 11
    Dana Andersen January 2, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Such an inspiring post, and just what i needed! I’ve been seriously lacking ideas for ways to improve myself and my life this year so i will be adopting a fair few of these!


  12. 12
    katrina January 3, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Time to start shopping! Thanks for sharing!

  13. 13
    Jill calabucci January 3, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I love this list. There are a lot of items I never would have thought about and now want to add to my list. Happy new year!

  14. 14
    clxlouise January 5, 2017 at 6:31 am

    This post is so inspiring, just what I need to start my 2017 off right!
    Cloe X http://clxelouise.blogspot.com

  15. 15
    Chantel Keona January 5, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  16. 16
    Joanesburgo Noir January 7, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    You are inspiring me to change!!
    Thank yoooouuuu