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25 easy New Year's resolutions for 2021 to make it your best year yet

Make this year your best yet by challenging yourself to make one of these simple and easy resolutions that have a *big* impact on your life. 

Pick out your outfit the night before school

Nobody likes feeling rushed around in the morning, but it happens to so many of us. Save yourself some time and stress before school by picking out and setting aside your outfit for the next day the night before.

Read one book a month

Reading can be a fun way to relieve stress and learn things. Plus, it makes you a smarter person too! Challenge yourself to read one book every month outside of what you are required to read for school. Need some ideas for cool reads? Check out these fab books and entertain *and* inform

Give one genuine compliment a day

Make someone's day by giving them one real compliment. It may not seem like a big deal, but you never know how it could impact that person. Let's make 2021 a positive year full of love. Yeah!?

Turn your phone off 30 minutes before you go to sleep

According to SCL Health, scrolling through Instagram or watching an endless queue of YouTube videos before bed could be interrupting your sleep and overall health. Here's why:

  • Blue-light from your cellphone could be messing with your circadian rhythm which is your body's natural way of knowing when it's supposed to be awake and when it's supposed to be asleep. 
  • If you sleep with your phone off, text alerts and notifications could be interrupting your deep sleep even if you aren't waking up from them. 
  • The light from your cellphone keeps you awake longer and it's easy to spend way longer than you wanted to on your cellphones once you climb into bed which limits the hours you spend sleeping.

Get the best night's sleep possible by keeping your phone off and outside of your bedroom at night. The National Sleep Foundation recommends turning off all electronic devices 30 minutes before bedtime, so keep an eye on the clock and cut yourself off when you know it's almost time to go to sleep. 

Dedicate an hour to self-care every day

Self-care is what we do to keep ourselves at our best. Carve out some time in your schedule every week to spend time doing something that makes you feel good and gives your brain a chance to relax. Some of my favorite self-care activities are going for a stroll around the park while listening to my *fave* album Fearless, soaking in the bathtub with a vanilla-scented candle and a good book, and songwriting. Check out this fab list of self-care activities to find some inspo.

Meditate for 5 minutes every day

Meditation is one way to practice self-care and improve your mental health. Meditation looks different for everyone but in its rawest form, it's simply unplugging and enjoying a few moments of silence to focus your mind on good thoughts. For me, meditation looks like sitting in my backyard on the swing and thinking about all the reasons I love my family.  

Write a weekly journal entry

As a college student, I love to go back and read things I wrote when I was in middle school and elementary school. It gives me an insight into how I have changed as a person and helps me remember things I would have forgotten. Challenge yourself to write one journal entry about anything you want at least weekly. Oh, and in case you were wondering writing your thoughts in a journal is like meditating on paper!

Want some more ideas on how to make journaling fun? Check out these posts:

Spend a day volunteering every season

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community. Talk to your family about ways you can volunteer and help others during the winter, spring, summer and fall. 

Go for a 30-minute walk 3x a week

Getting outside into the fresh air and getting your body moving is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Going for a 30-minute walk three times a week is a realistic exercise goal you can set. 

Start your morning with a glass of water

Starting your day off with a glass of water will help you replenish the hydration you lost overnight. Getting some water into your system before you start the day will help your brain work better in the mornings and it can prevent headaches from forming throughout the day. Believe it or not, I find a cold 8 ounces of water wakes me up even more than a cup of coffee anyway. However, if you feel like you can't replace your normal morning beverage with water, try simply having a glass of water in addition to it. 

Moisturize your face once a day

Moisturizing your face is an essential part of any skincare routine. It prevents dry skin and can actually prevent breakouts as well. If you're looking for the *perf* moisturizer for your skin, check out these five products.

Get up when your alarm clock goes off

That extra five minutes of sleep isn't going to help you feel more rested, but it is going to make you feel more rushed in the morning.

Set aside an hour each week to explore a hobby

Did you know hobbies are another way girls can practice self-care? Have some fun and set aside an hour each week to become fully engaged in a hobby of your choice. Who knows maybe that hobby will even turn out to become something you do later on in life. My hobby was writing as a kid and guess where it got me!

Don't know where to start? Take our quiz to find out what stress-busting hobby is right for you.

Learn how to bake a new recipe every month

Baking is a hobby that can help you relax and your family is sure to love all the tasty treats you whip up. Girls' Life has lots of fun recipe posts you'll love if you're looking for the *perf* new recipe to try in 2021.

Make a commitment to limit your social media addiction

Some studies have shown that spending too much time on social media can have a negative effect on teen girls' health. Spending hours a day scrolling through pictures of people who seem like they are having much more fun than we are can make us feel bad about ourselves. Plus, social media can become a big distraction from family time and schoolwork. Make a resolution this new year to limit your social media time to whatever seems like a reasonable goal for you. It could be an hour, 30 minutes, or 10 minutes. Just make a goal and stick to it! 

Pro tip: Download the app, QualityTime for Android or the Moment app for iOS devices. They will track how much time you spend on different apps throughout the day.

Intrigued? Read what happened when a girl ditched social media for a week.

Clean your bedroom without being asked

Some girls keep their rooms neat and organized at all times. I'm *not* like that. My bedroom is normally a complete disaster with instruments pushed to the corners, dirty clothing scattered on the floor, a trashcan overflowing with tissues, laundry in piles on my dresser and notebooks covering my desk with everything from geometry notes to drawings of snowmen in them.

Although I'm naturally unorganized and hate cleaning whenever I do spend time tidying up it makes me feel a lot less stressed. I even find it's easier to sleep in a clean room than a dirty one.

Make it a goal this year to clean your room whenever it gets a little out of control. It will help you feel less stressed and you might be able to avoid some arguments with your parents about when it's time to clean up the disaster site. 

Lost on how to get your room in shape? We got you. Check out these 10 steps to *finally* get your room cleaned.

Start flossing

It's quite normal to avoid flossing, but it's an important habit to develop if you want to prevent gum disease. There are lots of reasons why you should be flossing...even if you're too lazy, so make it a goal this year to floss every day or at least every week. Your gums will *love* you for it.

Go to sleep half an hour earlier

Feeling a little sluggish and cranky? Try going to sleep just half an hour earlier. You will probably just be giving up the amount of time you spend on TikTok at night. While you might miss out on a few laughs, you *will* start to notice you have a lot more energy. 

Want to fall asleep faster? Check out these eight tricks. 

Start a stretching regimen

Stretching is one of my fave ways to reduce the stress I'm carrying in my body, to build my muscles, and increase my flexibility. Last year, I started a new habit of waking up and stretching to my favorite One Direction songs. The upbeat music combined with the stretching helped me feel happy and awake every winter morning. 

If you want to learn how to do a split and read about some of my favorite stretches, click here.

Do something helpful for your family every day

Spread love and positivity to the people who love you most by looking for ways to help your family every day. It could be by emptying the dishwasher without being asked, doing your own laundry, asking directly what you can do to help, or by offering your siblings and parents a simple word of encouragement. 

For more ideas read how to make your parents' day in 4 steps.

Stop procrastinating

Procrastinating=stress. There is no debate about it. Make a resolution in 2021 to stop procrastinating. Ask your parents to help keep you accountable for this goal.

Feeling like doing schoolwork from home has got you procrastinating more than ever? I totally relate. Here are my five tips to be more productive at home.

Eat a balanced breakfast before school

Eating breakfast can help you feel more energetic in the morning, get your metabolism going for the day, and keep away those embarrassing mid-morning stomach rumblings. Skipping breakfast is tempting when you're in a rush. If you don't have much time in the morning try these 5 grab-and-go breakfasts

Go outside for at least 10 minutes of sunshine

The winter months are dark and cold, but that doesn't mean you should stay inside all day. According to Healthline, you should aim to get outside for "10-30 minutes of midday sunlight several times a week" to get the vitamin D you need to keep your bones, teeth, and muscles healthy.

Take a multivitamin daily

Chance are you might not be getting all of the necessary nutrients you need through food alone as a recent study showed that teens aren't consuming enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains and many teens may be falling short on important nutrients such as Vitamin D, magnesium, Vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids. Talk to your doctor and read this post to find out if a multivitamin is the right choice for you. Then, stay consistent and take it every day. 

Up your fruit and veggie game

If you haven't been told already, eating more fruits and vegetables is good for your health. Aim to eat at least one more serving of fruits or vegetables a day than you typically do this year. If you find eating these foods kind of boring, try these creative ways to eat more fruit that you hadn't thought of. 

Slider: @sofiawylie/Instagram

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by Emma Rose Eggleston | 12/31/2020
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