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5 Habits to Help You Achieve Your New Years Goals

Written by contributor Emily McClements of Live Renewed.

As many of us are probably diving into our goals and resolutions for the new year, we may have realized that it’s not just as easy as writing a goal down on a list and then making it a part of our everyday lives.  Achieving our goals may require changes and planning and routines that we need to begin to implement into our life.

Or, maybe you got a little (or a lot) off your routines over the holidays and are left overwhelmed and trying to get your life back into a more regular routine.

I personally find myself in both of these places right now, and so I’m writing this post just as much for myself.  I need to get back to my routines, and get motivated for reaching my goals this year, so I thought about what habits I needed to restablish to help myself do those things.

If either, or both, of these situations applies to you, I want to encourage you that there are 5 simple and easy habits that you can implement that can help you get back into a routine and work toward accomplishing your goals this new year.

5 Habits to Establish for the New Year

1. Waking Up Early

I am really not a morning person, but I have found that things in my life tend to run much more smoothly when I can get up before the rest of my family and get started on my day, whether that’s taking time to write and work, or to have some quiet time for prayer, exercise and planning for my day.  Whatever your productivity goals may be for the new year, waking up early is sure to help you achieve them.

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2. Meal Planning

I have fallen way off the meal planning bandwagon lately, and I am feeling the effects on my time, our grocery budget, and the healthiness of our food.  If your goals for the new year include eating more healthy, losing weight, or saving more money on food, meal planning can help you with all of those things.  Even just planning out five dinners for the weeknights is a good place to start and can make a huge difference.

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Photo by Speculum Mundi

3. Making Lists

I am a list kinda girl. I love lists of all kinds. But, for some reason, I haven’t made many lists lately, and my life is feeling the lack of structure and intentionality that lists provide for me. Lists are helpful for everything from to-do lists for the day, to master lists of goals broken down into smaller, more achievable steps, and everything in between.

Getting your thoughts, ideas, and plans out of your head and into a list will help you to see them in a tangible and organized way, which can help you to actually tackle and accomplish them.

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4. Cleaning Routines

Maybe one of your goals for this year is to get organized, declutter, keep a cleaner home, or host guests in your home more often. Establishing cleaning routines provides a structure that will help you to achieve those goals. I have a list of daily chores that I make a priority to complete every day to try to keep my home in enough order that I have time to tackle other home projects on my list of goals.

This year I’m also trying to establish a weekly cleaning routine, doing one bigger chore each day, in order to keep my home more “deep cleaned” on a regular basis.

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5. Daily Planning

Planning out your days, or at least your to-do list for the day, can really help you to accomplish the things that you want to do that day. I find when I don’t plan my days that I am much more likely to waste time and end up being much less productive then when I make a plan for what I want to do and when I’m going to do it.

Daily planning helps you to be thoughtful and intentional about the way you spend your time each day, allowing you to make time for the goals you are trying to achieve. There are lots of great free printable daily planners out there, including the Daily Docket from Tsh at Simple Mom.

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By working to establish, or reestablish, these habits in our lives this year, we can set ourselves up for success in achieving our goals and resolutions for the new year!

Which of these habits would you like to work on this year? What regular habits do you use to help you achieve your goals?

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  1. Heather

    I love this list! I am doing the Hello Mornings Challenge this winter, and this is the first week. I have been getting up super early, and falling into bed super early as well. But, I have to say that having the time in the morning with the house still (mostly) quiet, is awesome. Of course I need a lot of help from my husband with our 2 babes, since they tend to wake up as soon as I open my eyes in the morning 🙂

  2. Kara E.

    I could probably work on all of them, but I’d like to focus on the meal planning the most. I hate wasting food (and the money used to buy it), but it does happen here more often than I would like. For me the two biggest hurdles are making a meal plan that won’t create a ton of leftovers that we can’t eat up (there are two of us) and having simple enough meals that I can make something when totally exhausted (otherwise I tend to think, “that’s too much effort right, let’s go out/order in/etc”).

    • Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable

      I couldn’t agree with you more Kara! I hate wasting food and I am finding that I always seem to buy much more than we need. Meal planning and using leftovers has saved us a small fortune. It is harder planning for two and I totally understand where you are coming from.

  3. Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable

    I love mornings and I love lists:) But those are both of the areas I feel like I need to work on! I appreciate the calm in the mornings (before the babes awake) and lists just help me to stay sane. Thank you for such a great post Emily!

  4. Steph

    Getting up early always helps my day go more smoothly. What I need to work on is getting into bed earlier so I don’t ignore the alarm clock. I’m always more productive in the morning than the evening anyway.

  5. Suzita @

    Thanks for these helpful reminders, Emily! It’s funny how it only takes a week of sickness in the family, or extra busyness for these positive habits to fall away. But it’s the difference between feeling you are living behind the eight ball and putting out fires all day, or being calm and planful with your life.

    For me, getting to a yoga class or remembering my New Year’s resolution- learning to meditate helps a lot. But no matter what, just having a small amount of alone time is greatly helpful for feeling back in control.

  6. Holly @ Faithful Womanhood

    I love lists and organization! They make my life so much easier! Thanks for the tips!

  7. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    These are all habits I’m recommitting to in the New Year! These 5, and the all-important corollary of Go to Bed Early–that is such a hard one for me.

    I’m doing pretty well almost 3 weeks into the New Year. Thanks for the encouragement to keep at it!

    • Emily @ Live Renewed

      You are so right – going to bed early needs to go hand-in-hand with waking up early, otherwise that habit doesn’t work so well, and definitely won’t stick! It’s a hard one for me too!

  8. Heather :) :) :)

    Oh, I LOVE numbers four and five..and bookmarket the sites 🙂 🙂 I follow “A Holyd Experience” already, but this daily planner is too cute 🙂 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  9. Charis

    these are some good ideas. i used to have a great cleaning routine, and though my house does get cleaned every week and worked on every day, i would like to be more scheduled about what i do so it doesn’t end up being all i do. great ideas.

  10. Living the Balanced Life

    For moms who are struggling with chaos in their lives, if they could just see how doing even ONE of these things could make a difference. If it seems overwhelming, implement one new habit a month. But the big thing is just to DO something. These steps above are indicative of taking control of our own lives instead of just letting life happen to us.
    Great post and resources!

  11. Amy Pearson

    Eating organic food is a great step towards a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many organic fruits and vegetables are a bit more costly. To combat the increased cost, and to ensure that the food you are eating is 100% organic, you may want to start your own organic garden.

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