It’s that time of year again. No, we don’t mean the holidays (though, there’s that, too). Nope, we’re talking about the time of year when everyone is either making, or thinking of maybe definitely making, New Year’s resolutions. And while people love to say, “New year, new you,” we actually think that’s misguided. Next year, don’t try to be a new you. Try to be the best you.
Even though studies have shown that the majority of people don’t go through with their resolutions (which last year’s dust-covered gym membership will attest to), we at SPY still think a New Year’s resolution is worth pursuing. It’s always good to take stock of where you are in life and see what aspects of your life you’d like to improve on next year. That could be in relation to a new job, a new fitness routine or a new diet, but regardless, we think it’s good to take a step back and assess what matters most.
And even if you don’t keep that diet all year like you had hoped, you’re making positive strides. Some progress is infinitely better than none at all, right? So whether you’re looking to get fit in 2020, read twice as many books as you did in 2019 or get your finances under control, here are our top resolutions and the best ways to achieve them.
1. Meditate Daily
2019 was a chaotic year and there’s every reason to believe 2020 will follow suit. From the upcoming elections and ever-looming climate change to general work and familial stress, everyone can benefit from a little mindful meditation now and then. For this reason, we’re big fans of adding meditation to our daily routine. Even just a few minutes a day can do wonders for your life, whether that’s calming you down, helping you focus or allowing you to let go of unimportant stressors. When we meditate, we like to keep it simple and use only our meditation pillow and an app like Insight Timer or Headspace. These apps will help guide you through the exercise while the pillow will keep you sitting straight and comfortable throughout your practice.
2. Tighten Up Your Budget
If looking over your finances from the past month is giving you anxiety, perhaps a budget is the best resolution to shoot for in 2020. And the best part? It won’t cost you anything. Unlike resolutions that require some sort of cost (be it a meditation pillow, gym membership or diet subscription) budgets won’t cost a thing. All they require is for you to reel in your spending and stick to tracking what’s coming in and what’s coming out.
When it comes to setting (and keeping) a budget, we love Mint. Mint syncs up to your bank accounts and credit cards to automatically track and organize your spending. In other words, Mint automatically handles the worst part of keeping a budget. All you have to do is check back on Mint on a regular basis to see where your money is going. Then, using Mint’s handsome and easy-to-use interface, you can drill down on your expenses and start to cut out those unnecessary expenditures.
For daily saving, check out an app called Digit. As you go about your day, Digit will quietly transfer small amounts of money ($2.43 one day, $7.20 another) to a special saving account. You can set savings goals or let the app work on its own. After a few months, you’ll have hundreds of dollars tucked away for a rainy day.
3. Get Fit
Before you run out to grab that shiny, new gym membership this year, try reaching for a jump rope instead. Yes, you’re right, a gym membership will come with a jump rope, as well as tons of other machines and perks, but the reason we’re sticking with a jump rope for our fitness goals of 2020 is they provide such a flexible workout.
For one, jumping rope is a great all-around exercise. Not only is it incredibly taxing, it works your entire body. From your legs and core to your arms, you will feel tired and sore all over after a good jump rope circuit. Also, it can be done anywhere. Be it in your garage, your bedroom or a hotel room, jump ropes are brilliant because they’re easy to transport and the space required for usage is so small. Just make sure nobody is in the room below when you’re jumping up and down in your apartment.
4. Eat Healthier
Whether in tandem with a new exercise routine or by itself, starting a new diet in 2020 is always a great idea. Not only will your new diet force you to eat better, but it’ll also help you learn more about proper eating habits, helping you learn what’s good to eat and why.
For this reason, we love My Fitness Pal. This Under Armour app has hundreds of thousands of positive reviews (4.7/5 stars after 850,000+ reviews), and this app is incredibly useful if you’re starting a new diet. This app helps you set daily calorie goals and track your food intake. You can scan barcodes or enter meals manually (calorie information from thousands of restaurants and recipes are available). However, this app doesn’t just count calories. It helps you make sure you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need to stay healthy and fit. Best of all, it’s free.
5. Read Every Night
If you’ve found yourself longing for more nights curled up with a good book, we highly recommend the Kindle and Kindle Unlimited from Amazon. First thing’s first, let’s talk about the device. The Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon is the best e-reader in the business. It’s light, fast, waterproof and packs a battery that lasts weeks on a single charge. Whether you own an e-reader already or are finally ready to take the leap into the modern world, you can’t beat Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite for functionality and ease of use.
While the Kindle on its own is great, a subscription to Kindle Unlimited takes things to unprecedented highs. Kindle Unlimited is basically Spotify for books. You pay a monthly fee and get access to more than 1,000,000 books, which you can access anytime, from any device. From Harry Potter to Us Magazine, the list of jaw-dropping titles is astounding.
6. Keep a Journal
Another easy (and surprisingly useful) resolution to have for 2020 is journaling. We love journaling because it not only helps organize our thoughts but also provides us with a space to be, well, ourselves. This isn’t something anyone will ever read, so even if it’s just a place to doodle or let your mind wander for 10 minutes each night, a journal will quickly become a useful tool in your mindfulness arsenal. So if it’s to help you focus on tasks, stay organized for weeks ahead or tackle big projects, you’ll be shocked by how much clearer the world feels when you’ve kept a regular journal.
7. Become More Organized
Do you often find you’re missing meetings, dropping the ball on important assignments or forgetting birthdays? Perhaps it’s time you buckled down and got organized. While that can seem like an overwhelming task, the new year is an excellent time to slow down and refocus.
But how to do it? Glad you asked. When it comes to organizing, we love Any.do. This app works for both iOS and Android devices and connects across all platforms. In other words, whether on your phone or your computer, you’ll never be without your lists and calendars. The interface is clean and simple to use, providing plenty of options for creating lists, marking meetings and even assigning out tasks. Oh, and did we mention it won’t cost you a thing?