FEATURE STORY, LIFESTYLE

20 Achievable, Short-Term New Year’s Resolutions

Short-term New Year’s Resolutions are important to make during times of uncertainty. Check out these 20 short-term goals to help you stay focused in 2021!


Happy New Year, my friends! Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2021? Last year, was without a doubt a hard year. I’m hopeful for good things to happen in the New Year. Yet, at the same time, I can’t help but feel nervous about what’s to come. I read online somewhere that it’s okay to celebrate the New Year and still feel concerned for the future.

During times of uncertainty, you can’t help but feel concerned, right? It’s a normal, human reaction to have and if you’re feeling similar to me, please don’t feel bad about it. We’re all doing our best to get through this pandemic and that in and of itself is a victory to be celebrated!

I’ve mentioned this before on my 40th birthday post that one of the many valuable pieces of life advice my mom has given me is to celebrate the small wins. She says the small wins are still BIG victories. Did you make the bed? Clean your house? Pay a bill or two? Go for a walk in the neighborhood? These are victories, too, and should definitely be celebrated because we’re blessed to be here.

CELEBRATE YOUR WINS BIG OR SMALL!

One of the many things I learned in 2020 is it’s challenging making goals during an uncertain time. So for 2021, I am focusing on short-term New Year’s resolutions and lighthearted goals that I know I will enjoy (like working on a creative project).

Last year, I focused on four goals for 2020:

  • speak my truth
  • know my limits
  • read more books
  • be kind to myself

I think, for the most part, I did pretty good with meeting my 2020 goals. I read plenty of books and even discovered I love audiobooks. I’m still working on being kind to myself and showing myself grace. It’s been a little challenging for me because of my anxiety, but I am still proud of myself for doing my best. 

Z Lot Rooftop City Photography in Detroit, Michigan

WHAT ARE SHORT-TERM GOALS?

Short-term goals are results you’d like to achieve in a shorter time period. These types of goals can be completed weekly, monthly, or even quarterly. Many experts say it’s better to focus on making short-term New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 instead of long-term ones. I read this article by psychologist Katherine Arbuthnott and she recommends making short-term goals because it’s difficult to think about the long-term.

“The pandemic has given us all a different experience of time,” the psychology professor writes. “The pandemic has not only served as a visceral reminder that something unexpected can land in our well-envisioned path, halting all progress. It has also made the path beyond the pandemic unclear.”

Making short-term New Year’s Resolutions is less stressful and easier to reach during this time. Can you think of a short-term goal you’d like to focus on right now. Below, I’ve shared four goals I’m focusing on so far. I hope it will help you with discovering what you’d like to accomplish in 2021.

MY SHORT-TERM NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Daily meditation for 10 minutes. I discovered a meditation podcast called “Wake Up / Wind Down” and it features a 10-minute guided meditation for the morning and night. So far, I’m enjoying it!

Read a book 30 minutes a day. I actually started this resolution in 2020 and I’d like to continue it for 2021. I track my daily reading on my Google calendar app. Then I set a daily reminder to my phone so I don’t forget to read. 

Reserve Sundays for a day off and/or self-care. It’s crazy to think, but I actually struggle with this one. I’ve been trying my hardest to reserve Sundays for a day off from writing and to truly rest. Most times, I end up doing light blog work on Sundays, but I think I can benefit from a day completely off from my laptop, social media, and even house cleaning!

Finish one adult coloring book every 3 months. Michala had gifted me a really nice adult coloring book that features inspirational messages. I already started coloring in it a few days ago and I love it. I like to color and listen to jazz music for about an hour before I go to bed. It relaxes me and helps me unwind.

Twenty Achievable, Short-Term New Year's Resolutions

HERE ARE 16 MORE SHORT-TERM GOALS YOU MAY LIKE

Create a morning routine for yourself. I started doing this a few years ago. My morning routine helps jumpstart my day. I wake up two hours before my kids so I can have some time to myself and get a few things done.

Go on a short walk three times a week or do a 30-minute online workout. Exercise is a must for good health and it also helps our mental health. I like to listen to a podcast or motivational music while I’m walking. I also heard that walking meditation is a great way to clear your mind and establish a peaceful mindset.

Listen to an audiobook while cleaning your house. I love doing this because I don’t dread cleaning as much and I get to learn something new at the same time!

Buy fresh flowers for your home once a week. Flowers and plants can really lift your spirits, especially during the dreary winter season.

Listen to or watch a TEDTalk once a week. There are so many great, motivating TEDTalks on YouTube and podcasts!

Eat vegetarian or vegan meals one day a week. I have a few friends who are either vegetarian or vegan and they are always creating recipes that look so good! Plus, it’s a great way to discover healthier foods.

Cook a new recipe once a month. This is a great way to try something new and not have the same ol’ thing you always eat.

Clean your email inbox. I also did this last year and it felt like a big weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I even took it a step further and transferred photographs from my phone to a cloud service I use. It helped create more space on my cellphone. (I take A LOT of pictures and usually have thousands of images on my Galaxy S10+ haha!)

Once a month send a card to family or good friends. Sure, texting is convenient and faster, but there’s just something about receiving a card in the mail from a loved one!

Twenty Achievable, Short-Term New Year's Resolutions  | Detroit, Michigan

Discover a new album or music playlist weekly. I love streaming music on my Spotify app. Every Friday, Spotify sends me an alert about new music for the week. I love discovering artists that aren’t featured on the radio. 

Keep a daily journal and write in it for at least 10 minutes. Here’s a post I wrote that features 31 journal writing topics if you need help getting started.

Take a social media break one day a week. I like to do this on Sundays. It’s nice to turn off the “noise” and just relax.

Reduce your monthly expenses such as ending a subscription service you no longer use. I like to do this at the beginning of each year. I review what services we didn’t really use in the previous year and then I cancel the service. Last year, I ended our cable service and found a better deal with a Hulu + HBO package. We ended up saving about $75 a month! 

Get rid of one bad habit monthly. Another great short-term goal is to focus on changing a bad habit one at a time. The bad habit I’m trying to get rid of in January is being late! I’m determined to break this habit, even though it’s a challenge for me.

Try one creative project each month. You can find virtual courses or search for a tutorial on YouTube. Last week, I discovered this fashion channel called Blueprint DIY. Have you heard of it? I love how Angelina upcycles thrifty and vintage clothing! It inspired me to discover my own fashion style, especially since I love street and vintage fashion.

Support a small biz by getting products you’d normally get at the supermarket. It’s a great way to support small business owners during this challenging time and also discover new products!

What short-term goals are you going to focus on in 2021?


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3 thoughts on “20 Achievable, Short-Term New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Oh I love this idea Jennifer! I am doing goals monthly and already have mine for January but will plan some short term ones for February. One goal of mine is to read 5 books in January. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thank you, Kangie! I love your idea to do monthly goals. I think that’s a great way to stay focused throughout the year. I set a reading goal to read 2 books this month. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. 🙂 Hope you’re doing well. Happy New Year to you and your family!

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