2020 is right around the corner, and you know what that means…
New Year's Resolutions!
And if you happen to be like most adults who aim to use the turning of a new year as an unofficial restart button, you've most likely started creating a list…
A list that has already begun to fill a half sheet of paper with all the normal boring New Year's Resolution stuff such as:
- Lose weight,
- Eat healthy (whatever that means),
- Workout more,
- Be nicer to your spouse,
- Save more money,
- Stop eating out, and etc., etc.
And you are probably telling yourself this is the year that will be the year.
No doubt, 2020 will be the year you finally stick to your New Year Resolutions. You are going to make it happen. There will be no turning back and you will finally hit all of your goals!
The last 15 years are behind you… you mean business! But then, something happens… in what seems like in instant, February 1st rolls around and you have already resorted to looking towards 2021!
So what if instead of adopting a million goals for 2020, you joined the “Anti-New's Year Resolution” movement and focused on things to try in 2020?
2020, The Anti-New Year's Resolution
Statistically speaking, by mid-February, all the goals most adults set for the new year are null and void.
February marks the month they have stopped saving money, quit their diet and the gym is just too packed to keep going every day.
If you happen to be relating to this it is probably because you, like myself, are a human. And all of us humans are habit-forming creatures. And when we say things like “This is the year I finally do it,: or “I am gonna finally change this,” what we are really saying is we want to change some habits!
According to Statista.com, the most common New Year’s Resolutions are:
- Eat less,
- Workout more, and
- Save money.
So if you're anything like me and you are sick of writing down the same three or four things, here is what I recommend for 2020:
Just try new stuff.
Instead of setting weight-loss goals, think of things you would LOVE to do, not of things you clearly don't like doing.
Rather than beating your head against the wall every time you have to go to the gym, think of new fun ways to get outside and get the exercise that you enjoy. Here are some things to try for 2020!
20 Things to Try in 2020
1. Stop Setting Goals You Won’t Accomplish.
Everyone sets a million goals. They set goals for finances, they set goals for health. We all set goals for ways to be more productive or to be a better wife/husband. We set personal goals, career goals and we set goals for our goals.
Just stop setting goals altogether. Take a time to reflect and look back at your past and look at all the goals you didn’t accomplish. Realize one, it is OK not to meet your goals in 2019. And two, just stop setting goals are really just not serious about. Only set goals you are serious about accomplishing and limit it to maybe 2 or 3. Refer to #12 below.
2. Change 5 Meals a Week
I am going to eat healthy. Every meal, I am not turning back.
The above statement is me on January 1st, every year for what seems like the last 15 years.
And usually, by January 7th I drive by Five Guys and after 7 straight days of eating lettuce and boiled chicken, the smell of burger and fries permeates my car from 100 hundred feet away.
Like a dog on a scent, 10 minutes later I am all in on a burger and fries and in a flash, the days following I am no longer on my diet. But what if instead…..
I just made a plan to change 5 meals a week. Instead of changing 21 meals a week, which is completely unrealistic, I changed 5?
By making simple adjustments to your eating, implementation is simpler and sets you up for success instead of burnout and failure. And while adjusting just five meals might not seem like much, the compound effect starts to take place over time, just look below:
What would 5 meals a week look like:
|5 Meals Per Week||20 Per Month (Avg.)||260 Per Year|
Related: 7 Simple Ways to Save at the Grocery Store.
3. Read The Third Door
I am so glad I read The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck prior to start my 2019. Between that and 4 Hour Workweek I felt like a new person. Well, this year, just before the start of 2020 I decided to read a book titled, “The Third Door.”
In The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fu*k, author Mark Manson does a phenomenal job detailing how to stop giving a crap and how to live your life… using his counter-intuitive approach and the F word quite often.
On the other hand, Alex Banayan, author of The Third Door writes about a completely different subject: How do successful people start their careers?
After hacking and winning The Price is Right, Banayan sets out on a wild quest to interview some of the most successful people in the world. From Lady Gaga to Bill Gates, Banayan proves to readers that you can do anything you put your mind to!
I highly recommend checking it out in 2020!
4. Use the 1 Complaint, 2 Solution Approach in 2020
Finally a solution to your complaints… YOU.
No more complaints, whining or excuses in 2020. If you do have a problem or “valid complaint” that you need to voice, here is the rule:
You can only voice your complaint if you also provide two solutions to go with that problem.
Your spouse keeps leaving their jacket on the floor by the kitchen table… and you can't stand it. Either talk with them and let them know how it bothers you or just pick it up – maybe it doesn't bother them.
Either way, stop complaining and start doing.
This approach will make you feel much better both physically and mentally!
Sometimes considered venting, complaining actually drains the energy out of us individually and those we complain to. Not to mention, that in most cases, the situations we complain about don’t get better with more complaining.
However, by offering two solutions the natural course of just finding a solution is actually positive in nature. Which can help you with your complaint and simultaneously make you feel better!
[See Also: 12 Steps to Stop Comparing Yourself]
5. Practice Gratitude Daily
By now you, have probably heard of people writing down what they are grateful for on a daily basis, and maybe you shrugged it off as I did.
But the act of practicing gratitude has been linked to increased happiness. According to a Harvard Study, those who practice gratitude feel better and overall just happier people. Not to mention the fact that just being thankful is a good thing to do in general.
Here are some ideas to try in 2020 to practice gratitude:
- When feeling bad, down or sad, write down 3 things you are grateful for!
- Text someone something nice or why you appreciate them a few days a week
- Write down 1 new thing you're grateful for daily in a notebook for one year
- Tell someone at work why you appreciate them daily
- When you find yourself irritated, think of something you're grateful for!
6. Be Spontaneous
In 2020 practice spontaneity… within reason!
Now, don’t spontaneously go buy a new car and get yourself into tons of debt. But do something spontaneous, especially when it comes to your relationship. Go on a quick overnight trip, buy some roses, or just call off work together on a random Monday.
Do something spontaneous once a week (it doesn't have to be a huge ordeal), or at a minimum once a month. The act of practicing spontaneity will keep you excited and actually help you focus on your goals and passions!
You won't get bored, trust me :).
7. Don’t Set Any New Year’s Resolutions in 2020!
Do it. Just try it. Have no New Year’s Resolutions for 2020.
I have already alluded to the Anti-New Year's Resolution movement, but don't set the “New me, eat healthy look like The Rock” goals. Just roll into the 2020 Nea Year with a new mindset – this will be the best year of my life!
Psychologically speaking, not having any resolutions might be the better option anyways! Here is why:
Try this in 2020:
8. Do 30 Day Vice Challenges
So if a New Year’s Resolution implies there is a start and end date, then when is it good to have a start and end date? When you do 30-day challenges.
- No alcohol for 30 days.
- No eating out for 30 days.
- Avoid sweets for 30 days.
- Complete a no spend month.
- Pay off $5 in debt every day for a month
Instead of setting year-long goals (Remember the movement), challenge yourself each month to avoid something, maybe a vice or bad habit, and do it for 30 days.
Then the next month, do it for something else. Something simple like cutting out sodas for 30 days can actually lead you to cut them out longer than 30 days and continuing your challenge.
Remember… it takes 21 days to create a habit!
9. Delete 1 Social Media App
Did he really just say delete a social media app?
Yup I did. Out of sight out of mind. The idle time in your life that you fill with thumb scrolling is not productive or really something YOU actually want to do.
Social media has just become a subconscious habit you do when you're bored or uncomfortable.
So like #8, consider deleting one social media app for at least 30 days, thus limiting time on social media.
Chances are, you are spending more time on Facebook and Instagram then you probably think. So how do you fix that? You delete it.
For the social media app you choose to delete, you can keep your account, but instead, just check it once a day on your computer. The constant engagement is just a really bad subconscious habit. Move your app folder to a different spot on your phone if you don’t believe me.
10. Save $70 a Week in 2020!
Want to have an extra $3,640 when you start 2021? Just save $70 a week for an entire year. By saving what equates to $10 a day, you can save enough for a 5-day getaway and then some!
If you get paid every two weeks like most, just save $140 from each check, in addition to all your normal savings. Don’t alter anything, call this your slush fund!
Want to do this automatically? Consider using a spare change app like Acorns which will round up every purchase and automatically save by investing for you! Savings made easy!
11. Start a blog in 2020, or find passive income!
It's 2020 and there are kids on YouTube making $10,000 a month opening presents.
2020 needs to be the year you finally pursue the “Passive Income” or multiple streams of income opportunities you have always talked about. And there is no better way to do that other than starting a blog!
For every next real estate tycoon, there is a simple way to get your feet wet without jumping all into the passive income entrepreneurial world, and that is blogging!
You can pick and choose how much you want to dedicate to your blog and there are endless topics to write about that can include money, relationships, languages, other cultures, gardening, crafts, food, or whatever else you really like!
Learn how to start a blog in 2020 so you can make some extra money and enjoy yourself! This is the year you finally stick to your guns and make it happen!
12. Implement 1 Change & Master It in 2020!
Implement one small change in 2020 and don't implement any others until you have mastered your new change!
We have all heard that it takes 21ish days to create a habit. Instead of starting 2020 and setting yourself up for failure, why not implement one simple change you can actually MASTER!
Maybe you will take your vitamins every day, or make a point to say you love your loved ones every morning! Or maybe you walk for 5 minutes every day.
Whatever you decide to do, remember, it all adds up in the end – but you can't move on until you master it (Typically 21 days)!
Consider these areas: Career, Money, Health, Relationships, Personal Growth.
13. Stop Making Excuses.
I really don’t work out or look at my budget each month because I don’t have the time.
If you didn't put two and two together, the above is an example of an excuse, the excuse being time (the most common kind).
However, in 2020 instead of making excuses as to why you can’t do something, think of ways to figure it out. Adopt a figure it out mentality and ditch the excuse mentality.
Here is a tip to help you get rid of the excuses in 2020!
Reverse engineer your excuses! Instead of saying “I don't have time to budget,” say “I always make time to budget.”
Human tendency is to sometimes avoid what we truly know we need to do (Eating better, budgeting, working out, smiling more) so recongize most excuses are avoidance techniques.
14. Enjoy life more.
Don’t associate fun with just money and nights out.
You could have fun on a rainy day as a kid with two couches and a few blankets. It was called a castle and you couldn’t touch the lava. But how come fun in our 20's and 30's seems to be more about the amount of money we spend.
Everywhere you go, just make a small goal to make it fun!
- Sitting in traffic, people watch.
- At the gym running, think of funny moments in your head.
- With family, tell old stories and laugh.
- Grab coffee with friends and talk.
- Organize a volunteer or sports activity
Learn to enjoy the simple things that really count in 2020!
15. Stay off Your Phone
OK, maybe I am just talking to myself, but staying off my phone can be difficult in just about any situation!
Not sure if you expierence the cell phone
addiction issue too… but it is getting out of hand.
- Traffic signs say stay off your phone.
- There are signs that warn pedestrians to look up from their phones when using crosswalks
- People are taking 15 minutes to order their food at dinner because they can’t set their phones down.
- And students are missing learning opportunities because they are glued to their phones in class.
Does this sound like it might be an issue?
Personally, I am learning not to jump to answer every text and be on social media as much, which I aim to continue well past 2020. This might sound crazy but my right thumb started to hurt… that was enough of a warning sign for me.
Side Note: Physical problems exist from too much tech use. Neck issues, thumb/wrist injuries, and even vision problems.
So I decided to set some limits for myself, here are some useful cell phone tips:
- Place your phone somewhere you can’t get to it in the car when driving.
- Don’t bring your cell phone to dinner 9nothing will happen trust me)
- Leave it at home when you go out in groups, just have one person from the group bring a phone.
- Set limits on your apps (I get 10 minutes on Instagram per day)
- Monitor screen time use to see where you're spending time each week
- Recongize when you use your phone out of boredom!
16. Be More Accepting in 2020
This goes without saying, but we should all be more accepting right?
Don’t like someone’s view on politics, realize they might not like yours. It is like the more we move forward in the 21st century the more we think anything different than our views is wrong.
Instead, we should actually accept their perspective – which doesn't mean we must adopt it!
For example, some personal finance experts think paying off student loans is less advantageous, and you should invest instead. In some situations that might be true.
However, in some cases, goals might be different! Perhaps the goal is debt freedom not a huge investment account!
In 2020, learn to just accept others views and move on. Stop making penny-sized problems worth $100.
17. Have A Good Argument, Then Makeup.
This is random right? I mean go have a good argument in 2019. YES! Go have an argument with someone (keep it in perspective, don’t go chew out your superior at work) and then makeup.
Ideally, this would be designed for a significant other, but a sibling will do too!
The main idea behind this… get it all out and get over stuff quickly. With a spouse, sometimes the makeup is worth the argument!
18. Attack 1 Fear
Talking about fears scare the $hit out of me. As they do most people. Just like when you were a kid, stretching your arm as far as possible to turn off the last light in the basement before you sprinted upstairs, fears can sometimes get the best of us.
For one, the old saying, “False Evidence Appearing Real,” the monster in the basement wasn’t going to jump out when I turned off the light. If there really was a monster he would have gotten me why I was eating popcorn playing video games.
The same can be said for your fears. But the thought of going after your fears can actually be… well… a fear itself. So my advice is to write done one fear. Maybe it is speaking or even being the go to person at work.
Then re-write your fear backward with a consequence. For example, If I don’t become the go-to guy at work then _______ will happen. It is sorta twisted at first, but it works. Remember we are humans, we have thoughts about our thoughts.
19. Be OK with being bored.
Most of life is boring. In fact about 95% of the time, most of the stuff we do is pretty boring.
However, because of this, we feel the need to be entertained and engaged 24/7 by social media, news and attention. However, it's quite odd what happens when you figure out how to embrace something:
Being bored isn’t a bad thing either, so in 2020 learn to embrace it.
Here is irony behind this approach. The minute you recongize that boredom is just part of life and you don't need to constantly be engaged, your expectations for everything to be “Fun” are reduced.
What happens is you start looking at things with a different approach and lone behold, things seem different. You end up:
- Learning more
- Seeing things for what they are
- Developing Grit (Another good book to check out in 2020)
- Bouncing back
- Smiling more
- Feel relieved
The sheer fact is that most of the constant engagement we tend to crave can actually make us feel less engaged. Weird right? But it is true.
Try it, embrace being bored from time to time in 2020.
20. Change your association in 2020!
By now who hasn't heard the saying, “You're the average of your five closest associations?”
Whether you're 25, 30, 35 or 40 out of everything on this list, this could be the most imperative tip for you to making 2020 a stellar year!
At some point, create a list of all the people you associate with the most. From work friends to family, create a list that will most likely number 20 to 30.
Next, take your list and write down the qualities you like the most about each and then create a “Top 5” and a “Not Top 5.” Now make it a point to spend more time with your top five and almost no time with your not top five!
Another way of doing this, if following the 3 minutes, 3 hours, 3-day rule to help you identify these top 5 and not top 5 people!
3/3/3 Association Rule:
- Three minutes – these are people you can say hi and bye to, but you probably don't want to spend much more time around these people!
- Three hours – these are the old college buddies and co-workers you can spend an evening with, but you don't need to hang out every day!
- Three days – these are the four or five people on your list who you want and SHOULD spend most of your time with. These people make you better!
Final Word on Anti New Year's Resolutions:
This list of 20 might seem overwhelming, which is why my final take is to do this:
Make 2020 the year you do not overwhelm yourself!
Instead of adding more to your plate – with countless goals and ideas that are not possible to live up to – why don't you instead make 2020 the year you try new things and cut out the old things!
Like spring cleaning, make 2020 the year you do one new thing each month and you declutter the rest of your life! Instead of doing what everyone else is doing, go ahead and be different…
Pick one idea and comment below as to which one you would like to try! Have a great New Year and here is to an awesome 2020!
Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $300,000 in student loans with his wife in less than five years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, being outside, traveling, and helping others with their finances! I got serious with money when I used Personal Capital to track my finances.