How Your Home Can Help You Keep New Year's Resolutions

Written by Lily Rogers

The new year is a time when life goals and improvements you didn't quite get to last year come into sharper focus. It's a time to set intentions and organize. But we all know that New Year's resolutions are not the easiest to keep, and even the best laid plans usually meet an untimely end somewhere around mid-February.

Set yourself up for success and find tricks to help you treat resolutions like they're Made to Keep. Even changes to your daily surroundings can make the difference between sticking to new habits or falling into old patterns. Why New Year’s resolutions fail is often because we haven't made space in our day-to-day life for real change.

That's why we've put together this list of common New Year's resolutions and some ways your home—from setup to décor—can help you stay on track.

Resolution: Work out more

Home Solution: Build a home gym

collage of vintage woman working out

If you have a spare room that you use to store extra items, make better use of it by putting those things in a storage unit and converting the space to a workout room. Don't have a whole room to devote? Clear a corner for a treadmill or rowing machine by putting that shelf of dust-collecting tchotchkes into storage.

The most common first question is: What equipment should I buy for a home gym? If you have lots of space to work with, give yourself options with a cardio machine—like a treadmill or elliptical—along with a weights station and yoga area. If your room is more limited, try space-saving equipment like a door-mounted pull-up bar, ab wheel, or push-up stands.

Floor baskets are a décor-conscious place to store rolled yoga mats and resistance bands. A wall rack for medicine balls and other accessories keeps things nicely off the ground. Use a storage ottoman for hand weights, Pilates pillows, and other awkwardly shaped items.

Resolution: Focus on your relationship

Home Solution: Refresh shared areas to inspire closeness

vintage photo of couple dancing in modern collage

The space we're in every day, and where we sleep, should reflect how we want to feel. Thoughtfully rearranging the bedroom can go a long way to freshen things up. Your room should feel lived in but not messy, cluttered, or overlooked. Get new pillows and bedding with inviting fabrics and colors. Try aromatherapy diffusers and plants to create atmosphere. Paint one wall a rich, romantic color and find art that stirs inspiration.

Outside the bedroom, create spaces for stay-at-home date nights. Clear off the dining room table and actually use it! Try warm, dreamy lighting like candles or salt lamps. Designate a gaming or puzzle table where you can spend more active time together than watching Netflix. (Though a good, cozy movie night never hurts.)

Bring outside activities home with you, too. Take a dance class and create space to practice at home. Set up a record player for a touch of old-school romance and find an area of the house where you can make some room to move.

Resolution: Read more

Home Solution: Start a home library

man in smoking jacket and reading chair in a modern collage

Taking time to read is easiest when you steer clear of quick distractions like the computer and TV. Find a screen-free zone and make a comfy corner to curl up in. A new chair, blanket, and side table in the right place will inspire you to put down the laptop and pick up a book.

Give your current bookshelves a makeover by dusting off old favorites and giving them new placements. Arrange by color, author, or genre—whatever will get you perusing your stacks more often. Let a few new books get you excited to start, and maybe try something in a genre you don't normally read.

You don't have to stick to the classics, in literature or in bookcases. An unconventional shelving option more creatively incorporates your books into your décor and keeps them within easy reach. 

Resolution: Cook more

Home Solution: Revisit your kitchen's form and function

vintage photo collage of man in kitchen

Most people will want to spend time in a place they feel invested in. Start with a makeover project like painting your cabinets. This has the built-in bonus of forcing a major rearrange in the process. Reorganizing is the best way to weed out what you don't need, remind yourself of what you do have, and inspire you to use your kitchen tools. If you don't own your place, you can use temporary wallpaper to make an accent wall or cabinet facades that'll make you want to stay in the kitchen all day.

You don't have to do a full or even partial kitchen remodel to get inspired to spend more time there. A few new kitchen gadgets or a multi-use cooker like a Dutch oven, wok, or tagine can inspire new culinary endeavors. A good set of knives is incentive to practice your chef-ing skills, too. Cooking is more enjoyable (and easier) when you have the right tools, like pans that heat evenly, and time savers, like food processors or even properly organized spice racks. A clean and well-organized kitchen is the best place to cook up something new.

Resolution: Travel more

Home Solution: Keep reminders of past and future trips visible

collage with photo of woman with suitcase traveling

Make way more space in your closets by putting your suitcases and travel gear in storage but leave yourself other getaway reminders around the house. Make an inspiration board to hang in your room or a collage of tickets, photos, and other travel paraphernalia. Change the screensaver on your computer to a travel photo montage that will inspire you to start researching and book tickets for your next adventure.

Find creative ways to display photos and souvenirs to help your past travels inspire new ones. Turn a favorite vacation photo into a poster and have it framed. Place souvenirs on shelves around the house, hang postcards on the fridge with fun magnets, and keep a photo album, travel magazines, or inspirational coffee table book out.

Resolution: Learn a new skill

Home Solution: Make space for creativity

collage with picture of man playing saxophone

If you tend toward creative New Year’s resolutions, you might be getting more artsy this year. New skills and hobbies require a special area where you can make things, practice, and take in new information. Make yourself a crafting space, music room/corner, or a study nook where you can avoid distractions.

If you want to learn a new language, treat it like school and study at a desk. Clear a drawer for flashcards and books. If you want to learn an instrument, get a sturdy but comfortable chair, pick a corner with wall space, and hang or store your instrument where you'll see it and be reminded to practice. Crafting requires a lot of organization, and a designated area with the right hooks, storage bins, and drawer dividers will keep everything in its place.

For more organization tips, see our blog: New Year's Resolution: Get Organized.

When it comes to keeping New Year's resolutions, 2020 will be your year—especially if you're mindful of how your environment can affect your motivation. If you want to know how to stick to New Year's resolutions, the first step is prepping for success. Get your home ready to be the supportive space you need. You'll find it a lot easier to keep at it when your house is primed to help. Happy New Year and good luck!

About the author

Lily Rogers

Lily is a writer, editor, and content strategist. Her curiosity spans genre, from travel to pop culture to food, and she writes about all that and more. She's also a social introvert, literature nerd, and (slight) hoarder. When not in pursuit of her next adventure, she's most likely at home with her wife and two cats.

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