Make 2021 the Year of You by setting yourself up for success when setting your goals. “Go big or go home!” is a great motto for many things in life, but not so much when you’re trying to keep your New Year’s resolutions.
In fact, one of the reasons so many people fail to keep their resolutions is because they’re setting their sights too high. If your goals are too lofty, they start to feel unattainable. And if they’re unattainable, why even bother?
“There’s nothing wrong with taking bold action. Life and happiness occasionally demand it,” explains author B.J. Fogg in his book Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything. “But remember that you hear about people making big changes because this is the exception, not the rule.”
Make meals at home
No one would deny the importance of a healthy diet. But vowing to cut out all carbs or stick to a strict calorie cap can take all the pleasure out of eating. And if you’re using an all-or-nothing approach, you may give up entirely after the first slip-up.
Instead, we’re resolving to make more meals at home this year. Cutting back on eating out and delivery is one of the easiest ways to automatically eat better, since restaurant dishes are often packed with butter, oil, salt, sugar, and other ingredients that can derail your healthy-eating aspirations.
If you’re not already a home chef, don’t begin by trying to make complicated meals with hard-to-find ingredients every night. Find a few easy recipes and build from there. Or, if you’re not sure where to start with home cooking, try a meal kit subscription like Blue Apron, HelloFresh, or Green Chef. Keep staples on hand for nights when you’re not up to cooking – there’s no shame in a simple PB&J or bowl of cereal for dinner every now and then!
Pro tip: Whether you’re shopping in-store, picking up curbside, or getting groceries or meal kits delivered, you can earn cash back on your food purchases when you shop with Ibotta. Learn more about how to save on grocery shopping essentials.
Running a marathon is a great goal — if you’re already a runner and have plenty of shorter races under your belt. But for most of us, we need to start by simply moving more throughout the day.
If you’re new to exercise (or trying to get back in the habit), resolve to incorporate more movement into your day-to-day life before committing to an intense workout regimen or splurging on fancy equipment. For example, you might decide to take the stairs once a day, or park at the far end of the lot when you’re running errands.
You can even start super small! Fogg says that a “tiny habit” should be something you do at least once a day that takes you less than 30 seconds and that requires little effort — something like doing five squats every morning while your coffee brews. Will it immediately get you in tip-top shape or help you shed 10 pounds? No, but the aim is to gradually build on these small successes.
Pro tip: Even the most frugal walkers, yogis, and workout buffs need the right gear to get moving and avoid injuries. Shop retailers like Academy Sports + Outdoors, Foot Locker, Athleta, Adidas, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Under Armour, Nike, New Balance, and more through Ibotta to earn cash back on exercise shoes, clothing, and equipment.
This is a popular one, but many well-intentioned readers set the bar too high with a huge yearly reading goal. Do you really have time to read an entire book every week to hit 52 by the end of the year?
If your goal is to read more, set yourself up for success with a smaller, daily goal, For instance, this year author Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project) is resolving to read for 21 minutes every day in 2021. And don’t limit yourself when it comes to reading material or format: books, magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, essays, comic books, e-readers, and audiobooks all count!
Pro tip: Whether you prefer physical books, e-books, audiobooks, or a mix of all of them, you can save money on your reading material when you shop with Ibotta. Earn cash back on physical books from retailers like Barnes & Noble, Walmart and eBay, or take advantage of Amazon’s 30-day free trials of Audible and Kindle Unlimited when you sign up through the Ibotta app.