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Expert advice to help young people keep their new year resolutions

Expert advice to help you keep your new year resolutions

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If you’re in need of some extra motivation to stick to your new year resolutions, there’s no better place to look than The Conversation’s archives. Our Quarter Life series is full of expert advice to help readers in their 20s and 30s navigate life’s transitions. Read on for some pieces to help you reach your goals this year.

Take care of your mental health

If you have resolved to take better care of your mental health this year, you might as well start first thing in the morning. Saying positive affirmations aloud can help you get into a positive mindset and cancel out patterns of negative thinking. And they are easy to find – just look to your favourite books or songs.

Work can be a major source of stress and anxiety, but these three mindfulness and meditation techniques may help you cope. If it’s available to you, you could also consider taking a mental health day – here’s how to make the most of one.


Quarter life, a series by The Conversation

This article is part of Quarter Life, a series about issues affecting those of us in our twenties and thirties. From the challenges of beginning a career and taking care of our mental health, to the excitement of starting a family, adopting a pet or just making friends as an adult. The articles in this series explore the questions and bring answers as we navigate this turbulent period of life.


If you are feeling persistently sad or lacking motivation, you may be thinking about starting therapy. But with so many different types of therapy, this can be daunting. Our guide to four popular types of therapy can help you figure out what’s right for you.

Live a healthier lifestyle

If you’re taking advantage of those January gym membership deals, read this before you hit the treadmill: focusing on functional fitness can help you stay mobile and fit as you start to get older.

If you are someone who deals with a period regularly, you may have heard of “cycle syncing”. As you move through the month, your energy levels may change due to hormonal fluctuations. Tailoring your workouts around your menstrual cycle may make it easier to stick to your exercise routine.

The new year always brings a glut of diet advice, but eating healthily isn’t just about weight loss. If you’ve struggled with immunity in the past year, you are probably already thinking more about what you put into your body. Here’s what the evidence says about some popular diets that are said to help manage symptoms of long COVID.

And trying to get more sleep is always a good goal – but if you don’t manage one night, don’t panic. Here are some tips on how to function better at work the next day.

Be more eco-friendly

Climate change is prompting many people to live a greener lifestyle. If your new year resolution is to be more eco-friendly but you’re not quite ready to give up travel, you can still make your next holiday better for the environment.

Veganuary (going vegan just for the month of January) is a popular way to start the year with a smaller carbon footprint. Keeping it going for the next 11 months is another story. You may want to try being a “social omnivore” as a way to cut down on meat consumption without giving it up entirely.

Tackle two resolutions (saving the planet and saving money) by making your clothes last longer. Here’s a guide to decoding all those little symbols on clothing tags that will help you take better care of your clothes.

Friends passing vegetarian dishes across a crowded table.
Could your diet save the planet (and your wallet) this year?
LStockStudio/Shutterstock

Scroll less, read more

I know I’m not alone in vowing to spend less time on Instagram and TikTok this year, and more time getting through the pile of books on my nightstand. But new research shows that quitting social media cold turkey may not be as good for you as you think.

With this in mind, there are steps you can take to improve your relationship with the apps. For example, being more active – messaging and interacting – rather than passively doomscrolling and lurking can help you feel more connected to the social side of social media. And if you struggle with feelings of envy while looking at your feed, you may want to unfollow or mute the accounts that make you feel bad.

As for transferring your attention to books, TikTok can help with that. BookTok trends are having a powerful impact on the publishing industry, and may be influencing what you read.

Be a better friend

Making friends as an adult can be a challenge, especially in an era when many people are working from home. If your 2024 goal is to make new friends, try looking outside your age group. Research shows that intergenerational friendships can be especially rewarding.

To nurture the friendships you have already, this excellent read can help you develop empathy and sharpen your listening skills. And if you need to have a difficult conversation, here are some tips to approach conflict without hurting your friendship.

Finally, life is worth celebrating no matter the size of your accomplishments. This year, make an effort to toast to your friends (and yourself) for little wins and unconventional milestones.

The Conversation