Let’s be honest. You’re already thinking about next year, aren’t you? It’s the year you’re going to get in shape. The year you’re going to get that promotion. Commit to that relationship. Quit smoking. Learn how to play the guitar or speak French.
But in the back of your mind, you may be remembering previous New Year’s resolutions that fizzled out all too quickly. How can you make sure you get the most out of 2024? And what types of resolutions are the most productive? Keep reading to learn more and get yourself on the right path for next year.
Why New Year’s Resolutions (Can) Matter
One of the most powerful aspects of a New Year’s resolution is opening your mind to seeing where you can improve as a man. Your New Year’s resolutions show you what your priorities are. They open your mind to new possibilities and give you permission to try something new. They also make it easier to get on your calendar simple tasks you might have procrastinated on for months (making that doctor’s or dentist’s appointment, for instance).
Your New Year’s resolutions can have a powerful financial effect as well. If you resolve to quit smoking, say, and follow through, you won’t just do something truly great for your health — you’ll also save a lot of money. In addition, you can use resolutions to create new ways to structure your time. That fresh start can open the door to a lot of good things that are just waiting for you.
One of the secrets to a great New Year’s resolution is to keep it small. Don’t set yourself up for frustration or disappointment. Instead, focus on goals that are manageable and doable. (We’ll offer more tips for success below!)
Take a look at some potential New Year’s resolutions that might make this the best year ever.
Top New Year’s Resolutions to Lean Into
It’s no surprise that many men have similar goals at the start of each year. Choose from these potential resolutions to get yourself off on the right foot.
Get in Shape
You’re probably not surprised to learn this is the top resolution made by men in the United States. When you see the words “get in shape,” do you automatically think of lifting or resistance training? Of course, we all want to look good — but getting fit involves more than just your chest and abs and arms (you know, the areas everyone checks out when you’re at the beach or pool). Think about aerobics as well. That might involve setting a daily step goal, planning to run a 10K or scheduling weekend hikes or bike rides.
And you can’t get in shape just by going to the gym. Yes, you can focus on your diet — but if you’ve been dealing with belly fat that just won’t go away, you may need to look into the state of your hormones. Many men are surprised to learn that belly fat is a result of low testosterone levels (in which case, all the dieting in the world won’t make it disappear). Other men find that resetting their hormones via semaglutide or HGH (human growth hormone) peptides makes all the difference in the world. Which brings us to the next suggestion for a New Year’s resolution…
Make That Doctor’s Appointment
If you’re like many men, you know you need to see a doctor… but you keep putting it off. Sure, you’re busy, we get it — but that’s why this is an ideal New Year’s resolution. Men have a long history of refusing to take care of themselves, but this is something you can accomplish right away as the new year begins, and it could be a resolution that helps your health take a major turn for the better.
If you’ve been experiencing any of the issues that are specific to men as they get older, that doctor should be an expert at a men’s health clinic such as Boston Vitality. Those issues might involve any concerns about sexual health (erectile dysfunction, diminishment of your sex drive), but they might also include other health concerns related to your hormonal health. These certainly include weight gain and belly fat, as mentioned above. But they also entail fatigue, irritability, low energy levels, insomnia and sleep problems, depression and an inability to concentrate. If you’ve been plagued by any of these symptoms, make an appointment with a men’s health specialist to turn things around.
Find Ways to Chill
Feeling a little stressed from time to time? That’s not surprising. Between work, relationships and everything else on their plate, many men find themselves holding on to stress. You may notice its effects on your body, as it can affect almost every part of you, including your mental health, your cardiovascular system and your immune system. Yes, your exercise regimen can certainly help you offload some of that tension, but finding other ways to destress can be an ideal New Year’s resolution.
Make a resolution to practice mindfulness, starting with regular breaks each day just to sit quietly and breathe deeply. Many men lean into meditation of various sorts (and there are apps that will guide you through the process and send you reminders). Talking honestly with your partner or a trusted friend can help you sort through the issues that are exacerbating your stress — or maybe it’s time to reach out to a therapist. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep (and if you find it hard to sleep, that’s another reason to add seeing your doctor to your resolution list). And find time to have some fun and to laugh; even watching some vintage sitcoms can help lower your stress levels.
Lean Into Passion and Purpose
There’s something about the approach of a new year that makes men think about their larger goals and their purpose in life. Now’s the time to consider what you might do with your time if you didn’t have to earn money. What’s that great passion you had as a boy or young man that seems to have slipped to the side? Is this year the right time to return to it or to discover something new?
If this New Year’s resolution sparks with you, start breaking down your new goal into small, achievable chunks. Find time each day or week to work on, say, that great American screenplay, or set up an automatic savings plan to set aside money for that round-the-world journey. Take a moment as well to consider what’s keeping you from reaching for what you want so you can confront any obstacles in a healthy way.
Dial Down Social Media
If your phone tracked all the time you spend scrolling through social media sites, what numbers would it show? Whether you spend your time on Twitter/X, Facebook or TikTok, you could be throwing away hours a week. Yes, it’s nice to keep up with the people of note that you follow, not to mention family and friends — but what are you not accomplishing during all that time?
Consider detoxing from social media by limiting your time online. Turn off your phone (if work and your personal life allow) for several hours a day. Shut off notifications from social media sites, and consider setting aside days where you don’t go on any social sites at all. Download an app that will limit your access to specific sites. Then turn all that rediscovered time to your new goals, your relationships, your exercise program — or just use it to relax in a space where you’re not tempted to get angry or compare yourself to others.
If you smoke, quitting is the single smartest thing you can do for your health. You already know that, of course. But nicotine is highly addictive, which makes quitting very hard for most people. That’s probably why it shows up on so many New Year’s resolution lists.
The good news is that there’s plenty of help available to get you over the finish line. Medication, quit-smoking groups, and nicotine patches, lozenges and gum can all be intensely helpful. Choosing a date that you’ll always remember (like New Year’s Day!) is a great way to jump-start the quitting process.
Tips for Making Your Resolutions Last
Making your New Year’s resolutions work for you is often a matter of setting yourself up for success. Many men like to gamify their resolutions to enjoy that little boost they feel whenever they achieve a minor goal. Here are some other tips that can help you achieve what you want.
- Lean into the specifics. Don’t say, “I want to work out more.” Say, “I’m going to go to the gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, plus I’ll put in 10,000 steps on Thursdays and Saturdays.” The more you can specify, the greater the likelihood you’ll follow through.
- Calendar your resolutions. Once you’ve chosen your specifics, put the details into your calendar app (or your impressive old-school day planning tool, if that’s the way you roll). Lock those gym appointments into your schedule to turn them into habits.
- Break things down. Setting a goal is great — but turning it into a list of mini-goals is far, far more productive. You want to learn to play guitar this year? Break that down. First, you’ll buy the guitar. Then you’ll find the right guitar teacher. Each week, you’ll schedule time to practice. You’ll choose specific songs you want to learn to play. And of course, you’ll put all this on your calendar or to-do list.
- Check things off. Don’t discount the sheer satisfaction of checking something off a list. Find ways to measure your progress toward your resolution, and keep those measurements updated. And plan for success by giving yourself a way to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished. That might even include giving yourself a reward for a real achievement.
- Forgive yourself if you drop the ball (but pick it up again). You won’t make it to the gym every Monday morning right at 6:00 a.m. because life happens. But don’t make excuses. Be quick with forgiveness — but get back on your schedule right away. And give yourself permission to tweak the details of your resolution as needed (maybe that Monday gym time doesn’t work because you now have a standing meeting at 8:00 a.m. — so calendar the gym on Tuesday instead).
- Don’t over-resolve. If you make two or three specific, focused resolutions, you’re far more likely to keep them than if you make a dozen. Narrow down your list as January starts to determine your true priorities, and pick what you consider the most fulfilling, most important and most achievable.
Boston Vitality Wants You to Have a Life-Changing New Year
At Boston Vitality, we’re committed to your health and well-being. We can help you get on the right track for the new year. Our expert medical practitioners deliver the highest quality of care for men in Massachusetts. If you’re a man in the Boston area looking for help with any hormone-related issue, be it weight loss, concerns about aging or issues surrounding sexual health, we’re here for you. Contact us today to start your 2024 on the right foot.