44 New Years Resolutions for Teens for 2023

New year, new you?

Or will it be the same old, same old again?

Before we list the best new years resolutions for teens, we’re going to go over some tips that will help you actually achieve your resolutions, instead of just getting you hyped up for a week or two and then going back to life as usual.

If you’re serious about keeping your teenage new years resolutions, take a look at some of the tips below, and then continue on to see the list of resolutions for teens.

Pick and choose a few, the goal here is absolutely not for you to do every single resolution on this list. Even if you pick one and stick to it, you’ll be that much further ahead by the next year.

Table of Contents

How To Keep Your New Years Resolutions for Teens

Here are some tips for keeping your resolutions. Do the stuff that sounds like it’ll work for you, and adapt the rest to fit your personality and how you know yourself and what works for you when it comes to keeping your goals, staying on track, keeping track of things, and so on.

Make Them Actionable

Experts have said that phrasing your goals and resolutions in an actionable way, and having clear steps on how to do them, is a key to success. For example, if your New Years resolution is to lose weight, writing it down as “lose weight” alone isn’t going to work as well as giving yourself actionable steps built into the resolution.

Let’s use one of the most popular new years resolutions, just for this example…

Instead of “lose weight“, make your resolution…

“I will go for at least 3 long walks each week, and ensure that I’m eating the correct amount of calories each day.”

Good Goals for Teens: Bend, But Don’t Break

What does it mean to bend your resolutions, but to not break them?

This equals out to 1 book per month, and if that’s too much – do less!

Here’s the thing. If the first few months fly by and you haven’t read a few books yet, don’t sweat it. Just start, and keep going for the rest of the year. The goal is improvement, and doing more than you would have done, so even if you end up reading 3 books instead of 0, that’s still awesome and you can aim for 6 the next year.

As discussed above, the problem is when someone falls off track like say it’s March or April and you’ve read half a book so far and you haven’t even picked it up since January. This is where most people will stop, and they’ll give up on their resolution beacuse it’ll be too hard to read all 12 books.

Don’t do that!

Even if it’s August, October, or heck – December… you can still aim to do as much of your resolution as possible, and it’s still better than nothing.

I really want to push this idea that we stop trying to be PERFECT when it comes to these arbitrary goals we set for ourselves. It leads to most people failing most of their resolutions, so why would we stick with something that has such bad outcomes?

Instead, give yourself more of a break, and do what you can. This applies to any of the resolutions on this list.

It’s OKAY to update your teenage new years resolutions mid-way through the year to make them a bit easier, or a bit more challenging, or whatever you need.

Choose Realistic Resolutions for Teens

A good way to look at resolutions is to think of them as small and consistent improvements you can make. It’s not about going all-out and picking super challening ones, cos that will make you so much more likely to fizzle out early.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Pick resolutions that are manageable, even if they only represent a small step towards what you’re hoping to accomplish.

Small steps for an entire year will get you much further than sprinting for a couple of weeks.

New Years Resolutions for Teenagers:

Whether you want to affix the words “I will” or “I will do my best to” or “I’ll try to” or whatever else in front of these resolutions, or keep them as is, the key is to pick a few of them (or even just one!) and then stick to it with a clear cut path to success.

Here’s our New Year’s resolution list for teenager aged people, hopefully you’ll find some good ideas here. If you’re a different age, that’s okay too, there are some great New Year’s resolutions for kids here, too.

1. Unplug from from social media for at least 24 hours each month this year.

new years digital detox for teens

24 hours, that’s 1 day per month where you completely abstain from checking your social media.

Whether it’s Tiktok, IG, Snap, Discord, or whatever other social media accounts keep you scrolling on your phone, do you think you can live without them for 24 hours per month?

Pick one day each month, that’s it, and do this for the entire year, and you’ll have accomplished this resolution.

That’s 12 days a year without social media.

Some tips to stay off social media are to mute notifications, or even uninstall the app if you find yourself going to open it.

Did you accidentally open it up and start scrolling, or did you get distracted by a notification? That’s okay – don’t let it ruin your resolution. Either just go the rest of the day without social and let it slide, or start over again the next day and go an entire day with zero social time.

As with all of these new years resolutions for teens, you can choose how strict or relaxed you would like to be about it.

2. Read at least 12 books this year.

resolution to read
Reading more is a popular New Year’s resolution for teens.

We already gave you a preview of this resolution in the examples above, and it’s a modest yet impactful goal for the year.

This equals out to reading an average of one book each month. You can pick your reading list for the year ahead of time, or you can choose as you go, depending on how much you feel like reading.

On months where you won’t be reading as much, you could choose shorter books. If you feel like reading a lot, pick a longer book.

And it doesn’t have to be done on a month to month basis, either.

3. Make an effort to drink enough water each day.

drinking more water

The specific amount of water that you need to drink each day for this resolution will vary depending on a lot of factors.

Some of the things that determine how much water you’ll need to drink include how hot is it where you are, how much you’re sweating or working out, if you’re drinking tea or coffee and getting hydration through that, your size, and more.

On hotter days where you’re more active, you’ll probably need to drink a lot more water than on a cool day where it’s not very dry out, but the best rule of thumb is to just keep some water nearby and have a nice big sip anytime you feel thirsty.

The common amount of water you’ll hear is to aim for 8 glasses of water each day, and that’s not a bad goal, and it’s better than drinking a lot less water than this, but if it’s very hot out, or dry, or you’re exerting yourself a lot, make sure you compensate by drinking a bit more water.

4. Make a conscious effort to improve my sleep hygiene.

improving sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene basically refers to having a good sleep schedule, and taking a few easy steps to boost your hygiene when it comes to sleeping, which basically exists to ensure that you’re getting enough sleep and getting the best sleep you can.

Ways to improve your sleep hygiene for this resolution for teens include things like trying to avoid looking at your phone screen for 30 minutes before you’re going to sleep, or by not keeping your phone right next to your bed so that you end up checking it if you wake up in the middle of the night.

Having a good ritual before bed, like getting into a fresh pair of pajamas and cleaning your face and brushing your teeth and flossing your teeth, then doing a “digital detox” where you stay off of your screens and devices before bed.

Make sure that you’re giving yourself enough time to get a full night’s sleep, if you’re staying up too late then it’s already going to be a problem. You might end up napping after class, which will make it hard to fall asleep that night, and the cycle repeats itself.

5. Organize my entire life (Clothing, toys, paperwork, locker…)

staying organized

How many spaces in this world are you truly in charge of and responsible for right now? When you’re younger, you don’t even really have full autonomy over your own bedroom since your parents might come in to get laundry, vacuum, and so on.

As you get older, you’ll probably start to get more privacy and more places that are your own. Your bedroom, maybe an extra room in your home where you play games or watch TV, maybe you have your own washroom, your own locker at school, whatever. Learning to keep these places organized is useful and valuable, and we’ll talk about organization more on this list.

In order to mark this one as complete, you should start by listing the areas you have full control over keeping clean and tidy and organized, and identify the purpose of each area.

Then, take inventory of what’s usually out of place, and what you can do to keep things in their proper place more effectively.

After this, the rest of the year is just a matter of sticking to this plan you created at the start to ensure that everything has a place, and everything is where it belongs.

If that gets a bit out of hand, you can always have certain areas that are soft of a “miscellaneous” box or drawer, where you can put odd items that don’t really have a specific place. This works for things that you may have one or two of, that don’t really need their own place to keep it.

As long as you know where things are and you can easily find them when you need them, you’re doing a great job.

6. Make a daily effort to engage in positive self-talk.

positive affirmations

The way that you talk to yourself can have a huge impact on what you’re able to accomplish and achieve. Having negative self-talk and generally being hard on yourself can stop you from doing things you might otherwise be able to accomplish.

A resolution to stop negative self-talk is something that will take a lot of time and effort to perfect, especially if you’re someone who is generally quite hard on yourself.

You can look at positive affirmations to think of some nicer things to fill your mind with, however a big part of this is to cut out the negative self-talk to try to pay attention to the thoughts you have about yourself and the thinks that you think about yourself.

If you notice certain recurring patterns in regards to negative self-talk,

7. Speak up when I’m unsure about something.

teenager speaking up

Imagine someone explains how to do something to you, and you don’t really understand are. Are you the type of person who would speak up and have them repeat it two, three, or even four times?

Or would you quietly nod along and pretend that you understand, because you feel awkward or you’re embarrassed to say that you didn’t get it?

Speaking up when you don’t understand a lesson or how to do something is an important skill to have, but there’s another similar example of speaking up that’s also super important.

The other time you should learn to speak up for yourself is when you’re unsure about something, like if your friends are planning to do something and you think it’s a bad idea – would you go along with the group no matter what, or would you be willing to speak up and express your concerns, even if it means being excluded to some degree?

This takes a strong sense of self. It’s not easy to speak up for yourself or when you think something is wrong or when you don’t understand something.

How does this translate into a resolution for teenagers, though? Well, it’s another one of those reso’s that’s all about being mindful and self-aware, and going from there.

It could take months unto the year until you have a strong opportunity to speak up, for instance, but if you’ve been mindful of it until then, you’re accomplishing this resolution.

8. Tell people how I feel about them and what I’m thinking.

teenager expressing herself

This one is similar to speaking up for yourself, but it takes it a step further. It’s one thing to speak up when you don’t understand something in class and to ask for help, but it’s another thing to tell someone what you feel about them – whether that’s a positive thing or a negative thing.

If someone is bothering you, and you speak up to tell them to stop in a serious tone, it can make you come off as the “bad guy” for being emotional or speaking up, and that’s a big problem. This makes it a lot harder for people to speak up and tell others how they’re feeling.

If someone is bothering you, or pushing their opinions on you and not letting you speak or talk for yourself, telling them what you think and what you feel can be like a superpower.

Being more assertive is such a superpower that it will actually catch a lot of people off-guard once you stop being a people-pleaser and you start thinking about yourself, talking about what’s on your mind, and being open with people about what you think in any given situation.

It’s hard at first, but keep working on it, and it’ll get easier and easier, and the people in your life will start to get used to this as well. It may take a bit of time, especially if you’ve been kind of a doormat or someone who doesn’t usually speak up.

9. Work to expand my vocabulary by learning new words.

new years resolution ideas for teens

Be careful, the goal here isn’t to learn a bunch of obscure words so that nobody can understand you and you seem pretentious.

The goal here is to learn new words that you can fit perfectly in when they’re the best word to say what you need to say. It’s about utility, not just showing off flowery language.

Granted, if you want to show-off with flowery language and obscure words, you have every right to do that, too. But the aim here, at least as this teenage new year’s resolution is written, is to enhance your vocabulary by finding new words with utility and incorporating them into your day to day life.

You can try to learn a new word everyday, every week, or whatever time frame suits you. Keep a list of past words, and try to use them every now and then in a sentence whether you’re speaking or writing.

If anyone questions you about it, just tell them that you made a new year’s resolution to learn a lot of new words, and teach them some of your favorites!

Having the perfect word for a situation is impressive, especially when you can casually slip it into a sentence without it seeming out of place. But it’s up to you how obscure or adventurous you’d like to get with this one.

Why not aim for a minimum of learning one new word each month, for a year? At the end of the year, check your list and make sure you’ve got twelve words on there, and you’ve used each of those words at least a few times, and you remember what they want – then you can check this one off your list!

10. Stick to a skin-care routine.

new years resolution skincare

It’s still a bit less common for guys to have any kind of skin care routine than for girls to do so, but everyone should be taking at least the most basic steps to care for their skin.

Having a cleansing wash and using it before bed is one simple step that will be great for your skin, far better than doing nothing at all or just washing it when you get in the shower. Some people don’t even do that!

Beyond the basics like a cleansing wash, you could look at products that offer exfoliation for the skin on your face, too. For people who shave their faces, this is also believes to help by removing the very top bit of the skin as you shave.

The important thing here is finding a routine that’s simple enough and affordable enough that you can commit do doing it every day for the year. If you want to keep it simple, just give your face a good splash with warm water when you wake up, before bed, and give it a good wash when you shower, and you’ll still be ahead of the game – but some sort of mild wash can help a lot, too.

11. Do a great job with hygiene and other forms of self-care.

personal hygiene in the new year

We just went in-depth about having a basic skin care routine, but there’s a lot more to hygiene that’s important for teens to keep in mind.

You’re probably going to need to shower everyday, and people are going to know if you don’t. Gone are the days of being younger when you can run around all day and not really stink. As a teen, you need to be very mindful about wearing the same clothes for multiple days, you need to shower more, you need to get all of this hygiene stuff in order.

The self-care portion of this resolution for teenagers can include things like taking care of your hair and keeping it trimmed and cut in a way that you like, or finding a style for y our facial hair that works for you, or even just soaking your feet and moisturizing your skin sometimes.

If you’re into the aromatherapy and getting nice smelling bath products and what-not, this can be a great way to practice self care and good hygiene at the same time.

12. Cut down on the amount of soda I drink.

cutting down on soda

If you’re someone who drinks a lot of soda and energy drinks and things like that, then you might want to consider cutting that out, or at least cutting back on it.

The amount of sugary drinks some people consume is absolutely bonkers, and it’s easy for them to ignore because they might not feel any immediate negative impacts, especially if the drinks are giving them a little jolt and boost of energy.

Sugar addiction is no joke! If you’re someone who eats or drinks a lot of sweet things each day, you might even get a bit of a headache once you cut them out, but once you make it through the withdrawls, you’re free and you’ll soon find that you barely even crave suger or sweet things anymore.

You’ll absolutely love biting into a crisp apple and other sweet fruits, and that’ll be more than enough when you get a sweet tooth. Soon, you won’t even miss the sugary drinks.

Eating tons of sugar has all sorts of negative impacts on your body, your brain, your mood, your stress levels, and more. If you can cut out sugar at a younger age, you’ll be so thankful to your younger self once you’re a bit older.

13. Cut certain junk foods out of my life.

junk food new years resolution for teens

All of the stuff that’s mentioned above about sugar, also applies to having a new years resolution to stop eating junk food. Maybe sugar isn’t what gets you, though? Maybe you’re a glutton for pizza, or burgers, or chips and snacks, or pasta, or other foods that can be okay in moderation but quickly become unhealthy if it’s all you eat.

There are some healthier foods that you can eat instead, or even healthier versions of the foods you enjoy, so that’s worth taking into consideration, too. You don’t have to completely eliminate all of your favorite foods if you love eating these types of things, but moderation is important.

If you love to eat a greasy pizza, consider getting a bake-at-home pizza that’s lower in fat and calories, for example. You’ll find healthier versions of all of your favorites, so that you don’t really have to eliminate anything you enjoy, while still enjoying the benefits of a healthier diet.

14. Make an effort to incorporate healthy foods into my daily diet.

eat healthy new years resolution

If you remove the junk foods as outlined in the previous resolution, you’ll need to replace them with something else. There are a lot of ways you can eat healthier in the new year, and here are some ideas.

If you’re going to be cooking pasta, whether it’s from a frozen entree or a box of Kraft Dinner or something else, it’s really easy to toss in a handful or two of vegetables and all of a sudden you’re getting a lot more nutrition from the meal without adding very many more calories.

You could fill your plate with half of the original serving of pasta, along with some vegetables, and you’ll be just as full, and you’ll still have the other half to eat later. This is a great way to take a relatively unhealthy, nutritionally-lacking meal and make it perfectly healthy, and with a more reasonable portion.

There are many other ways to replace less healthy foods with healthier alternatives. Some of them will be tolerable to you, and other ones won’t be as tolerable or worth it.

15. Go a full year without distracted driving.

stop distracted driving

Have you got your license already? Do you have your own vehicle, or do you borrow your parents sometimes? Either way, distracted driving is very dangerous, no matter how many of your friends do it or no matter how good you think you are at it.

Texting and driving, trying to do make-up and driving, or anything else that takes your full attention away from the road is just a bad idea. It might go fine 99 times in a row, but it’s that 100th time that can change everything. It can literally ruin your life, either by causing serious injury to you, or the guilt that you’ll have to life with if you hurt someone else… or worse.

We’re not trying to fearmonger here, but this is a serious danger. Drinking and driving, texting and driving, and other types of things that put you in a compromised position while controlling a motor vehicle are some of the easiest to avoid accidents in the world, and the stakes are so incredibly high.

People lose their lives every single day because of something that could have been avoided. Let thank sink in for a minute. Think about what it would feel like.

16. Make more time to get close with my family.

family new years resolution

Are there certain activities that you do with certain members of your family, where you feel like you don’t have as much time for it, or where they’re usually the one who initiates it and they seem very excited to spend time with you?

Think about those moments, and try to set aside more time to be with these people.

It will make them very happy, and you’ll feel nice to have made the time, it’s the type of thing you’ll be glad you did later in life, even if it doesn’t seem like it now.

It doesn’t have to be some grand vacation or huge event, it could just be picking a show you both enjoy and watching it together once a week with your younger sibling, or cooking dinner together with your dear grandma, or whatever your family situation might look like.

17. Get in touch with an old friend.

old friends

Here’s a resolution that you can finish in just a couple of minutes, if you want to! It’s an easy one. At any point during the next year, reach out to an old friend that you haven’t talked to in a while.

Sometimes, high school friends just drift apart, it’s part of growing up and it’s perfectly normal. Sometimes, you might find yourself regretting that you’ve drifted away from certain friends from the past.

Whoever has hopped into your mind while reading this, what’s stopping you from reaching out to them? Just to be clear, this isn’t about going and texting an ex or something, think about friends who you have lost tough with that you would like to have in your life again.

Pick one of them, reach out to them, and maybe they’ll agree that you two should start talking more!

Other times, someone might want to keep the past in the past, and it’s important for you respect that, too. If you get in touch with them and it turns out they aren’t very receptive, you can still check this off your list of new years resolutions for teenagers because you did get in touch with them, even if it didn’t turn into a rekindled friendship from that point.

18. Create a system for keeping my life organized.

staying organized in the new year

Keeping yourself organized is a skill, like many of the skills you can master in the short span of a year, that will serve you well in countless different ways throughout your life.

Being organized means you’ll always be able to find instruction manuals and warranties for things you’ve purchased, you’ll have an easier time selling your vehicle when you have great records of all your maintenance, or not buying things again that you already own and have misplaced, and so on and so forth.

Another benefit of staying organized means you won’t end up with a bunch of recurring subscriptions every month or year that you aren’t even using any more.

These are just a few example of the benefits of getting organized as a year news reso, but how do you start, especially if you’re a disorganized person?

The best way to start getting organized is to pick one single aspect of your life and stay on top of it. It might mean saving all of your receipts in one place, or it might mean keeping all your books, movies, and games sorted, or keeping your email inbox sorted – whatever it is, starting with one thing can help a lot, then slowly add new things into your organization routine.

You can use software like Evernote, or Trello, or Amazing Marvin, or something else to keep track of the things you need to do with to-do lists, or to store information to reference at a later point. Notion.so is another great note application that can be used in a simple way, or a very in-depth way.

19. Make an effort to eat less sugar.

no sugar new years reso

There aren’t very many new years resolution ideas on this list that have to do with diet or food, but it’s always a good idea to think about eating less sugar. Instead of setting specific weight loss goals (like “how to lose 10 pounds in a week” or something crazy like that), just picking a few things you could do healthier is a perfect idea.

So, if you usually have a can or two of soda, some cookies and other treats, and some sauces or salad dressings that might have a lot more sugar than you realize, then the sugar that’s in smoothies and fruits and other healthy foods – it all starts to add up!

On top of that, eating a lot of carbs can contribute similarly to negative health outcomes for people who are overeating carbs, sugars, and similar things. It’s fine and good to have a certain amount of carbs, and even a certain amount of sugar is relatively not a big issue, but it’s when you start to have tons of them that it’s a problem and something that’s worth resolving, so to speak.

We aren’t your dietician and we won’t tell you exactly what to eat or how much, plus everyone’s body is different and you might need different amounts of calories than someone else. But if you can cut out some sugar from your diet, and stick to it for a year, even if you aren’t 100% sugarfree, it’s still a move in the right direction and very worthwhile.

20. Learn to cook a few things perfectly.

learning to cook new years resolutions

A year isn’t enough time to become a master at cooking countless different dishes, but it is plenty of time to learn to cook a few things very, very well.

If you pick a handful of dishes or ingredients, and make an effort to use them in meals often, you’ll get really good at cooking them. In a year, you can easily master cooking with chicken, or beef, or tofu, or certain vegetables, or soups, or whatever you like.

Learning to cook a few things very well will set you up to be able to cook tons of perfect meals, and you’ll enjoy serving them to people you care about for the rest of your life.

Also, knowing how to cook an amazing meal is very impressive and it will certainly come in handy when you’re older and dating or trying to impress somebody!

Being able to feed yourself with quality meals is also a great way to save money. Take-out and delivery is expensive, and pre-made meals are usually a lot less healthy than they could be, or they’re pricey.

When you can throw together a good meal for yourself, consistently and quickly because you’ve practiced a lot, you’re in a great spot. This is something you can get really good at in just one short year, so why not give it a try?

21. Start a workout routine and stick to it.

morning exercise routine

When you’re in your teenage years, a little bit of working out and fitness can go a long way. You don’t have to take on some super intense workout routine that you find on the internet or aon an old workout DVD, you can actually start with something super simple like doing as many pushups as you can before bed, going for a walk or a run at some point during the day, and maybe lifting some weights or doing other body weight exercises.

Keep it simple, though. That’s the trick to sticking with it for a whole year. Whether your body is to lose a bit of extra body fat that you’re carrying around, or to put on muscles and get more toned, these will be some of the easiest years in your life to accomplish that because your metabolism is working in overdrive, you probably have a lot of energy, and you have plenty of time to form better habits.

Even if you aren’t very athletic or interested in sports or training, it’s still important to keep your body healthy by exercising and there’s bound to be some sort of workout that you’ll enjoy. If you’re more into gaming, think about getting a Nintendo Switch and playing games that encourage you to move around like Ring Fit Adventure, Switch Sports, and the like.

22. Rid myself of a bad habit.

quitting bad habits

Do you have a bad habit? Maybe you smoke? Maybe you procrastinate? Maybe you get grumpy at your family more often than you’d like to?

It’s up to you to decide what your bad habit is. This is an open-ended resolution.

There’s something floating around in your mind when you hear the idea of trying to get rid of your bad habit. What came to mind?

When you thought about your own bad habits, what popped into your brain?

Is that the bad habit that you should resolve to get rid of, or is there another one that would be better to get rid of?

These are a lot of questions, and what you’ll need to do with this resolution is to do your best to answer these questions and then go from there.

If you could snap your fingers and be one year in the future, and have one of your habits a distant memory in the past, which habit would you choose?

Maybe that’s a good place to start, because the time is going to pass regardless of whether or not you take steps to break this habit. So, the way to look back a year from now and see your habit in the past is to start.

The way to break a habit really depends on what the habit is, but chances are there are plenty of other people who have conquered that same habit and you’ll be able to find a lot of good advice with a little bit of research, or you can figure out a strategy on your own. At the end of the day, you just have to decide what to do and stick with it, and sure enough your habit will be gone. But sometimes, that’s a lot easier said than done.

If you’re having troubles with addiction and habits that you can’t seem to break on your own, please reach out to an adult that you trust or a local program that helps teens struggling with addiction. You can also call a teenage hotline for more resources.

23. Forgive somebody who wronged me in the past.

new years resolution forgiveness

Are you carrying around negative feelings about somebody who has harmed you in some way? This can be a tricky resolution, and it might be wise to work through it with a professional like a therapist, since this can trigger some inadvertently feelings or emotions if we’re dealing with something very serious.

Also, this isn’t to say that you should forgive everyone or that you have to forgive everyone. That depends on how you see the world, you might not be ready to forgive everyone that’s done anything to harm you in any way.

But maybe there’s someone who betrayed you in some way, or who inadvertently hurt you in some way, and you’re carrying that around? Maybe you can work on letting that resentment go, so that you can heal, so that you don’t have to carry it around with you?

This doesn’t mean that you have to go and meet up with that person to forgive them, and you can even keep ignoring their calls or texts if you want to, but choosing to forgive them within yourself, for yourself and not for them, can be a healing process.

24. Boost my GPA.

boost your gpa

Does having a higher GPA help you out? Yes, the short answer is yes, it can come in very useful as you sort out the next few years of your life. It keeps more opportunities open for you, and it can help you save money by getting scholarships, grants, and bursaries.

If your grades are struggling in certain subjects, there are things you can do to boost them. Sometimes, it can be helpful to drop a class if you aren’t doing great in it, and to take it at a later date when you’ll be able to dedicate more time to it or more time to getting extra help.

Talk to your advisor or guidance counselor or whoever exists at your school to help with these types of things, and tell them that you want to improve your GPA and that you need guidance on the best strategy to accomplish that. They should be able to help you come up with a plan, or at least point you towards the resources that you need.

If you’re school isn’t a huge help, maybe they’re understaffed or your guidance person just seems like they can’t help too much – don’t get discouraged!

There are many New Years resolutions for teenagers that can be kind of abstract, that is to say that you won’t really be able to measure the results in a direct and clear way. The nice thing about setting a resolution to get higher grades is that you can actually see the results, right there, as a number score. This makes it way easier to track progress and to see your hard-work paying off.

If you can’t get the help you need from your school, turn to the internet! Google the questions or problems you’re having trouble with, check out some high school hacks for students, and just put the work in – you’ll be able to figure it out, you’ll be able to get higher grades, and you’ll be glad that you did it.

25. Make an effort to have good manners.

thank you letter

In some households, you’ll be taught from an early age to say please, thanks, to write a little note when someone gives you a gift, and things like that.

These types of things matter! When someone does something for you, and you thank them and show appreciation, they’ll feel a lot better about putting in the effort.

Bad manners can rub people the wrong way, but if you wanted to look at this through a more selfish lens, having good manners will benefit you greatly throughout your life.

When you’re polite to someone, there’s a much higher chance they’ll go out of their way to help you out. If you’re phoning in to resolve a problem with your bank or tech support or whatever, and you’re a jerk, that person is going to feel like doing the bare minimum to help you, but if you’re kind and polite and friendly, people will be more likely to do what they can for you.

People and their families have their own ways of communicating. If you’re from a family who is very blunt, and shows your love by arguing and yelling at each other but everyone knows you love one another and that’s just how you get along, well, you need to recognize that it’s not like that for every family.

If you grew up without a family that says things like please and thanks, you might not have the habit or the reflexes without working on it a bit. That could be fine in the home, where everyone knows you’re thankful and you love them, but in the rest of society and among people you know more casually, some basic manners can go a long way.

26. Keep a very simple daily or weekly journal.

keeping a journal

If you’re someone who is used to keeping a journal and you’ve been doing that your whole life, then this probably won’t be a resolution that you would consider, since you already do it and enjoy it.

But if journaling doesn’t come naturally to you, then keeping a journal can be very worth the effort – and don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be a lot of effort!

You can keep a very simple journal where you just use quick bullet lists to reflect on the things you did that day or memories that stand out to you, or just anything that might be significant that you would look back on someday.

If it’s the first day you talk to your crush, you could write that down on the list. If you achieved something, you could jot that down. If you’re keeping track of any stats like your personal best bench press or how fast you can run a mile, you can keep track of those in your journal, too.

It’s up to you to decide what you put in your journal, but the point is that you can journal for a while year by updating it every week or month if you don’t want to write in it a lot, or just taking a few quick notes everyday – it’ll take you a couple minutes a day, that’s it!

27. Find a cause to care about and take action.

resolution to care about a cause

There’s a lot going on in your community, and around the world. Do you ever feel like making a difference, but you aren’t really sure where to start?

A great place to start is by finding a cause or an issue that you care about, and then seeing which groups and organizations are already in place that are also concerned with it. Then, you can think about the different ways that you can help and take action.

You might also want to think locally, so that you can see the effects of your hard work in your own community.

It could be pushing for more homeless-friendly architecture in your neighborhood, or ensuring that public spaces are accessible to people in wheelchairs or with mobility issues, or making sure that local employers are treating their employees fairly, or whatever else matters to you.

28. See how good I can get at a new skill.

ny resolution to learn guitar

Is there a skill you’ve been wanting to learn to do well? Maybe it’s learning to draw, or paint, or play music, or something athletic? Maybe it’s something more academic? Maybe you want to learn to code?

Whatever it is that’s caught your interest, there’s never been a better time to dive in and learn as much as you can. You will be stunned at how much you can progress in just a year, when you put a little bit of time into it each day.

Whatever skill you’d like to have, look up some resources on how to learn it, and you can spend an afternoon putting together a roadmap/lesson plan for yourself, for free, that you can work your way through.

With a lot of practice and some careful planning and preparation, you’ll be on your way to making huge progress towards a new skill. Even an hour or two a few nights a week is plenty of time to get really, really good at something if you’re practicing smartly.

29. Get a job or start a side-hustle and save up some money.

start a business in the new year

There are a lot of ways for teens to make money, and having a bit of extra cash during your teenage years can be really helpful, especially if you’re from a family that doesn’t have a lot of extra money for things like giving you an allowance or going out and stuff like that.

By bringing in some of your own money, you’ll always be able to go out with friends when there’s stuff to do, instead of having to skip activities and events because you’re low on cash. You’ll still want to spend your money wisely and you probably won’t go to everything, but it’s nice to have the option.

This could be something really basic like doing yard care for a few of your neighbors, or something more complex like renting out a local gym and hosting a small music shgow, or starting a business, or buying and selling things on the internet, or whatever else you can think of.

For ideas, think about things that people in your community spend money on, and think if there’s a way that you can offer it more conveniently for them, or more timely (like showing up with a shovel and offering to clear their driveway for $40 after a huge, heavy snowfall.)

30. Plan at least one cool adventure.

plan an adventure for teens

A year is a long time, but it can pass by in the blink of an eye and the older the get, the shorter the years will seem. If you can manage to fit one good adventure into each year of your life, you’re doing very well.

Don’t let social media influence your mind too much into thinking that every moment has to be some huge adventure worthy of filling up your wall with pics.

Finding meaningful moments everyday is nice, and you can do that, but putting in the effort to have some big, memorable things to do each year is something you’ll look back fondly on for decades to come.

“Adventure” can mean different things to different people. For some, it could mean going on trips, vacations, or road trips with friends. For someone else, it could be a staycation on the other side of town to check out restaurants and places they aren’t used to.

However you define adventure, know that some of them will happen naturally when you’re open to them, and others will take a bit of planning – but it’s worth letting a little adventure into your life!

31. Keep track of my accomplishments with “done” lists.

new years resolution lists

A “done” list works a bit differently than it’s more famous cousin the “to-do list.”

To-do lists can be helpful, but they don’t work for everyone. Sometimes, they can be overwhelming and actually cause people to procrastinate more.

A “done” list, on the other hand, is like a reward for getting stuff done. Once you complete a task, you add it to your “done” list, even if it feels small or insignificant.

Anytime you feel like you aren’t making as much progress as you could like to, simply take a glance over at your “done” list and you’ll be faced with how much progress you’ve actually made.

Getting a bunch of small things done for a day might not feel like you’ve done much, especially if they aren’t things you’d even think to include on a to-do list, but seeing all the steps you’ve taken can be very motivating!

Need an idea for a New Year’s resolution for teens that’s kind of unique? Starting to keep a done list each day or week is a really good way to see how productive you really are!

32. Complement people more often.

new years resolution ideas for teens 1

Getting a sincere complement just feels nice! It can put a bounce in your step, and really cheer you up if you’re having a rough day.

People don’t always complement one another, and sometimes there’s even a bit of hesitation. For example, some guys might be reluctant to complement other guys because it’s just not as common, and some guys might be hesitant to complement some girls because they’re afraid of coming off creepy or making the girls uncomfortable.

On the other side of the coin, some girls might be reluctant to complement their guy friends because they don’t want to give the wrong idea that they have a crush on them. Guys can read into complements a bit too much, sometimes, simply because it can be so uncommon to receive them.

It’s all a big jumbled mess at times!

But if you see someone, and you really like their hair, or the way they carry themselves, or whatever – just drop them a nice complement, especially if it seems like they might not get a ton of complements from people or they could use a little boost. Just be sincere, make sure you mean it, and don’t be afraid to draw boundaries beyond that if necessary.

33. Be mindful of how social media is impacting my self-esteem.

teenagers new years resolutions

Social media can have a profound impact on how to build self esteem in teenagers.

You’ve heard this before and it’s still true.

Social media can really mess with your head. The more aware of this that you are, the more you’ll be able to avoid the negative effects of social media on teens.

It’s not just the things you see on social media that can distort your perception of reality or make you feel bad about yourself, but it’s also the time spent on social media that could be much better spent doing other things, instead.

That’s not to say that you should completely disengage from all social media forever, but it’s about being mindful of its effect. So, in order to achieve this resolution, just be more mindful about how you’re using social media, how often you’re using it, why you’re using it, and how it makes you feel about yourself.

34. Floss my teeth every single day for a year.

This is a good resolution and just a good habit to form in general. Instead of beating yourself up if you miss a day or two and giving up, make it your resolution to form the habit of flossing everyday.

If your resolution is to create a new habit, then if you miss a day or two, that’s okay, you can still hop back on and finish strong.

And how do you build this habit? By flossing everyday, that’s how!

So, just start flossing everyday and you’re well on your way to forming a new habit, taking great care of your teeth, and having another resolution to check off of your list at the end of the year.

35. Evaluate my priorities and how they’re shaping my life.

prioratizing in the new year

If you’re using all of your free time to talk to your friends or play games or watch TV, that’s up to you, because by a certain age, it’s you who gets to decide how you spend every last moment of your time. Until then, you should be mindful to form habits that are going to help you throughout the rest of your life.

If you start to prioritize the things that will pay off down the road, like practicing your hobbies and learning new skills, or studying, or exercising, or some other productive activities and making sure to get them in before you play games or whatever else you do in your downtime, you’ll start to see amazing results.

It won’t take a full year to see the payoff of a re-shuffling of your priorities.

You just have to sit down and honestly ask yourself what you value and what you want out of life, and how to carry yourself in a way that gets you close to that goal.

If you want to be a world-class mechanic working on Formula 1 cars, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for you to be spending your free time not working on cars, reading about fixing cars, and learning as much as you can – not to mention if you could be working in a garage instead of bagging groceries or doing another common high school job.

36. Explore volunteering opportunities locally.

volunteering for a new years resolution

Speaking of your free time, are you willing to give up a little bit of your free time every week or every month, to help your community and the people in it?

Volunteer opportunities for teens can include something simple and pleasant like going to a local part with a garbage bag and a pair of gloves and carefully picking up trash. If you can get a trash picker, a stick that has a little grabber at the end, then that’s a good way to pick up trash. If you’re using your hands, get thick rubber gloves and be mindful when you’re picking up trash that you aren’t going to get cut or poked by any sharp objects.

That’s just one example of something you can do to improve your local neighborhood, there are tons of other ways that you can volunteer in a more formal way.

You could volunteer at a local animal shelter, you could coach sports for kids, you could take on extra hours at work and donate some of your income to a cause you care about.

If everyone took just a little bit of their time to volunteer around them or to just help out people in their own lives, we would be living in a much better world.

37. Talk to my crushes.

Talking to your crush as a New Year's resolution.
Talking to your crush as a New Year’s resolution.

Have you had a crush on someone for years already, or maybe it’s a new crush?

Either way, you could make a new years resolution to simply talk to your crushes. Instead of keeping it to yourself and shy-ly admiring them from afar, just try to strike up a conversation.

It doesn’t mean that they’ll like you back, and maybe you won’t even like them as much once you get to know them a bit better, but you’ll have made an attempt, and that’s good.

This also doesn’t mean you need to start leaving love letters in their lockers every single day or anything crazy like that – just talk to them! Say hello! See if you get along, and if not, that’s fine, at least you know and you can set your eyes on somebody new the next time a crush comes along.

Who knows, maybe you’ll need some cute date ideas for teens sooner than you think!

38. Good new years resolutions for teenagers: Keep track of my goals in the short, medium, and long term.

keeping track of goals new years resolution for teens

It’s important to commit your goals to paper (or track them digitally) including the next steps that you need to take in order to complete those goals.

Sometimes, having a direct roadmap is a lot more helpful than having some vague goal in your mind.

It’s also good to sort them by short term goals (things you can do today, this week, this month…), medium term goals which are things that are just outside of that window, maybe things you can do within the next year or possibly two, and then your long term goals which could be where you’d like your life to end up eventually, years from now.

The short term goals are easier in terms of knowing what you’ve got to do. If you’re trying to quit biting your nails, for example, that’s something you’ll need to work really hard on each day at first, and then as more time passes, it will become easier and easier.

However, if your long term goal is to buy your dream home, it can feel pointless to work on that each day, when it’s so far away, and there’s still a lot that you need to accomplish first.

None the less, keeping track of these longer-term goals and knowing what needs to be done on a shorter term basis to get closer to them is the key to bringing those far-away goals much closer to reality, and right now.

Your short and medium term goals can lead into your longer term goals, too. A short term goal could be to study really hard for your finals, leading to a medium term goal of getting into a decent university, leading to a long term goal of becoming a doctor and buying your dream home.

This doesn’t have to be your exact blueprint, but find a way to organize your goals and then find a way to work on them almost every single day to get closer and closer before you know it!

The same way you would track good new years resolutions for teenagers, you can keep track of your goals that extend beyond a year, too.

39. Find someone to be a mentor to.

teenager being a mentor

If you’re in different clubs or sports, or involved in different hobbies, you could find someone who is new to it and help guide them.

Acting as a mentor or a teacher to somebody will also help reinforce your own knowledge on the topic, making you even better at it by being thoughtful about the fundamentals and remembering the basics again, that you might not have thought about as much lately.

Once you’ve gotten through the beginner stages of something, let’s say a sport for example, it can be great to volunteer to help kids play the same sport you enjoy or enjoyed.

Chances are, there were volunteers and people helping out that helped motivate you when you were younger, and you can keep that chain going by joining up to mentor other people.

40. Find someone to mentor me.

find a mentor in the new year

This one is a follow-up to number 39, because no matter what you’re doing or where you’re at, there is probably someone who is a few steps ahead that could act as a mentor to you.

You can have mentors, and people that mentor you, and this is true of everyone. Your mentor can benefit from having you as a “mentee” for the same reasons that you can benefit from being a mentor to someone else, as outlined in the new years resolution above.

It’s not always easy to find someone who is willing to be a mentor, and sometimes this is a dynamic that will attract people who have predatory motives since they’re seen as an authority figure, so be mindful of the dynamic and make sure that everything is appropriate.

Examples of mentors could be coaches, teaches, family friends, or even fellow students that are a bit older, especially if you’re interested in similar classes or career trajectories.

For example, if you’re really into computers and coding, then an older student or a computer teacher could make good mentors.

41. Learn to manage stress in a healthy way.

managing stress in the new year

Sometimes, bad habits are just ways that people use to cope or to manage stress. By learning healthier ways to manage stress at a younger age, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.

This makes a good new year goal for teens, and there are a lot of different ways to mange stress so it’s just a matter of finding the one that works for you and then making a point to do it before things get too stressful, that’s the key to managing stress: taking care of it before it gets too bad.

Maybe the way that you’ll manage your stress is by taking a brisk walk each evening, or maybe you’ll find a game that you like to play that helps you zone out and forget about whatever’s troubling you, or maybe you’re someone who likes to take care of things immediately and you feel stressed out when things aren’t 100% in your control?

Understanding what stresses you out and learning how to recognize it and manage it can make life a lot less, well… a lot less stressful! So, this is one of the most important new years resolution ideas for teens.

42. Make a conscious effort to slow things down sometimes.

living more slowly

Life can move fast, and the older you get, the faster the years seem to pass by.

Being mindful of this can help remind you to make the most of each day, and to slow things down sometimes and try to consciously live in the moment.

It can be easier said than done, but this is a new year goal for teens that can change the way you pass through life, doing so in a more mindful way where you take care to really stop and enjoy things, and to experience the day.

By slowing down your life in different ways, you may find yourself with more time to do the things you care about the most, or at least you’ll be able to find more enjoyment from things – even things that were previously mundane.

Here’s one way. The next time you’re having a sweet treat or a snack, take the time to consciously focus on what you’re eating, how it tastes, the texture, what you like about it, and really enjoy the moment.

You can do this for other things too, like feeling the leaves under your feet as you walk through the park, admiring a beautiful sunset for ten minutes instead of just taking a quick glance, and so on and so forth.

43. Find ways to push myself and challenge myself.

challenge your limits this new year

It’s possible to go an entire year taking baby steps towards all of your teenage new years resolutions and your short and long term goals. You could do everything you set out to do without even breaking a sweat, without any panic, without any extra stress.

This probably means you chose your resolutions fairly wisely if you’re able to breeze through them.

But sometimes, it’s good to push yourself and challenge yourself. If you feel like you aren’t as fulfilled after accomplishing your resolutions in the past, maybe you could think of some ways to push yourself and challenge yourself to make them a bit more difficult this time around?

This is a bit of a double-edged sword, because if your resoltuions are too challenging, you might be discouraged, but if they’re too easy, it might feel like you haven’t done as much as you wanted to.

Keeping track of what you do each day or week is one way to look back and remember just how much work you’ve put in, but here’s another idea…

If you make it your new years resolution to push yourself and challenge yourself, it doesn’t matter if you fail at some of the challenges, you can still accomplish the resolution.

The resolution is to push yourself and challenge yourself, and failure is built into that, so even if you don’t achieve each goal or task you create to push yourself harder, you can still achieve the overall resolution simply by trying.

So, consider adding a single resolution to challenge yourself in different ways throughout the year, and keep track of the ways to push yourself, and you’ll notice that some of those early failures will start to turn into victories if you stick with them.

44. Think about which types of risks are worth taking.

taking risks new years resolution

Speaking of challenging yourself and taking risks as part of a teenage resolution for the new year, you’ll also need to learn that some risks aren’t really worth taking and some risks are.

When you’re younger and don’t have as many people relying on you, or you don’t have bills to pay and a mortgage, or you don’t have a full time career to worry about, you have a lot more leeway and freedom to take risks in certain ways.

But some risks are good, and some risks are bad, and decided which is which doesn’t just come down to the outcome.

You could take a very bad risk, and it ends up being okay – that doesn’t necessarily mean you made the right choice. You could also take a very safe risk that ends up failing, and that doesn’t mean you made the wrong choice. This is why it can be really difficult for people to assess risk.

But understanding how to think about risk, rewards, and outcomes is a key part of growing up and having a slightly higher tolerance for risk when you’re younger can lead to greater rewards, but it can also fly back and hit you in the face, so you have to be understanding of that, too.

Sometimes, a risk could mean talking to your crush, or taking a job opportunity, or even just signing up for an AP class knowing you’ll have to study your butt off.

Whatever risk looks like for you, don’t always be afraid of it, but don’t always run towards it at full speed, either. Find an acceptable balance and make things happen!

What are 5 new year’s resolutions for teens?

You’ve already seen 44 different new year’s resolutions for kids and teenagers, but a lot of them fit into one of the five different types…

Resolutions related to what you eat, resolutions about exercise, resolutions about learning new skills, resolutions about accomplishing big goals throughout the year, or resolutions that represent small changes that you aim to accomplish each day.

What is the best new year resolution for students?

When it comes to choosing New Years resolutions for students, you should start by looking at which areas of your schooling that you’re looking to improve upon. This can mean things like showing up to class on time, getting higher grades, doing more extracurricular activities, challenging yourself with harder classes, and a lot more. Choosing the right one depends on what you’re looking to accomplish, there isn’t necessarily a BEST resolution for teenagers that will apply to every single student, though.

That’s It for New Years Resolutions for Teens! Did You Find Some Good Ones?

Are you going to attempt to achieve any of the New Year’s resolutions for teens that we featured on this list? We want to wish you the best of luck in achieving all of your resolutions, whether you pick one to focus on or you try to achieve five, ten, or even more of them. Just pace yourself, break it down into smaller chunks, and do your best!

Mat Woods

Author Information

Mat Woods is the lead writer at TeenWire.org. He works tirelessly alongside the rest of the team to create useful, well-researched, trustworthy articles to help parents and their teens.