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7 New Year's Resolutions That'll Make 2016 The Best Year Yet

Instead of giving something up, consider taking on one of these healthy habits.

It's impossible to forget that another year has come and gone when everyone around you is thinking about what their resolutions will be. But self-improvement fans don't always have an arsenal of bad habits to give up, and forcing it doesn't seem like the best way to enjoy the coming year.

Don't worry -- you might be without a resolution, but you're not without hope. Instead of giving something up, consider taking on one of the following healthy habits. That way you may actually stick with it this time.

  1. Hit the gym (or some place similar)

    Working out is one of the best things anyone can do for themselves, but the challenge is being consistent. Even if you're only working out for 10 minutes, if you're doing it five days a week it totally counts as a healthy habit. The options are endlessly easy from joining gym, taking a class, downloading a workout app or just following a fitness-based Instagram account. Pick something you can stick to and the only thing you'll be giving up is inches.

  2. Try meditating

    You don't have to be a monk to meditate or experience the anxiety- and stress-reducing benefits of meditation. There are a variety of different ways to meditate, which can make it easy to get overwhelmed. Rest assured, it's just as easy to practice. Meditation apps like Headspace will guide you through short exercises and teach you gradually how to turn off your brain for your benefit.

  3. Eat more vegetables and drink more water

    So much of New Year's resolutions are about keeping food out of your mouth, we frequently forget about putting good stuff in it. Research shows that nearly half of Americans don't drink enough water, and don't even get us started on vegetables. So before you give up carbs or chocolate, consider diluting it with eight glasses of water and some spinach.

  4. Dabble in a foreign language

    Learning a language as an adult can be a huge challenge, but it's one that's incredibly satisfying to overcome. Unless you remember ~everything~ from your high school Spanish class, there are countless apps, websites and other resources to get you started. Perhaps in 2017 you can reward yourself by visiting the country of whatever language you learn. Which brings us to...

  5. Put money into a savings account

    It might seem boring, but this is the only habit that actually pays for itself and then some. You don't need much to get started; some banks only require a minimum opening deposit of $25. From there, decide on an amount you can commit to putting away every month. Most banks will let you set up an automatic monthly transfer into your savings, so you don't have to think about it. Gradually money you don't even realize you're missing will appear in your savings account, and you'll magically feel more like an adult.

  6. Join a book club

    Reading is good for you; science and your mom have already told you so. Taking the time to get through a book is one of those things we all say we're going to do -- until we pick up our smartphones. By joining a book club, you increase both your accountability and enjoyment of this healthy habit, with the addition of social interaction and snacks.

  7. Start volunteering

    While giving up something in the New Year can make you feel crazy, giving something back will make you feel great. Donating money, food and clothing are all awesome contributions, but those feel-good moments don't always stick with you. Volunteering for a cause you're passionate about allows you to feel that for as long as you can commit to it, while giving you a chance to become a part of a larger community. Those experiences could lead to new friendships, career opportunities and more in the coming year. One thing is for sure -- taking action will get you further than deprivation ever did, no matter where you end up.