Rewarding resolutions that won’t require a major commitment of time

Published 8:23 am Sunday, January 1, 2023

Much like money, time does not grow on trees. That reality is all too familiar to busy adults juggling multiple responsibilities at work, at home and other places where they spend their time.

A time crunch can make it hard to commit to a New Year’s resolution. But resolutions, which are often focused on self-improvement, can be worthwhile endeavors. So what are busy adults to do? Perhaps the best approach is to choose resolutions that don’t necessarily require much time.

• Exercise more: A commitment to getting fit and being more physically active is a popular New Year’s resolution. Though choosing such a path may seem like it requires a significant time commitment, the Physical Activity Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that adults perform at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. That might seem like a lot, but it can be combined with other leisure activities you already engage in. For example, a sports fan can watch the big game while on a treadmill or elliptical, while readers can swap the couch with an exercise bike as their go-to reading spot. Doing so for as little as a half hour per day can help you get the recommended amount of daily exercise without taking up a large chunk of your time.

• Read more: Adults across the globe lament a lack of time to curl up with a good book. But some brief reading before bed each night can help adults achieve this goal and can even improve their quality of sleep. In fact, a 2021 study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Trials found that reading in bed before going to sleep improved sleep quality compared to not reading a book in bed. 

• Journaling: Journaling is another worthy resolution that won’t take up much time. Individuals can take 15 minutes out of their day to write down their thoughts and feelings and reflect on the day’s comings and goings. That simple activity can produce profound results, as the University of Rochester Medical Center notes that journaling helps people prioritize their problems, fears and concerns; reduce stress; cope with depression; and identify negative thoughts and behaviors. 

• Become more organized: This resolution won’t take up much of your time. In fact, becoming more organized should free up time. A lack of organization can make it harder to meet work deadlines, keep a house clean, tackle everyday tasks, and keep a clear mind. By taking steps to be more organized, whether that’s through using a daily organizer, avoiding procrastinating in regard to cleaning up around the house or other means, individuals will gradually discover they have more free time to use as they see fit.

New Year’s resolutions need not take much time. Busy individuals can keep that in mind as they look for ways to improve their lives in the year ahead.