12 New Year’s Resolutions To Get Happy in 2018

2017 was hard.  And now that I think about it, 2016 and 2015 weren’t so easy either. I had a rough time having babies—the anxiety, sleep deprivation, and overwhelming to-do lists were difficult for me to adjust to. It feels like I’ve been losing my mind for five years. I can’t even count how many times I sat sobbing on the couch to my husband / friends / neighbors saying, “I’m just having a hard time!” There has also been a lot of yelling. Yelling at my children. Yelling at my husband. Passive-aggressively giving the silent treatment and avoiding eye contact (don’t worry, I only do that to my husband).

I hit rock bottom a few weeks ago during one of those couch sobbing sessions when my husband said, “You’re just so negative about everything. You’re not enjoying this. Something has to change so that you can be happy again.” After recovering from that well-meant punch to the gut, I realized I couldn’t disagree with him. I didn’t feel positive. I wasn’t enjoying my life. The truth was, I was very unhappy.

My Google searches on “how to get happy” helped me conclude that if I wanted more joy in my life I needed to get specific, write things down, and track my progress.

It was perfect timing. With the new year coming up I knew I could commit to some New Year’s Resolutions that would make me a happier me. For the past…I don’t know…10 years of my life I have always set the stereotypical goals of “going to the gym every single day and eating nothing but steamed vegetables.” SHOCKER: by January 10th I’ve fallen off the wagon with no hope of hopping back on until the next January 1st rolls around. 

I needed to find that sweet spot between vague, loosey-goosey goals and super rigid, need-to-complete-365-days-in-a-row kind of goals. After a lot of reflection and revision, I finally settled on 12 New Year’s Resolutions that I believe will help me make 2018 a much happier year. They are concrete and measurable with realistic timelines. I wrote them—in pen—in the back of my planner and have a space to check off my progress. 

new year's resolutions

Do you want to be happier this year? Are you looking for some sustainable resolutions that don’t have to start on January 1st but will help you enjoy your life? Here is a list of 12 things that I hope will inspire you to embrace 2018 and bring some joy into your homes and hearts. We got this, Mamas. 

12 Get-Happy New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Send birthday cards to immediate family, extended family, and/or friends.
  2. Write a post-card to someone once each week or month.
  3. Invite someone over to play once each week or month.
  4. Start a gratitude journal and write it in every day, once a week, or once a month.
  5. Meditate or repeat a positive mantra every morning or night.
  6. Participate in Meatless Monday every week or once a month.
  7. Master 1 / 6 / 12 meals so that you know how to make them perfectly.
  8. Learn how to bake a pie, a fancy cookie, or an ice cream cake.
  9. Drink more water (30/60/90 ounces).
  10. Watch 1/6/12 black-and-white movies.
  11. Read 1/6/12 nonfiction books.
  12. Start a weekly or monthly family movie/game night.
Let’s check-in at the end of the year and see how we did. After all, if there’s one New Year’s Resolution we should stick with, it’s to get happy!   


Rebecca is a type-A wannabe with a pretty legit cookbook collection and likes a good Netflix binge. Her interests include sleep, napping, and snoozing her alarm. She is also a SAHM to two kiddoes (5, 2) and the proud wife of a resident at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She grew up in Milwaukee, WI but has also lived in Minnesota and Florida before coming to Iowa in 2014. Needless to say, she has a lot of teams represented in her t-shirt drawer! Rebecca worked in a preschool before deciding to stay home with her son so she loves to talk about education, children’s activities, and parenting littles. She stays active by teaching Wiggle Worms through the North Liberty Recreation Department and planning as many playdates as possible (Anyone free tomorrow at 10am??). On those rare nights when the stars align and the kids are asleep, the dishes are done, and the laundry is folded she likes to…yeah right, that never happens!


  1. These are some great goals. Please understand this is coming from a place of concern, though, when I say you may also want to add some more formal mental health care to your list. Even if only short term, that kind of guidance will help you accomplish the happy you’re seeking. Honestly your description of the sadness sounds an awful lot like depression. Mamas can ask for help. It’s okay. And there are therapists who work evenings so you can hopefully go when your partner is home to watch kiddos… or find drop in care for one hour every other week.

    Also, asa depressive myself, I’m continually amazed at the effects exercise has on my mood and disposition. Maybe a good one for 2019. Baby steps! ❤️

    • Hi Lydia! I agree–professional mental health care is definitely part of the Mommyhood puzzle. And yes, adding in an exercise routine has helped tremendously with anxiety and clarity (I think we might go to the same gym!). Thanks for reaching out!


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