Millennials get a lot of flack, from avocado toast to Starbucks. (To be fair, Boomers and Gen Z also get a lot of crap for their own issues.)
I’m a millennial, and I know that I complain a lot about the way things are. But nothing will change unless we’re willing to put ourselves out there. New Year’s resolutions are one of the ways you can do that. It’s a great time to evaluate how we live our lives, and if this aligns with our true values.
Here are nine New Year’s resolutions for millennials that will help you find more joy, let go of anger and the past, and help make the world a better place for everyone.
Millennial Life in the 2020s
Of course, every millennial has different experiences, but overall, there are some commonalities the apply to the whole generation.
First, Millennials are those who are between the ages of 25 and 40. (I’m an elder millennial at 37.) Where previous generations were settling down, buying homes, and raising families at our age, we’re… well, not. We prefer traveling and paying off our student loan debt. We’re highly educated, but significantly less wealthy than previous generations were at our age, and it’s making us frustrated.
One thing I don’t need to include in your list of millennial New Year’s resolutions is to read more. I was shocked to discover that 80% of millennials have read a book in the last year! Millennials are the most enthusiastic readers of all the generations. (I love reading, but I wish I did it more. Recently, I’ve compiled some ever-changing lists, like my top 10 books that changed my life, and my favorite books on spirituality.)
Why Set a New Year Resolution, Honestly?
Unlike Boomers, whose goals and desires have been cast aside their whole lives but they’re living in a decent amount of comfort, Millennials have become jaded. We had big dreams and goals. We were told to go to college because it would provide the best opportunities, but now many of us are living deeply in debt, floundering.
Many of us feel, why even bother with a resolution? It’s not like things will change drastically for us anyway.
But resolutions can make a difference! They may not make us millionaires or let us retire early, but they can help us let go of our anger and find greater peace with life. And if you can’t find that peace, then resolutions can help you change things for the better, too.
Like “they” say, New Year, New Energy!
9 New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Millennials for 2024
Use these Millennial New Year’s resolutions for getting into a more positive and healthy mindset in 2024.
1. Find Joy in the Little Things
When it comes to really truly living, it’s the little things that count the most. I’m talking about those simple joys that we all love but don’t always recognize even when they’re right in our faces, like cuddling with your kids, or the sunlight filtering through tree leaves, or a cup of coffee on a cold morning.
Resolving to find meaning in the seemingly mundane is where life is really at. This helps bring satisfaction to our lives through gratitude, and even if life really doesn’t drastically change, you just may feel more at peace.
So keep a journal of the little things you love, or just make a note in your mind and take a breath when you are in one of those moments. That little action is more meaningful than you think!
2. Give Yourself Permission to Relax
So many millennials are locked into the mindset of the grind, the hustle. Many of us were shamed for taking a break as kids (or simply not working as hard as we could / not doing our best), and we have internalized this.
Getting out of this mindset is crucial for anyone who wants to live a more satisfying, peaceful life.
Whenever you feel yourself stressing out and wanting to just “push through,” take a breath. Ask yourself what you really need in this moment. Maybe you need to go take a bath. Maybe you need to scream into the void.
But often when we’re feeling stressed, the last answer to what you really need is to push through. So give yourself permission to take a break.
3. Practice Saying “No”
Another excellent New Year’s resolution for Millennials is to start saying “no” more. I find that this especially applies to women. Our mothers were ones who did it all – worked, cooked, cleaned, raised the kids – and then they passed their do-all mentality onto us.
But as we age, millennials are starting to realize that we can’t actually do it all, and that it’s healthy to decline that invitation to join the PTA, or to tell your business partner that you can’t take on any new clients right now.
Even saying “no” to our kids can be challenging, but they need to hear it on occasion, and you need to say it!
4. Communicate When Something Doesn’t Work for You
Here’s another resolution that’s all about communication. Learning to speak up isn’t easy when you’ve had your voice squashed your whole life. In fact, it may feel terrifying.
But setting clear boundaries about what works and doesn’t work for you will not only ultimately make your life more comfortable, but it can also help to teach people how you want to be treated.
If your boss expects you to work overtime on the weekend, and you already had something special planned for your kid, or if your pushing mother-in-law expects you to spend 12 hours at their house for Thanksgiving, then try these words:
“I’m sorry, but that doesn’t work for me. What do you think about ___?”
Then of course fill in with another option for that circumstance that is appropriate. Healthy relationships have give and take, so resolve to be clear about your boundaries this year.
RELATED POST: Setting Healthy Boundaries (for Women)
5. Do the Deep Dive
When I say deep dive, I’m talking about looking into the deep crevices of your childhood and life and trying to figure out why you are the way you are.
Why do you view the world the way you do? Why do you hold the values that you do?
It has become increasingly important to millennials to end the cycle of trauma that led us to suffering in our lives. Many millennials I know have decided not to have children for this reason, among many others. Other millennials are having children but doing the work to prevent passing on those detrimental or toxic habits.
This New Year’s resolution may be a challenging one (you may want to check out #7 below), but it’s highly worth it.
RELATED POST: How to Create a New Year Vision Board
6. Volunteer or Donate
Want to change the world and the way things work? This is one way to do it.
Volunteering has so many benefits, from increased self-esteem (although some would say us millennials don’t need any more!) to greater life satisfaction.
For me, the biggest thing is that I know the world needs to change, and if I’m not willing to step up to do the bare minimum, then how can I expect that from others who have more to give?
So find a worthy cause, whether you volunteer with children or donate to combat climate change, and get going!
7. Go to Therapy
The fellow millennials I know have a lot of anger. A lot of anger. We’re pissed at our parents, at the world, at “the way things are supposed to be.” (I call that the “conveyor belt.” My dad calls it the “pecking order.”)
It’s not healthy to hold onto all that anger. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for my anger. I appreciate that my anger has fueled me and made me a more compassionate person. But it also has the possibility of doing the opposite.
So find a therapist so you can work through all those negative emotions and find healthier ways to express them.
8. Take a Risk
Millennials are often criticized for being risk-averse. As children, how often did we hear “be careful!” when we were playing on the monkey bars? It’s definitely another way our childhoods impacted us.
Taking risks is a necessary act for a rich and satisfying life. And it’s not about putting it all on the line. It’s about taking calculated risks, branching out, trying something new, or investing your time or money into something you think will be worthwhile.
So learn how to take calculated risks and figure out how you need to branch out in your life!
9. Talk on the Phone
I know… you haven’t had a long phone conversation since you were in high school and used the family land line to talk to a boy for 3 hours.
But I have phone conversations (or just Facetime) with my friends on a regular basis, and they really help our friendships thrive. It’s one thing to get a text, but hearing someone’s voice, their inflection, tone, excitement, sorrow… these are the things that make us human, and we need that connection.
So if you have friends who live far away, consider resolving to calling them a few times this year. You’ll be surprised at how comforting it can be!
RELATED POST: 10 Books that Changed My Life As a Woman
These Millennial New Year’s resolutions aren’t going to change the world overnight. But they can really help you to find meaning behind the way that your 20s or 30s are turning out for you.
What do you think? Are you a millennial, and are you setting a New Year’s Resolution?
Drop me a comment below – I love hearing from you!
If you’re interested in more posts about getting through your Millennial Existential Crisis TM in 2024, here is our Wild Simple Joy Resource Page for New Year’s Resolutions!