Give Yourself a Break: 9 Resolutions That Are Easy to Keep

No DIY projects, cleaning, decluttering or guilt are required

By Becky Harris  |  Courtesy of

Juice fasts, decluttering, organizing finances and making the bed every day — these are the kinds of resolutions we, full of determination, typically come up with to kick off a new year. But they aren’t always easy to keep, and we can end up feeling bad and letting them all go. Let’s give ourselves a break around the house. Here are some resolutions that are easier to keep than not.


When it comes to DIY projects, I will give myself a free pass. So many people make DIY projects seem like something we should all be spending our weekends completing. And they make it look so enjoyable and easy! That’s great for them, but this self-confessed DIY disaster knows firsthand that these projects aren’t for everyone. So laugh at yourself when it goes terribly wrong and know when it’s time to call in the pros or reclaim your free time.


I will spend more time in the bathroom. Consider pampering yourself with:

  • A soak or some steam
  • A great-smelling new soap treat
  • A little Bluetooth speaker so you can enjoy your favorite playlist
  • A few extra minutes primping or dry brushing (seriously, what the heck is all this dry-brushing hype about?)
  • The aroma of a fresh sprig of eucalyptus

And allow yourself to just shut the door and tell everyone in the house you’re having some me time. In a busy household, the bathroom may be the only place you can hide.


I will be the kind of pet owner I want to be. Yup, your critters want to snuggle up on the furniture, and whether you want them to or not is up to you and no one else. But never feel bad about throwing an old sheet over Fluffy’s favorite armchair and just living with it. Chuck the throw in the bathtub to hide it when company is coming over and give it a good wash once a week.


I will get more vitamin D. Here’s a health resolution that doesn’t involve a personal trainer or a juicer: Vow to find a special spot where you can enjoy the fresh air and soak up some sunlight. 

Whether you’re lucky enough to have a porch with a rocking chair or swing, a patio with a table for dinner, or a picnic blanket at the ready for a trip to a nearby park, grab a friend, a book or your lunch and head out whenever the weather and your schedule allow.


I will teach my kids to help with laundry. If you’re a parent, laundry is probably an overwhelming chore. Start your kids out by having them help with the folding. Keep a basket around so they can scoop the laundry off the dryer or so you can dump it next to them on the sofa when they’re watching TV. Then have them take each family member’s freshly folded pile to their rooms.


I won’t let photos of perfect pantries (or laundry rooms, or closets) make me feel bad about my own.Look, there are a lot of incredible pantries out there, and they inspire us to neaten up, offer us good design ideas we can adapt to our own homes or just give us something to daydream about. 

But they should never make us feel bad by comparison. If they inspire you to get organized, great, but if not, that’s OK. And if they aren’t making you feel good, get offline or use a filter or keyword to search smaller spaces. (On Houzz, this filter is on the left side of the page when you’re searching photos by room.)


I’ll have friends over for super-casual dinners. Sure, it’s a lot of fun to play Martha Stewart and plan a beautiful dinner party once in a blue moon. It’s even better to enjoy more frequent stress-free, impromptu gatherings: cooking burgers, sharing that big crockpot of chili you made, making the night a potluck or ordering pizza. Pull out some paper plates and sit down at a kitchen table or out on the patio. Remember that your friends are there to enjoy your company, not act as Top Chefjudges.


I will remove the word resale from my vocabulary. Unless you’re a house flipper or moving this year, chuck that TV-show-induced obsession out the window. You are the one who’s living in your house now, and you should enjoy it to the max. In this bedroom makeover, the young lady who lives here came up with the inspiration for the walls (that’s her framed artwork), and her designer made the rainbow happen for her. 

I won’t feel guilty about what some may call “clutter.” I know we post a lot of stories in January about how to go through our belongings and purge what we don’t use. If you’re in the mood to declutter, they’re a great help. But never feel bad about surrounding yourself with things you love. The only rule is to appreciate them.