New Year’s Resolutions: 20 Simple Goals for 2020


Leta Lohrmeyer

From finding new hobbies, flossing your teeth, and managing time spent on social media, there are several simple goals to work toward in 2020.

As soon as the ball drops, we are expected to figure out what resolutions we want to embrace for the new year. We often think of big goals and life changes that we end up forgetting before March even begins. To avoid this year being a repeat of previous years, here are some simple examples of goals you can stick to. The trick is to not overwhelm yourself. Pick one to five different goals every month to work on until they become habits. Without further ado, here are 20 simple goals for 2020.

Make your bed

Every morning when you get up, make your bed. Boom! You already achieved a goal for the day before even being fully awake. Having a tidy environment decreases your stress levels and it’s always a nice thing to come back to after a full day. As Navy Seal Admiral William McRaven stated, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

Drink more water

Everybody knows that humans need water. On average people need to drink about two liters of water (or a half gallon). This number differs depending on how much you weigh and your level of exercise. Here’s a calculator to help clarify that amount. Start the habit of drinking two cups of water before meals, as well as drinking water when you first wake up and right before you go to sleep.

Practice yoga

Yoga with Adriene put together an epic 30-day yoga challenge that’s perfect for any level of yogi. If you’ve been meaning to try yoga or want to start doing it more regularly, this is an awesome way of learning and following along with a guide. Adriene also has tons of other videos covering a variety of topics from helping digestion to dealing with stress to easing cramps.


A simple habit that is so easily forgotten is flossing your teeth every day. Figure out how you can incorporate it to fit into your personal hygiene schedule. Your dentist will thank you!

Get an academic planner

As school starts up again, it’s always helpful to have a centralized place to mark down when assignments are due, meetings with professors or group projects. It’s also a great place to write all your goals. Writing everything down frees up space in your mind to think about other things than what day you have to give that presentation. If you don’t want a physical planner there are lots of digital options like Todolist, Remember the Milk and OneNote.

Read more books

If you want to get into reading like you did back in middle school, set some reasonable goals like reading before bed, finish a book in a month or 50 books for the year. Worried about not knowing which book to start with? The Omaha Public Library is putting on the 2020 Reading Challenge. OPL librarians curated lists of different recommendations for categories like “read in one sitting,” “read a book by a nonbinary or LGBTQ+ author” and “read a nonfiction graphic novel.”

Manage your screen time

It’s really easy to face into a black hole of scrolling on our phones. One way to make sure you don’t get too distracted is putting on timers on your apps. There is usually a screen time feature in the setting of your phone that you can look at how much time you spend on each app. That way you can tailor how much time you can afford to be on your phone while also being productive with other things.

Try new hobbies

One of my favorite resolutions I made was that I wanted to focus on learning new hobbies just for fun. I am learning how to cross stitch and create charcoal drawings. Hobbies can take many different forms from chess, hiking, cooking or playing an instrument, the list goes on and on. Find something that interests you, makes you happy and doesn’t necessarily connect to your professional career.

Spend more time with friends or family

It’s always a challenge to carve out time out of our busy schedules to spend time with friends or family, but it’s actually vital to our health. A recent study found that having a strong connection with others can lead to better mental and physical health. This means our social health is another component of our overall well-being. Try to find time to go to that movie night, coffee date, or study session and reach out to the ones you care about.

Set a laundry day

Another element to creating a positive environment is taking care of your clothes. You may have been avoiding eye contact with the heap of laundry sitting in the basket. Consistency is key when maintaining a habit. So, set a day to do your laundry every week or every other week. Pop some TidePods in, listen to a podcast and watch the mountain of clothes disappear.

The 2-minute rule

This comes from David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done, the rule states that if it takes less than two minutes to do, then do it. Putting that cup in the dishwasher, picking up the socks from off the floor, cleaning the cat litter… If it takes less than two minutes, you should do it!

Learn a new language

Learning a new language can seem like a daunting goal but find fun ways to make it enjoyable. Pick a language you’re interested in, educate yourself in the culture, try learning along with a friend. The app, Duolingo, takes learning a language and transforms it into a game. You can set a goal of how many minutes each day you’d like to practice, even if it’s only five minutes, and it will keep you accountable. Nothing feels better than seeing that little owl says it’s proud of you.

Create a meal plan

I enjoy cooking, but I hate thinking about what I should make. Instead of calling it quits and ordering pizza, sit down at the beginning of the week to figure out what you’re going to eat every day. You can pull different recipes you want to try and go shopping for ingredients so there’s no guesswork. It also saves you money during grocery trips by knowing exactly what you need instead of grabbing random snacks.

Save your pennies

Budgeting and saving money sounds real stressful. You know what’s not? Saving your pennies. Every time you get spare change, even if it’s a penny you found on the ground, throw it in a jar. Eventually that jar will start to fill up, and voila! You’ve saved money.


The Corporation for National and Community Service says that volunteering improves psychological and physical health. You also have a chance to do some good in the community around you. UNO has a list of different volunteer opportunities you can take part in. You can also Google any local nonprofits that you’d like to volunteer your time to. Make 2020 a year of giving back to others.

Try something new

Eat at a restaurant you’ve never been before, watch a movie that you wouldn’t normally pick, take a different route to work or buy some flowers to brighten up your room. While humans do rely on routines and consistency it is important to shake things up. Find something different to do at least once a week. Variety is the spice of life!


Self-care can mean 101 different things. Technically all the items on this list could count as self-care. What is important is that you are taking to time to consistently check-in on yourself. Sometimes that means taking 10-minutes to chill every day or finding one day each week to designate as “me time.” Discover what recharges your battery and learn to incorporate it into your life.

Set a bedtime

As the saying goes, early to bed early to rise… There is some truth when it comes to setting yourself up for success. Create boundaries for your sleep schedule. I know that if I stay up past midnight, I will be miserable in the morning. Figure out what kind of rest you need and stick to it to avoid burnout.

Detox your inbox

When you go to check you email it can be flooding with promotional emails and coupons that you will never use. Free up your inbox by going and unsubscribing from the emails you no longer want to get. Or you can create a folder where all the ads can go into, leaving your regular inbox open to receiving the emails you actually need to find.

Quit a bad habit

This entire list is an example of good habits to start developing into your life. But what is equally important, or even better, is to kick a bad habit. For example, I am the queen of procrastinating, which is something that causes me a great deal of stress. I’ve decided that I want to get to the root of my problem and try to fix it this year. Take some time to reflect on a bad habit of yours that you want to overcome this new year.