17 Things You Can Do Today to Start Your New Year Off Right

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions or set a Word of the Year or anything like that, but I do love the feeling of a fresh start… It feels a bit like pushing the reset button, if you will.

Like many people, I come out of the holidays feeling puffy and in a bit of a haze, so I’m trying to harness this New Year feeling to get back to basics. I know what works for me and what makes me feel my best, so I’m just trying to do more of those things.

As I was puttering around my house over the last few days, getting everything back in order and trying to settle into some healthier habits, I started making this list, so I thought I’d share it with you!

17 Things You Can Do Today to Start Your New Year Off Right

These are just simple, small things that any of us can do. They shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes, and you certainly don’t have to do them all, but maybe accomplishing a few of these small tasks will make you feel a little more centered and help you get back on track.

In the Bathroom…

#1. Clean your makeup brushes. If you haven’t done this in a while (or ever) there’s no time like the present! You really should do this every month… not saying that is what I do, but that’s a good rule of thumb. Makeup brushes can harbor bacteria, which isn’t good for your skin. Plus, they just work better and your makeup will apply more nicely when they are clean. I use this Brush Cleaning Mat and the EcoTools Makeup Brush and Sponge Shampoo.

#2. Clean your hairbrush. I love this Olivia Garden Brush Cleaner.

#3. Discard all of the old makeup, skincare, and haircare products you’re no longer using.

#4. Exfoliate your skin. There are so many good products for this, but I discovered the ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Glow Boost Exfoliator when the ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm & Glow Boost Exfoliator Set was on a special deal at QVC.

#5. If your skin is feeling dry, set aside some time tonight to use a hydrating mask. If you don’t have one, I have and recommend the Colleen Rothschild Intense Hydrating Mask.

In the Bedroom…

This section is for people who aren’t doing a big closet purge right now, but just want a few simple tasks to tweak their winter wardrobe and freshen up their closet.

#6. Pack away any holiday-specific clothing, shoes, etc. Decide right here and now if you think you will want to wear them again next year or not. If not, don’t bother storing them. Put them in your donation pile, and keeping moving forward.

#7. Put away any of the fall colors you don’t feel like wearing into the new year. I don’t know about you, but I always feel a shift in the colors I’m drawn to once the holidays are over. If they are still seasonally appropriate, sometimes I just move them to the back of the closet, but more often than not, I remove them and store or donate, depending on if I want to keep them till next fall or not.

#8. Bring your winter favorites to the front of your closet. This is really part 2, or #7b. When you have the clothing you wear the most at the front of your closet, it’s so much easier to get dressed in the morning and pull new outfits together that make you happy.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: How to Purge Your Closet & Love Your Wardrobe Again

#9. Assess clothing for washing, dry cleaning, de-pilling, etc. Put them in a pile, and then schedule a time to follow through with the necessary tasks. If it requires a trip to the dry cleaner or your favorite donation center, put it on your calendar, and then put the clothes in the car so they are not being shuffled around your house.

#10. Re-organize your shoes and boots, dust off any shelves in your closet, and set aside any that need repairs or cleaning. If you aren’t up to a big closet purge, this does not have to be a big task. Just go through your shoes, organize them how you like them, dust everything off, tidy up. It should only take 5-10 minutes.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 23 Things To Remove From Your Closet In 2023

#11. Freshen up your jewelry box. Toss any earrings that are missing the mate, set aside anything that looks dated or tired for donation or resale. Tidy up and re-organize so you can see what you have and your favorites are at the ready.

If you have silver pieces that need to be polished, wipe them down with a silver cleaning cloth, or better yet, set aside a pile to take to the jewelry store to get them cleaned and polished. I have a local jeweler who will do this for free, and I always like to get my silver pieces professionally polished and my gemstones sparkly again.

In the Kitchen…

#12. Go thru fridge and toss old food and anything that’s expired. I think this one’s self-explanatory!

#13. Go through your pantry and cupboards and do the same. Don’t forget your spice rack.

#14. Toss any foods that are no longer serving you. If it’s are laden with sugar and carbs, and you’re trying to focus on better eating habits, just toss it.

I know, it’s painful. I tossed some of the most delicious ham sandwiches, but I was the only one eating them, and they were making me feel crappy, so I dumped them in the trash. Same with the homemade Christmas cookies that my houseguests so kindly left with me. Buh-bye!

It was hard to do, but now I feel so liberated when I walk into my kitchen, and nothing that’s going to make me feel crappy is temping me.

For Your Self Care Goals…

#15. Fill the biggest water vessel you have and sip on it all day long. I love this Hydro Flask All Around Travel Tumbler that my daughter gave me for Christmas.

I drink so much more water when I have a large water vessel with a straw. I don’t have to stop and refill it as often, plus it is large and in charge, so I’m not as likely to forget about it or ignore it. I even bring it with me in the car.

Vuori Cozy Sherpa Jacket c/o (S) // Vuori Energy Top c/o (M) // Vuori Performance Jogger c/o (M)

#16. Go for a walk. That’s it. No gym membership needed. Easy, right!? Now, do that every day. Haha!

But seriously, don’t make it a goal to walk every day. That’s overwhelming. Just get out there and walk today. You will feel so good, you’ll want to go out again tomorrow. Then tomorrow, if it seems overwhelming to make a long-term commitment, tell yourself, Just go for a walk today.

That’s a mind game that I often use that works for so many overwhelming habits you may want to start or change. If you need new winter workout gear, I have a post on that!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: My Favorite Winter Workout Gear

#17. Sign up for a class. Okay, I realize this is a bigger thing than most on this list, but sometimes the biggest hurdle is just making that phone call. Or better yet, most places allow you to sign up online.

Whether it’s yoga, Pilates, strength training, a running club in your area… or maybe it’s something like a pottery class or a cooking class or a Bible study. Bonus points if it involves other women who are also doing something good for themselves because then it can become a social outlet, as well.

Whatever it is that you’ve been putting off that you want to do for your self-care, make the call (or go online and sign up.) As the infamous slogan goes, Just Do It. You never know where it might lead.

I said for years that I wanted to try Pilates or yoga, and I finally went online and signed up for a Pilates private session at a local studio. It was just a 2-minute task that I put off for years, and it has totally given me a new lease on life (and working out.) I can’t believe I put it off for so long!

From there, I bought a 5-pack for group classes, and once I knew I liked it, I found myself taking advantage of their Black Friday Special and buying the biggest package they have. I still do strength training and try to get outside to walk/run daily, but having a new activity has been really fun and refreshing and has totally reawakened my fitness routine.

Speaking of which, I need to wrap this up or I’ll be late for my Pilates class this morning…

I hope this post inspires you to do a few small things to get your new year started off right! What would you add to this list?

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24 thoughts on “17 Things You Can Do Today to Start Your New Year Off Right

  1. I know what you mean about the carbs and sweets, homemade cookies are my favorite! Got to do better, loose 4-5 lbs and have to exercise more and watch my diet!.

  2. Great tips on starting the year right. I am going to clean my make up brushes as it’s been to long. Also need to tidy up my closet and review what I’ve worn and what isn’t gettin ‘the love’.

  3. Isn’t Pilates the best? It’s such a joyful way to move our bodies! I’m so motivated by the women I do it alongside – from college age to 80+! So glad you have found a workout you love – especially since “taking a walk” on the East coast isn’t always an easy option! 😉

  4. Great post. I did #11 already this morning before even reading this, which is so funny. I’ve been refining my jewelry collection a lot lately. I’ve culled it so much that I’m down to only about 30 pieces but they’re all “real” jewelry and all my favorites.

  5. Good tips. I do most of them. I’m still going to wear fall colors since they look good on my skin tone. I’m going to try not to buy in excess this year and to stick to natural fibers as much as I can. No more polyester blouses no matter how cute. It’s ridiculous to buy so much clothing and then end up donating. I read an article about how donated clothes end up in landfills. The donations given to poor countries are hurting their economies. The natives are hurt because the donation clothes are cheap and no one will buy what they make. Kinda of like us buying cheap stuff from China and not willing to pay more for American made. I’m going to try to stick more to quality and make sure it’s classic if I pay a lot. One season a clothing item is on trend and next season you’re told it’s out. It’s really tiring. But I think we’re not fashion slaves like in the past. That’s why skinny jeans are still being worn by everyone in my area except me 🙂

    1. These facts weigh on my mind too. Good information. I have the same goals of buying less but quality. Plus wearing what I have.

  6. THIS!!!!!! Love your post. I cleaned and organized my makeup table on NY Day. I made a shopping list of what I needed and took an item to be returned back to Sephora yesterday. I will tackle rearranging the closet today and purging jewelry tomorrow. I wore my favorite Aunts necklace during the holidays but struggled to find earrings that worked with it….goal is to find some!

  7. It’s funny that you shared this list because I cleaned out our fridge last night after dinner. And before I put away my holiday tops, I pulled out the ones that I no longer enjoy wearing and donated them. Having a high energy pup is definitely getting me outside more to let him run, which is helping increase my daily steps.

  8. For at-home Pilates, I highly recommend Move with Nicole on YouTube. I cleaned makeup brushes and took care of returns already! Happy New Year to all!

    1. Thanks Terry, I don’t have a Pilates class that is local enough, so I’d like to try online. I know I like it as I took a Summer class one time, but it was just once a week and that is not enough. Plus the drive was too far. I live in a small town with no class options. They use to have Yoga that I took and I LOVED that, but the lady retired from it. So I’m left to online but I’m not so good at doing classes online by myself, so have to get motivated.

  9. I’ve done so many of these already.
    I went through my fridge and cupboards on the 29th and trashed anything dated and moved those close to expire forward.
    I sorted my jewelry and donated many pieces that I’m not wearing, especially fun pieces bought for vacations. I took watches in to get new batteries, too.
    I went through totes with smaller sizes and realized I’m never going to be a #6 again so I took a big garbage full to donate. 🤫 I did keep a few favourites, just in case.
    I purged my footwear before Christmas. So, I’m ahead of the game there. Now, I only have favourite pairs that fit well and are comfy.
    New Year’s Eve we had appies for dinner to get rid of any snack foods. Not in the house, then not tempted.
    I love a new year and a fresh start. And, look forward to more of your posts keeping us in the know for 2024.

  10. Now this is a New Year post of ideas I can get behind! So many helpful reminders in here. I do a big purge/update of hair, skin, makeup things each January, which makes space for gifts I’ve received for Christmas. I like the idea of moving fall to the back and winter forward in my closet; u a good idea!
    I always replace body sunscreen in Jan or Feb, or as soon as I see it on the retailer sites. I always like to have the good stuff on hand rather than scrambling at the drug store if a last minute trip comes up!

  11. Great list for the New Year! I already put away my holiday clothes and donated the items I didn’t wear this year. I also like to spend some time looking for new recipes to add to my dinner rotation since I enjoy cooking more during the cold winter months.

  12. In the self care list, I’m trying to make a goal to get more sleep! I’m a night owl and have a hard time going to bed early. But the older I get, the more I feel it the next day. Going to try to be more intentional about it this year!

  13. LOVE this inspiring post! Read it a day late but it’s absolutely wonderful! It resonates with me and has given me the boost I needed!
    Thank you, as always 😎

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