Overwhelmed by big resolutions? Here are 30 simple changes to make in the new year.

Woman in yellow jacket and white pants balancing on yellow wall with blue background
These 30 “life hacks” will help you get your new year on the right track. (Getty Images)

By now, you’ve probably got a list of things you want to do better in 2024 — and we wish you luck in accomplishing them. But if you’re overwhelmed by ambitious resolutions to, say, learn to play the piano, run your first marathon or finish a new novel every week, there’s no shame in taking a step back and focusing less on lofty goals and more on easy wins — life hacks, if you will — that will almost certainly make your everyday existence brighter, more efficient and maybe even a teensy bit healthier. Here’s 30 to get you started.

Stand up every hour, even if it’s just to stretch or pee.

Put on a podcast to listen to while you walk or work out. Chances are, it will help you stick with it longer.

Say goodbye to the pullout couch. If you can afford to, book yourself a hotel room the next time you’re visiting friends or family even if they offer up their guest room. Sometimes staying with others is stressful!

Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Famished shoppers are known to buy more (and higher-calorie) food than they need, so try to sneak in a quick snack before heading to the store or putting in your online order.

Mute (or leave) any group chat you’re not actively participating in.

Put a fruit bowl on your desk (or kitchen island, or wherever you’re most likely to graze). Studies show you’re more likely to snack on healthier foods like fruit when they’re easy to grab. Keep a bowl of almonds handy, or stock up on bananas, apples and clementines so you literally have a nutritious treat right under your nose when you need it (and are therefore less likely to pay some food delivery app $20 to fetch you Doritos).

Keep a couple of reusable shopping bags and a pack of tissues in your car. You just never know when you’ll need to shop, lug stuff around, clean up or touch something gross.

Play Wordle or do a crossword puzzle daily — it can boost your brain health.

Fire up a fun, high-energy anthem when you need to tackle a loathsome cleaning task. Might we suggest “Flash’s Theme” by Queen?

Start applying sunscreen to your hands if you aren’t already. (We are wearing sunscreen daily, right?)

Have a set of TSA-friendly travel toiletries on standby so you can throw them in a bag before your next trip and spare yourself a last-minute Target run (or sheepish call to the front desk).

Stop feeling guilty about turning down an invitation. The host won’t be as offended as you might think.

Find a water routine you can stick with, whether that means guzzling flavored sparkling water, splurging on the latest trendy tumbler or not allowing yourself coffee until you’ve downed a full glass.

Eat the frog”: Try this prioritization strategy, which suggests doing the task you’re dreading the most (calling your accountant, getting your oil changed, whatever) first so you can get it off your plate.

Go to bed with your favorite celebrity. By which we mean, try listening to a sleep story or audiobook narrated by someone whose voice you find soothing, whether that’s an AI-enhanced Jimmy Stewart or Alan Rickman.

Get a library card. And actually use it.

Stop telling yourself that your nightly glass of red wine is good for your health. (Sorry.)

If you have kids, stop introducing yourself as just “River’s mom” or “Charlie’s dad” to other parents. You have a name — and so do they!

Buy four new soft-bristled toothbrushes (or replacement heads) to use this year, swapping them out every three to four months.

Make an appointment (daily, ideally) on your work calendar that’s just for you. Use it to walk around the block, squeeze in a short workout, read a chapter of your book, sit outside ... whatever you want.

Put your phone in do-not-disturb mode when you’re driving (or, honestly, just need a break from notifications).

Do something active for 22 minutes a day. Walk, run or break out the Swiffer. According to a recent study, just 22 minutes of moderate exercise can offset the risk of death associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

If the label says “Dry clean only,” don’t buy it. (Unless you really, really love it enough to run an errand every time you want to wear it.)

If a friend comes to you with a problem, ask if they are looking for advice or just need someone to vent to. If it’s the latter, focus on listening instead of sharing unsolicited opinions.

Replace that dingy old pillow you’ve owned since college. Yes, that yellowing sack of feathers has conformed to the shape of your head, but it’s also a health hazard, experts warn. Time to upgrade.

Find one plant-based meal you love. Studies show that a plant-based diet comes with a lot of health benefits, but if you’re not ready to take the plunge, consider swapping out just one meal a week. The goal is to find at least one dish you want to eat again and again so it’s easier to make it a regular habit.

Carry a book around. Waiting for your doctor’s appointment? Read. On the subway? Read. Your kid fell asleep in the car and if you try to move him he won’t nap again? Find a parking lot and read.

Book a way-in-advance reservation for that restaurant you’re desperate to check out. No openings until May? No problem! It will give you time to squirrel away some money for the meal.

Adjust your thermostat before bed. Health experts say the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 68°F and 72°F.

If you have a hard time keeping resolutions, consider focusing on values instead, recommends clinical psychologist Luana Marques. Pick three values (like fitness, family, gratitude) you want to emphasize, and lean in to goals and activities that support them, like making a standing date for a family hike every weekend, or writing positive online reviews for a business that's given you great service.

Got a "life hack" you'd like to share? Share your tried-and-true advice in the comments below.