Written by contributor Emily McClements of Live Renewed.

As many of us are probably diving into our goals and resolutions for the new year, we may have realized that it’s not just as easy as writing a goal down on a list and then making it a part of our everyday lives.  Achieving our goals may require changes and planning and routines that we need to begin to implement into our life.

Or, maybe you got a little (or a lot) off your routines over the holidays and are left overwhelmed and trying to get your life back into a more regular routine.

I personally find myself in both of these places right now, and so I’m writing this post just as much for myself.  I need to get back to my routines, and get motivated for reaching my goals this year, so I thought about what habits I needed to restablish to help myself do those things.

If either, or both, of these situations applies to you, I want to encourage you that there are 5 simple and easy habits that you can implement that can help you get back into a routine and work toward accomplishing your goals this new year.

5 Habits to Establish for the New Year

1. Waking Up Early

I am really not a morning person, but I have found that things in my life tend to run much more smoothly when I can get up before the rest of my family and get started on my day, whether that’s taking time to write and work, or to have some quiet time for prayer, exercise and planning for my day.  Whatever your productivity goals may be for the new year, waking up early is sure to help you achieve them.

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2. Meal Planning

I have fallen way off the meal planning bandwagon lately, and I am feeling the effects on my time, our grocery budget, and the healthiness of our food. If your goals for the new year include eating more healthy, losing weight, or saving more money on food, meal planning can help you with all of those things. Even just planning out five dinners for the weeknights is a good place to start and can make a huge difference.

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Photo by Speculum Mundi

3. Making Lists

I am a list kinda girl. I love lists of all kinds. But, for some reason, I haven’t made many lists lately, and my life is feeling the lack of structure and intentionality that lists provide for me. Lists are helpful for everything from to-do lists for the day, to master lists of goals broken down into smaller, more achievable steps, and everything in between.

Getting your thoughts, ideas, and plans out of your head and into a list will help you to see them in a tangible and organized way, which can help you to actually tackle and accomplish them.

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4. Cleaning Routines

Maybe one of your goals for this year is to get organized, declutter, keep a cleaner home, or host guests in your home more often. Establishing cleaning routines provides a structure that will help you to achieve those goals. I have a list of daily chores that I make a priority to complete every day to try to keep my home in enough order that I have time to tackle other home projects on my list of goals.

This year I’m also trying to establish a weekly cleaning routine, doing one bigger chore each day, in order to keep my home more “deep cleaned” on a regular basis.

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5. Daily Planning

Planning out your days, or at least your to-do list for the day, can really help you to accomplish the things that you want to do that day. I find when I don’t plan my days that I am much more likely to waste time and end up being much less productive then when I make a plan for what I want to do and when I’m going to do it.

Daily planning helps you to be thoughtful and intentional about the way you spend your time each day, allowing you to make time for the goals you are trying to achieve. There are lots of great free printable daily planners out there, including the Daily Docket from Tsh at Simple Mom.

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By working to establish, or reestablish, these habits in our lives this year, we can set ourselves up for success in achieving our goals and resolutions for the new year!

Which of these habits would you like to work on this year? What regular habits do you use to help you achieve your goals?