newyearsres-copyI see two problems with most New Year’s Resolutions.

One, they’re too vague.

And two, they’re too bleeping hard.

Just look at the 10 most common resolutions we incurable American dreamers burdened ourselves with last year:

Stay fit and healthy 37%
Lose weight 32%
Enjoy life to the fullest 28%
Spend less, save more 25%
Spend more time with family and friends 19%
Get organized 18%
Will not make any resolutions 16% (!)
Learn something new 14%
Travel more 14%
Read more 12%

These all sound great, of course…in the same way a kid saying he wants to be an astronaut sounds great.

But let’s be honest: if your resolutions are this abstract, you’re probably not going to do jacksquat.

So…inspired by the premise that a practical little checklist with small ambitions is better than a bunch of big, vague goals, we reworked the top 10 list above so that even the busiest of HR pros can find a way to cross a few off their list. (We double-dog-dare you to take on at least 3!)

#1. Stay fit and healthy…by taking ten good deep breaths on your commute (or in a long meeting) every day

If finding time to work out is impossible, or just not your thing, here’s one thing you definitely have the time for: taking some good, deep, energizing breaths once a day.

Specifically, try doing this ten times in a row: Inhale through your nose for 5 seconds, hold it in your lungs for 20 seconds (it’s longer than you think), then exhale for 10 seconds. It’ll give you a little, caffeine-free pick-me-up, I guarantee it. (Tip courtesy of this video, which I tried, and found to not be B.S.)

#2. Lose weight…by getting a haircut and taking the stairs on Mondays and Fridays

Every little bit counts! P.S. You don’t need a FitBit to climb stairs. Just do it.

#3. Enjoy life to the fullest…by screening these HR-related movies with your team during a long lunch break this spring

Want suggestions? Here you go!

#4. Spend less, save more…by doing one of the following three things:

#5. Spend more time with family and friends…by:

  • Making Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day a real thing, if you have kids
  • Making the last Friday of every month the day you have lunch with the people you don’t see enough in your life
  • Taking advantage of your company’s work from home policy every so often, if they offer that

#6. Get organized by…using this Chrome plug-in tool

A recent Mental Floss article on The History Of The Trapper Keeper said, ‘The way they combined all of one’s desktop tools – were an early incarnation of the smartphone.’

In that vein, friend of ALEX Dawn Burke recommends downloading Momentum, a great simple Chrome plugin that provides a simple to-do list and prevalent links, connects with Gmail and Google, shares the weather and time, but most importantly… populates your browser homepage and prominently shares the NUMBER ONE priority you have to complete today. Pretty cool, right?

#7. Don’t make any New Year’s resolutions

Technically, not doing something is a choice, too. Congratulations on finding this loophole!

#8. Learn something new…by checking out this cool business training site.

Every year, you’re going to sign up for some courses or webinars to fulfill your job certification requirements.

But for learning those job skills that might fall outside the scope of all that, consider perusing (and even signing up for a membership to) You can learn new creative, business, and tech skills online, on your own time. And there are thousands of videos and courses to choose from. (Also, check out some of the resources recommended by ALEX HR clients last year.)

#9. Travel more…by registering for one out-of-town conference you haven’t checked out before

Getting the budget approved to do this might be a hurdle, but why not give it a shot?

#10. Read more…books about being a person, Seinfeld, and other important things

Here are some best-of-2016 books lists to check out:

Esquire’s Best 25 Books of 2016

Elle’s 33 Best Books of 2016

The Best Business Books of 2016 (according to

Anyway…whether you make and keep resolutions this year or not, have a great New Year’s holiday–and see you in 2017!

For helpful ideas on great benefits communication and more…download our most popular eBooks of 2016 right now:

The Ultimate Benefits and Open Enrollment Communications Playbook

6 Tips for Communicating Benefits to Millennials

The Ultimate New Hire Preboarding Timeline