35 Things to Do in January to Start the Year off Right

It’s time to get started with your January bucket list

I’m so excited to tell you all about the best things to do in January.

Can you believe it’s already January? The holiday buzz has faded, the decorations are coming down, and we’re left with a brand-new year full of possibilities.

I always think of January as a fresh start, a chance to shake things up and try something new.

Whether it’s focusing on self-care, starting a new hobby, or setting some personal goals, there are so many things we can do to make this month amazing.

Let’s dive into some fun and inspiring ideas to kick off the year on the right foot! Without further ado, let’s move on to 35 things to do this January for success.

a pin that says in a large font things to do in january

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1. Set clear, achievable goals for the year

Setting goals can be super exciting, especially when you break them down into bite-sized, manageable chunks.

I love sitting down with a cup of tea and really thinking about what I want to achieve. Maybe it’s reading more books, learning a new skill, or finally tackling that home project.

Write them down and keep them somewhere visible. You’ll feel amazing checking them off as the year progresses!

2. Create a budget and financial plan

January is a great time to get your finances in order. I find it really helpful to look at last year’s spending and see where I can cut back.

Setting a budget for the new year can help you save for something special, like a trip or a new gadget.

Besides, having a financial plan can reduce stress and help you feel more secure about the future.

3. Organize and declutter your living space

A tidy space can make such a difference in your mood and productivity. I like to tackle one room at a time, starting with my closet.

It’s amazing how much better I feel when I’ve cleared out the clutter. Also, donating items you no longer need can be really fulfilling.

Once everything’s organized, maintaining a clean space feels a lot more manageable.

4. Establish a regular exercise routine

Finding an exercise routine you enjoy can be a game-changer. Whether it’s yoga, running, or a fun dance class, moving your body regularly boosts your mood and energy levels.

I love to mix things up to keep it interesting. The key is consistency, so even if it’s just a 20-minute walk each day, make it a habit.

5. Plan healthy meals and snacks

Eating well can really impact how you feel day-to-day. I enjoy planning my meals and snacks for the week every Sunday. It not only saves me time but also helps me make healthier choices.

Experiment with new recipes, and don’t forget to include plenty of fruits and veggies. Preparing in advance means less stress during the week and more time to relax.

pre-prepped meals

6. Start a daily journaling habit

Journaling can be a wonderful way to reflect and clear your mind. I like to spend a few minutes each morning jotting down my thoughts, dreams, and anything I’m grateful for.

It’s such a calming way to start the day. Besides, looking back on your entries can be really insightful and motivating.

7. Read a new book

Getting lost in a good book is one of my favorite things to do in January. Yes, January is perfect for curling up with something new, whether it’s fiction, self-help, or even a biography.

Pick a book that excites you and set aside a little time each day to read. It’s a simple way to unwind and expand your mind.

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8. Review and update your resume

Even if you’re not job hunting, it’s smart to keep your resume up-to-date. Take some time to add any new skills, experiences, or accomplishments.

It’s also a good idea to update your LinkedIn profile. Being prepared means you’re ready for any unexpected opportunities that come your way.

9. Reach out to friends and family to reconnect

January can feel a bit quiet after the holidays, making it a great time to reconnect with loved ones.

Send a quick message or set up a video call with friends and family you haven’t spoken to in a while. It’s amazing how much a simple chat can lift your spirits and strengthen your relationships.

10. Plan a getaway or vacation

Even if it’s just a weekend trip, having something to look forward to can be incredibly motivating. Start planning a getaway to a place you’ve always wanted to visit.

Researching and organizing the trip can be a fun activity in itself. Also, a change of scenery can do wonders for your mental health.

a person on a vacation

11. Start a new hobby or learn a new skill

Trying something new is always exciting. Whether it’s painting, gardening, or learning a new language, starting a new hobby can be incredibly fulfilling.

I’ve recently picked up baking, and it’s been so much fun experimenting with different recipes. It’s all about finding something that sparks joy and keeps you engaged.

12. Set up a morning routine

A good morning routine can set a positive tone for the rest of the day. I like to start my mornings with some light stretching, a healthy breakfast, and a few minutes of journaling.

Find what works best for you and stick to it. Having a consistent routine helps create structure and reduce stress.

13. Prioritize mental health with meditation or mindfulness

Taking time for your mental health is so important. I’ve found that even just a few minutes of meditation or mindfulness each day can make a big difference.

It helps me stay centered and calm, especially during busy or stressful times. There are plenty of apps and online resources to guide you if you’re new to it.

14. Volunteer or give back to the community

Giving back can be incredibly rewarding. Look for local volunteer opportunities or ways you can support causes you care about.

Whether it’s donating your time, skills, or resources, helping others not only benefits them but also brings a sense of fulfillment and purpose to your own life.

You might also like: Try at least one of these 2-minute habits this January

15. Create a vision board

A vision board is a fun and creative way to visualize your goals and dreams. Gather some magazines, print out inspiring images, and arrange them on a board.

I love putting mine somewhere I can see it daily. It serves as a constant reminder of what I’m working towards and keeps me motivated.

wooden blocks saying "dream"

16. Schedule annual health check-ups

Keeping on top of your health is crucial. January is a good time to schedule any overdue doctor or dentist appointments.

Preventive care is so important and can help catch any potential issues early. Once it’s done, you can check it off your list and not worry about it for another year.

17. Invest in self-care activities

Taking time for self-care is essential for your well-being. Whether it’s a relaxing bath, a good book, or a hobby you love, make sure to carve out time just for you.

I like to set aside one evening a week as my “self-care night,” where I do something that makes me feel pampered and relaxed.

18. Set up a cleaning schedule

Keeping your home clean doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Creating a cleaning schedule can help break down tasks into manageable chunks.

I like to assign specific chores to different days of the week. This way, everything gets done regularly, and it never feels like too much work at once.

19. Plan monthly goals and review them regularly

Setting monthly goals can help keep you on track throughout the year. At the start of each month, I like to write down a few specific goals and make a plan for how to achieve them.

Reviewing them regularly helps me stay focused and adjust as needed. It’s a great way to make consistent progress.

20. Drink more water

Staying hydrated is so important for your overall health. That’s why I added it to this list of things to do in January. I try to keep a water bottle with me at all times as a reminder to drink more.

If plain water feels boring, add some lemon or cucumber slices for a refreshing twist. Aim for at least eight glasses a day, and you’ll notice the benefits in no time.

a jug of water

21. Reduce screen time

It’s easy to get sucked into hours of screen time, but taking breaks is really important. I’ve started setting limits on my phone and computer usage, especially before bed.

Instead, I try to spend more time reading, journaling, or doing something creative. It’s amazing how much more relaxed I feel with less screen time.

You might also like: How to actually reduce your screen time with ease

22. Create a savings plan

Saving money can seem daunting, but having a plan makes it much easier. I like to set specific savings goals and automate transfers to my savings account each month.

Even small amounts add up over time. It’s all about creating a habit and sticking to it.

23. Explore new career opportunities

Even if you’re happy with your current job, it never hurts to explore new opportunities.

Update your resume, network with professionals in your field, and keep an eye out for interesting job postings. You never know what exciting opportunity might come your way.

24. Try meal prepping for the week

Meal prepping can save so much time and stress during busy weeks. I like to spend Sunday afternoons preparing meals and snacks for the upcoming week.

It’s a great way to ensure I’m eating healthy and sticking to my budget. Having meals ready to go makes weekdays so much easier.

25. Organize digital files and photos

Digital clutter can be just as overwhelming as physical clutter. Take some time to organize your files and photos, deleting anything you no longer need.

Back up important documents and create folders to keep everything tidy. It’s a small task that can make a big difference.

a computer

26. Establish a bedtime routine

A consistent bedtime routine can improve your sleep quality and overall well-being. I like to wind down with a cup of herbal tea and a good book.

Avoiding screens before bed helps me relax and fall asleep more easily. Find a routine that works for you and stick to it for better rest.

27. Practice gratitude daily

Practicing gratitude can have a huge impact on your outlook and happiness. I like to write down three things I’m grateful for each day.

It’s a simple habit that helps me focus on the positive aspects of my life. Over time, it’s really helped me cultivate a more positive mindset.

28. view and update personal and professional contacts

Keeping your contacts up-to-date is always a good idea. Go through your phone, email, and social media accounts to update information and remove old contacts.

It’s also a great opportunity to reconnect with people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Networking is key, both personally and professionally.

You might also like: The best practices for reflecting on the past year

29. Set up an emergency fund

An emergency fund provides peace of mind and financial security. That’s why it’s one of those things we’re working on in January. Aim to save enough to cover three to six months of expenses.

Start small and gradually build it up over time. Having this safety net can help you feel more confident and prepared for unexpected situations.

30. Make a list of books or podcasts to explore

There’s always something new to learn and discover. I love making lists of books and podcasts that interest me.

It’s great to have a go-to list when you’re looking for something inspiring or entertaining. It’s a fun way to keep expanding your knowledge and interests.

a bunch of books

31. Cook a new recipe each week

Trying new recipes keeps things exciting in the kitchen. I challenge myself to cook something different each week, whether it’s a new cuisine or a healthier version of a favorite dish.

It’s a fun way to improve my cooking skills and discover delicious meals.

32. Plan regular family or friend gatherings

Spending time with loved ones is so important. I like to plan regular get-togethers, whether it’s a monthly family dinner or a weekly coffee date with a friend.

It’s a wonderful way to stay connected and create lasting memories.

33. Start a new fitness challenge

A fitness challenge can be a great way to stay motivated and reach your health goals. Find a challenge that excites you, like a 30-day yoga challenge or a new workout program.

Having a set plan keeps things interesting and pushes you to stay consistent.

34. Declutter your wardrobe

Going through your wardrobe can be surprisingly therapeutic. I like to sort through my clothes at the start of each year, donating items I no longer wear.

It’s a great way to refresh your style and make room for new pieces that you truly love.

35. Review and renew subscriptions and memberships

Take a look at your current subscriptions and memberships to see which ones you’re actually using. Cancel anything that no longer serves you, and consider trying something new.

It’s a simple way to save money and ensure you’re getting value from your memberships.

a pin that says in a large font things to do in january
a pin that says in a large font things to do in january

What are your must-do things to do in January?

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