Keep your New Year's resolution with a little help from these products
New year, new you
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
New Year’s resolutions. They can be trite and even eye-rolling—but somehow, some way, the resetting of the calendar makes it hard to resist trying something new in the name of self-betterment or self-care. No matter what, the goals you set for yourself should never be_ punitive_—your aim should be intentional, attainable and worthy of celebration. The items on this list are both inspirational and irresistible—you’ll look forward to using them on your path to a new you in the new year.
1. Our favorite pillow for a better night’s sleep
If your 2022 goal is to improve your sleep, here's a little secret you may not know about: Keeping your neck and spine comfortable overnight is essential to feeling rested every day. Of course, if you're tossing and turning to get comfortable, finding the best pillow to achieve great alignment may seem next to impossible. That’s where the Coop Home Goods pillows come in.
Coop Home Goods sells two models, the Original (for side sleepers) and Eden (for back and stomach sleepers). Both have a feature that makes them great for virtually everyone, and that’s the ability to adjust the amount of fill. When you first get the pillows, they lean on the denser side. The company includes an additional bag of stuffing, so if they’re not firm enough, you can add even more. Conversely, if you find they’re too lofty, you can remove some filling until you reach your ideal firmness and fill level. They might take a bit of tinkering, but our tester swears the result is worth the trouble.
2. The best fitness trackers for setting reasonable movement goals
Motivation comes more easily when you have a way to keep track of your progress and take pride in your improvements. A great way to track your workouts, steps, stress levels and even sleep quality is with the best fitness tracker we've tested, the Fitbit Charge 5. In addition to the expected step counting and reminders to move, the Charge 5 makes it easy to record workouts right from your wrist and gives you detailed insights into your sleep patterns and stress levels, making it a great option to keep track of any wellness goal.
To get a general gauge on your activity levels and heart rate for a lower price, check out the Fitbit Inspire 2. This tracker includes the standard features you get with the Charge 5, like automatic activity and sleep tracking, timed workout modes and basic heart rate data, and we were impressed with the battery life during testing, which lasted up to two weeks between charges.
If you aren’t sure how to use a fitness tracker to set or meet goals, start with where you are. Wear the tracker for a week without changing any habits and see what your baseline is. Once you have your starting point, aim to increase your steps or activity level by 10% each week.
3. A special water bottle to encourage hydration
Plain and simple: Almost everyone needs to drink more water. Though it's essential to the body, sipping on H2O throughout the day is a task many forget. To help make it memorable—and even fun—grab yourself a 1-gallon Fidus Motivational Water Bottle. The side of the bottle, which comes in several colors including two-tone ones, is labeled every hour from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. with motivational phrases such as “remember your goal” and “keep chugging” to keep you on track. The bottle also has a cap with a straw for easy sipping.
If having icy-cold water always on hand is more of a motivator for you, we recommend the stainless steel Brita filtering one, which we crowned the best water bottle after testing a bunch. During our review, we found that the 20- or 32-ounce bottle could keep water cold for up to 24 hours. It also filters out impurities to make water taste better. (Of course, you’ll need to remember to refill this one, unlike the Fidus.)
- Get the Fidus Motivational Water Bottle at Amazon starting at $20.99
- Get the Brita Stainless Steel Filtering at Amazon for $24.94
4. Workout apps that make fitness feel fresh
Staying motivated is easy when you love the workout you’re doing, and downloading a fitness app that gives you access to a variety of options you love can be just the ticket.
For an app that makes you look forward to working out, check out Nike Training Club. This free offering topped our test of the best workout apps and offers access to various exercise options such as strength training, yoga and HIIT. The workout classes our tester tried were fun and challenging, with motivational instructors. If you find it hard to stick with taking virtual workout classes at random, NTC customizes your experience with a short quiz about what types of workouts you enjoy and recommends classes and multi-week programs to help you stay consistent with your goals.
If a yoga flow is your preferred way to move, Alo Moves is our choice as the best yoga app we tested for its personalized recommendations, variety of fun class options and instructors who help you improve your yoga form. With Alo Moves, you’ll get access to yoga, pilates, barre workouts and more, including meditation and breathwork sessions.
5. A new skincare system for a healthier complexion
Creating a new morning and evening skincare routine isn't just a good goal for your complexion—it can help you jumpstart your day or wind you down at night, respectively. But with tons of products available making tantalizing claims, it can be difficult to know where to start. The Skincare Edit from Glossier may be the answer. The set includes minis of bestsellers from the beloved brand: the Milky Jelly Cleanser, Super Bounce hydrating serum, Priming Moisturizer Rich, Balm Dotcom lip balm in its original and rose scents and Futuredew oil-serum hybrid, plus a stretchy headband to hold back your hair from your face.
Use the cleanser, moisturizer and lip balm to freshen and moisturize your skin and lips, then follow up with the hydrating serum when your skin is feeling parched or the oil-serum hybrid when you want a glowy complexion. The miniatures in the set are everything you need to get started on a skincare routine and get an introduction to Glossier.
6. A yoga mat that offers great support
Whether you're intending to spend more time practicing a yoga sequence or aim to up your ab workouts, you’ll need a yoga mat to pad your body from the floor. The best yoga mat out there is Lululemon’s The Reversible Mat 5mm. It's cushioned and comfortable to use for various exercises, but not so squishy that you feel unstable. Our testers felt supported while using this mat and its non-skid surface made for a secure grip, even during sweaty-hot yoga classes.
For a less expensive option, we recommend the Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat 6mm. The mat’s bumpy, waffled texture gives great grip, even when sweating during a workout. This mat is one of the lightest we tested, weighing just under 3 pounds, and is easy to roll up, making it highly portable.
- Get the Lululemon The Reversible Mat 5mm starting at $79
- Get the Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat at Amazon for $27.55
7. A sunrise alarm clock that makes earlier mornings easier
Waking up in the wee hours is seldom the highlight of anyone's day, but getting yourself on a better sleep schedule is a worthy goal—and having the right alarm clock can make it a little easier. We love sunrise alarms, in particular, as they use a combination of light and sound to rouse you from your slumber and ease you into the morning. Sunrise alarms speak to our natural circadian rhythms—or the 24-hour cycle humans' bodies follow that’s largely dictated by light and darkness. Morning light exposure can boost alertness and has even been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression.
Our best-tested sunrise alarm is the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light. It has a realistic sunrise that slowly shifts from a deep red into a bright warm white. The device also has a small selection of nature-inspired sounds to punctuate the sunrise or help you doze off. The only downside? It’s pricey. If you want to achieve similar results without spending as much, check out our best value pick, the Jall Sunrise Alarm. Our tester lauded it for its sunrise simulations, which effectively woke her before the alarm started to chime.
- Get the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light at Amazon for $99.99
- Get the Jall Sunrise Alarm at Amazon for $32.88
8. Walking shoes that feel as great as they look
Getting in more steps is all well and good, but could be way less appealing in shoes that pinch or cause blisters. A good walking shoe should be breathable, supportive and shock-absorbing. But who says they also can’t be fashionable? Reebok’s Club C Vintage 85 carries all aforementioned traits, but with the bonus of an attractive nostalgia-tinged style that'll make you smile as you put them on.
These tennis shoes have an off-white, buttery-soft leather upper that’s pliable, with an inside lining of fluffy terry cloth and plush insoles that offer both arch support and shock absorption. Tying the throwback style together is a yellow-tinted outsole, which lends the shoes a worn-in look that ages like wine after putting some mileage in them. Trust us—these look good out of the box, but even better scuffed up. Grab a pair in unisex and men’s sizes 3.5 to 15 or in slightly narrower women’s sizes 4 to 13.
- Get the Reebok Club C 85 Vintage in men’s and unisex sizes at Reebok for $80
- Get the Reebok Club C 85 Vintage in women’s sizes at Reebok for $75
9. A meditation app that holds your hand while you start a new habit
Mindfulness and meditation have benefits ranging from improved heart health to potentially decreasing a cognitive decline caused by aging or Alzheimer's. But that doesn’t mean it's a habit that’s easy to immediately pick up—and that’s where modern technology can help.
We tested the most popular meditation apps to see which are worth the hype and have the best features. Headspace came out on top for its broad selection of meditation sessions and beginner-friendly content. Every session our tester tried left her feeling refreshed and more peaceful than before. If you’re looking for an easy way to give your mental health a boost, consider using Headspace.
10. Workout clothes you’ll look forward to wearing
It shouldn’t be too shocking that finding comfortable workout digs that also align with your style can provide a boost in self-motivation. This past year, we found two bottoms that we loved in men’s and women’s styles that fill the bill of being practical and stylish workout garbs.
We tested Lululemon's Fast and Free 3-inch Lined Shorts for men and found their breeziness, fit and sweat-wicking fabrics impressive. These running shorts are great for active lifestyles, but also look natural as a casual pair of short shorts. You can opt for the 3-inch-long Fast and Free Shorts to show a little more leg, but we recommend the 6-inch version for a more versatile piece. It comes in men’s sizes S to XXL.
The best women's workout leggings we’ve tested don’t bunch up or feel too taut while in motion—and come in more than 15 colors to suit your style. The Colorfulkoala high-waisted leggings are made of nylon and spandex, which helps wick away moisture and adds some elasticity for your stretch session. Grab a pair in women’s sizes XS to XL, in 25- or 28-inch inseams.
- Get the Fast and Free Lined Short 6-inch in men’s sizes at Lululemon for $88
- Get the Colorfulkoala Women's Full-Length Leggings at Amazon for $22.99
11. Slick sunnies that stay put on outdoor adventures
The sun can be intense on your eyes, but that's no reason to skip your run, walk or ride. The GoodR OG sunglasses are as functional as they are stylish—and they’re relatively inexpensive, too. They promise no slip or bounce, which means you can run in them without worrying about them falling off of your face. The polarized lenses help block harmful UVA and UVB rays from your eyes and the lightweight frame won't detract from your comfort. Grab a pair (or two) for your outdoor activities.
12. A gym bag that keeps everything tidy
If your New Year’s resolution is to exercise more, that might mean hitting the gym, yoga studio or spin class again—following protective protocols against COVID-19, of course.
Whether you need to carry your spin shoes, a yoga mat, resistance bands or a barbell pad, the Nike One Club duffel bag is a great option. This duffel has a vented compartment to keep your shoes and sweaty clothes separate and plenty of pockets to stash smaller toiletry items in. It also has a bungee cord on the front of the bag that can be used to carry a yoga mat or foam roller.
13. Hiking boots that feel like sneakers
A bad hiking boot constricts the feet, causing soreness, a buildup of moisture that leads to stinky feet and an unnecessarily painful hike. If you’re a hiker or thinking of becoming one in 2022, treat yourself to one of the most beautiful boots we’ve tested: Season Three’s Ultralight Hiking Boot. These leather boots are supremely soft, made with merino wool, which helps regulate temperature and wick away moisture. The boots' gusseted tongue protects feet from wind and water, and the smartly designed ankle collar allows you to slide your foot in without having to unlace them at all. These boots are available in seven gorgeous colors, like burnt orange and forest green, and come in men’s sizes 8 to 13 and women’s sizes 6 to 9.
For a comfy workhorse that costs lets, consider Merrell’s Moab—that’s Mother of All Boots. We tested the Moab Speed and found its roomy fit and airy upper impressive and comfortable. The Moab 2 is a heftier version of this boot with a waterproofed upper, making it more functional for hikes involving moisture and water. It comes in men’s sizes 7 to 15 and women’s sizes 5 to 12, in medium and wide widths.
- Get the Season Three Ultralight Hiking Boot in men’s and women’s sizes for $399
- Get the Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof in men’s sizes for $125
- Get the Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof in women’s sizes for $125
14. Wireless headphones that won’t get in the way as you move
When your aim is to move more, having your favorite music or podcast piped into your ears can be just the inspiration you need to get out the door. The best workout headphones we've tested are the Jabra Elite Active 75t, for their in-ear staying power with great sound and no pesky wires to get in the way. If you're not sold on the benefits of true wireless earbuds, you can ease in without breaking the bank with the JLab Go Air Pop—they aren't the best out there, but at $20 for decent sound when you're hitting the gym or pounding the pavement, they're low-commitment (read: You won't care if you lose them).
15. Massage tools for a recovery reward after a tough workout
Remember how we started this article explaining that your New Year's resolution shouldn't be painful? Why not make one that's all about alleviating muscle soreness, in the form of adding more self-massage to your life. Treating yourself to one of the best massage guns is an excellent first step. For an option with all the bells and whistles, go for a Theragun, which features an ergonomic handle to reach spots on your back and an app for a programmable experience. If the price tag of about $300 made you grimace, you'll be happier with our best value pick, the Vybe Pro—it's not quite as maneuverable or strong, but it rings up at half the price.
- Get the Theragun Elite for $299
- Get the Vybe Pro Massage Gun at Amazon for $149.99 with on-page coupon
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.