It’s no secret that a bad New Year’s resolutions can cramp your style in 2016. We’ve all fallen prey to setting unrealistic expectations or misguided goals under the assumption that we can fix all our flaws starting January 1st. But, if you’ve had the same three resolutions for years running (eat better, exercise more, drink less) than it’s probably time to change things up.
The saying “New year, New you” can only take you so far. Unfortunately, we are not Cinderella, and when the clock strikes midnight, we don’t transform into a different person. After counting down to the new year we remain the way we were a few minutes ago — perhaps just a bit more inebriated.
It's important to realize that you do not need fixing, and it's helpful to take the time to practice acceptance and self love instead. Supposedly only 8 percent of people manage to keep their resolutions! However, that’s not to say that your heart isn't in the right place when you set these goals. If you want to make a big change, pick a date to start that is meaningful to you, not one that seems arbitrary. And when committing to some new challenges, take the time to really think about implementing them.
Happily, I am here to dissuade you from making any bad decisions before 2016 even starts. Yes, make resolutions. Just don’t make any of the following ones. You can thank me later.
1. Lose Weight
Whether you're promising that you'll cut down on calories or that you will spend two hours at the gym erryday swathed skintight neon mesh, losing weight is a difficult goal — but more importantly, often one that is motivated by outside influences and pressures. If you are going to lose weight for personal reasons, make sure you are doing it in a body positive, self-loving way, and not just because it seems like the whole rest of the world decided to go on a weight loss kick for the New Year.
2. Read All The Classics
Meaning to get around to The Brothers Karamazov? Feel like you need to meditate on deeper subjects than whether to like an ex’s Instagram post? Before you pick up that 1,000 page tome, and then immediately fall asleep, ask yourself why you want to read these novels. Reading is wonderful, but to gain something from an experience you should spend your time focusing on what you are interested in, not what society deems as worthwhile or “smart.” Honestly, unless you’re a scholar, nobody cares if you’ve read Proust in the original French (and even then — who cares about a stupid madeleine!). People will be excited that you are spending your precious time doing what you are passionate about. It doesn’t matter whether it’s highbrow or lowbrow, do what you love and success will follow.
3. Give Up Tinder
Sick and tired of Tinder? Feel like you’re going to barf every time some sleezeball messages, “You wanna get the pipe?” Delete your profile like every other week, then sign up again next time you’re bored? If swiping right feels wrong, go ahead and take a break. But don’t blame me if no other dating app can fill that empty space where the options are limitless and worthless at the same time. I guarantee that your next Charming or Toad could be just one swipe away!
4. Save More Money
If you are basically on the "Seamless" diet, and have some semblance of a social life, it's probably hard to sock any money away. Eating out constantly can really add up, so perhaps making a New Year's resolution to learn a new skill like, say, how to cook, would be a better goal. If you start making a few dinners a week (without use of the microwave or toaster!), you'll probably save some money along the way, and will have fun doing it.
5. Watch Less TV
I’m sorry, do you want to be a pop culture recluse? Game of Thrones is coming back, and don’t you want to find out what really happened to hunk of the Night’s Watch Jon Snow?? Surely, the pleasure you get from telling people you cancelled your cable package doesn’t equal that of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Plus, what are you going to do when you eat now? Stare into space?
6. Get Engaged
You have watched your friends pair off and you have seen the positive effects that having a life partner can bring. You never have to take out the trash again! They can walk the dog in the pouring rain! All that jazz! But have you thought about everything you would be giving up? Relationships are about compromises, and you might not be ready to say no to your standing 2 a.m. dance party. Also, making a promise to yourself to finally get serious about about commitment leaves the door open for settling. Promising yourself that you are going to be engaged before the year is putting way too much pressure on something that shouldn't have any pressure on it at all. Pump the brakes, and remember that the only person who determines your happiness is you.
7. Go Back To School
Lets face it, every September an uncontrollable urge takes over your brain and body to get serious, get out of your job and go back to school to make something of yourself. In January, you resolve to turn these idle daydreams into a plan that that will have you reliving your own personal Legally Blonde. But before you place yourself on the rocky road to higher education, think carefully about your choice. Do you really want to spend your Tuesday nights stuck in a tiny classroom preparing for the GMAT/LSAT or another alphabet soup test required to apply? Do you want to go begging, bowl in hand, to professors you haven’t spoken to for the past five years for a recommendation? Finally, does $150,000 in debt and the next 20 years eating ramen by the fireside sound exciting? If you an stare boldly in the face of all of those things and say yes, I still want this, then power to you. But if not ... don't say you weren't warned.
8. Try Risky New Things
Kissing your best friend is never a good idea, and spelunking in Alaska is questionable. You don't need to test your human will to survive, push your body to the limit, or sign up for a freakin' Tough Mudder to prove you're adventurous (we have Photoshop for that now). Doing karaoke by yourself or eating sea urchin for the first time is just as valid — and hell, so is being comfortable with exactly who you are right now. So more props to you!
9. Adopt A “Few” Cats
Stop at one. Trust me.