"New year, new you" isn't a mantra we all live by. For those of us who probably aren't planning on committing to major life change just because it's 2016, here are 15 New Year's resolutions for lazy girls that are actually possible to see through.
The fact is, most New Year's resolutions fail anyway. A lazy approach is a wise approach, so you're already ahead of the pack. Why waste your time setting yourself up for failure when you can put minimal effort into succeeding? Cut out the busywork, excuses, and unnecessary guilt by going after goals you can actually achieve. This list won't land you a new job, lead you to the love of your life, or finish your taxes for you — but neither will New Year's resolutions you abandon three months in. Instead, this list — which is just as easy to follow in February as it will be in fall — promises to make you a happier and possibly more productive you. If you digress along the way, no hard feelings. This list doesn't ask that you beat yourself up over sleeping in or not going on as many Tinder dates as you said you would. You're simply on the road to celebrating the best about yourself, because that's about as good as being the "best you."
1. Pencil everything into your calendar
Schedule every part of your day, and congratulate yourself when you achieve what you've penciled in. Is your Google Cal reserved for meetings and gym classes? Give space to your fun time too. When you take a look at what's on deck for the week, it won't just be daunting tasks and deadlines. You'll see a future full of Seamless lunches, happy hours, and SVU marathons. The easiest way to instantly feel more productive is taking down tasks like it's your job. Feel just as good about treating yourself as you do about paying your bills.
2. Do one thing every day (that doesn't necessarily scare you)
Go on and do something new. It doesn't have to be life-changing. It doesn't have to be scary. It just needs to be something a little different to get you out of your routine, and keep you from falling into a rut. You can't expect to pick up new interests or discover new things you might enjoy if you don't try them out first. Think of this less as a task and more as an additional outlet for relaxation. Maybe it's as simple as switching up your go-to playlist. Maybe it's ordering something other than your usual at your local coffee shop in the morning. However you deem "living a little," go ahead and do it, just once, every day.
3. Only hit snooze twice
"Own the morning" might sound fantastic, but come 6 a.m. it's not always doable. If you're not the morning type, make a little effort to rise closer to your alarm time. No need to set it earlier, but try to see how many fewer snoozes you can hit before getting out of bed. An extra 10 or 20 minutes might be just what you need to at least feel like you're "owning the morning" when you have time to stop for coffee, or don't have to be the one running through the subway station and getting to work sweaty because you're late.
4. Put on pants
On your days off — even if the only thing up on the agenda is lounging (and peripheral activities like eating, checking your phone, and watching TV) — start your day by putting on pants. No matter what you do after that, you'll feel, and may even be, more productive. Added bonus: when your Chinese takeout rings, you won't have to scramble to make yourself presentable before opening the door to take your General Tso.
5. Go outside
Try to spend more time outdoors. This doesn't mean you have to engage in physical exertion, or even have much of a plan at all. Maybe it means taking an after-dinner stroll to help digestion. Maybe it's just being a little more leisurely on errands. The end goal is getting out of the home, and spending more time outside with fresh air and varied scenery, so however you do it works.
6. Carry a book wherever you go
Sure, reading X number of books this year (or reading books at all) will be on the list of many an individual's New Year's resolutions. Waive extra work, and simply commit to carrying a book wherever you go. You'll instantly up your perceived sophistication, and when you do get stuck with time on your hands (or need to dissuade someone from bothering you in a public place) you can actually read it.
7. Text your parents
If you're not the kind of girl who has a weekly call scheduled with your parents, and you know already that that just won't work, compromise and text them regularly. It could be as simple as a "thinking of you," inquiring about how they're doing, or sharing something nice that happened to you that day. Your parents will feel more involved with your life and the simple, unexpected gesture will brighten up their day.
8. Unsubscribe from junk mail
Nothing's worse than missing important emails in your inbox, or (possibly worse) having someone make a jibe about the alarming number you have on the mail icon on your phone. Finally tackle your overloaded inbox without having to make a project of it. When you commit to an exhaustive purge, you're getting rid of what's there but aren't setting yourself up for future success. Have another busy week when you're less diligent about staying on top of your email and you'll be right back to where you started. The plan for success? For the first few weeks of the new year, unsubscribe from unwanted mail as emails pop up. When you take care of them as they come in, you'll have less and less junk mail to delete in the future. Before long, you'll have a cleaner, streamlined inbox that will actually maintain itself.
9. Finish that show you started
Want to commit to a resolution you'll be eager to see through? 2016 is your year to finally check everything off your streaming queue. Pull up your calendar (the same one where you include dentist appointments and doing a face mask), and schedule time throughout the upcoming year that's purely devoted to getting through your saved movies and shows.
10. Pick up an old hobby, then put it back
While everyone else is naively pledging to becoming an extreme base jumper or master chef this year, put them all to shame by successfully picking up a hobby. The trick? Pick up something you used to do that you've since given up, like painting, writing, or whatever else the younger, less-busy, less-burdened you enjoyed. You won't be wasting any effort finding out if you actually like it, and for a while it might even be a little therapeutic to reengage with something you once loved. Remind yourself that you can still make time for yourself, even in the busy existence of the real world. Then when real world demands come back at you full speed, you can put your hobby back on the shelf, knowing you can always pick it up again.
11. Try cheeses from every country
Are your friends making resolutions to learn another language or save up for the ultimate European vacation? Wish them luck, then indulge in some instant gratification by immersing yourself in other cultures with a cheese plate featuring selections from around the world. When your friend is still struggling to correctly pronounce "mangiare," have her mangiare a generous slice of mozzarella. If your other friend ends up postponing her tour of Europe, introduce her to a much less costly tasting tour of Gouda, Brie, and Emmental.
12. Cook, sometimes
If cooking isn't your thing, give it another chance with baby steps. Before you invest in pricey cookbooks and cookware, invest a bit more time in cooking up some of your own meals a few times a week. Find straightforward recipes online, or test out a food subscription membership. You'll save tons of money opting to not order in, and you may find you actually enjoy cooking. At least now and then.
13. Pair your dinners with an adult drink
Nothing classes up your Top Ramen like washing it down with a dirty martini. If cooking isn't your forte but you still want to feel like an adult at the dinner table, try your hand at mixology. It's a guaranteed good time, even when you're just practicing. If it doesn't work out, there's always wine.
14. Make it to your bed before falling asleep
Make 2016 the year you don't wake up on the couch. You're literally steps from your bed, and as comatose as you might feel at three in the morning after watching 10 back-to-back episodes of Friends, dig deep down inside to find the adult in you and make it back into your bed before morning. Your back and neck will thank you. If you have roommates, they'll thank you too.
15. Accept your laziness
If you're going to commit to anything, commit to embracing yourself. You're clearly not a complete screw up if you're reading this article (you own a computer or phone, you can read). Your laziness might not be your best feature, but it is a part of who you are. Don't fight it. Don't be ashamed. You've gotten this far in life, so you know it's not stopping you from success. If months from now you still find your inbox cluttered with retail promotions or wake up in the morning, pantless, on your couch, feel good about doing you and celebrate your quirks as well as the successes you've achieved regardless of them.
Looking for more holiday cheer? Check out Bustle on YouTube.
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