Going home for the holidays is oftentimes the best, but I do turn into a Christmas slug that exists exclusively on a diet of cookies and wine and mom-cooked meals when it happens. By the time the end of December rolls around, I'm so fully on the back-at-home glutton train that the idea of a cleansed, Spartan New Year seems impossible. But it's not! I know it's not! You know it's not! You can get ready for the New Year no matter where you are — and it will even be fun. I promise.
There are, honestly, so many little things you can do to prepare for the New Year, but a lot of them tend to just work better when you're in your "space," be it a dorm room, an apartment, or a house. Hangin' with my moms is great, but it tends to put me back in the mindset of being 16 and dependent on my parents. I'm a grown woman who can maybe sometimes cook for herself and, like, open a savings account.
So how can you fight that urge to regress? You can utilize your time at your parents (or on a family vacation, or house-sitting, or whatever it is you're doing that's keeping you from being at home) by viewing it as prep time. You know like how on all those cooking shows, the chefs are always talking about "prep time" when they cut up a bunch of stuff and make plans and get everything ready to make an awesome dish? It's like that, but for your life. 2015 was a really crazy, weird year, and for some people that was good and for some people that was really bad — but either way, 2016 is a clean slate. Let's get this year.
1. Make Your Meal Plan for January
Got a healthy eating goal or two to accomplish this year? Sit yourself down and decide how you'll be incorporating, like, vitamins and stuff into each meal. Need some suggestions? Here are 25 easy recipes that will teach you how to cook and give you some form of nutritional benefit.
2. Create a Master Grocery List
Once you know what you'll be eating each day, make a master grocery list so you can kill the grocery shopping game as soon as you get back into your own space. Divide the list the same way stores are generally organized — dairy, meat, produce. It will make the process at least a little less stressful. (I know. I'm terrible at buying food for myself, too.)
3. Go Shopping in Your Old Closet
OK, sure, high school was probably not the best sartorial phase for 99 percent of us. However, you might be surprised at what 18-year-old you hoarded away. Take a li'l look-see for some good finds and donate the rest.
4. Clear Out Your (Digital) Clutter
Put some of that endless couch time to good use and actually clear out your email inbox and computer files. Like, all of them. Even your trash. Even your spam. Even your Google docs. Organize the remaining emails and documents into clearly labeled folders. I promise it will feel really, really good.
5. Open a Savings Account
It depends on what bank you go through, but a lot of them will allow you to open an account over the phone. Make this year the year of savings. Make it a goal to put away at least 10 percent of each paycheck in 2016. Oh my GOSH you're gonna have so much MONEY!