10 New Year's Resolutions You Should Make In 2018, Based On Your Favorite Literary Character

Ad failed to load

It's that time of the year again! Late December is when we all sit down to list our worst qualities, and vow that next year we shall all be more productive, svelte, and generally excellent people. Sure, there's no actual reason to make your resolutions in early January as opposed to any other time of the calendar year. But getting a symbolic clean slate can be helpful when you want an excuse to really think about your current goals. This year, instead of giving yourself unrealistic standards of fitness, cleanliness, and so forth, I encourage you all to look to your bookshelf for your resolution inspiration. Here are a few healthy New Year's resolutions, based on your favorite literary character.

To be clear, I'm not saying that you should be emulating all of these characters in 2018. With a few notable exceptions, most of these characters have... problems. They're flawed. And that's fine, because no one wants to read about perfect people lounging around being fit and wealthy (we have reality TV for that). These resolutions are inspired by things that your favorite literary characters do well and by things that they could be doing better. So shake off the dust of the old year, throw away those unrealistic diet plans, and check out some of these literary resolutions:

Ad failed to load

1Jay Gatsby: Move on

Giphy

Jay. Buddy. Pal. It's time to move the heck on. If you're going into the new year with a broken heart, or a list of petty resentments against all your old money neighbors, don't be a Gatsby about it. Find a way to let it go. Stop creeping on your ex's new girlfriend's Instagram. Don't throw parties just to impress a cutie who is now married to a racist. Taking time to recover from a break-up or a disappointment is fine, but at a certain point, you can't repeat the past, no matter how big your mansion.

2Jane Eyre: Spend some quality time with yourself

Giphy

On the one hand, Jane Eyre is a torrid romance between Jane and a gross imperialist dude who keeps his mentally ill first wife locked in an attic. But on the other hand, Jane Eyre is one of the first novels by a woman to have the resounding message: "If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love anybody else?" Jane only marries Rochester once she's mentally, emotionally, and financially independent and equal to him. So spend some quality time getting to know yourself this year (and avoid guys with attic wives).

3Hamlet: Make a damn decision

Giphy

Do you feel paralyzed by indecision? Are you in your thirties and still can't handle the idea of your mom having a new boyfriend? Don't be Hamlet. Don't wait until the very end of the play to take action. Make your resolution this year to stop dawdling and try something new: get that trendy haircut, start that passion project, apply for that highly paid job, and stop taking all your fear out on Ophelia.

Ad failed to load

4Celie: Find a support network

Giphy

In The Color Purple, young Celie is shoved from one abusive man to another. She lives through horrific violence, and her two children are taken away from her as infants. It's only through the strength and support of the other women in her life that she's able to find solace and fight back against her abuser. Take a cue from Celie, and make some time to support and be supported by your friends in the new year, especially if you find yourself struggling.

5Mr. Darcy: Get more in touch with your feelings

Giphy

Mr. Darcy might be most awkward love interest in all of literature. It takes him a whole dang book to admit that he likes Lizzie, when most of us could have told you that right at the start. In honor of the supremely repressed Mr. Darcy, resolve to open up about your feelings a little more next year. Tell people when you're hurt or when you like them, and don't try to ruin your crush's sister's chance at love.

6Hermione Granger: Keep resisting

Giphy

It's easy to feel burnt out about politics right now. But Hermione Granger wouldn't let you give up. Hermione Granger would tell you to keep calling your representatives. Hermione Granger would drag you to the library to read up on your rights as a private citizen, then knit a couple of hats for house-elves, and then top it all off by punching a Death Eater in the face. Follow Hermione's lead, and don't let yourself become complacent in the face of evil.

Ad failed to load

7Daenerys Tarygaryen: Think before you act

Giphy

Think, Daenerys. Think before you take over a city and inadvertently wreck the global economy, killing thousands. Daenerys has good intentions most of the time: she wants to help people! But... she's not great at thinking her plans through all the way. Good intentions don't actually mean all that much when you've brought plague to the people of Asatpor. Make a resolution that you, unlike Daenerys, will weigh the pros and cons and get all the facts before you spout off any uninformed opinions or take over any foreign city-states.

8Catherine Earnshaw: Work towards being less judgmental

Giphy

Cathy and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights have a car crash of a relationship. They're both a little bit terrible, but they genuinely love each other. Cathy doesn't think that Heathcliff is good enough for her, though, and she chooses to go with the milquetoast, high class suitor instead. Resolve that you will never cast aside the man you love simply because of his class. Also... have you been outside today? Go outside more.

9Anne Shirley: Make up your mind to enjoy things

Giphy

Anne Shirley tells us, “It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” That doesn't mean ignoring the bad things or skipping around in a state of forced gaiety. Anne simply understands that positive thinking can go a long way towards getting through the day, even when your life isn't quite perfect.

Ad failed to load

10Holden Caulfield: Ask for help

A lot of people roll their eyes at Holden and his stupid hat. But Holden is clearly not OK. He's struggling with grief over his brother's death, and he's channeling his sadness into being a pretentious ass. Resolve that if you find yourself in Holden's position, you'll summon the courage to ask for help. There's nothing shameful about asking for help, after all, and you don't even have to read The Catcher in the Rye to do it.

Images: mybookbath/Instagram

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In June To Help Get Your Summer Started

Summer is right around the corner, and so is another batch of streaming options to get excited about. On Wednesday, everything leaving and coming to Netflix in June 2018 was announced by the streaming platform. And don't worry, there's something for …
By Jamie Primeau

The 5 Rom-Coms You Need To Read This Summer, According To Someone Who Writes Them

'Tis the season for rom-coms. The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and everyone is rocking the flirtiest items in their wardrobe. I don't know about you, but summer always takes me back to my teenage years — and that automatically makes me want t…
By Cristina Arreola

11 Tiny Sunglasses That Will Make You Look Even Cooler Than Kylie Jenner

You know what they say — the tinier the sunglasses, the more stylish the outfit. OK, that's not really a saying, but it seems to be the case these days. Basically every celebrity, model, and It person has been spotted sporting tiny sunglasses as part…
By Sara Tan

9 Ways This Royal Wedding Was Way More Modern Than Past Ones

The newly named Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, made history with their storybook courtship and wedding. What's more, there are myriad ways the royal wedding 2018 was more modern than previous royal weddings. From deciding…
By Brandi Neal

10 Little-Known British Traditions Meghan Markle Will Learn When She Marries Prince Harry

As an American woman dating a Brit, I am no stranger to the mishaps that can result from the cultural differences between the U.S. and England. And while I'm sure Meghan Markle has a slew of royal traditions to learn, titles to remember, and fancy ha…
By Kristin Magaldi

I've Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000

It all became real the summer before my senior year of college. It was 2010, and my home phone still had a cord, which I wrapped around my fingers as I waited not-so-patiently for the apathetic representative on the other end to tell me the bad news …
By Kaitlyn Cawley

12 Personality Quizzes That Will Help You Determine Your Exact Strengths

Learning more about yourself can be tough. It's so easy to observe others to learn what makes them tick, what areas they really excel in, and the things they could be better at. Doing that to yourself, however, is a whole different story. That's exac…
By Jessica Booth

5 Brand New Short Story Collections You Can Finish In One Sitting This Weekend

Since 2013, May has been known by book-lovers by another name: Short Story Month. If you're ready to kick off this year's celebration the right way, make sure to pick up a short story collection to read over the weekend. Modern life moves more than …
By Sadie Trombetta

I Got Styled By 'Queer Eye's Tan France & Realized I Still Have A Lot Of Fashion "Rules" To Unlearn

When I walked into a New York City Express store on May 2 to get styled by Queer Eye's Tan France, I was ready for anything. And I mean truly anything. I am such a massive fan of the show and Tan that if he had instructed me to wrap myself in tin foi…
By Olivia Muenter

It Isn’t Bad To Have A “Princess Fantasy” — Mine Made Me The Woman I Am Today

What do you want to be when you grow up? If you were anything like me as a kid, at some point, the answer to that question was "a princess." Thanks to good old-fashioned gender stereotypes, most little girls born in the '90s (and even now) grew up in…
By Nicole Pomarico

Here’s How To Get A FREE 30-Minute Facial At Sephora That Sucks Your Pores Clean

Sephora has long been a mecca for both serious and amateur beauty lovers alike, where they not only have makeup artists that help answer questions about products, but free samples to let you play with new collections. But now they have upped the ante…
By Marlen Komar

Kris Jenner Is FINALLY Launching A Makeup Line With Kylie

Maybe you don't have a favorite sister of the Kar-Jenner clan, and that's perfectly fine. The one thing you can't deny, though, is that when it comes power, no one in that family has more than the world famous momager. Now, Kris Jenner x Kylie Cosmet…
By Shea Simmons

This Kendall Jenner “Diva” Moment Is Really Being Taken Out Of Context

The fashion always takes center stage at the Met Gala, but there's usually a little drama, too. And this time, a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family is involved. People are buzzing about how Kendall Jenner shoved someone at the Met Gala, but after…
By Nicole Pomarico

Feel Like You've Seen Everything On Netflix? Add These Movies To Your Watch List

The weekend may feel too far away, but if you're lacking formal plans, a Netflix marathon session is always a good idea. If you're an avid viewer, however, you probably feel like you've seen everything the streaming platform has to offer already. In …
By Ashley Rey

These 4 Zodiac Signs Are Going To Have The Best Luck In Love This May

Spring fever is here, but not all signs in the zodiac are dealt the same dose of lovin'. Some signs are going to have a better love lives than the rest of us in May, because that's just the way the cookie crumbles. According to astrologer Linda Furia…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Hillary Clinton Says She's Ready To Fight Like A Republican — EXCLUSIVE

Hillary Clinton Is Not Going Away Quietly. Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into The Night? Unlike Losers Before Her, Clinton Is Not Going Gently Into the Night. These headlines, which appeared in various news outlets over the course of the last…
By Catherine Thompson and Jenny Hollander

Here's The Very Best Time To Book Your Summer Vacation If You're Trying To Save Money

Summer is a great time to travel, for obvious reasons. The weather is better. Many offices are more lax about time off. If you have kids, they’re out of school. But there’s one very important element that makes summer not a great time to travel: Cost…
By Emma McGowan
)}