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

Share
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

7 Signs Your Energy Is Closed Off To Love, According To A Psychic

Finding love requires more than just the actions of going on dates or setting up an online dating profile. It also requires opening yourself up to love and giving off the vibe that you're open. You may not even realize it if you're energetically bloc…
By Suzannah Weiss

Bustle's Editors On Ice Dancing + Rihanna

For those of you who had a holiday on President's Day, welcome to the start of the work week! And for everyone who worked yesterday, you're one day closer to the weekend, woo! Today's been a fairly chill day so far — we've got more on the Winter Olym…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

It Took Heather Graham YEARS To Make A Movie About Women Ditching Toxic Men. The Reason? Men.

They say you should write what you know. But in Hollywood, that age-old advice apparently needs an addendum: Write what you know — as long as men are into it. And for actor and newly minted director/screenwriter Heather Graham — a woman who swam thro…
By Kelsea Stahler

Target Just Launched A Gorgeous New Home Brand — And Most Pieces Are Under $30

Design lovers rejoice! Everyone's favorite store for pretty much everything is about to make all your daring decorating dreams come true. Today, Target's corporate blog issued a press release that provides a peek into Target's new homeware line, Opal…
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

17 Brilliant Ways To Support Parkland Survivors Wherever You Are

Following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors are demanding Congress take action. A large group of students who survived the shooting are opposing politicians' "thoughts and prayers," arguing that inst…
By Sarah Beauchamp

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

Here Are All The Terms You Need To Know If You’re Watching Olympic Ski Events Right Now

Every four years the Winter Olympics rolls around to remind me that A) there are so many important Winter Olympic sports, and B) I know virtually nothing any of them. And I know for a fact, I'm not alone, I bet most people don't know what the differe…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
via Romper

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale

17 Moms Reveal The Most Disgusting Part Of Their Pregnancy

Pregnant bodies do weird-ass things. Weird-ass, gross things. I mean, my pregnant body did (twice), and I have long-suspected I'm not alone. So I asked other moms to share the most disgusting part of their pregnancy and I learned that, not only am I …
via Romper