Make Sure Your Resolutions Include The Three Ps

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Now that you’re fully recovered from your New Year’s Eve hangover, it’s time to get serious about those resolutions. If you haven’t set any, that’s ok; here are some suggestions from celebrities from over 100 years ago.

A New Year's Resolution That Will Actually Improve Your Life

Everyone wants to hijack your January. Most people want you to stop drinking for the month, on the premise you’ve been overdoing it over the holidays and need to dry out. Others think it’s time to go vegan. I’m sure someone you know is trying to convince you to go to hot yoga every day of January to sweat out “the toxins”. I am usually opposed to all forms of New Year’s resolutions; Lifehacker’s devoted to making changes every day of the year. But one resolution I’m looking forward to anxiously is my tradition of a Spend-Free January. Hear me out.

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Victorian pop culture historian Bob Nicholson shared a round up of Edwardian celebs’ resolution advice from the year 1909 on Twitter; not all of the resolutions are applicable to life in 2018, but a surprising number of ideas still work.

For instance, violinist Marie Hall who resolved to “be brave in misfortune” and “never despair, however black the future may appear to be.”

But let’s focus on the advice of Reverend John W. Horsley, who said that all resolutions should contain the three Ps: they must be “present, particular, and possible.” He expanded on what that means:

Most people, I fear, however, use the future, “I will do better,” instead of starting at once, mapping out a definite plan of campaign, and then saying, “I will do this.”

And as regards possibilities, the resolution should be formed with a prudence that tempers zeal, and attempts not anything too hard for the present condition of body, mind, and estate—though I admit that the temptation is usually the other way.

This is all very solid advice. We do tend to overextend ourselves in the first few weeks of the year, making it more difficult to fulfil a true plan of action with gradual steps towards growth.

Rev. Horsley also advised people to give up alcohol, gambling, and “indifference towards religious and social reform,” so he was clearly a guy with a lot of time to work on himself.

However, if that all sounds like a big drag, take the advice of actress Marie Studholme, who said her resolution was to “try and cheer up, and remain cheerful.” A challenge in its own right.


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