Chances are good that you've already decided to ditch your New Year's resolution.
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The start of a new year is, of course, the perfect time for a fresh start. There's the metaphorical power, plus the numerical ease of counting days and months of success from Jan 1. But balanced against the celebratory excess and indulgence of the holiday season, New Year's resolutions can, sadly, tend towards abstinence.
Bright and beautiful fruits. Hearty whole grains. Vitamin packed vegetables in the most delicious of sauces. Are you ready for this? Here are some of our best tips, tricks, and advice on eating healthy.
Just as important as setting New Year's resolutions is figuring out how we reach them, and not getting so bogged down in work that we forget to take care of ourselves. On the podcast Call Your Girlfriend, hosted by the journalist Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow, co-founder of Tech Lady Mafia, human rights technologist Sabrina Hersi Issa advises scheduling a Personal Inventory Day each month as a way to regularly take stock of where your time is going.
I don't know about you, but I've heard a lot of people say that they want to quit some particularly addictive aspect of modern technology in 2018. Maybe you want to delete Candy Crush from your phone once and for all. Maybe you only want to check Twitter once a day. Maybe you want to stop hate-reading a feed or forum, maybe you want to quit Instagram-stalking your ex and maybe you just want to spend more time interacting with something besides a screen.
New Year's resolutions are usually centred around a big aspirational goal: I'll work out every day, I'll write a book, I'll never eat junk food. But most of us fail at our resolutions. One problem is that we're setting our goals too high. If you want to reach a huge goal, first you have to set a small one.
January 1, 2018 is no different than December 31, 2017. You probably woke up with big plans to "really make some changes this year," but you know what? It's not going to work. Why? Because you've already decided that waiting until the new year to become the new and improved you is the right course of action.
"Self-improvement" is a tricky framework for resolutions. We take the phrase for granted, but what is it really saying? That changing a lifestyle habit improves your very self? That implies moral value to your choices, labelling some habits intrinsically "good" and others "bad". This ends up at the idea that your lifestyle choices affect your inherent worth and value as a person. And honestly, that sucks.
In 2017, for the first time in my life, I actually stuck to a resolution. What's more, I'd failed at the same resolution -- to make a budget and stick to it -- for many previous years. Now, if you think there's something shameful in a grown person not being able to handle her finances, you're right!
About ten years ago, I went to a New Year's Day brunch party. Frankly, I hadn't really wanted to go. That particular time in my life was a low point; I'd just gone through a breakup and was feeling unusually forlorn, and I wanted to wallow at home. But the hostess was a good friend and she had invited other interesting, cool people to a good restaurant... so I dragged my feeble, mildly hungover self downtown.
You've probably got some downtime during the holidays, whether you're taking a few days off from work (you should), or enjoying your winter break after studying for exams (you didn't). With 2018 on the way, you can start the new year on the right foot by prepping your resolution plans beforehand. Of course, resolutions come in all shapes and sizes, so the real question is this: how are you getting a head start on yours?
In the journey to transform myself from Couch Potato to Wonder Woman, the first step was to get off the couch.
Now that the chaos of the holiday season is over, a lot of us are vowing to make changes for our health -- but we know that ambitious resolutions don't always work out so well. So instead of saying you'll "lose weight" or "eat better", try one or two of these simple, concrete changes.
Making New Year's resolutions is tricky in the first place. Do you start out small with something you know you can achieve consistently without really pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, or do you go all out and hope that willpower alone will drag you through? In other words, do you make a resolution to catch the train to work a little more instead of driving, or do you make a resolution to take a holiday every month and pack on 20 kilos of muscle at the gym before the next year is out?