January is almost here, which means another new year. It’s as inevitable as spilling something on your favorite white shirt or encountering alt-right trolls in the comment section of a Facebook page intended for teen girls. And just as with every new year, you’ll spend the hours leading up to it frantically trying to find someone to kiss at midnight, likely ending up watching the ball drop on TV, and drafting the typical list of new year resolutions.
They’re usually the same every year. And although you mean well by attempting to improve yourself, it’s just inevitable that you probably won’t end up holding yourself to your own promises. Whether it’s the gym getting too crowded or that cigarette you so desperately need or just the sheer lack of willpower, you’ll lose that beginning-of-the-year momentum and fall back into your usual routine. But it’s cool, because you were awesome to begin with.
So, when you’re making this year’s resolutions, just remember that you’ll probably end up breaking these. But no worries, we have some alternate options for resolutions you can make instead.
Break It: Lose Weight
It’s like the Beyoncé of the Destiny’s Child that is New Year’s resolutions. Everyone wants to look sexy, based on whatever Kardashian or Marvel movie star we’re told is the gold standard of physical beauty that month. But let’s be honest, if it’s a holiday like New Year’s that pushes you to go the gym, you’ll probably give up that routine by the time Valentine’s comes around and you look nothing like Chris Evans.
Make It: Love Your Body
Instead of trying to attain the virtually unattainable, embrace the body you have and make it the new Kendall Jenner or Captain America. If exercising and getting active makes you happy, do it for that reason. If eating fresh and healthy foods makes your body feel better, do it for that reason. Don’t deprive yourself of the little pleasures, and certainly don’t do it to look how other people think you should look.
Break It: Fall in Love
Once you reach a certain age, you feel that you’re no longer the Samantha of your friends and you suddenly find you’re the Charlotte. You didn’t mean to become the dud, but you’re at that point where you want to settle down and start a family with the ideal mate. It’s totally natural. You just can’t expect every Grindr hookup or cute bartender to fulfill that goal.
Make It: Make Friends
If you want to fall in love, let it happen. Don’t make it happen. Instead, focus on the platonic loves of your life. Figure out who your true friends are, and cut out the toxic relationships in your life. The people who love you regardless will remind you why you’re so great, and you won’t be wasting time changing yourself to please others. When Mr. or Ms. Right comes along, they’ll see that and they’ll love it too.
Break It: Travel More
We all want to see the world, whether it’s to culturally enrich our lives or to build our Instagram followers to surpass that basic bitch you used to hang out with who suddenly refers to himself as an influencer. And as much as this is a resolution that everyone should strive for, it’s just not that logical unless you have a trust fund or enough followers to consider yourself an influencer. If you’re the average millennial, you’ll be lucky to make two or three domestic trips in a year, given you have a friend’s spare room or (most likely) couch to crash on.
Make It: Love Your City
Although everyone should travel when they get the chance, don’t forget about the cultural beauties of your own city. If you live in small town USA, you probably feel bored with the same old bars and restaurants, but surely there are new places worth checking out or even hidden treasures that have been around for a while. Become an influencer in your own town, and make the rest of the world see it as culturally relevant. But don’t forget to enjoy it for yourself too, not just your followers.
Break It: Quit Smoking
Although cigarettes have become a bit of a ‘90s throwback with the revolutionary innovations of e-cigs and vaping, it’s still a vice that many struggle with quitting. And although it’s a retro habit, you have to have the desire and willpower to make the commitment. It has to be more than just a New Year’s resolution.
Make It: Smoke Pot
Try replacing one vice with another. If it’s just the oral fixation, perhaps a different kind of smoke will suffice. And given the medicinal properties of marijuana, it can cure the stress and anxiety that constantly drive you to that next Virginia Slim. Plus, it’s much better for you than cigarettes and alcohol.
Break It: Volunteer
If New Year’s resolutions mean bettering yourself, then it’s no new concept to want to give back. Sure, you’ll justify it by finding a cause that you actually care about or at least heard about once. But if volunteering is just a New Year’s resolution, there’s at least a part of you that’s doing it to feel better about yourself and to give the perception of being a decent human being, which you’ll get bored of after a couple of shifts at the soup kitchen.
Make It: Embrace Community
If you actually want to do good, it’s not enough to just volunteer your time or money. You have to become a part of your community. Whether it’s making friends with the same interests as you or just joining an online conversation about an issue you care about, if you actually want to help, it’s important to immerse yourself in the cause. The legwork will come when it’s time to organize.
P.S. We’d never actually discourage someone from volunteering at something like a soup kitchen. But they get plenty of volunteers around the holidays. Check in to see when they need help the most, and commit to coming back then.