Every January we participate in a time-honored social ritual where we take stock of ourselves and the ways that we’re lacking, itemize them, and commit to throwing money and time at their undoing. It’s called: making New Year’s resolutions. This year, after last year and the year before that, it feels a bit… hypocritical of society to ask us to take the high road, tbh. Spending any more than a minute on our personal shortcomings feels like when your friend with perfect skin tells you not to look at them because they have one tiny red zit on their chin. The world is a dumpster fire, and honestly, why add to that with self-improvement gasoline? As writer Sarah Lazarus tweeted a few weeks ago, “no new years resolutions. it is the circumstances turn to improve.” But even better, I think, is setting some New Year’s resolutions that are incredibly easy to accomplish. Save the self-criticism for when times are good. Revel in the joy of crossing something off your list of goals right this very minute. Some suggestions:
Drink 2 glasses of water per day
One in the morning and one at night. One with lunch, one with dinner. One with your coffee, one with your glass of wine. As long as you get at least two in every day your insides probably won’t shrivel up and die.
Call your mom sometimes
It’ll make her day. Seriously. Your mother lives to talk to you on the phone. Ask her for the hot goss among her friend group! Talk shit about your grandma together! Tell her about that date you went on, and embellish the details! You will feel so good after doing this.
Eat more pasta
Pasta is delicious, glamorous, versatile—if pasta were a celebrity it would have an EGOT. Get into pasta like it’s craft beer. Remember orzo? That’s pasta rice. Or shells? Those are pasta spoons. Buy an attachment for a Kitchenaid stand mixer, and also a Kitchenaid stand mixer, to make your own pasta. Skip all that and just buy it dried by the box, because it’s like two bucks and still delicious. Tell people you’re carbo loading on pasta because you’re training for a marathon. There is literally no rule that says you can’t.
And think about learning a new language. Counts as if you did it!
Do something you are really bad at
Without the goal of improving! The fact of the matter is, you don’t need to be good at something for it to be fun. Or at the very least, funny—do it for the bit! Some suggestions include: bowling, hip hop dance class, baking cinnamon rolls, skiing, a cut crease, mini golf, giant golf, tie dye.
Finish an entire show in one week
It is hard to watch all 72 hours and 16 minutes of “Game of Thrones” in a week. It is impressive. You need follow-through and stamina. Your mental toughness will be tested, and your body will be, too. (Remember to stretch!) Have your friends make poster signs and stand on the street in front of your window to cheer you on. Turn it into a fundraiser and donate money for every season you finish. There are lots of old shows you probably haven’t watched all the way through, like “Dexter” (which is coming back soon) or “Grey’s Anatomy” (which is miraculously still running). Next time you feel like you can’t commit to anything, remember this.
Reach Genius level on the NYT spelling bee app
As fulfilling as being called an actual genius. (And hearing it from the Times is like hearing it from an actual smart person, you know?) If you can bear it, don’t tell anyone once you’ve completed this and then host a group of friends for Scrabble night. Make the buy-in $100. Treat yourself a new, very academic-looking pair of glasses with your winnings.
Don’t text that person who ghosted you
This one is great because all you have to do is not do anything. It is not even cheating if you delete their number or throw your phone into the sea.
Photo via ITG