The Only New Year's Resolutions You Should Be Making In 2018
For a healthier and happier you.
Sorry to tell you this, but your New Year's resolutions are doomed. You may already have a list as long as your favorite vibrator of 2018 pledges like “Lose weight and get fit,” “Save money,” “Quit smoking” and “Get organized,” but you know as well as us that you'll likely only make it to Valentine's Day before you're losing entire weekends smoking it up in a couch lock haze, dropping those expensive new sneaker releases into your shopping cart behind your sober self's back while you chow down on both two-for-one boxes of luxury chocolates. Like, smoking is one thing, but did you honestly think you were ever gonna curb that sneaker habit?
New Year's resolutions suck because they are a way of deceiving ourselves that we can drastically change our behavior overnight without actually having much of an idea how to address these goals, or how to persist with our convictions even if we fail. How about we just scrap the whole New Year's thing and make a commitment to be our best selves the whole year round? How about we ditch the superficial and unrealistic resolutions and opt for attainable goals instead? We're talking about self-love, people. And yes, we're starting to hate that cliched, hashtaggable term as much as you do.
To set you back on course for some sustainable self-improvement, here are the only
New Year's resolutions you should be making in 2018.
Stop objectifying your body
You may, quite rightfully, hate on men for objectifying your body but while you're making all those negative comments about how you wish you could be skinnier, how you hate those dimples on your thighs, how your ass isn't round enough, how your forehead is too wrinkly, you're objectifying it too. Wouldn't it be so refreshing if we could step back from the image obsession we have internalized as women and remember that our bodies are amazing for much more than how they look? – which, by the way, is still pretty amazing.
Our bodies can do incredible things. They move us, they bring us a zillion different sensations, they create new life. The human body is literally a microcosm of the universe. And on the subject of the universe, did you know that there are more nerve cells and connections in the brain than there are stars in the Milky Way? Or that if all the DNA in your body were uncoiled, it would stretch out to about 10 billion miles, which is from Earth to Pluto and back? Your body is a fucking miracle, girl, don't forget that.
How often do you take some time out to truly notice what you have and think about everything you're grateful for? Studies have found that writing gratitude diaries can be incredibly effective at reorienting your mental compass toward the positive. Well, it figures; how could you not feel great when remembering what's totally rockin' about your life?
Keep it up regularly and don't forget to also keep track of your accomplishments. We're often so wrapped up in the constant pursuit of new goals that we forget to recognize what we've achieved. You don't have to be an arrogant egomaniac, just remember to give yourself a pat on the back whenever you boss it.
Gift your inner child
Yeah, we know what you're thinking: like, I don't think I'm even adulting yet. Whether we feel grown up or like a tall child head-scratching our way through our adult existence, we could all do ourselves a favor and do more things that give us the type of warm feelings we had as children. Chalk drawings, finger paintings, picking flowers, making a den, toasting marshmallows, making disgusting mud pies, whatever. Our lives these days are so full of anxieties and distractions; you wouldn't believe the relief you can feel when you just let go of all that for a while and get lost in life's simple pleasures.
On the topic of reveling in the present moment, why not take it one step further and set yourself a few hours – a day, if you're brave – each week where you completely unplug. Switch off your phone, shut down your laptop and head out into the real world. Social media and the internet are great for many reasons but being incessantly bombarded with everyone else's curated perfection and living like slaves to our notifications can be really damaging – we already know it wreaks havoc with our mental health.
This constant multitasking ain't good for our personal development either. It's so easy to simply scroll through the boredom and titillate your brain with a never-ending stream of information, but what's sad is that we rarely retain any of this information, and our addiction to it prevents us from spending our time on more meaningful things. When was the last time you read a book, for example? Reading, literary reading in particular, gives your brain a workout in multiple complex cognitive functions, while pleasure reading increases blood flow to different areas of the brain. So let your imagination run wild, expand your mind and get yourself inspired – you never know what might come out of it.
Not only is it really fun to get creative but it works wonders for mental health and wellness, whether through art, music, writing, crafts, coloring, knitting, sewing, pottery, gardening, dancing or concocting some fucking badass hash brownies – the list goes on. Creative expression puts you in an almost meditative state and releases dopamine which is a natural anti-depressant. Getting creative increases positive emotions and happiness, boosts the immune system, increases self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment and improves concentration and focus.
So go on, whip out that NSFW coloring book you got gifted last Christmas, make your crush a popping mixtape, choreograph your own crazy dance moves; you owe it to yourself!
For more super-useful life advice, here's how to max your productivity and achieve your goals.
Preview image via Instagram @kaytsheva_studio