So, on December 31st of every year, I make a list of things I intend to do differently in the upcoming year. What I almost never do (besides actually maintaining my resolution), though, is determine a plan of attack for each new goal. So here it goes, the New Year Resolution: demystified. Oh, and if you have any additional suggestions for how I can go about successfully accomplishing the feats listed here, feel free to tweet me at @femmedroid5000 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Getting the strong and sexy body – With all of the fitness mumbo-jumbo advertisements out there this time of year, it’s easy to fall into the urge to order every dietary plan and gym membership out there. The folks at Herbalife and 24 Hour Fitness eat this shit up and are laughing their happy asses all the way to the bank while the rest of us couch potatoes mourn over the loss of that $60 membership each month because we don’t make the time for the gym. Let’s face it, the gym begins to feel like a chore the first moment you lay in bed achey, motionless, and still looking too much like your “before” selfie you posted to IG on December 31st. The best thing to do then is to resolve your new year’s resolution and incorporate the word “patience” into it. Fitness doesn’t happen overnight and unfortunately there’s no finish line—that new image you’re aiming for will actually require maintenance (godammit). Accept the fact that what you’re getting yourself into is a lifestyle change. Hate the ugly fluorescent lights and sweaty crowds at the gym? Take a hike, jog the neighborhood with a friend (or alone if that suits you). Intimidated by the weights? Find other ways to build strength. Last summer, I discovered the beauty that is indoor rock climbing and became instantly hooked. I’m also a big advocate for yoga as I’ve seen some pretty bad ass (and incredibly sexy) transformations. Friends of mine who have shed pounds quickly each tell me the secret is in the diet. Simply cutting out the empty liquid calories can make an incredible impact. I also find that fitness blogs and IG pages can be amazingly inspiring. Some of my favorites are The Fitspirational Blonde (http://the-fitspirational-blonde.tumblr.com) and Brianna Sky (http://www.shineorset.com and @brianna__sky). And always beware of the pro-ana sites out there. Remember that your health and well-being ALWAYS come first. Help with eating disorders is a click away at http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
- Making wiser monetary choices – Do you really need another pair of hot-pink, glittery, six-inch, CMF shoes, Brandi? Probably not so put the box down and run in the opposite direction because you just don’t need it. Last July when I got engaged, my financial decisions instantly improved because I accepted the fact that I would soon be sharing finances (and a shoe closet) with my boo. For myself, I find that identifying a motivating-factor is the best way to save my money. Want to take an exotic vacation? Get out of the drive-through and pack a lunch because those $6 lattes every day probably cover your airfare in a year’s time. Thinking about hiring a financial advisor to get out of the debtstorm that Jeffrey Campbell collection pushed you into? Have no fear—the Mint.com app is here to solve all of your financial woes. Just tell Mint your goals, current income, and how much you owe, and watch in awe as she creates a plan detailing how much you’ll need to pay each month to each bill in order to pay as little interest as possible. It. Is. Amazing. I’m also rather fond of the Pageonce app which provides an easy-to-read schedule (and alerts!) of each upcoming payment and even an in-app bill pay option for premium memberships.
- Cleaning my room – So I’m a little embarrassed over how dirty my room still gets. I know six year olds that are more organized than I am. My goal this year is to clean out my closet and keep it clean because I know for damn sure that my neat-freak fiancé will flip if I leave our bedroom floor covered in spiky stilettos and half my wardrobe. I’m a sucker for décor and buying things so my suggestion is to make organization fun and pretty for myself in hopes that cute organizational bins and laundry baskets will keep my ass in line. Ikea has adorable storage options at even more adorable prices and the creative geniuses at Pinterest are a never-ending and budget-friendly invaluable resource sure to satiate your lust for clutter-free living.
- *Actually* planning my wedding AKA Quitting my Procrastination Habit– Even if you’re not engaged there is something to relate to here—ending the procrastination streak and staying on task. I’m a procrastinator at heart so naturally I’m pretty far behind on my planning according to the folks at TheKnot.com. My goal for 2014 and the rest of my life is to put those days behind me and stay on track. In the wonderful age of smartphones, there is an app out there for everything (HOORAY!) One of my favorite apps out there is Planner Plus by Blue Tags which features a beautiful user-friendly interface that syncs with your iOS calendars and events. For any of you engaged-folks out there, I also advise you to check out The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner HD as it helps you keep track of your budget and spending as well as your vendors. Super duper awesome!
- Turning my three part-time jobs into a single full-time career – Unfortunately, I’m not alone on this one and studies show that more and more college graduates these days are taking on low-wage jobs to pay off those student loans. Now I understand that this may not be something I’m able to resolve this year (though I intend to), but to make matters more serious, I have personally assigned myself a deadline as well as an action plan in order to make this work for me. What better fire to light beneath your ass than a $4 tip on a $150 bill and then getting down on your hands and knees to scrape the half-chewed gum some bratty kid stuck under the table? Let’s face it folks, working at the mercy of others for tips sucks but it’s the perfect motivation to strive for something more appropriate for that expensive college degree you and your liver worked so hard for.