New year’s resolutions are a sham. Self-help books, Buzzfeed articles, fitness bloggers – they persuade us every year that January 1st is the perfect moment to suddenly change your life. And for the first half of January, we buy into this conspiracy. Gym memberships skyrocket, people show up to work on time, and the amount of kale purchased at Whole Foods increases slightly. (Though, to be honest, even a new year can’t make kale taste good). Yet by month’s end, everyone has reverted back to normal. Because let’s face it – January 1st has no magical powers that February 1st doesn’t.
I will admit that I’ve fallen victim to the new year’s resolution craze. I’ve tried keeping a diary, lifting weights, waking up early – all habits that I have failed to continue for more than a month. If you are a person who has successfully stuck to resolutions, I applaud you. Granted, that means you’re either weirdly motivated by calendar dates or you’re lying, but I applaud you nonetheless.
But perhaps the problem is that I’ve been thinking too big. Going to the gym, wearing makeup, sleeping at a reasonable hour – those are all major lifestyle changes. If I had any real intention of making those changes, I would have done so already. So this year, I’ve brainstormed a list of attainable resolutions. These are tiny adjustments to my day-to-day life that will take no longer than a minute to complete:
- Don’t wait for Kenny to clean out the lint thingie in the dyer – just do it yourself. You’re killing the planet when you need to run more than one dryer cycle.
- Put the toilet paper on the toilet paper holder. You can do it while you’re peeing. There’s literally no downside.
- Wear finger guards while needle felting. That would prevent both the pain of stabbing yourself and felt projects being ruined by dripping blood.
- Wash your sheets more often. Having clean sheets is the best feeling in the world, and that easily outweighs the minute it takes to strip the bed.
- CHARGE YOUR PHONE. THEN IT WON’T DIE. IT’S THAT SIMPLE.
- Wash your towels more often. Having clean towels is the best feeling in the world. (Yes, there may be a pattern of me despising laundry-related tasks.)
- Remember your reusable cup when you go to Starbucks. Stop killing the planet.
- Remember your reusable bags when you go shopping. Stop killing the planet.
- Open your mail immediately after you receive it. Don’t leave it on the kitchen table for a week and a half only to discover information you needed sooner.
- Stop leaving your earplugs on your bedside table! You know that’s Toshley’s favorite illicit snack and it’s really not good for a nine-pound dog to consume foam regularly.
Those seem like attainable resolutions, right? I won’t be making any Buzzfeed lists or inspirational podcasts, but something is better than nothing. Of course, this is the same logic that drove all of my other not-so-attainable resolutions. It’s the logic that makes so much sense on December 31st, but seems unimportant by January 31st.
I can try, certainly. We can all try to define and achieve more attainable new year’s resolutions this year. But I think it’s likely that attainable resolutions are the biggest sham of them. I should be able to put my earplugs inside a drawer. It takes less than second. But ask me in February, and I guarantee they’ll be scattered atop my bedside table, where they can be snatched and consumed by a certain nine-pound dog.