Every year I watch my friends make a list of difficult to keep New Year’s resolutions. By January 31st, those lists are laughable things of the past. I decided this year that instead of making a list of crazy things like swearing less, or wearing pants more often, or living on nothing but coconut water and almonds, that I would make a list of more easily attainable goals.
1) Stop hate-watching old shows and just break up with them already.
The spark is gone. They have killed everything you love. It’s just gotten abusive at this point. And yet, you can’t stop watching. It’s time to give yourself permission to let go. Sure, it’s been ten years. You’ve invested 200 hours of your life. Just like any bad relationship, it’s time to cut ties and walk away with what’s left of your dignity. Sure, you’ll have those drunken late night binge watching sessions when you stumble into each other on Netflix, but you don’t have to feel that lump of dread in your throat every time you see an episode has recorded on your DVR. Make 2016 the year you stop watching out of obligation and move on to something you really love.
2) Finish old things before starting new ones.
If you’re anything like me, there is always some new shiny video game, TV show, or book to distract you. This leads to a DVR that is 76% filled with most of this season of Once Upon a Time, Scandal, and Gotham and a stack of half-played video games abandoned in favor of something new. I have spent the last few weeks clearing my DVR so that I can start 2016 without feeling weighed down by all the old stuff. I’m resolving not to buy any more video games until I finish the ones I have in progress. The same thing goes for all the new books I received as gifts. I’m not allowing myself to start things I’m really excited about until I finish the things I already have in progress. I’m sorry, Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle. You’ll just have to wait until I’ve finished Christopher Moore’s Secondhand Souls.
3) Create something.
Write a novel or a song. Build a fort or a gingerbread house. Make your own bath salts or play Frankenstein and build a better boyfriend out of parts of the old ones. Ok, maybe not that last one. Whatever way you choose to express yourself, create something in 2016. We spend so much of our lives enjoying the creative efforts of other people, so why not put something of our own out into the world? At the very least, you’ll feel accomplished for having made something from nothing.
4) Learn something new.
Find the time to learn something new. Bonus points if it is something completely frivolous and impractical. Learn a new language. Learn to make homemade croissants. Learn to balance an egg on its end. Learn to make armor for that Dragon Age: Inquisition cosplay that’s been haunting your dreams. It’s easy not to do something because you don’t know how, but when you remember that you have the entirety of the internet just full of new and delightful skills to learn it feels like kind of waste to just use it for adorable animal videos.
5) Put more love into the world.
I don’t mean this in a creepy way. It’s so easy to be negative and critical. This year, be nice for its own sake. Tell someone you love his or her makeup. Find random artists online and leave thoughtful comments on their Facebook or Instagram accounts about why you love their work. Be patient with other people. Tell your friends how brave and funny and wonderful they are for absolutely no reason at all. Embrace yourself as a being of both light and dark and remember to love yourself as well even when you feel awful. You deserve it.
6) Don’t read the comments.
This is just practical life advice for not dying of a rage spawned aneurysm. Unless you’re in the Humans of New York comments, nothing nice ever happens there. You aren’t missing anything except for countless of hours of arguing with internet strangers and wallowing in hopelessness for the future of humanity. If you feel the need to shout aimlessly, may I recommend that you use this website?
Here’s hoping everyone has a happier, healthier 2016 filled with things that make us stronger and wiser.
Editor’s Note: As always, the GIF file link back to the place we found them so the creators get the credit :).