It's probably safe to say there exists a love/hate attitude toward New Year's resolutions. Maybe you love the idea but hate the process. Maybe you respond better to little pressure and low expectations. Maybe you thrive in pole-vaulting those bars you've set high for yourself, no matter the season. Whatever your angle, it's not too late to make practical New Year's resolutions for inner and outer beauty in 2018 that you'll actually want to stick to. We've free-associated some groundwork seedlings to grow your self-betterment over the next 12 months (and beyond).
For your body
Cut out what causes you physical distress. Be realistic in your dietary goals, easing into change in gradual terms. Challenge yourself to eliminate from or add one component to your diet at a time. Allow yourself to feel fullness before a second helping. Give yourself this-or-that choices and opt for the healthier one more often than not. Read ingredients: if the list is too long, move on. Seek out farmers markets and roadside stands. Let green be your guide. Remember what your parents always preached.
Chug water as soon as you wake up and replace one soda, tea, coffee, or glass of wine per day with a glass of water. Work on your relationship with the sun, reinforcing needed exposure with plenty of precaution.
When in doubt, sleep it off. If you can squeeze in snoozes during the day, go for it. If you have young children, sleep when they do. Shave off increments of your day on the backend so you don't wake begrudging the day ahead. Give yourself reasons to look forward to bedtime with rituals, like a luxurious soak. Let Mr. Sandman bring you a dream.
Get moving. Exercise even if some days it only means standing up at your desk every 30 minutes and stretching (or try these ideas for the office). Take the long way home. Take the stairs. If your nearby gym or health center is running a promotion or special rate, investigate. Hit up the local rink. Patronize a used bike shop. Host a solo dance party.
For your mind
Learn a new task each week. Teach someone else what you know. Don't perceive yourself as a sponge designed to absorb mass quantities of information—rather, be a conduit for knowledge, letting it flow freely between yourself and others.
Have fun. Play games. Be silly. If you are fortunate enough to know or work with children, entertain their requests for gameplay. Do puzzles, play cards, dig out a dusty old board game. Go to a comedy club. Let yourself laugh every chance you get. Make someone else laugh every chance you get.
Enroll in or audit a college course. Watch tutorials. Foster independence but know when it's time to ask for help. Read everything you can get your hands on, then write about it. Unplug and pick up the book you abandoned last year. Get a library card. Sharpen a pencil and then put it to paper. Take notes. Write a love letter, limerick, or litany. Subscribe to a newspaper or magazine. Never stop asking questions.
For your soul
Surround yourself with people who get you—who require no explanations or IOUs. Express gratitude freely, even if it's post-dated. Give due credit, not blame. Frequent those places that put you at ease, and take the road less traveled to discover new favorite places. Do unto others: acts of service benefit all parties involved. Don't just look for the helpers—be one. Make time for quiet reflection or call out across the void. Cut ties with shyness but monitor the weight of your words. Always, always be kind.
Simplify. Less is the new more. Concern yourself more with abundance and less with acquisition—they are very different. Fill a bag with the clothes you haven't worn in the last year and donate them. Do the same with shoes, coats, dishes, towels, and non-perishables. Step back and reassess. Deep clean and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Give nothing less than your best. Be mindful of what you're throwing away and how. Spend less, treasure more.
Engage with others. Substitute DMs with face time, emojis with heart-to-hearts, texts with real talk. Make the call. Walk away from what's toxic, nourish what's mutually beneficial, and mend what's broken. Swallow your pride. Level the playing field. Swim upstream. Minimize the calendar and maximize the heart. Do right by love and prosper in 2018, beauties.
Posted by Katy Kirkpatrick