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Rethink your rezzies: Ditch that to-do list

Your BFF is giving up bagels. Your sister is swearing off, well, swearing. And your mom is going to the gym every single day at 5:30 a.m. Cue the spinning head... and the quest for how to become the best-ever version of yourself. But here’s why you should toss that endless list of New Year’s resolutions and slide into 2016 without the pressure to be perf.


Hear us out. When you point to what you’d like to fix about yourself, you’re secretly ignoring everything that’s already amazing in your world. By focusing on just, say, your thighs or the fact you haven’t organized your room since 2011, you forget what a great friend you are or how you can whip up the best chocolate pudding (from scratch!). So rather than spending all that time zeroing in on what’s missing, consider all you do have... right now. The holidays are supposed to be about giving and gratitude, so adopt that spirit toward yourself.


Resolutions basically just provide permission for you to procrastinate. If you want something bad enough, don’t put it off until the stars align in your favor. That tiny thing that’s tugging at your heart? Get started today. Do your research, chart a plan and chip away at whatever’s stuck in your dreamcatcher. You’ll feel way better blazing your own trail rather than following the self-help pack.


Between semester finals and family obligations, the holiday season can be filled with tension—not to mention that your basketball coach wants you to work harder during sprints and your parents are peeved about a so-so Spanish grade. If your to-do list is super long and you’re already trying your best, cut yourself some slack—because a 100 percent perfect year is totally unattainable. Spend your free time with people you enjoy doing activities you’re excited about and that leave you feeling refreshed—not exhausted. Alphabetizing your bookcase and printing out those Instas can wait until spring break...or never.


Studies show a whopping 88 percent of resolutions fizzle faster than a Snapchat. And science has discovered many times over that sharing your ambitions makes you less likely to actually put in the sweat and determination to make them a reality. Why? Because when you post your plans, you get instant feedback about how awesome your dream is—and due to a weird trick of the mind, your brain starts to believe you’ve already accomplished what you said you wanted to do. Sounds crazy, but it’s what pros call “social reality” (your crew already has praised your goal and, therefore, your mind acts like you’ve checked it off your list). We’re not saying you should keep every aspiration a secret, but there are likely better ways to approach the big stuff than by spilling them over pancakes and OJ on the first of the year.


The resolutions people most commonly declare tend to be more cookie-cutter than gingerbread. We should all call our grandmothers, write thank-you notes and treat our bodies with TLC. But, truth is, there’s no sense in aiming for something that doesn’t make your heart skip a beat. Let’s say your bestie has 1,001 reasons you should go all Paleo in ’16, but you can’t imagine a world without ice cream. Don’t feel pressured to jump on her dairy-free bandwagon. If you are committed to doing something different in the new year, make sure it’s something that will result in a truly better, more authentic you.

Are you planning on making New Year's Resolutions?

Check out the rest of our December/January 2016 issue on sale now.


by Katie Abbondanza | 2/1/2016