2020 is looming, and you know what that means: the celebration of a new year and the tired old tradition of coming up with a bunch of New Year’s resolutions to stick to in the months that come. Well done to you if you manage to keep yours because unlike most of us, you won’t have given up a week into January and completely forgot them — or at least be denying you ever mentioned them to anyone. Here’s a list of the biggest resolutions we kid ourselves over.
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Hitting The Gym (And Staying In It)
It’s the yearly drill -- you’re looking in the mirror after the holidays, which you spent slamming too many beers, thinking that this is the year your inner athlete emerges at last. So you sign up for a free trial at your local gym and you roll in on New Year’s Day, hungry to drop pounds. And then the inevitable happens: every treadmill is taken, the weight room is full of grunting, overcompensating bros, and the Ellipticals are still broken from the last time you walked in -- which, coincidentally, was this time last year. Ditch the membership and go run around the block instead.
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Reading More Books
It’s easy to believe that modern-day pop culture only serves to make us dumb. Which begs another question: when was the last time you escaped it and read a good book? Reading can make us more worldly and cultured (or at least look it). But then again, the internet pretty much takes up all our attention anyway. Who has time for Hemingway when your aunt’s social media updates are far more frequent and invasive?
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Spending Less Time On Social Media
There’s no doubt that social media has a negative effect on our well-being. Too many selfies on Instagram, too much hate on Twitter, too much bragging on Facebook -- it’s just too much bullshit, period. So it’s tempting to just get away from it all and reconnect with the world around you, at least until that next buzz of your phone, pulling you right back in. The internet hasn’t just enhanced society -- it is society, for better or worse.
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Spending More Time With Your Friends
The start of every new year brings the inevitable action of looking back on all the times we spent with friends in the previous one -- both the highs and the lows. And chances are, we might wonder: how come we spent so much sitting at home watching Netflix and not going to all those camping or beach trips these very same friends planned? We’ll tell you why: because television is our god, not goodwill among acquaintances. And with another great year of TV ahead, that probably won't change any time soon.
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If hitting the treadmill is the top new year promise to fulfill, then second is hitting some salads. After all, it’s no good running off 300 calories if you’re just going to put it all back on at happy hour. But that’s the thing -- isn’t it called "happy hour" for a reason? Because you get to have cheap drinks and good wings in the pursuit of happiness? An exercise regimen does demand an improved diet, but a bit of comfort food now and then does so much good for the soul.
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Watching That One Movie Your Friend Keeps Talking About
You know which movie we mean. The one with that one guy from the other movie and that girl from the HBO series. And your friend loves it and needs you to watch it. But for some reason you just don’t have the time, or you just know the film isn’t going to be your vibe. All the same, you keep telling them you’re going to watch it, even though you know you won’t. So drop the pretense and tell them. Your life’s too busy for three-hour Bohemian romance comedies anyway.
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Volunteering More Often (Or, at All)
People who perform volunteer duties, be it for charity or community, are the modern-day saints of our world. So it can be tempting to try walking in their shoes and experience what it could be like to be a good, conscientious person. But here’s the problem: you might want to loosen the shackles of your hedonistic lifestyle for a more selfless existence, but that doesn’t mean your friends will allow it. And when you wake up too hungover for your 6 a.m. shift at the soup kitchen, you’ll only have yourself to blame.
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Learning a New Language
As the unknown territory of a new year beckons, it’s tempting to step outside your comfort zone. What could be braver than getting out and learning a new language? You can really impress the opposite sex with a few whispers of Italian, after all. Also, isn’t it really easy to do these days, with all these new apps out? The short answer is: no. Speaking a new language at a conversational level takes huge effort -- at least more than a naive promise made to yourself in December might imply. Your best bet is to just learn the swear words for fun and wait until those devices that auto-translate speech finally come out. Which should be soon -- after all, it is 2020.
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Getting Your Stuff Organized
Nothing says self-improvement like finally getting your living space in order. It’s a great idea in theory, as you could finally invite people over without them seeing the mountainous pile of random laundry that’s been lying on your sofa since March. And you’ll go away and organize, and you’ll feel great for doing so. And then your life will get busy, you’ll start discarding crap all over the place again, and you’ll set a resolution to do the very same thing next new year. But hey -- at least you kind of kept this one.
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Chances are you’re one of those types who put their New Year's resolutions into a to-do list. After all, bullet-pointed lists are a surefire way of signaling your intention to actually get things done in this new upcoming year. Little do you realize, however, that the combined sum of your efforts toward making changes in your life this year has instead gone into writing them out. After all, what screams "procrastination" more than making a list?
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