So I’ve never done the New Year’s Resolution thing.
I read this article about 10 years ago that really resonated with me that read (and I’m paraphrasing) that if you wait until a new year to make a better you than you’re already behind.
Resolutions and this whole “New Year, New You,” gimmick is just so dieticians, personal trainers and gyms make more money and alcohol and tobacco brands lose money (for a little while). Then once late February, early March arrives, you’re now stuck in a gym membership you’ve already lost money on but you’re locked into for the foreseeable future.
Of which you’re mad at yourself for doing, so you drown your frustrations with another pint or unwrap a fresh pack of Newports.
New year. Same as the old year.
You could troll me with the past two New Year covers of Philadelphia Weekly, which literally had the “New Year, New You” headline attached to them, but we had some great tips in those issues for you to consider, so I’ll defend em.
This year, instead of making promises to ourselves we can’t keep, I’m here to suggest the following. Instead of a new year’s resolution that’ll fail or life will assuredly derail, I’m instead practicing the “set it and forget it” method on things that will make your life happier and healthier.
For example, I’m giving myself one day a week to not give AF about work. I’m married to my phone and it’s come to the detriment of relationships, time spent with family, friends, etc. I love this job and putting out a good product, but there’s nothing that can’t wait. The notifications are enough to drive you mad and as much as you don’t think they do, they control our daily lives. I think the kicker for me came just last week, when I received a Slack notification at 6 p.m. on a Saturday asking me to stop what I’m doing to source a hi-res image of Gritty.
Fucking Gritty. Yeah, that was my lightbulb moment. In 2020, the phone is off. It’ll just have to wait. Gritty isn’t saving lives and neither is my time spent sourcing it.
The second is to invest in yourself. Not in something that is destined to fail, but something that down the line you know will make your life better. For instance, this year I upped my 401k two more percentage points, maxing out contributions. Could I use that two percent back in my paycheck? Obviously, I work in journalism.
But will I thank myself when it’s time to collect? For sure. And it’s not physical. I don’t have to hand over that dough each pay period, I just have to minimally adjust my lifestyle now to reap the rewards (I hope) later. I’m not sure what your investment is but make sure it’s something that you know you need to do, but just have been putting off. Taking that class, dumping that shitty significant other, buying a bag of apples instead of a bag of chips.
Small things that might seem hard now, but I promise will make a big difference.
Third and final? Have fun. There’s too much out there to stress us out, especially if you, like me, reside in Philadelphia. Get out more, leave the city confines, take your mind off of the crime, corruption and construction that slowly eats at you. I find myself a lot more hostile towards situations than I ever was since moving back in Philly and even though I’m not leaving anytime soon, I know that if I don’t get out for a bit I get hostile.
So here’s to more doing you in 2020, Philly.
I plan to do more for me and it doesn’t involve an overpriced gym membership.