9 New Year's Resolutions That Are So Much Better Than Losing Weight

Dec 28, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Image: Getty Images

New Year's resolutions usually don't stick because we set unattainable goals. And when we can't achieve those goals, people will tend to feel like they've failed and fall right back into their usual routines. Sometimes, people even make resolutions that are harmful to their mental and physical health.

Because I know the disappointment of not maintaining a New Year's resolution, I decided to put together this list of unconventional but healthy and doable goals for 2018.

1. Stop chasing your dream

Sounds weird, right? I'm going to let you in on a little secret. You don't have to have a dream! Dreams and goals are great, but if you focus on one thing that may be 10, 20 or 30 years away, you may just be missing all the amazing opportunities that appear in your periphery. A grand new adventure may present itself to you, but you'll miss it because you've got your sights set on something that may or may not happen in the distant future. Instead, work hard and diligently on whatever is right in front of you.

2. Masturbate more

Whether you're single or have been married for years, the benefits of masturbation are endless. Buy a new toy, try something new, and learn new ways to make yourself feel good. Make space in your busy routine for a little me time. Try starting your day with masturbation. Studies even show that masturbating in the morning can make you more productive for the rest of the day, so get busy, ladies.

3. Throw your diet plans out the window

Unless you are being medically advised to follow a specific diet, don't follow a diet. I'm not even going to write some spiel about making a lifestyle change instead of a diet change. If mac and cheese brings you happiness, eat the damn mac and cheese. Have fun with food. Enjoy food. Celebrate food. Try new foods! Never had broccoli rabe? Never cooked with turmeric? Try some new recipes that look good to you and commit to testing new recipes throughout the whole year.

4. Travel to one new country

There's an episode of Girls in Season 2 when Hannah is interviewing for a new freelance gig. During the interview, the woman conducting the interview points to a sign on the wall. It's two shapes — a square that is labeled "This Is Your Comfort Zone" and off to the side, a circle labeled "Where the Magic Happens."

Image: HBO

This is how I view travel. It can be intimidating and scary to throw yourself into something and someplace completely foreign, but that's when you really grow. That's when the magic happens. Save up, sacrifice your mani-pedis for a few months and make it happen. Eat the local food, learn at least a little bit of the native language, and fully immerse yourself in the culture. You will never regret it.

5. Stop using your car

And no, taking an Uber does not count. Try to add one car-free day to your schedule each week. Or if you can't do it every week, at least once a month. Ride your bike to work, take public transportation or walk to go pick up some groceries. Climate change is real and happening at an alarmingly fast rate. We all need to take action to reduce our carbon footprint.

6. Give away your money

We can all agree that 2017 was a complete dumpster fire, right? Between government funding debates and the slew of natural disasters and other issues this year, the organizations that are being hit the hardest need our help. Every month, I send $25 to Planned Parenthood, but there are so many organizations that are losing or running out of funding and are in dire need of assistance. Choose one that speaks to you and donate what you can when you can.

7. Stop checking emails after 6 p.m.

This is a tough one, I know. But it's something I am really going to work hard toward in 2018. Take your work email off your phone completely if you have to, but do not read or send any work-related emails after 6 p.m. or before 7 a.m. Dedicate this time to yourself. Your career will not suffer, you will not get fired, and the world will not end.

8. Exercise

Do not exercise to lose weight. Exercise so you can climb the mountain you've always wanted to summit. Exercise so you can play with your kids. Exercise because it will help you sleep. Exercise because it will lessen your stress and anxiety. Take care of your body because you are going to need it.

9. Be more critical

Not of others, but of yourself. Examine your opinions, criticize them and then examine them again. Identify your biases and your privileges. There are billions of opinions in this world, and there is a 0 percent chance yours is the only one that matters. Be more empathetic and open to others and others' opinions.

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