Thought Catalog
December 29, 2014

5 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Make For 2015

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image - Flickr / Sean MacEntee
image – Flickr / Sean MacEntee

Ah yes, January 1st, that magical day when we all get a chance to start anew. It’s a whole new year, and what better way to ring in 2015 than to make bunch of New Year’s resolutions. Kick all of those nasty habits and start some new ones. This is how it works: look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you’ll change completely on New Year’s Day.

It always works. It’s why you don’t ever hear about anybody making a life-changing resolution in June. For some reason, maybe it has something to do with the winter solstice, or perhaps it’s just knowing that everyone else is out there making their own resolutions, but promises made at the beginning of the New Year always seem to stick. I mean, if New Year’s resolutions didn’t work, why would people keep making them? Don’t miss out on this once-a-year opportunity to turn your life around. Need some help coming up with your own resolutions? I’ve got you covered. Here’s what you can do to make 2015 your best year yet.

1. Start exercising

Are you out of shape? Has it been a while since you’ve broken a really good sweat? Quick: what’s your resting heart rate? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re probably going to want to resolve to start exercising. This is a classic way to kick start the New Year. Your first step is to get out there and join a gym. Yes, it’s going to be really busy when you go to sign up, because lots of people tend to make the same fitness-related resolutions every year. Unfortunately, that’s just the cyclical nature of gyms and the New Year. People make resolutions to work out regularly at the gym, and New Year’s resolutions always work, therefore every year gyms keep getting more and more crowded. But that’s OK, because all of those people will motivate you to keep going.

Also, you’ll get to buy tons of cool gym stuff: really expensive gym bags, high-tech exercising clothes, and you’ll probably want to buy a couple of pairs of those weightlifting gloves for when you inevitably get strong enough to bench your own bodyweight. The beauty of the New Year’s resolution is that you can just dive right in. Don’t worry about starting slow. Make a plan to go twice a day, five or six times a week. You won’t burn yourself out too quickly, I promise.

2. Stop smoking cigarettes

Come on, who really smokes cigarettes anymore? Do yourself a favor and kick the habit. It’s a nasty one, just really bad for your health. If time travel exists in the future, and you somehow manage to put down the smokes, I wouldn’t be surprised if you from the future pays you a visit to thank you for doing yourself such a huge favor.

Besides ruining your body, cigarettes take a toll on your finances. I don’t know if it’s the same everywhere else, but a pack costs something like fifteen bucks in New York. And even if you’re rich, it’s not worth it. Try this: keep buying cigarettes, but don’t smoke them. Take them out of the pack and put them all in one spot. Keep doing it every day, as if you’re still smoking. At the end of the year, you’ll probably have a huge room full of cigarettes. And it’ll just be a great visual, like wow, I can’t believe I would’ve smoked all of those cigarettes. And don’t get too hung up if you don’t get that visit from the future I was talking about earlier. Maybe time machines are really expensive. Maybe there will be all of these really strict rules governing where and how we’re able to meddle with the timeline. Just stop smoking.

3. Stop doing cocaine

Has it been ten years already? Wow, talk about living fast. It all started out innocently enough, but you’d be lying to yourself if you said that your life hasn’t recently started to spiral out of control. What used to be a fun diversion from the same old boring nightlife soon turned into a few bumps here and there to freshen up throughout the course of the day. And now that you really think about it, when was the last time you weren’t doing cocaine? Do you have any money left?

Fear not, because you don’t necessarily have to die young. There is a solution: just tell yourself that, starting on Wednesday, you won’t do cocaine anymore. Make it a New Year’s resolution, to stop doing cocaine for good. The best part about it is, you still have two days left to party balls-to-the-walls crazy. I’m talking, scrounge up whatever cash you have lying around in between the couch cushions, get out there and sell some blood, do whatever it takes to convert the rest of 2014 into a continuous white line, party like maybe 2015 won’t ever show up. And then when the ball drops at midnight, make yourself a pot of coffee, and just stop. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I hereby resolve to quit!” It works.

4. Learn a new language

There’s no better time than the beginning of January to decide to get fluent in a new language. With the Internet, it’s so easy. Just log onto one of those language-learning web sites and do it. Last year, I started learning Portuguese! I would have finished too, but after only a couple of lessons, I had the bright idea of taking my newfound linguistic skills and trying them out in the real world. There’s this Brazilian barbeque place a few blocks down from my house, and so I walked in and was like, “Hello! Good afternoon!” I said it in Portuguese, or at least, I thought it was Portuguese. It’s been a while now so I can’t remember.

Anyway, it turns out that the busboy that I was having my practice conversation with was from Senegal, and so he didn’t really speak Portuguese either. I didn’t get that right away though, I was being stubborn, following him around the restaurant, into the kitchen, insisting on breaking through our language barrier. Eventually the owner came out and asked me to leave. This guy had to have been Brazilian, and I wanted to say, “Why? What did I do?” in Portuguese. But I was unprepared, I couldn’t remember any of even the basics that I had learned the day before, and so finally I left, embarrassed, resolving to give up Portuguese lessons for good. But this year I’m thinking of trying German, or maybe something random like Lithuanian or Tagalog.

5. Stop fighting with your brother

My mom’s always yelling at me, “Stop fighting with your brother!” Even though I’m not doing anything, he’s always the one starting everything. Hey mom, how come you never tell him to stop fighting with me? Anyway, New Year’s is the perfect time to let bygones be bygones, especially with your family members. And if I can stop fighting with my brother, there’s no reason you can’t stop fighting with your brother either.

Because seriously, my brother is such a dick. For Christmas, one of my aunts gave me this really nice new sweater. When I first opened up the present, I was like, “Oh wow, a sweater,” not really very excited about getting just a sweater for Christmas, but still trying to be nice about it. I threw it in a pile of other random clothes by my bed. But then the next day at dinner, my brother came down wearing my sweater. And everyone at the table was like, “Wow, that’s a nice sweater, it looks great on you.” That was my sweater. And I said to him, “What the hell? What are you taking clothes out of my room?” He said, “What? I thought you didn’t like it.” I said, “I never said that. Give it back!” He wouldn’t, I insisted, we would up getting in this ridiculous scuffle, me trying to force him to take off the sweater. OK, I admit it, I could have acted like more of an adult. And the sweater got ripped, so it’s not like either one of us is going to get to wear it in the future. Dinner was ruined. My mom was really pissed. “What the hell is wrong with you?” was the last thing my dad said to me. So yeah, this year I’ve just got to resolve to stop fighting with my brother. Even though he’s such a dick about everything. TC mark

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