The ball is dropping (just the one, not those two). You’ve got a glass of half-decent Champagne in one hand, the Champagne of beers in the other and are about to go in for that midnight kiss. Just when you’re about to pop a mint, you have a sudden existential crisis. What did you even do in 2018? Did you accomplish your goals? Did you stick to the resolutions you made a year ago? If you’re asking questions like these, it’s safe to assume you didn’t follow through with whatever you set out to do. But even if fears like these pop up in 2018’s eleventh hour, worry not. We’ve got some 2019 resolutions (some easy, some not) that you can tackle in the coming year.
1. Drink more water.
Chances are, you’ve thought about giving up booze starting New Year’s Day. Ok, maybe one last bloody Mary or mimosa during brunch. THEN THAT’S IT. Ok, but then there are the games with your buddies on Sunday. It would be weird not to have a beer. Maybe a couple beers, then shot of whiskey and pickle juice. It’s true that alcohol has become a ritual tied to many (let’s face it, most) social activities. While laying off the sauce is an admirable goal we fully support, it can be harder than you think. One easy way to change your consumption habits is incorporating more water into your routine. Whether it’s while you’re out drinking with the boys or simply increasing visits to the water cooler at work, adding more h3O to your life can work a myriad of wonders. We’ve covered some of the benefits it offers first thing in the morning, but it goes beyond your wake up call. Drinking more water can increase physical performance, aid in weight loss and even help with some of your poo problems. Oh yeah, and counteract that pesky New Year’s Eve hangover.
2. Get smarter.
We’re all guilty of it at some point; assuming we don’t have to keep hitting the books after ditching high school lockers or college professors. And that’s partially true. It can be a pain (and let’s face it, a little boring) to crack open long volumes that pontificate on the virtues of “blah blah” and “who cares,” even if they smell of leather and rich mahogany. Luckily, there are easier ways to gain a few brain cells in 2019. For instance, there are enough podcasts to cover any topic imaginable. They’re great ways to kill time during your commute while learning a little something. Same goes for audiobooks. Listen to a chapter while you’re getting ready for work in the morning. You can also sign up for email newsletters—whether it’s from the New York Times or Men’s Health—to get fresh info delivered right to your inbox.
3. Save more cash.
No one gets upset about having a little extra cheddar in their bank account. Whether you’re saving up for something massive or just want a little extra cushion, there are a ton of reasons to fluff up your stockpiles. While saving money may sound like a drag, it doesn’t have to be. Making small changes can make a huge difference. Let’s say you spend $5 every morning to get coffee and a bagel on your way to work. Considering there are 261 working days in a year, that’s $1,305 annually. Making breakfast at home may translate into an extra $1,000 in 2019. If you’re a creature of habit, have no fear. Apps like Digit do work behind the scenes to help you save scratch without ever noticing a real difference in your day-to-day life. Because a penny saved is a new boat earned.
4. Get more exercise.
Depending on your routine, this can sound like a lofty goal or no big deal. If you’re a total couch potato, it’s not super realistic to say you’ll run a marathon in March. At the same time, there’s no real benefit in saying you’ll go to the gym five days a week if you’ve been doing that for the past 10 years. Maybe it’s defining specific goals for each lift or type of cardio. Luckily, we’ve already covered easy ways to make any workout more effective. If you need a bit more motivation, additional tools help you track your progress or get your butt out of that La-Z-Boy to begin with. Are you the type who loves fresh air instead of packed gyms? Apps like Strava can track your personal bests on outdoor routes, keep tabs on your overall workout and even inspire healthy competition among friends. If you’re just getting back into the swing of things, a Couch to 5kprogram can help get your legs back underneath you without pushing unrealistic goals. Just be sure to powder up to avoid chafing and nastiness during your newfound search for physical perfection.
5. Be a better partner.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in goals that focus on being the best you. But remember: you’re not the only person you affect. If you’re in a relationship, resolve to be better to your better half. Make an effort to be more attentive, proactive or selfless. It could be as simple as sending them flowers on a random Wednesday at work. Or maybe going out of the way to solve a problem before it ever arises. And yes, you’ll see positive benefits from this, too. Because givers often get to receive. Single? These tips apply to you, too. All of them can easily be translated to dating. Be more inquisitive over drinks to show the other person it’s not all about you. If this is the second or third date, make sure the night revolves around their interest instead of yours. They’ve probably dropped a hobby into casual conversation, so use it as a starting point—even if it’s something you’re not super into. What’s great for them, could turn out to be even better for you in the long run.