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January is officially the month of peak “new year, new you” marketing — and that means we’re all pledging to a fresh set of New Year’s resolutions (again). It shouldn’t come as a surprise that keeping our well-meaning promises will be an uphill battle: a past study by U.S. News & World Report suggests that nearly 80% of us will fall off the wagon by mid-February.
A more reasonable resolution might be to stop pursuing unattainable perfection in the form of “the best me” (say, losing 20 pounds in two weeks in the name of wellness.) Perhaps a more doable goal is to better tend to our physical, emotional, and mental health, which can range from exercising more (which has been proven to benefit both mind and our body) or, as the Obama Foundation suggests, setting aside more time to volunteer (which is good for the soul).
What Are the Best New Year’s Resolutions?
Stumped on how to kick off 2021? Here, we’ve rounded up 11 ideas for New Year’s resolutions that you’ll actually be able to keep.
1. Plan for the Months Ahead
Designed for everyone from students to entrepreneurs, this six-month productivity planner helps you define and set priorities, manage tasks, and cut down on wasted time by giving you a big-picture view of your goals. Getting stuff done also requires a healthy work-life balance, so the book also provides reading, self-care, and bucket lists as well as coaching tips and weekly motivational quotes.
The 7.75-inch by 9.75-inch organizer includes weekly and daily planning pages, monthly overviews, 93 numbered dot-grid note pages, a table of contents section, and more. The fact that it’s got six months’ worth of planning means you won’t need to give yourself a guilt trip over too many unused pages the rest of the year if you find that a paper journal isn’t your style.
Roterunner Purpose Planner, $30, available on Amazon (out of stock? See more of the best productivity planners here)
2. Get Your Wellness In Order
If you’re not yet comfortable with in-person doctor’s appointments or are just too pressed for time to find a new MD, telehealth startup Hims (and its women’s-focused brand, Hers) makes it easy to take care of yourself. You can book virtual consultations ($39 and up) with a primary care physician, who can address everything from colds to eczema and fill prescriptions for a range of health conditions.
The company also offers its own line of prescription-strength acne and anti-aging skincare, hair care for balding, and supplements for immunity and sleep, as well as consultations with medical professionals who can assess your needs. And if you’re looking for mental health support or ways to treat erectile dysfunction, Hims also has you covered in both departments with licensed therapists and doctors who can prescribe medication. Oh, and they now offer home COVID-19 saliva tests ($150), too.
3. Drink More Water
So simple, yet somehow the majority of Americans knowingly don’t drink enough water. (A survey by filtered water service provider Quench found that more than 75% of respondents believed they weren’t getting enough of their daily H2O.) We’re fans of Purist Collective’s sleek 32-ounce reusable water bottle, which has an “unbreakable” glass interior that’s said to eliminate unwanted tastes from tap water. Multiple colors available.
Those who really need the extra nudge can strap ULLA’s handy hydration reminder to their drinking vessel. It attaches to most water bottles and uses a blinking light pattern to catch your eye and remind you to take a sip every 30 to 40 minutes. The device has sensors for daylight and proximity (ensuring that it’s not wasting battery life by blinking in an empty room), as well as an auto on/off setting.
4. Feed Your Grey Matter
Resolving to read more is a no-brainer when you’ve got luminaries like Malala Yousafzai, Sir Richard Branson, author Susan Orlean, and Stephen Curry as your book club leaders. Literati’s monthly membership brings you fiction and nonfiction selections that tell the stories of underrated voices, courageous women, and many other memorable perspectives.
5. Set Up Your Home Sweat Station
The thinking goes that if you invest in a piece of exercise equipment for your New Year’s resolution, you’ll resolve to make the most of your money. In a non-pandemic year, most gym memberships are lucky if they make it past March, and that’s where MYXfitness’ machine learning-based platform comes in. A survey conducted by the fitness company found less than a quarter of non-exercisers believe they’ll stick to their sweat plan, citing lack of time and motivation among the reasons.
The brand’s membership-based SmartMYX develops a custom workout program based on users’ health goals (such as improving cardio, strength, and flexibility) and their realistic amount of exercise time. Each plan calibrates heart rate zones specifically for members so that their workouts are efficient and effective, and users will get a weekly workut schedule and report that helps improve their results. The platform will adjust its recommendations based on your activity, and SmartMYX’s app lets you schedule workouts to keep you accountable.
As far as the gear, MYXfitness’ MYX Plus package includes everything you need to set up your new home workout station. You’ll get a stationary Star Trac bike with an interactive 21.5-inch touch screen, a stabilizing mat, heart rate monitor, an oversized exercise mat, an EVA foam roller, a resistance band, three sets of hand weights, and a kettlebell. The SmartMYX membership costs $29 per month and includes access to its full library of workouts (including new classes each week) for all levels, heart rate monitoring and reporting, progress tracking, and more.
6. Clean Up Your Scrubbing Routine
There are no shortage of stories and documentaries recounting the amount of plastic and toxic chemicals that seep into our oceans. If you’re looking to ease into the low-waste lifestyle (and keep the earth and yourself healthy), cutting out single-use plastics by way of your cleaning routine is a good place to start.
We’re fans of Cleancult‘s biodegradable hand soaps, dishwasher soap tablets, all-purpose cleaners, liquid laundry detergent, and more home products that come in recyclable cartons and pleasing scents (you can also get unscented). The sustainable brand says it helps customers keep 44 pounds of plastic out of landfills per year via its refillable glass spray bottles and dispensers and recurring subscriptions (available every one, two, or three months).
7. Hit the Road in New Kicks
When it comes to picking up your running routine, we’re guessing that going from zero to 60 will reduce your success rate by probably a lot (but we’re no experts). Start small with one-mile jogs and runs instead, and pick up a new pair of kicks that’ll get you pumped to test out the rest of your high-performance gear (and don’t forget your sweat-friendly mask).
A favorite among long-distance runners, Mizuno’s Wave Rider footwear will let you hit the road while keeping you light on your feet (each shoe clocks in at just 10 ounces). For the 24th iteration of its best-selling silhouette, the company swapped its previous foam with the lighter Enerzy foam, which uses less rubber than its predecessor but delivers the same good grip and more flexibility.
These shoes offer stability, energetic cushioning, and support for runners with neutral pronation to underpronation, so those who are flat-footed or who overpronate will want to consider something with more support, such as Mizuno’s Inspire runners. When in doubt, check with a podiatrist or get your gait analyzed by running experts who can make recommendations tailored to your needs.
8. Give Your Home Office a Cool Makeover
Don’t have an eye for interior design, but itching for a stylish and clean slate in your space? Whether you’ll be working from home indefinitely or you’re just bored of your house, Havenly’s online service lets you work with professional interior designers who’ll dream up a new look for any room in your pad. You’ll set your budget, take a quiz to determine your aesthetic, and get a customized design plan with a curated shopping list.
If you choose Havenly’s Full package, you’ll also get layout visualizations so you can “see” your room’s makeover and a custom floor plan. Both the Mini and Full options include a personal ordering team who’ll source products from local and national home furnishings and decor vendors (think cool brands like CB2, West Elm, Article, Minted, Interior Define, and others).
9. Plant Your Victory Garden
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from soaking up self-proclaimed “Gangster Gardener” Ron Finley’s Masterclass series, it’s that growing your own greens can and should be rewarding and delicious. Not yet convinced that you’ve got a green thumb? Try sowing your skills with an indoor herb garden, which is easy to do in even the tiniest shoebox apartments.
Your home-cooked dishes will reap the benefits of homegrown herbs like USDA organic basil, cilantro, parsley, sage, and thyme from Spade to Fork’s home seed kit, which has everything you need to sprout fresh, non-GMO ingredients.
Compelled to take your cultivation up a notch? AeroGarden’s soil-free hydroponic garden kit uses 20-watt LED lights to maximize photosynthesis (read: big blooms in less time). It can hold up to six 12-inch-tall plants, and the kit includes seeds to grow Genovese and Thai basils, curly parsley, dill, thyme, and mint, plus the company’s special nutrient-rich plant formula.
10. Channel Your Inner Culinary Star
Speaking of herbs, why not commit to cooking more at home and using your newly-grown greens, while you’re at it? Allow multi-hyphenate musician Snoop Dogg (whose resumé includes rap star, BFF to Martha Stewart, vino maker, and cookbook author) to light the way. His 192-page tome, From Cook to Cook, offers 50 of Calvin Broadus Jr.’s favorite recipes, including cannabis-free concoctions like baked mac and cheese, easy orange chicken, and (yes) gin and juice. If all else fails, you can always live vicariously through Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Party Challenge.
If your tastebuds prefer to cook up something a little bit more country, try Jessie James Decker’s latest cookbook, Just Feed Me. (We imagine her plates pair well with her recently-launched wine, Stay Gold.) Fans love the Nashville star’s simple and easy-to-follow dishes that blend her Italian, Southern, and Cajun roots, such as Tuscan bean soup, Brazilian steak, pumpkin cookies, and more. Otherwise, you can also whet your appetite with these other musician-powered cookbooks. (And let’s not forget Cookin’ with Coolio.)
11. Indulge in More Pleasure
Why not spice it up in the bedroom (or wherever else you do it) for 2021? Experts say that the health benefits of regular sex — whether with a partner or yourself — can include a boost in immunity, stress relief, younger-looking skin, and even more cardio.
Try prepping for your endorphin-pumping activity with this CBD-infused arousal oil by Foria, which also offers other wellness products designed to address both pleasure (think intimacy) and pain (we’re talking inflammation and period cramps). This organic, plant-based formula contains ingredients found in your pantry — cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla, to name a few — that combine with cardamom and peppermint oils, hemp, and kava root to bring you “out-of-this-world orgasms.”
No matter if you’re coupled or solo, Dame’s Fin finger vibrator will certainly hit the spot. The water-resistant device is made of medical-grade silicone and comes with three speed settings, while the versatile shape offers a range of ways to stimulate.