Welcome. A group of friends and I would gather for brunch on New Year’s Day each year, and at the end of the meal we each wrote a resolution on a piece of paper and put it inside a hat. Then everyone pulled out of their hat, everyone received a random resolution, a task for the year from someone else at the table.
The solution could be practical what the person who wrote it wanted to do himself: “Fold your clothes every night when you take them off.” “Sign up for the language class.” Or it could be something ridiculous: For a year I drew, “Every morning when you wake up, stretch your arms out by your sides, wiggle your fingers and say,” It’s show time! “
We tried to make the decision-making process a little more capricious to make the conversation a self-improvement practice that sometimes feels punishing. As a result, we were pushed out of our comfort zones (the friend who drew the resolution “Language Lessons” actually took some lessons that he would not otherwise have done). Since we hadn’t made the resolutions ourselves, they seemed like fun challenges rather than aspirations that we couldn’t meet. (It took “It’s Showtime” about a month to get off my morning schedule, but I still do it every now and then: a goofy, theatrical boost to start the day.)
Why not save your resolutions for 2021 and consider that your nerves could be frayed and your zest for life is a little exhausted? Just like when I suggested making tiny changes to your day at the beginning of the pandemic to create a routine instead of setting a rigid schedule, you could consider resolutions as a means to tinker with your habits rather than completely replacing them.
My colleague Christina Caron wrote a wonderful guide on how to downsize your resolutions. Instead of explaining, “This is the year I get fit!”, Start with something small, specific, and achievable – this could result in you walking or jogging a certain number of times per week, doing a yoga Do video or stretch before bed. A small, achievable resolution is the perfect foundation on which to build on. Get the satisfaction of achieving a reasonable goal and then build on it as the year goes on.
While you ponder your resolutions, I recommend this story about a DC service that sells books on foot to those who want to appear well read on video calls.
I enjoy the KCRW “Welcome to LA” podcast, in which journalist David Weinberg tells a different, magical story about the city in each episode. My favorite episode so far: “The Fall of the Missing Streusel”, including the story of “The People’s Court”.
And here are the zombies playing “This Will Be Our Year” live in a 2013 Austin bike shop.
What’s your small, manageable resolution for 2021? What tiny change will you commit to on that first day of the New Year? Write to us: email@example.com. Include your name, age, and location. Were at home. We will read every letter. As always, below are more ideas for having a good life at home all year round.
Do you like what you see?
Sign up to receive the At Home newsletter. You’ll find a lot more to read, see, and do on At Home every day. And let us know what you think!