And then keep it for longer than 60 seconds.
Okay, guys, we admit it. You know that Friends scene where Chandler and Ross try to cancel their gym memberships? Well, we capped off 2015 with a complete reenactment, shrieking “I want to quit the gym!” repeatedly into the phone until the poor six-pack on the other end all but read us our Miranda rights (‘You have the right to remain flabby. Anything you say can and will be used against you when you come crawling back to us in January.’).
But here’s the thing. Sometimes a new year requires a clean slate—out with what’s not working (aka a $70-a-month gym membership we used maybe 10 times last year) and in with what is. In the interest of making 2016 the Best Year Ever, here’s how to make a resolution with better staying power than your trusty can of L’Oreal Elnett.
Resolution-making is like dating: the goal is to pick one, and give committing to it a real shot. Maybe it doesn’t work out, and you move on to the next one. Maybe it does, and you live happily ever after as a resolved being.
But make seven side-chick resolutions along with your main bae and by the time March rolls around, you can’t remember any of them without the list in your phone, you’re pretty sure you’ll never see four of them again, and at least one has vlogged about your misdoings.
But we digress. Basically, pick one resolution. Just one.
Preempt The Honeymoon Period
Look at the two of you. Just you and your resolution, massaging kale together. You look so happy, right?
The resolution honeymoon period is as real as the January wait list at SoulCycle—all is well and good for a month or two, and then all of a sudden, your motivation’s gone. Keep your foresight 20/20 by anticipating problems—i.e. your “I will quit sugar for the year” goal vs. your willpower come Valentine’s Day—and adjusting your resolution to reflect the inevitability of human error. Maybe you plan to have quit sugar by the end of 2016 by slowly eliminating a dessert month by month, or breaking it into bite-sized goals (“I won’t buy any processed sugar at the grocery store for the month of January” to “I won’t buy any dessert when I go out to dinner in February” to “I’ll cut out cocktails in March.”).
No Good Things Come From Secret Flings
Making a resolution in your head doesn’t make it real—you have to tell people. People who will ask you about it, and thus plant that tiny seed of guilt that may just get you out of your sweatpants on a rainy Sunday morning. Tell your mom. Tell your boyfriend or girlfriend. Tell your boss. Tell your Starbucks barista. When she gives you the side-eye for ordering a grande peppermint mocha, maybe you’ll think twice before repeat offending (or you’ll just find another Starbucks. You’re sneaky like that).
Those Who Resolve Together, Stay Together
There’s no better motivation than another human. Either find a friend with a similar resolution, or make one with your S/O. Think of them as the personal trainer you can’t sneakily quit and now have to hide from every time you spend $40 at Pressed Juicery. Remember, they know where you live.
Spice Things Up
…Because come October, your now-routine is bound to be pretty damn boring. Ditch the skinless boneless chicken breast and start an inspiration board of some kind, whether it’s a Pinterest page of delicious gluten-free recipes, a YouTube playlist of workouts you won’t hate, or a list of places you’ll go in Cote D’Azur once you finally finish that Rosetta Stone. Something that you can turn to when the going gets rough—a little resolution porn, if you will.
And don’t forget to reward yourself for hitting your milestones. After all, nothing feels as good as a congratulatory Fendi.