by Sayaka Matsuoka

1. Work out regularly

The new year rolled around and you stepped on the scale, but didn’t like what you saw so you resolved to work out more. But maybe it’s too cold out for a run or the gym is too expensive and who has the space in their house to actually do P90X? So you resolve to watch the last season of “Homeland” or if you’re like me, you’re slaying dragons in Skyrim.

2. Eat healthier

We all say we’re going to do this one. Less McDonald’s, more veggies and fruit. But if you skip breakfast like me and only eat one main meal a day (even if it’s a bucket of fried chicken just for yourself) you’re still consuming fewer calories right? And have you seen the price of fruit and vegetables lately? What’s up with that?

3. Keep a better eye on finances

Remember when you spent too much on Christmas presents last year and vowed to start keeping track of your finances? Maybe you opened a spreadsheet or downloaded an app. Did you know for that to work, you have to track everything you spend money on? Like everything? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

4. Volunteer more

Christmas got you in the giving spirit and it felt good giving $2 to the fellow outside Belk ringing the Salvation Army bell so you resolved to do it throughout the year. You were going to volunteer your time at the shelter or donate money to a local cause. It’s three weeks into the year and you can’t even think of organizations to donate to but hey, the Girl Scouts are toting their cookie boxes (making it even harder to keep resolution number two) and you can support their cause. That’s like volunteering, right?

5. Cook more/eat out less

Cooking is not that hard. Buy the ingredients then follow the instructions in the cookbook. It’s like putting together an IKEA shelf but less time-consuming and you can eat it. So why don’t we do it? Well, it’s hard when you could go down the street to Europa and get a much better meal in half the time and, let’s be honest, who even knows how to properly use paprika?

6. Quit smoking

This might be one of the most popular and most broken resolutions every year. You could try the patch, gum or even switch to “vaping” but we all know nothing compares to the sweet taste of tobacco filling our mouths and lungs, or the smell it leaves on our fingers. And we’re saving money on gas so that means more can be spent on a pack of Marlboros.

7. Learn a new skill

So you got a new guitar for the holidays and for the first two hours you were actively learning to read music and downloading tuning apps but now the poor thing is just collecting dust in your room and scaring your dog every time you accidentally brush the strings. You tell yourself you’ll learn eventually. At least it looks good when people come over.

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