Weekly Resolutions for 2012
Here's our list of gradual, fun and doable changes, one for each week of 2012, that may just add up to some big changes in your year and life.
Oprah.com | Dec 18, 2011
January 1: Make an anger punch list.
Identify five sources of minor, senseless daily fury in your life (your coffee machine that leaks coffee, your coat with the hole in the pocket where you store your keys) and stop them in one life-changing burst of effort. Hire a trainer; break out a needle and thread; be calmer and more senselessly content.
January 8: End the photo horror.
January 15: Invest in a bag of impressive marshmallows.
These light, sugary confections
are one place where you can really distinguish yourself as a thoughtful and fun host, mostly because nobody thinks about them. The next time you invite a possible friend-to-be over for a coffee (or hot cocoa), turn her beverage heaven-flavored, with a chocolate chip, maple and brown sugar, or white chocolate cranberry cube of melted fluff.
January 22: Throw a problem-solving dinner party.
Identify your biggest obstacle, and instead of emailing or calling up your friends, invite six of the wisest people you know over to eat pasta and fix your life. Studies show that proximity makes a difference when it comes to finding solutions—for instance, the best scientific research is done when scientists work within roughly 30 feet of each other.
January 29: Rent a pair of snowshoes.
February 5: Find an underdog team to cheer for.
February 12: Finally use the fondue pot you stole from your mother's house or received as a wedding present.
To liven up the bubbling caldron of predictable cheese, skip the bread. Slices of fried sausage, soft pretzels, mini meatballs, steamed broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, toast points and bread sticks make delicious, unexpected dippers.
February 19: Forgive one person.
It doesn't have to be the person who hurt you the most. It doesn't have to be a person who's still alive. But it must be someone you have or have had some kind of relationship with. Forgiving a misbehaving celeb or historical figure—Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson, Marie Antoinette—however appealing, doesn't count.
February 26: Revamp your après-workout routine.
March 4: Find yourself a reverse mentor.
There are some things the younger generation knows that you don't. Some examples: how to wakeboard, how to find a King Krule video
and what the heck emoji are.
Buddy up with a savvy person at least 10 years younger and learn a few skills that might just come in useful for your career, your online social life and your ability to relate to 52 percent of the planet.
March 11: Pet every dog you see this week.
Unless it looks mean.
March 18: Address the debacle known as your linen closet.
March 25: Go vertical
Standing burns about 50 percent more calories than sitting. Get off your duff while checking your email, talking to a co-worker or waiting for an online video to load.
April 1: Take one high-color risk.
Try a tinted mascara instead of basic black. (The look-good guide: green for hazel eyes, purple for green eyes, and bright sapphire for blue eyes). Experiment with a lacy neon bra
. Or buy yourself a pair of this spring's hottest—and most affordable—color-blocked heels
April 8: Learn how to play one song on the harmonica.
Carry you harmonica in your purse. When frustrated by a late bus or a snobby department store salesperson, play the song to calm your breathing—and yourself. If you laugh in the process—and all the surrounding strangers do too—all the better.
April 15: Devote one week to radical optimism.
Assume that everything—the upcoming dinner party, the raise under consideration, the audition at the community theater—will go right. You may be proven wrong, of course, possibly repeatedly, but for one week go with the idea that whatever you want to work out will. Note any changes in attitude, beginning with how easily and quickly you get out of bed in the morning.
April 22: Start a garden journal.
Plot out your veggies and flowers. List the tools you need to purchase. Draw your fantasy layout in colored pencil. Press inspirational flowers between the pages (using a heavy dictionary). And should you happen to forget to plant anything at all, consider this notebook your celebration of spring.
April 29: No Peeps this year!
Yes, they are cute, but they still taste like Styrofoam.
May 6: Found your own excellence club.
Invite four successful peers from your profession to share strategies, expertise, advice and a friendly glass of Syrah each month. This includes stay-at-home mothers and struggling artists.
May 13: Address your arm flab.
Complete 20 push-ups on the edge of the sink
every morning after brushing your teeth. It's easy, it works, and very soon you will have to wear a bathing suit or strapless dress that will make you overjoyed that you started on this muscle group this week.
May 20: Create a quit list.
Write down everything that you have already quit in the last year—from eating trans fats to a toxic job to your overdue taxes. Go through and evaluate the positive or negative effect of each decision. Is there a pattern? If you need help, call in Martha Beck for advice on when to give up.
May 27: Test-drive a pair of false lashes.
There's a reason why celebs love them. They make you look sexy in a way that nobody can figure out, and give the illusion of extra-wide-open eyes, making it seem as if you've just had 12 hours of restful sleep.
How to apply false lashes like a pro
June 3: Make friends with salad.
June 10: Rethink your tired manicure.
June 17: Take a stand against turkey neck.
June 24: Attempt the Halftime Challenge.
Ask yourself one question every morning for the next seven days: How will you measure success six months from now? Jot down the answers, considering your home life, friends, family, hobbies, dreams, attitudes and career. At the end of week, circle the two answers that feel most authentic to you. These are your goals to work on from now until the New Year.
July 1: Go shine-free this summer.
July 8: End the farmers' market angst.
Do all those happy, glowing shoppers wandering around with chic eco-baskets that spilleth over with mustard greens make you feel inept and discouraged when it comes to buying and cooking local produce? Sure, there are vegetables you don't know how to prepare yet. Sure, you may blanch at the price of an organic, free-range chestnut. But this is the week to figure out how to incorporate farm goodies into your life. (1) Buy the damn basket. (2) Make a specific list of what to buy—as if the market were a grocery store (in other words, stop wandering around sampling kale pickles and blueberry honey without purchasing anything). (3) Get chatty (the stand owner knows what's freshest and how to prepare it).
July 15: Buck the sex statistic.
July 22: Take an e-vacation.
Spend one full week without a single electronic device. Creativity has been shown to increase after just three days off from laptops, tablets, Wiis, TVs and smartphones.
July 29: Remaster one skill from childhood.
August 5: Are you lying more than you realize?
For one week, write down every single lie—the big, the small, the funny, the dumb—that you tell. Next, review the list, not looking at the number of lies but the places and times you lie: When you're late? When you're talking about money, sex or age? When you can't do what you promised—or wish—you could do?
August 12: Exchange that tuna fish on white for some fresh, delicious, mercury-free karma.
Every day this week, donate the amount of money that you usually spend on lunch or fancy coffees to a cause that you believe in.
August 19: Fix your public record.
August 26: Eat at least one whole tomato like an apple.
Yes, there will be juice streaming down your arms.
September 2: Revamp your work wardrobe.
September 9: Give your eyes a break.
Prevent fatigue (and headaches) by using the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look away from your computer screen and stare off into the distance—or at an object about 20 feet away—for 20 seconds.
September 16: Call your once-totally-cool aunt or uncle.
You may be surprised at what they're up to these days.
September 23: For one full day this week, eat nothing that comes out of a can, bag, or box.
At best, you'll learn to make a familiar dish—like chicken noodle soup—from scratch. At worst? You'll eat salad for dinner instead of a frozen pizza.
September 30: Go on a romantic date.
Married people included. No restaurants allowed.
October 7: Come up with a "Top 10 Most Trusted" list.
Who are the 10 people in your life you trust enough to talk about personal issues, stand up for you in difficult situations or advise you when you make mistakes? Is your own name on that list?
October 14: Perfect the much-discussed smoky eye.
Everybody keeps talking about the smoky eye. This week, learn how to do it like an expert
. Better yet, give it a twist with a violet color that's just as sexy as black or gray and flatters every skin tone. For a less-bold look, try a colored eyeliner.
October 21: Make your own Halloween costume.
Not allowed: going as a pedestrian or as yourself.
October 28: Spruce up the social you.
Rewrite your online dating profile, take down the picture of you breastfeeding on Facebook
or update your titles on Goodreads
. Consider how many sites you need to have a presence on (Facebook and Google+
?), which ones you actually use (Twitter
?) and which new sites you might want to explore (Tumblr
November 4: Write a poem
You don't have to show it to anybody. But you do have to write it out by hand in clear, legible writing and save it.
How to write a poem
November 11: Put an end to an unnecessary, reoccurring twinge.
Everyone has one of these, that sharp, prickly feeling you get after talking badly about your clinically insane but otherwise kind neighbor or complaining about your lovely 74-year-old father who really tries not to call you 10 times a day. This feeling occurs because you're doing something you're not proud of. Stop doing it this week.
November 18: Switch to whole wheat flour, pasta, and breads.
November 25: Follow three rules of your mother's this week.
For example, (1) don't wear jeans with holes, (2) make friends with the receptionist at your OBGYN's office, and (3) always use cloth napkins.
December 2: Stage a gratitude shout-out.
You may not have a giant microphone
, but you do have a hairbrush. Get in front of a mirror and very loudly list all the people who have helped you in the past year. If you're likely to forget a name over time, record it.
Assign yourself at least two conversations with two different strangers about any topic in the book, including the Gross National Happiness (GNH) index.
December 16: Say "I love you"...
...to somebody who you've never said it to before.
December 23: Go through every resolution on this and circle the ones you kept.
At the end of the week, toast yourself.