New Years tip: indulge as much as possible before implementing resolutions.
I love making resolutions. I make them whenever I get home from a vacation or finish a crazy job. Having some sort of plan for improvement upon my return to normal life allows me to operate at maximum relaxation capacity in the meantime. For this reason New Years resolutions don't go into effect until the fun is completely finished. That means we've opened presents from both sides of the family, eaten all leftovers, and drained the last of the champagne. In this year's case, they go in effect today.
There are a handful of resolutions that I always make and never keep, mostly revolving around money. They never seem to get off the ground, so this year I've decided to resolve as I go. I'm starting with a total ban on ALL non-essential shopping for Jasper and myself until March 6th. This includes all toys, clothes, "fun" beauty products, shoes, housewares, jewelry, electronic gadgets (with one exception), and anything else that seems tempting. The ban excludes anything purchased with a gift card, replacement beauty stuff (so I don't have to go without washing my hair for two months), a computer (because I don't have one currently), books, and obviously anything my family might need to...exist. I'm also not cutting out restaurants or the indulgent bottle of wine here and there. This particular resolution has more to do with my fondness for accumulating stuff than it does with overhauling my entire lifestyle. Baby steps.
Speaking of babies, the second resolution is to reinstate Jasper's good habits. We fell into some really bad patterns while I was working a thousand hours a day, which only got exponentially worse while we were on vacation. Said patterns include bribing Jasper with cookies, unlimited i-Pad usage, and the end of any discernible bedtime. So far we're doing well with the i-Pad thing, thanks in large part to a gift from an uncle - the highly annoying but cute Playful Penguin Race.
My third resolution is to donate a significant chunk time or money to something non-political that I care about. Most of my idealism over the past several years has been channeled into paid work, and while I'm happy to have had a series of jobs that I can be proud of, they by no means let me off the hook.
Finally, I resolve to wear more lipstick. My motivation isn't as shallow as you might think.
Image via Into the Gloss