Welcome. A gaggle of mates and I used to assemble for brunch yearly on New Year’s Day, and on the finish of the meal, we’d every write a decision on a slip of paper and put it in a hat. Then everybody drew from the hat, every receiving a random decision, an project for the yr from another person on the desk.
The decision may be sensible, one thing the individual writing it hoped to do themselves: “Fold your clothes every night when you take them off,” “Sign up for voice lessons.” Or it may be one thing ridiculous: One yr I drew, “Every morning when you wake up, stick your arms out at your sides, wiggle your fingers and say, “It’s showtime!”
We have been making an attempt so as to add some whimsy to resolution-making, to make entertaining a self-improvement follow that may generally really feel punishing. As a end result we have been nudged out of our consolation zones (the buddy who drew the “voice lessons” decision truly took some classes, one thing he wouldn’t have performed in any other case). Since we hadn’t provide you with the resolutions ourselves, they appeared like enjoyable challenges moderately than aspirations in pursuit of which we may fall quick. (It took a few month for “It’s showtime” to fade from my morning schedule, however I nonetheless do it every so often: a foolish, theatrical flourish to begin the day.)
For 2021, why not go light on the resolutions, conserving in thoughts that your nerves may be frayed, your zest for a life overhaul a bit depleted? Just as, earlier within the pandemic, I advised making tiny adjustments in your day to be able to create a routine as a substitute of adopting a inflexible schedule, you may have a look at resolutions as methods to tinker together with your habits, to not completely exchange them.
My colleague Christina Caron wrote a wonderful guide to downsizing your resolutions. Instead of declaring, “This is the year I get fit!,” start with something small, specific and attainable — this might be resolving to take a walk or jog, do a yoga video or stretch before bed a certain number of times per week. A small, achievable resolution is the perfect foundation on which to build. Get the satisfaction of following through on a reasonable goal, then you can build on it over the course of the year.
While you’re mulling your resolutions, I recommend this story about a service in D.C. that sells books by the foot to those who want to appear well-read on video calls.
I am enjoying the KCRW podcast “Welcome to L.A.,” in which the journalist David Weinberg tells a different, magical story about the city in each episode. My favorite episode so far: “The Case of the Missing Sprinkles,” about, among other things, the history of “The People’s Court.”
And here’s The Zombies performing “This Will Be Our Year” live in a bike shop in Austin in 2013.
What’s your small, manageable resolution for 2021? What tiny change will you commit to on this first day of the new year? Write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, age and location. We’re At Home. We’ll read every letter sent. As always, more ideas for leading a good life at home, all year long, appear below.