You know what's sad? Starting off your year feeling like a failure. That is essentially all anyone is doing when they set a New Year's resolution. I did some Googling to find out some non-scientific statistics on what New Year's promises are being kept and broken. USA.gov, which doesn't site its sources for its list (but it's totally accurate because it ends in .gov), has a "popular New Year's resolutions" list that reads like the answers to a question posed by the host of the game show Family Feud. "One hundred boring, typical people claim this to be their New Year's Resolution." Play at home. I bet you can name them with me: Lose Weight, Get Fit, Eat Right, Quit Smoking, Drink Less, Save Money, blah, blah, blah.
However noble or otherwise helpful these are to the person setting them as their yearly goal, the follow-through is always crap. ProactiveChange.com estimates that while 75 percent of resolutions last the first week, by February it is down to 64 percent and only 46 percent make it past June. That's because people aim too high and don't have anything within their grasp to encourage them to continue. You won't know until mid-February if losing weight/getting fit/eating right is actually occurring and/or helping your body. Saving money could literally creep by one penny at a time.
Setting a tiny goal that has noticeable results will make your year start off great. And I think that for every goal achieved, a reward should be set. Like a child who is promised candy or a toy if they behave in a store, you should have some sort of incentive to keep you trudging along. And, in fitting with what seems to be a popular trend amongst the resolutions, some kind of physical achievement, I have assembled a list of low-energy, good-return beauty-related resolutions and the treats that you should reward yourself when you accomplish them.
The largest organ a human possesses is their skin. Perhaps that's why there is such a large spectrum of terrible things we do to our skin, top of which is fake tanning and its spray/lotion variations. People always want to get their knickers in a wad about smoking, how it's a nasty habit that's disgusting, harmful to those around you, addictive and deadly. Um, the same can be said for those who are constant tanners.
I'm sure that if you repeatedly expose yourself to whatever is being sprayed in those spray tanners, it's just as healthy as some of the ingredients in a cigarette. It's definitely addictive; and an orangey complexion is pretty gross to those around you. And mostly, the fake tan has now reached its "jump the shark" moment, as fashion pundit Simon Doonan declared this year: "Every trend has a sell-by date, and the fake tan thing definitely expired this year."
Being flesh-colored might prove just as difficult to some, which is why you have to think of it in terms of dollars and cents, and most importantly what you can do with the extra cash. By stopping bimonthly spray tanning sessions, hundreds of dollars annually in monthly tanning fees and the expensive tan-enhancing lotions, a person could actually go on a vacation to a tropical somewhere that actually has the real sun. Only, you know, when you're there you'd have to wear sunscreen and all. But still, do you want to remember 2009 as that year you had a fake tan or the year that you went to sunny Mexico during a cold Tulsa winter?
The skin on your face could use some resolutionizing, too. Although the U.S. completed its first face transplant this year, it wasn't because someone was taking care of his or her complexion daily.
While picking at your face does sometimes give a sick sense of satisfaction, the aftermath is brutal, both on a short-term basis (scabby, noticeable zits) and long term (scarring). There is only one excuse to pick at the face and that is when a person is chemically inclined to do so because of his or her rabid crystal meth addition. If that is the case for the face picking, well, making a resolution to quit that nasty little habit will kill two birds with one stone-- hillbilly meth-free lungs/veins and a clear complexion.
Make a resolution to have a daily cleansing routine and to keep your hands busy from picking. Take a cue from a workplace that boasts of so many days of being accident-free; every blank amount of weeks that you go without wreaking havoc on your pores, treat yourself to a facial. It will be relaxing, it will make your face look even better, make you want to treat it right and the professionals will be able to dole out some advice on what you should do when a spot comes up. With this resolution, you really can put your best face forward all year long.
You can do a handful of other beauty things to resolutionize this January. Eyebrow over-plucking (put down the tweezers and go see a professional), poor hair care and dental care (decide to finally become a daily flosser this year!) are all tiny goals that will do a smidgen of good for you this year.
Are you a nail biter? Think of quitting this year. Yes, it's delightful ripping through a fingernail, but it's a nasty habit. Not aesthetically, but you really shouldn't put your hands, much less your fingernails in your mouth. Even the most vigorous of hand washers can't get rid of the gunk that accumulates under the nails. To keep yourself from sticking your hands near your mouth, start off with a manicure. With nails that start off looking decent, you may be less likely to destroy them. They might be one notch above a bloody stump, but get your nails looking as good as possible. Keep your hands busy; and as time progresses, continue giving yourself regular manicures to keep up with your resolution.
Not all bad habits are readily noticeable. Take for instance, if you received gift cards to clothing retailers for the holidays. You may have gone out a few days after opening the gift and spent them all. Congrats on being the owner of a bunch of lackluster crap.
To determine if you are afflicted with this problem, take a look at the items in your closet and the clothes in your dresser drawers. If they show wear after a few washings (fading, pilling, easy unraveling of seams) or they give off a vibe of being a trendy item that won't be wearable a month from now, you are probably afflicted with this habit. To curb this enthusiasm, set a goal to buy something you've always wanted, but could never really afford.
These resolutions might not be as life-altering as some of the more popular ones, but who needs that kind of pressure so early in the year? By accomplishing something small early on, perhaps you'll have enough encouragement to try something bolder for yourself later on in '09. Some of these small steps might help you save that money you wanted to. And as for the get fit/eat right/lose weight-- save that for the warmer months anyway.
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