50 Reasons To Make These Resolutions
Stop Being Late
1. Truth time: 35 percent of managers don't believe your late-to-work excuses -- no matter how creative.
2. Shaving two minutes from your shower not only gets you where you need to be faster, but also saves up to 14 gallons of water per day.
3. Sign up for a carpool and let the honking horns of strangers hurry you out the door. (Find partnering options at erideshare.com.)
4. The of-the-moment timepieces on page 26 of our January/February issue will keep you on track -- in style.
5."There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self."--Aldous Huxley
6. Easy: the no-sweat "15-Minute Desk Workout" video. (sparkpeople.com)
7. Harder: Ana Caban's challenging, yet embarrassment-proof, Pilates DVDs. ($15, gaiam.com)
8. Brutal, but worth it: Stretch yourself with the New York City Ballet's workout DVDs. ($25, nycballet.com)
9. Try before you buy: 1,400 exercise videos, from tai chi to boxing, on netflix.com.
10. The perverse pleasure of aching muscles the day after a serious workout.
11. Enell's "the bounce stops here" sports bra. ($60, enell.com)
12. Runner's high.
13. If David Lee Roth, Will Ferrell, and Oprah Winfrey can complete a marathon, so can you.
14. Brother's P-touch label makers will turn any pack rat into a regular Bree Van De Kamp. ($70, compusa.com)
15. Shrinking bedding and off-season duds in Space Bags = more room for shoes. (9 for $20, spacebag.com)
16. Pile your junk outside, then go to freecycle.org and post a "Curb Alert" for local scavengers.
17. Get assistance online or over the phone from the pros at auctionPAL, and clean out that attic for good. (auctionpal.com)
18. Your thoughts need organizing, too: Jot down your aspirations in Sukie's blank botanical-themed "Turn Over a New Leaf" notebook. ($20, fredflare.com)
19. Cravings usually pass within 15 minutes. (Yes, even for sweets.)
20. If they don't, rest assured that a handful of Route 29 red and black licorice piglets wont turn you into one. ($3, route29napa.com)
21. Find sustainable local food sources by zip code at localharvest.org.
22. Or let the farmer's market come to you with Diamond Organics's mail-order produce.
23. Then preorder John Bishops Fresh: Seasonal Recipes Made From Local Foods ($30, Douglas & McIntyre, March) to learn how to cook...sorrel.
24. Milk the full-flavor possibilities of reduced-fat dairy products: Laughing Cow's Mini Babybel Light;
25. Fage 0 percent Yogurt;
26. and Horizon Organic Low-fat Sour Cream.
Develop Good Daily Habits
27. Put a wrinkle in time: Sunscreen (applied every day) is the best antiaging product on the market (see page 86 of our January/February issue for some of our top picks).
28. A multivitamin like New Chapter Organics Every Woman's One Daily has you covered when you go AWOL on RDAs. ($38, revolutionhealthstore.com)
29. In addition to making you look like an original gangsta, flossin' can actually help you live longer, according to a recent Harvard study.
See the World
30. Go one better than a Eurail pass: Hit up to 23 Asian cities in 21 days for $1,400 (including airfare from L.A., New York, or San Francisco) with Cathay Pacific's 2008 All Asia Pass. (cathayusa.com)
31. Or try out low-stress, low-impact travel on this continent with Amtrak's North America Rail Pass. ($710 for 30 days, amtrak.com)
32. Find a (trustworthy, non-serial-killer) local who speaks your language to meet for drinks or provide a place to crash on couchsurfing.com.
33. For more private lodgings, peruse listings for Umbrian stone villas or modern Maui condos at Vacation Rentals by Owner.
34. The soft sell: 20 minutes after quitting, blood pressure drops; after 12 hours, the blood's carbon-monoxide levels return to normal.
35. The hard sell: Calvin Trillin's tribute to his wife, a nonsmoker who developed lung cancer -- perhaps from secondhand smoke -- in "About Alice" ($15, Random House).
36. The really hard sell: A sad-but-effective antismoking ad in which a woman puffs through a hole in her throat. (youtube.com)
37. The money: A pack-a-day habit sends $1,657 a year (on average) up in smoke.
Make a Contribution
38. Volunteermatch.org will hook you up with a nearby organization that needs your abilities.
39. For canine companionship without furniture covered in dander, offer to walk an elderly neighbor's dog. (Bonus points if you do so when it's icy.)
40. Charity Navigator's rating system will help you make a donation that does not go to waste.
Nix the Nail-Nibbling
41.Weekly manicures. (Sometimes the best deterrent is a reward.)
Find a Better Job
42. Scan thousands of do-gooder opportunities (that also pay the rent) on idealist.org.
43. A mentor from SCORE's nationwide network of entrepreneurs will give advice on how to develop a business (and/or escape) plan.
44. Learn from "CEO of Me: Creating a Life That Works in the Flexible Job Age", by work/life researchers Ellen Kossek and Brenda Lautsch ($25, Wharton School Publishing).
45. Contact Count Me In, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting women-owned businesses, to apply for your own start-up micro loan.
Spend (and Save) Smarter
46. Use mint.com to track your checking, savings, credit, and work accounts in one place -- and find out exactly where those paychecks have been going.
47. Earn real interest on savings: HSBC Direct and WaMu offer new online customers about 5%.
48. Listen to Wallace D. Wattles's timeless classic, "The Science of Getting Rich", on CD ($15, Simon and Schuster Audio, February).
49. Read "You're Broke Because You Want to Be: How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead", by Larry Winget ($20, Gotham Books, January).
Print Your Digital Photos (Finally)
50. Our guide on page 58 of our January/February issue will kick-start the process (and point you toward an at-home printer that'll reduce your dependence on drugstore photo kiosks)
50 Reasons To Break These Resolutions
Give Up Sweets and Fat (and Flavor)
1. A recent Cornell study showed that diners at "healthy" restaurants consume more calories than they do when eating at "normal" ones.
2. Grateful Palate's Bacon of the Month Club delivers artisanal flavor (plus recipes) right to your front door. ($140 for a year, gratefulpalate.com)
3. What better excuse could there be than National Pizza Week, January 13-19?
4. Flip through journalist Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating" ($22, Penguin, January).
5. From what we've heard, French women don't get fat on Fauchon's madeleines, foie gras, and Banana and Passion Absolut Fruit preserves. (fauchon.com)
6. Great call: Switch to CREDO long-distance phone service and get coupons for free pints of Ben & Jerry's for a year with monthly bills.
Eliminate Nonessential Spending
7. Yoox.com's twice-yearly online sample sale (up to 80% off European designers like Alberta Ferretti and Dolce & Gabbana) is practically an investment opportunity.
8. Gold-leather-bound dictionaries aren't recherche fripperies, they're desk desiderata. ($156, graphicimage.com)
9. More OnGossamer underwear means fewer laundry days. ($13 and up, figleaves.com)
10. Shopping Etsy's indie-crafter wares is like becoming a patron of the arts.
Stop Mainlining Celebrity Gossip
11. No one deconstructs Chloe Sevigny's headline-making out-fits like the Fug Girls. (gofugyourself.com)
12. Authors like Edith Wharton and F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about socialites and strivers about a century ago.
13. "Train Wreck: The Life and Death of Anna Nicole Smith" -- written by her half sister (ouch!)out in February ($16, Phoenix Books).
14. Stock up on printable book covers to disguise your trashiest reads on the subway. (katespade.info)
Lay Off the Sauce
15. The passionate forums and home-brew recipes at ratebeer.com.
16. Your Prohibition-era grandparents who can still appreciate -- and prepare -- an expert dirty martini.
17. The delicious double-layered flavor of smooth Don Eduardo Tequila Anejo, aged for two years in former bourbon barrels. ($59, gothamwines.com)
18. "Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive!" (And will soon sortir.)
19. Costco's quality vino selection and 15% markup limit allow you to bring home cases of Wine Spectator champions.
Cut Back on Text Messaging
20. According to "The Green Book", by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen ($13, Three Rivers Press), 30 times more energy is used to send an e-mail than a text message. (^urs, email.)
Be More Productive at Work
21. Daytime naps boost memory.
22. The hilarious play-by-play episode recaps of your favorite shows on television withoutpity.com: faster (and cheaper) than TiVo.
23. The Great Wall of China is not visible to the naked eye from the moon, Twinkies do not have an infinite shelf life, and other insidious legends and urban myths dispelled. (snopes.com)
24. Comfort yourself with someone else's petty workplace drama. (passiveaggressivenotes.com)
25. Nothing erases the memory of that lame Monday-morning meeting like a new series of LOLcats vignettes. (icanhascheezburger.com)
26. Excess can bring fame. Witness the star turns of: Big Mac-binger Morgan Spurlock in "Super Size Me";
27. Rock of Love-er Bret Michaels;
28. sun-worshipper George Hamilton;
29. self-deprecator Kathy Griffin;
30. beehive-sporter Amy Winehouse;
31. and the entire city of Dubai.
Get Your House in Order
32. If it's truly bad, a TV crew will do it for you. Find casting info for: nearly three dozen home-improvement shows at hgtv.com;
33. TLC's Clean Sweep;
34. or the Style Network program "My Celebrity Home".
Dress Better for the Office
35. High heels throw the hips and spine out of alignment and put unhealthy pressure on feet leading to pricey cab rides.
36. The Environmental Protection Agency's decision not to release its "risk assessment" findings of the common dry-cleaning chemical PERC until 2009.
37. Not to mention all the excess plastic clothing bags and wire hangers you'll bring home (and probably toss) in the meantime.
Watch Less TV
38. To judge how the new class stacks up against the shows that inspired them, see: Bravo's Niki Taylor and Tyson Beckford hosted "Make Me a Supermodel" (ANTM minus Tyra's antics);
39. ABC's "Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann" (Dancing With the Stars with more Drew Lachey);
40. Fox's "New Amsterdam" (CSI with immortality);
41. AMCs "Breaking Bad" (Weeds with meth);
42. and NBCs "Lipstick Jungle" (Sex and the City with more career quandaries).
Live as Though Your Doctor Were Watching
43. From the annals of great excuses: "If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking, and loving, you don't actually live longer; it just seems longer." -- Clement Freud
Mind the Details
44. OCD can be: off-putting (see Tony Shalhoub in "Monk");
45. tedious (Jack Nicholson in "As Good as It Gets");
46. counter-productive (James Spader in "Secretary");
47. and particularly hard on relationships (Howard Hughes).
Cut Out Caffeine
48. Coffee-shop lattes finance WiFi. Find a cafe-hotspot near you on wififreespot.com.
49. The not-too-earthy flavors of antioxidant-rich white and green teas from Mighty Leaf. ($9 for 15 bags)
Stop Putting Things Off
50. You can always start your resolutions with the Chinese New Year, on February 7.