When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Or so the saying goes. Which is just one reason why I've always been a fan of New Year's resolutions. Every January 1st, people are inspired to make a plan for the coming year that could dramatically change their lives for the better.
This year, however, I decided to hit the ground—or rather, 2016—running. I actually started working on my January 1st resolutions on December 1st. I devoted three weeks this month to different challenges I set for myself. Week 1 resolution: Clear your house of clutter. Week 2 resolution: Stay fit by running the distance of a marathon (26.2 miles) in seven days. Week 3 resolution: Meditate every morning. As hectic as the holidays can be, this was tough. So I posted about it on Facebook every day to keep myself honest.
The result: I needed a new New Year's resolution. So what's next? I was so impressed by the power of Facebook to hold me accountable that I'm keeping things going. My 2016 resolution will be to get a "social" life. I vow to post one thing on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest every day. It'll keep me motivated, connected and having fun. Here's how other staffers at Family Circle are planning on changing things for the better in 2016.
"After my last remaining aunt passed away two months ago, I feel the need to organize some type of family reunion next year. I'll be using Facebook, pulling out old address books and getting on the phone to try to track down all of my cousins and set a date for us to get together in 2016. I feel like it's up to me to keep the family together!" —Regina Ragone, Food Director
"I want to try something new once a month in 2016. I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but I'm not talking little things. I mean big things: either some kind of activity—like sledding or skiing—or a new food. New experiences can be pricey, especially here in New York City, so I decided one big thing a month was doable." —Gabrielle Levy, Assistant Photo Editor
"I would call 2015 the year of living disorderly—with all the piles of papers, books and magazines I mean to read in my office. I am overdue to clean up my act in 2016 because, though I am one of those people who knows (most of the time) what is in each pile, there have been a few panicky moments when I found myself playing a game of hide-and-seek. So 2016 will be my year have some order in the house (well, office)." —Darcy Jacobs, Executive Editor
"Get more sleep! Because it really affects my mood, outlook, energy level and more. And I'm hoping to do it with little changes here and there—going to bed 15 minutes or so earlier every night and then building from there." —Danielle Blundell, Senior Home Editor
"I'm going to make a better effort at staying in touch with friends and being more social. Our job is so busy and social that by the end of the day and the weekend, all I want is to make a cocoon out of my bed and watch lots of Netflix with my cats. But that means missing out on time with people and experiences I care about. In 2016 I want to make a better effort at being a real human being!" —Jessie Van Amburg, Associate Editor
"I never really make resolutions; I find them too formal and intimidating. However, I always like to start the year off with the right intention. This year I would like to be more mindful. More mindful of my thoughts, actions, finances, diet and exercise. Full awareness can go a long way—at least that's what I'm hoping!" —Suzanne Rust, Lifestyle Editor
"Clutter is a huge issue for my family, so I'm aiming to really enforce the One-In-One-Out rule. New clothes, books, toys, tools, gadgets, whatever—if a new one comes in, an old one goes out. I want 2016 be a year of less STUFF." —Jonna Gallo Weppler, Deputy Editor
"Next year I plan to not get caught up with the details, but to stand back and look at the bigger picture and remind myself that everything works out for the best and most of what's bothering me today won't matter in the near future—even a few days or weeks from now." —Lixandra Urresta, Senior Research Editor
"I've always said I'd volunteer more in the city, but haven't. This year, I'm aiming to volunteer once a month, whether at a shelter, helping with a race or working with kids. I signed up for New York Cares a few years ago, so it's time I take advantage." —Mallory Creveling, Associate Health Editor
"I have a 45-minute commute each way every day. I'd love to use that time to read more (instead of listening to Adele and crying). I have the thinnest little Kindle and a few Amazon gift cards burning a hole in my pocket, so there's really no excuse! I just downloaded Maybe in Another Life and The Hand That Feeds You, so hopefully I'll get started on those in the new year." —Nicole McGovern, Associate Beauty and Fashion Editor
"My resolution is to stop being such a pack rat. It's time to get rid of the clothes I haven't worn in three years. And that face mask I bought six years ago will probably do anything but improve my skin. And no, I'm not going to be able to use any part of that sliced lemon that's growing green mold all over—it's time to let it go." —Daley Quinn, Editorial Assistant
"I tend to be a mega planner—sometimes to a fault—which leaves little time for spontaneous activities. I'm hoping 2016 will be my year of less scheduling, more last-minute adventures." —Dori Katz, Senior Beauty Editor