New Year, (Kind of) New Me: Realistic Resolutions

I usually like to say that I'm one of those "I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions" people, but the truth is, I really do love the motivation and feeling of renewal that the new year brings. That said, I'm not naive enough to think that just because a new year starts, that means that I can suddenly kick all of my bad habits. So instead of telling you that I'm going to become a 100% healthier and better person, I'm keeping it real and starting with 8 resolutions that work toward this, but actually seem doable.

1. Meal Prep At Least 1-2 Times a Month
Last year, I finally started meal prepping...and I didn't really keep it up. I did it a lot in the beginning of the year, and then I kind of gave up and went back to heating up Lean Cuisines for lunch every day. Ugh. When it comes to eating healthier, I need a lot of work and it's something that I absolutely need to do. However, I'm realistic. I'm not going to say that I'm magically going to eat really healthy or never spend money on eating out, but I'd at least like to make more of an effort here. The biggest issue is time on Sundays so I won't say I'll keep this up every week. Instead, I think devoting at least one or two Sunday's a month to cooking lunches for the week seems reasonable.

2. Invest in My Skincare
I've actually already started this one! I have terrible skin. I've gone to countless dermatologists and have tried everything short of Accutane (which I actually was supposed to at one point, but I decided not to at the very last minute for a lot of reasons). I finally found a cleanser and toner last year that I've felt have worked well, but other than that and moisturizer in the mornings, I don't put anything else on my skin.

I'm finally starting to do some research, and as I'm sure you've guessed by now, I'm trying out some Korean skincare products after hearing so many people swear by it. I'm starting in baby steps (introducing a couple of well-researched products at a time rather than going straight into a 10-step routine). If it goes well, maybe I'll write about my experience?

3. Read At Least One Book This Year
This sounds so sad, I know. I have been a terrible reader in recent years, which I attribute to my crippling TV addiction. But I have multiple books on my nightstand that I'm seriously interested in, some of which I've started and never finished. I'd like to say that I'll get back into the habit and read multiple, but I at least want to be an actual educated adult and make it through one. Maybe I'll finally finish I'll Be Gone in the Dark (almost a year after I started it)? Maybe I'll read the Jeff Tweedy autobiography that Jon got me for Christmas? Fingers crossed!

4. Pay Attention to A Budget
Okay, so we've already covered that I'm an unhealthy eater, I don't put much effort into my skincare, and I don't read much. What bad habits are left? Oh yes, money. And, of course, it's another thing I'm pretty terrible at. It's not so bad to the point where I'm in bad debt or can't pay my bills, but I tend to be pretty careless.

Like the other items, I'm not expecting this to change overnight and suddenly save everything, but I'd like to keep better track of it. I signed up for Mint again (because if it's not automated, I know I won't keep it up) and spent a few minutes in the app setting up a budget and actually looking at where my money goes.

I have a couple of big life goals coming up that will require me to be smart with my money, one of which is a nicer apartment and the other, ahem, depends on Jon asking me a very important question that he's made clear is coming soon. I managed to make it through the Collectif 50% off sale this past week without buying anything so that gives me hope. Lord beer me strength.

5. Care Less About Instagram Engagement
I've already talked about this on Instagram so chances are, you've already heard this. I spend a lot of time on the app, and I'm never going to stop enjoying taking photos/being creative. So while my quality of posts isn't suddenly going to go down as I try to care less, my attitude toward it is going to change. I can't change the algorithm or understand why my followers barely grow, but I'm going to work on being more okay with that. I don't want to stress out anymore if I don't have content or can't post at an exact designated time. Let's just hope I'm not all talk.

6. Cut Out Soda and Cut Down on Coffee Creamer
Back to my awful health. Again, I know I should make a big change, but I also know that will never keep. So like everything else, I'm starting small and easy. I always say that I don't drink a ton of soda since I never keep it at home, but when I really think about it, I drink more of it than I realize. While I really do hope to start making way healthier choices going forward, I want to start with cutting out that and cutting down on coffee creamer. I don't use a a crazy amount (and I've certainly started using way less in the past year or two), but I'd like to get better at either drinking black or moving to milk/almond milk.

7. Be Less Impulsive About Shopping
I know this feels the same as #4, but this is also for style reasons in addition to money reasons. I buy SO many clothes, and I kind of had a rude awakening when I pulled out all of the clothes under my bed that I didn't wear anymore and filled up three bags easily to donate last month. I am positive I could have filled up at least one or two more if I hadn't gotten so tired. The reason is because I get bored of my clothes FAST, and it's a problem. I'm not going to stop buying new clothes altogether (although I do want to cut down significantly for my bank account's sake), but I want to be more careful about it. I think I've started to be better than I was in the past (especially showing more restraint in thrift stores), but it's time to only buy things that are good quality and are more timeless.

I've also been thinking a lot about whether I want to buy more or less vintage because of this. Pros, of course, are that it's sustainable and the pieces do tend to be more timeless, but I also admit that I'm not great at taking care of items. I also sometimes impulsively buy things because I know it's one of a kind and I don't want to regret it. I don't have the answer yet so we'll see. It's something I'm doing some thinking on, though.

8. Try One New Hairstyle
Okay, this one seems silly, sure. But my hair and I don't work well together. It's really thin and never wants to stay in an actual hairstyle, so I tend to wear it the same way every day. Last year I finally mastered milkmaid braids, which honestly, is a huge accomplihsment for your girl. So let 2019 be the year I start doing at least one more different style. Then I'll have three different ways to do my hair, and it'll be glorious. Watch out, 2019. It's a whole new Elana!


  1. I didn't make any resolutions this year except to read more books! While I wanted to be stubborn and only read physical copies, i've noticed I read more if I use my Kindle app so... Kindle it is! My goal is to read 12 books. I'm right with you on just not reading as much as I used to!

  2. I think I found the Easter Egg in this post (!) which is that you're about to get engaged?!?! :D So exciting. I'm doing a clean eating/detox thing this month, which has included a lot of meal-prepping. It definitely takes time, but is overall such a great thing for your mind/health/and saving money! I've cut super sugary/dairy heavy creamer from my diet almost entirely and found that there are a bunch of great substitutes. Have you tried a coconut coffee creamer before? I love the Califia Farms ones. I know sometimes Almond creamer is not great, but coconut is almost as good as the real stuff :)

    Good luck on all of your goals!

    Priya the Blog

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