I'm not telling you that your New Year's resolution shouldn't be to go on a diet. That would be crazy. In fact, according to an online Harris poll: In 2012, losing weight was the number one resolution of Americans, with over a fifth of respondents saying it was their top goal. Going on a diet on Jan. 1 is practically an American tradition, just behind stuffing ourselves with pecan pie at Thanksgiving and cookies at Christmas.
So go on a diet, if you want to, or your waistband is calling for it—I'll be right there with you, dreaming of all the croissants I shouldn't eat. But know that if you fall off the wagon, you're not the only one. Last year the Washington Post reported that a quarter of resolution-makers didn't even last a week. Maybe, just maybe, it's our difficult and vague resolutions and not our willpower that are to blame.
Instead, here's a handful of beauty and style resolutions that are meaningful, helpful, and fun, all the better for making them last at least through next fall.
1. Take Care of Your Skin
It's way too easy to fall into bed with a full face of makeup on, but we all know we shouldn't. Commit to getting serious about a skin care routine, whether that means investing in makeup remover wipes that you can keep next to your bed or trying out a full-on Korean regimen. If you aren't moisturizing, this is the season to start—it's one of the most important things you can do (along with wearing spf daily) to keep skin looking young and healthy.
2. Filter Down Your Wardrobe
Two of the biggest fashion movements in 2015 were the capsule wardrobe and uniform dressing. These are fundamentally similar, in that both stress getting rid of clothing that doesn't properly fit either your body or your style, and choosing to wear a smaller, more stylistically unified wardrobe consisting of things you love and feel great in. It can be fun to switch your look up constantly, but new science about decision fatigue suggests that wading through endless choices—even little ones like which tie to wear with your suit or how to fix your hair—can deplete your willpower and lead to worse choices later in the day.
3. Splurge on Long-Term Beauty Solutions
Waking up an extra 30 minutes early to straighten out curly hair may be cheap, but over the course of a year it costs an astonishing amount of man hours—up to a week of your life. Getting a Brazilian blowout costs more money but saves the effort for months at a time. If there's a step in your beauty regimen that causes a lot of time and frustration, give yourself permission to throw money at the problem, whether it's laser hair removal, staining your eyebrows or the aforementioned blowout. If your routine doesn't feel noticeably easier, you can always goes back to the old way when the treatment wears off.
4. Let Go of Beauty Expectations
The rise of social media (and the Kardashians, maybe?) means constant pressure to look photo-ready every time you leave the house, lest your follower count take a hit because you neglected to contour. To break the habit, listen to Beyoncé's "***Flawless" a few times on repeat, and figure out a low-maintenance routine that still makes you feel comfortable. Maybe it's a topknot instead of styling your hair; maybe it's ditching a full face of makeup for BB cream and mascara. No one is saying you can't go full-on glam when the urge strikes you, but it should be a choice, not a chore.
5. Go Bold
Most of us have outfits, haircuts and other style choices that we look back on and cringe at (*cough* permed bangs *cough*). So if you are itching to make a change, let 2016 be the year you pull the trigger. Go ahead, dye your hair lavender, or try on life as a bombshell blonde. Chop it off into a wash-and-go pixie. Play with some androgynous bleached brows. Maybe you'll love it, but even if you don't, it's never been easier to change your mind again and try something else.