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New Year, Same You

Celebrate Some Self-Love in 2021

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 01, 2021

Austerity Can Wait

Much has been made about how 2020 has been a set of 365 terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. And, while we're definitely ready to wipe the slate clean and start anew in 2021, we're also still in recovery mode. Bottom line: we aren't in the mood to be virtuous with a bunch of restrictive resolutions. We just want to feel okay for a while.

Besides, everyone knows that New Year's Resolutions hardly ever work! According to the U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of resolutions fail by February. This article in Psychology Today outlines some of the reasons why. So why not just accept yourself as you are—imperfect, weird, undisciplined, and wonderful. Here are our anti-resolutions for this year's list.

Take a Nap

Call it self care if you want, but the key is that if it feels good, it is good. Let's start with getting more sleep. Experts say that you should aim for seven to eight hours of Zzzzs every night. And don't argue that you don't have time because getting more sleep is shown to increase productivity. Beyond that, there are many more benefits, including boosting your immune system, improving your mood, strengthening your heart, and sharpening your memory.

In her bestselling The Sleep Revolution, co-founder and editor in chief of HuffPost, Arianna Huffington shows how our cultural dismissal of sleep as time wasted compromises our health and our decision-making and undermines our work lives, our personal lives—and even our sex lives.

No More Diets!

It's been proven again and again. Diets do not work. So go ahead and eat that jelly doughnut! But seriously, too many of us feel like food is the enemy and it makes our eating behavior erratic and, in the long run, more unhealthy.

In Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, Dr. Michelle May will guide you out of the food-focused, diet-driven downward spiral that leads you to eat, repent, and repeat. She offers a powerful alternative: stop being afraid of food and start eating mindfully and joyfully. No more rigid rules, strict exercise regimens, questionable drugs, or food substitutes.

And here are a few of our favorite new cookbooks for people who just want to eat some good food:

Break Some Rules

Rebels have a bad rap. We think of them as troublemakers, outcasts, contrarians. But in truth, rebels are also those among us who change the world for the better with their unconventional outlooks. They are masters of innovation and reinvention, and they have a lot to teach us.

Award-winning Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino maintains that the most successful among us break the rules. Her Rebel Talent shows how rebellion brings joy and meaning into our lives. This year, take a page from these masters of innovation and reinvention and cut loose.

Watch More TV

If there's anything 2020 has shown us, it's that television can be a wonderful balm in hard times, not to mention a shared experience for people who may not be able to be together in person. In fact, watching the boob tube has been shown to have several positive benefits. It may be counterintuitive, but studies show that watching TV will improve your productivity and self control. It also relieves stress and boosts creativity. So you can stop feeling guilty about vegging out!

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic Emily Nussbaum, I Like to Watch is a provocative collection of essays about her passion for television, beginning with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show that set her on a fresh intellectual path. And the great thing is that there's more choice than ever before. Here are some of the series we've been binging enjoying:

Follow Your Bliss

Whether it's buying that pair of shoes you've been eyeing or learning a new skill, there's no time like the present. If you've been wanting to do something, just do it already. Take some online cooking classes, learn to play the banjo, take up knitting, or amp up your fashion game. Now, we realize that this may sound a little bit like a typical New Year's resolution, but the important thing to remember is that if you don't like it, you never have to do it again.

So this year, instead of giving stuff up or punishing yourself, celebrate the real you and treat yourself. If you need some inspiration for finding something that's perfectly suited to you, we've got some more ideas for you here.

And for daily book recommendations, literary tidbits, and more, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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