10 Promises to Make Yourself in the New Year

It’s 2012, and with ever-impending world-ending hearsay floating around I think it’s more important than ever to be our best selves. Why? Because if the world ends in the next few months we’re going to want to go out on an absolutely perfect note.

1. Call an old friend. If there’s someone you shared every weekend with in high school, couldn’t stop partying with in college, your cube-mate at your last job, etc that you’ve fallen out of touch with, now’s the time to get back in touch. Why? Because this person brought something good out in you, and rekindling that might be good for the soul. Even if it isn’t, you’ll see how far you’ve come since then.

2. Work in a more balanced way. If you don’t currently work, get a job. If you’re pulling 80 hour weeks, try actually taking a lunch break.

3. Stop gossiping. Gossip breaks other people down, but more importantly, it shows others that you’re disrespectful. Who wants to be friends with a disrespectful person? This isn’t limited to just “OMG did you hear who Sarah went home with last Saturday night?!” …it goes deeper to just about any form of unnecessary negative speech about others.

4. Commit to a passion. Love horseback riding? Yoga? Watercolors… or perhaps shooting rifles? Whatever it is, it’s good. Finding a passion will help you discover new, amazing things about yourself and will be a great outlet when the world around you is chaotic and stressful. It’ll also just be really damn fun when the world already seems perfect.

5. Bake something. You literally have no excuse not to do this. If you’re gluten-free there are a bajillion recipes that’ll cater to your dietary needs. Diabetic? That’s cool… use Splenda. On a diet? Bake bite-sized morsels. Religiously opposed to good tasting food? Try just about any other religion. Baking is fun, requires discipline, can be shared with the people you love, can be used as a peace offering, and makes your entire home smell like heaven.

6. Stop putting yourself down. There’s nothing positive that comes from standing for an hour in front of your large, leaning mirror and thinking about how you hate your muffin top, wish your boobs were bigger, and how angry you are with your mother for passing on her short legs. It’s insanity, and a complete waste of energy. You could be using all that energy to bake something. Please reference point #5.

7. Share a secret. Did you steal something in 7th grade? Drunkenly make out with a gay guy 4 months ago at a bar? Maybe you’ve been going gray since you were 18… who knows. The truth is that we only keep secrets about ourselves when we feel like they’ll hurt our image or ego. Pick a small secret, share it with a friend, and have a good laugh at yourself. You’ll feel better for it.

8. Try some new music. If your Pandora is stuck on the same few channels, you’re just not adventurous enough. Add a Samba station, or some Japanese-techno-reggae, or even some gangsta rap if you’re stuck in middle America wearing J. Crew all day. Whatever it is, get outside yourself for a bit.

9. Try a new destination. Everyone loves to travel, and most of us get stuck in travel ruts. If you head to the Bahamas all the time, check out Antigua. Been to Barcelona 6 times? Head over to Lisbon. If you’re flying to Miami every weekend, switch over to Palm Beach or Atlanta for a change. If you’re obsessed with New York, try America’s other white meat: Chicago. Love London? Then you’ll be smitten over Prague.

10. Love someone you hate. This doesn’t mean you have to turn to your completely psycho-evil boss and say “wow, Phil, I think you’re the greatest.” It means you should identify someone in your life you know you can’t stand (good targets include: exes, in-laws, bosses, and neighbors) and figure out exactly why it is you can’t stand them. If your mother in law is the culprit, get to the bottom of why you hate her. Is she meddling? Is she controlling? That’s OK. Find a new approach that’ll help you feel at peace with all her disgusting actions.

Bryce Gruber is a Manhattanite mom who can be found jet-setting off to every corner of the globe. She loves exotic places, planes with WiFi, summer clothes, & Sucre brown butter truffles. Bryce's aim is to do to luxury what Elton John did to being gay. Follow her on twitter @brycegruber