The practice of setting resolutions for a new year is thought to have started with the ancient Babylonians. For them, the first new moon following the vernal equinox (in late March) marked a new year, and with it they made promises to the gods in order to start the year off right. Though the new year's date may have changed, the spirit the Babylonians brought to it lives on to this day. And now that we've successfully survived the alleged end of the world, it's time to forge ahead to 2013 and make some promises to ourselves. As part of the Greatist Team, we live a life that revolves around staying fit, happy, and healthy, but we're the first to admit we can all stand to make some better choices. So in the spirit of ever-evolving self-improvement, we've declared to run a little more, stress a little less, and start some new healthy habits.Share on Pinterest
David Tao - Write More, Learn More My resolution? Write more, on a wider variety of topics, than ever before. And that doesn't mean everything I write will or should get published, but I think the best strategy for learning about a subject is producing a paper, article, or composition about it. In order to write something others will enjoy reading, it's important to first have to gain a base level of familiarity with the subject.
Alexis Demetra - Run a 10K, Act More, Meet Some Peeps One of my new year's resolutions is to complete a 10k run in 2012. My dad was a marathon runner back in his day and he's helping me out with a guide on how to do it (although a Greatist Challenge would be excellent as well!). I also plan on going on more auditions next year and to meet more people in the city. To help me do this, I've decided to never say no to an invitation out with friends or coworkers.
Becky Berowski - Cut Some Sugar, Cook for Friends My first resolution is to cut back on sugar. As many people close to me know, I have an addiction to sour gummy worms. My dermatologist recently pointed out how this is likely having a negative effect on my skin, and a glowing complexion is reason enough to stay on track. I'd also like to make a stronger commitment to cooking for others (great way to make friends, right?!). I've realized that when I find recipes to make for my closest friends I end up choosing something that is healthier for all of us. It's a great way to avoid those calories from huge restaurant portions and lets me say “I love you” without that awkward moment of actually saying, “I love you.”Share on Pinterest
Sophia Breene - Drink More (Water) Every year the resolution to drink more water sneaks its way onto my post-New Year's list. I fully believe that once I learn the secret to hydration, all of my health/fitness/chocolate addiction problems will be instantly solved. But, alas, I can never remember to drink water throughout the day. Sometimes a raging mid-morning headache will remind me that despite the four cups of coffee since breakfast, I haven't actually had any water (Oops?). So, to implement this resolution, I'm going to start drinking a glass every morning before that first cup of Joe. And actually bring my water bottle to the gym. And ward off those (ahem) occasional hangovers by downing some late night H20 before bed.
Nicole McDermott - Floss, Appreciate More, Listen First off, I'd like to floss every night beyond January 14th. I start every year with the intention of flossing for the rest of my life, but for some reason the 30-second ritual simply doesn't stick. I also resolve to appreciate my family and friends more (and tell them!). I have some incredible people in my life that would drop anything to help me if I asked, and I often forget to acknowledge just how awesome they are. And last but not least, I resolve to be a better listener.
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Laura Newcomer - Focus on Intentions I've never been one for New Year's resolutions, not because I don't believe in personal growth (quite the opposite) but because I always believed people should make changes because they were ready, not just because the date changed on their phones. But this year I'm making a resolution, albeit with a more abstract spin on the whole thing. I'm making a commitment to focus on my intentions (kind of like a year-long yoga class without any walls). I want everything I do and say to be grounded in the intent to be honest, compassionate, and true to myself. It's a lofty goal, to be sure, but it's also the best way I've found of becoming, every day, a “better” and more whole version of me. Oh, and I also resolve to floss twice a day, every day.
Shana Lebowitz - Gain Some LBs, Lift some LBs For the past year or so I've been working on (gasp) gaining some weight. It's not the most common health goal, and I'm hard pressed to find people who can relate or even sympathize. But in 2013 I resolve to reach the weight that's healthiest for my body, meaning I'll basically keep increasing my calories and working on strength training exercises. The exercise part should be most challenging for me, since I'm not much of a gym rat and get easily intimidated by the grunting and sweating that goes on in a lot of weight-lifting classes. That said, my biggest inspirations are my friends on the Greatist Team. In the upcoming year I know I can rely on them for support, respect, and a reason to laugh every day as I push my limits and work toward better health.
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Derek Flanzraich - File Some Sh*tI emptied out an old FreshDirect box once and have since used it to file every single important document, receipt, piece of paper, bill, etc. related to Greatist. Shhh! Don't tell anybody. My new year's resolution is to file that sh*t for real.Share on Pinterest
Laura Schwecherl - Train with a Plan, Stay PositiveMy new year's resolution is to either get six-pack abs in ten seconds or less or become the next Kim Kardashian. I also have a back up plan just in case those fall through. I'll be training for my second marathon, and this will be the first time I'm actually following a training plan. I'm nervous to train through the winter months, so my 2013 goal is to stick with it while maintaining my energy levels and a positive attitude.
Jordan Shakeshaft - De-stress, Unplug, BreatheLast year my focus was purely physical: rehabbing my back after a series of herniated discs that left me spending Christmas day on my living room floor. This year - thankfully in much better shape - I'm excited to invest a little more time and effort into my mental health. For the new year, my resolution is to take more time to de-stress, unplug, breathe, and just think. Of course, there's no real way to slow New York's relentless pace, or slow my crazy, anxious thoughts. But carving out an hour, or just a few moments each day for myself is my goal.Share on Pinterest
Kate Morin - Give a Little Extra LoveFull disclosure, friends: I hate resolutions. I never complete them as well as I think I should (or could) and that leaves me feeling defeated if I don't make it to the gym every day, or fall asleep before 1am, or make it more than 24 hours without coffee. So this year, I'm taking a bit of a different route and choosing a resolution that I think will both be easier for me to control and will have an even better effect on my life. In 2013, I want to do more to let the people I love know how much I care about them. There will likely be lots of impromptu cards, careful cleaning, and surprise trips home to visit my family.
Laura Culhane - Keep in TouchMy resolution is to keep in contact with the people who text me during the day. It may sound like a bizarre goal, but I'd like to work on getting back to my friends and family. I open texts in the middle of the day, get caught up in something else, and forget to respond. It bothers me because my family and friends are very important to me. How am I going to fix it? I plan on keeping my phone tucked away until I have the time to respond. It's unfortunate that a lot of us stay so plugged in all the time, but it's important to stay connected with those special few. Sorry to everyone I didn't text back in 2012; I'll be on it in 2013.Share on Pinterest
Rebecca Garcia - Practice Yoga Regularly, Ditch the Clutter This past year has been introspective: I started attending meditation classes and deepening my yoga practice. I never thought I'd be able to do full yoga bridges and am inching my way closer to getting over my fear of headstands. I'd love to start the New Year with the goal of regular practice for a more flexible mind and body, and become certified to teach yoga. Meditation has also made me realize that in order to keep my life running smoothly, not only do I need a clear mind, but it's nice to have a clear space too! I'm taking the initiative when I move into my new apartment to ditch the clutter and stay minimalist. For each new “thing” that enters my life (including relationships) I want to make sure there's space for it. No more holding onto stuff and thinking, “well, maybe I'll use this later!”Share on Pinterest
Zachary Sniderman - Hang with BudsMy resolution this year is to spend as much time with friends as possible. I think it's easy to get swallowed up by work or feeling beat and to not make enough room to grab a drink, share a sandwich, or watch a movie with those closest to you. My resolution is all about saying yes, genuinely and more often!
Photo: BigstockWhat's your new year's resolution? Share with us in comments below! Or tweet @greatist with #imagreatist.