It’s Almost the New Year. Are You Ready to Improve Yourself?

This story originally appeared on the Gents Cafe Newsletter. You can subscribe here.

While I would like to think that I am not totally susceptible to the sway of the New Year, I know that this is false. For one, I recently re-upped my gym membership. For another, I have scheduled appointments with a dermatologist, dentist, and nutritionist for the upcoming weeks. No, this is not because I favor Quasimodo in looks, but rather so that I can start 2022 on good footing.

For me, the New Year has become a time to recalculate my priorities. A sort of accounting happens in that sleepy week between Boxing Day and January 1. I ask myself: Who do I want to be now? How can I improve? What habits should I break?

Two New Years ago, I decided to settle down and finish my studies in Spanish. Well, since then I have been diligently studying and have picked up a bit of Norwegian, Italian, and French along the way. In 2018 I felt quite dumb. By 2022, I feel quite a bit more inteligente.

This goes doubly for the rituals I’ve had to pick up, a bit makeshift, since the pandemic. For instance, in January of this year, I began cooking elaborate dinners each weekend. It was something to look forward to (and a way to stay out of those pesky restaurants!). It’s atrophied slightly since then, but the effort is still there. In fact, my Christmas wishlist includes new taper candles and a serving platter I’ve been eyeing.

Another resolution from years ago that has stuck quite nicely is to read before bed. I do it every night. Every. Single. Night. And you should, too. Even if I’m a bit drunk, I still pick up my book and straighten the swimming lines and try to retain at least a little of the plot. It fails miserably, but it’s the effort that counts with resolutions, isn’t it?

What I’m saying is this: ask yourself how you can be better in 2022 and make a list. You may fail (I know I have), but you may surprise yourself with how much you can grow along the way.

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