This is the time of year to make New Year’s resolutions. 2016 has been a long and rough year, and now it’s time to focus on how we can all make 2017 better. Yet the sad fact of New Year’s resolutions is that they’re almost always doomed to fail. That gym membership you started in the start of the year? Probably won’t make it past February. Your desire to cook more? After a couple failed dinners you’ll start eating Kraft mac and cheese and then be back to Seamless in a month. There are many great temptations surrounding us in New York City, which make for great New Year’s resolutions that are astoundingly hard to follow. I recently read an article that shared some of them, and a lot of them struck a chord with me:
Take less cabs and Ubers: It’s the coldest time of the year, and even if you live close to the subway, you probably can’t afford to live close enough to make your ride home after a night hanging out with your friend across town any bit convenient. So it’s time to call an Uber.
Eat out less and cook more: New York has some of the best food in the world, and I hate to break it to you, but the meals you make at home, good as they are, probably don’t even make the top 50 list. And you want to take advantage of living in New York, don’t you?
Keep a detailed track of my finances: Did you know that one out of nineteen New Yorkers is a millionaire? You can join their ranks by keeping track of your finances; get a spreadsheet set up on Google docs, but after a while it becomes a chore, and you realize you aren’t actually listening to what it has to say, so what’s the point?
Be nicer to strangers: This one make sense, and nobody likes to be part of the whole “rude New Yorker” stereotype. But when you’re having a long day, it’s right before dinner and you’re full-on hangry, that Midwestern couple who can’t swipe their subway card the right way just pushes you over the edge.
Start a gym membership: This sounds good in theory, then you think of logistics. You often have things to do after work, and by the time you get ready to gym, nine times out of ten you’re in no mood to do so. You can of course hit the gym in the morning, but who wants to wake up a whole hour earlier? That’s awful.
Call and visit home more often: Unless your family lives off the Metro North, visiting them is going to be tough. And even if they do, it’s hard to find the time to visit with all of the crazy things happening in New York.
Explore outside your neighborhood: I love to explore outside of my neighborhood, but thinking of all the times I’ve tried to get my friends to go on New York City explorations with me, I know that I’m well in the minority. Even if Ben’s Best does better pastrami than Katz’s, few friends will want to join you on the trek out to Rego Park.
Wash your own clothes: Once you realize that you don’t have enough quarters for a full wash and dry, and the nearby ATM is one of those sketchy ones that charges fees, you’ll just pay somebody to do your laundry for you.
Eat healthier: What are some of the more popular (and delicious) food options in New York? Names like pizza, bagels, pastrami and bottomless brunch will most likely come to mind. You notice how none of those are healthy. Going to Just Salad is a great idea, and they make great salads, but then you realize that the amount you spend on one salad can get you eight dollar slices.
Stop drinking as much: Few people have cars in New York, meaning that you can drink all you want at company happy hour and not have to pay for a cab. Sure, drinks are expensive when you break them down, but it’s such a major part of New York’s social culture that giving up drinking is easier said than done.