Why I’m Holding On to My Vices This January

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If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen the slogan “New Year, New You” splashed across a magazine editorial, in the subject of an email newsletter, in an ad hawking some miracle product, or in a faux-helpful advice article about resolutions … well, I’d have enough money to feed my Mexican-food and carbohydrate addiction for weeks. And that’s exactly what I plan to do this January. That’s right, I’m the anti-resolutionist: New Year, Same Old Me.

I actually love making resolutions—I resolve to be a kinder, smarter, funnier, tidier, and skinnier me with so much regularity you’d think I was in a constant state of transformation and just inches away from being a perfect person (more likely is that I had an extra cup of coffee that day). But I refuse to do any of that during dismal January. 

I’d like to meet the marketing genius who decided frigid, lifeless, prison-of-gray January was the ideal month to stop eating our favorite foods, drinking our favorite intoxicating beverages, or spending money on our favorite useless thrills. Retail therapy, comfort food, wine, and cheesy psycho-sexual thrillers on my Netflix queue are just about the only things that get me through the rest of winter. As far as I’m concerned we need our vices more than ever when there isn’t a sun beam or holiday in sight (Valentine’s Day doesn’t count), when your vacation time has reset, when the snow goes from looking like a festive winter wonderland to being a dirty nuisance you have to shovel. Perhaps this is my seasonal depression talking but January is the last month that I need to be denying myself any earthly pleasures.

There’s also a slightly more rational reason why I’m avoiding the resolution cycle, at least for now: as far as I’m concerned, the “New Year, New You” attitude is not only unrealistic but also counterproductive, damaging even. Why would anyone want to start the New Year feeling inadequate? If you’re one to believe that January 1 marks a true fresh start, rather than just another day on the calendar, that’s even more reason to banish negative thoughts about yourself. Resolutions may sound positive, but often they are just another way to say, “I’m not enough.” 

That doesn’t mean we here at DivineCaroline are above providing helpful tips for those of you who do not indulge mild seasonal depression with as much vigor as I do. But we won’t be telling you that you need to be a new you. That’s just mean—not to mention dumb.

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