Posts Tagged: new year’s resolutions

The Difference Between Wishes and Resolutions

Around 50 percent of the population make resolutions each new year. Three quarters of us are promising ourselves we’ll lose weight, quit smoking and exercise more regularly. We also want to better manage our money and reduce our debt. The fourth most popular New Year's resolution is to “Enjoy life to the fullest.” A UK study conducted in 2007 and involving 3,000 people showed that 88 percent of those who set New Year's resolutions fail.

Year after year, my New Year's resolutions remain the same: stay in shape, and keep eating right. Easy for me to say: I’ve been working out regularly for years and am one of those strange [...]


"Going Clear," Lawrence Wright

Upon finishing this week's Physical Book, the superlative "Going Clear" by Lawrence Wright (Amazon | Indiebound), your Books Editor decided to go deeper into the belly of the beast.

Auditor: Are you hungry?

Us (puts down E-meter cans excitedly): Wait, are there snacks?

Auditor: No, but the process is not as accurate if you are troubled by physical hunger, have slept less than 7.5 hours the previous night, have been drinking alcohol or taken drugs within the last 24 hours, or find the room drafty.

Us: That is…thoughtful! I cannot provide the answer you would like to literally any of those questions, but would like to proceed just [...]


Castles in the Sand

It's time to start gearing up for bikini season — in whichever way you choose. How about resolving to become a better sandcastle builder? Carl Java, who is from Cleveland where they actually do have beaches, believe it or not, has gotten quite a head start on all of us. Just imagine how good he'll be by June! If anyone figures out the spell he used to make individual grains of sand defy gravity, please share? [via]


Reading Your Way Through the Stomach Flu

Oh, what an eventful week for New Year's Resolution keeping. A hearty thank you to the severe bout of gastroenteritis that laid waste to my plans and my will to live; 'tis an ill wind that blows nobody any good, for I instead did a glorious amound of reading. Let's go ahead and lay it out in chronological order, the better to chart the course of said illness and recovery.

Day One, 9:15pm – You have just finished some Chinese takeout, after feeling uncharacteristically apathetic towards it. You recall feeling weird and extra-sweaty at the gym earlier. As you watch The Thick of It, you wonder why the dulcet tones [...]


"Leaving a Doll's House," Claire Bloom

Another week, another Physical Book successfully read! We are also 2 for 2 on enjoyment, even if this one is a little uncomfortable at times.

If you are not familiar with "Leaving a Doll's House," it is Claire Bloom's memoir (Amazon | Goodreads) of being alive for a long time, sleeping with all the most amazing men, and then having a horrible divorce from Philip Roth. It is a special treat for people who love literary feuds. It falls short of the sheer glee of Paul Theroux's "Sir Vidia's Shadow" (Amazon | Goodreads) of course, which is about his friend-breakup with V.S. Naipaul. I once ran [...]


Do This No. 7: Mix and Match New Year's Resolutions

Hi friends! How went the holiday boundary setting? You offered one another really good advice there — you are all such tender buttons. Something that I see in what we talk about (when we talk about my column) (haha, Raymond Carver joke) is how much we all feel stuck by one thing or another in our lives. How much we all feel like a dynamic or relationship has become a pattern that traps us somehow. Every Christmas you have the same argument with your sister. Every time someone asks you for a favor you pull a Giving Tree, even if you should say no. Every time zie [...]


"Real Man Adventures," T Cooper

Another week, another dozen eggs, another Physical Book. I've had "Real Man Adventures" (Indiebound | Amazon) sitting on my bedside table ever since I heard the author say he didn't want to write a conventional "Eat, Pray, Trans" transition memoir. He wanted to write about being a man. Not even being a trans man, although there's plenty of that, but almost a narrative of masculinity. Or a scrapbook. Lists. Letters. And I was all, yeah, let's make that happen! I would love to read that.

And I diiiiiiiid.* I like that everything is not great. He has a wife and two children he is devoted to, and his [...]


"Motherland," William Nicholson

(If you have spoiler-y, giddy things to say about "Downton Abbey," this is your comment thread, because we briefly reference Downton and WHY NOT? Matthew is such a stodgy stodge, and he lost his jawline again this season.)

FIRST WEEK OF DUTIFUL PHYSICAL BOOK READING DONE. And, really, quite a pleasant start, I must say. I made a gin and tonic and handed the baby my iPhone and read the whole thing without looking on Wikipedia once. (You should not give your baby your iPhone all the time, but if you make it a major treat once a month, you can absolutely buy yourself five minutes to make a gin [...]


The New Year's Resolution Simplifier

The Resolution Simplifier is an elegant little website that allows you to whittle down your 2011 resolutions to their manageable, obtainable essence. For example, I put in "To eat less cheese," which I'm not even really interested in trying to do, and it came back, "Watch Food, Inc." Smart! I suppose. Then things got strange. "Stop reading celebrity news" yielded "Name something that rhymes with news." Maybe Resolution Simplisticifier should resolve to stop being so lazy! But seriously this is a lot more fun than Google's Ngrams. [Via]