My Clear-Cut Plan to Achieving This Year’s Resolutions

So you know that thing you do at the beginning of the year when you jot down a series of promises to yourself? Yeah, I’ve never done that — gasp —ever. Maybe it’s because I just grew up in a different culture. (Let’s face it, New Year’s resolutions are very much an American thing.) Maybe it’s because, year after year, I bear witness to many halfway abandoned goals courtesy of friends and acquaintances. But, as you can already tell from the title of this blog post, that’s about to change. That’s right, folks. A few weeks ago, I interviewed a Newport-Beach-based psychologist and life coach about the sort of mistakes most people make when dreaming up their resolutions for the year. And — surprise, surprise — he gave me some pretty great insight. (Read the full article here.) Somehow, by learning about common pitfalls, I was inspired to formulate a plan and tackle my goals for 2019. Without further ado, here they are.

1 – Up my skincare game

I’ve never had skin problems before my mid-twenties. Not even when I was a lanky little tween obsessed with finding my way to Hogwarts. A wonky batch of genes or whatever, I guess. But somehow, when I turned 25 in 2017 — you can almost say as soon as the clock struck midnight — something changed. I began noticing my uneven complexion, little things that popped up here and there. All to say, I’ve been putting off the process of developing a skincare routine for a while now, and that’s not the *ahem* adult thing to do. With a little bit of research, I’ve learned that going to bed with even a dollop of makeup on my face is a bad, bad thing to do. And turns out, makeup wipes don’t count. So, new plan: In addition to removing my stubborn eyeliner brush strokes with a wipe, I’ll be introducing a cleansing balm to my repertoire. (I’ve already started using Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, because — and I’m not going to lie — I got it as a Christmas gift.) Next, the internet recommends exfoliating at least three times a week, because, apparently, my face, just like my body, needs the exercise. For this, I’ll be using Ahava Purifying Mud Mask, which I already own but haven’t been using nearly as much as I need to be. I’ll also be adding Dr. Jart‘s Peptidin Firming Serum with Energy Peptides to my morning and night ritual (Full disclosure: I received this product as a part of an Instagram campaign with the brand. That being said, I’ve used it a few times and have noticed results that were significant enough to convince me to pick it up again and use the product more frequently). Lastly, there’s the eye cream, of course. Wait, what? Eye cream? In my 20’s? This is perhaps the most shocking thing I’ve learned, but because the eye area is as delicate as a rice paper wrapper, it ages 5 to 10 years faster than the rest of the face. So, if there’s ever a good time to do something about those wrinkles, it’s right before you actually get them. For my eye cream, I’ll be using Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix and keeping my fingers crossed.

2 – Spend more time decluttering, à la Marie Kondo

I’ve always been an organizing enthusiast (I mean, The Container Store is my version of Disneyland). But sometimes, I can’t help but feel like I can do more, like I can do better. Maybe that’s because I live in a teeny tiny apartment in California, and every inch of space counts. Maybe… No, no. It’s the little space thing. Needless to say, when I started watching organizing guru Marie Kondo’s new Netflix reality series “Tidying Up,” I felt very, well, inspired. The biggest game-changer, for me at least, has been her folding method. I love that she encourages viewers to fold their clothes in a way that makes everything visible and easily reachable. That way, you know and, most importantly, can see the things you own. I’ve already applied the method to my most chaotic drawer, and it worked like a charm. My plan? Tackle one problematic corner of the apartment every two weeks. Meaning, put everything into a large pile and keep only the things that “spark joy.” If you’ve seen the series, you know the drill. The thing to keep in mind is: Having a few things you love is so much more fulfilling than holding on to a whole lot of things you kinda, sorta like.

3 – Write more

This is something I frequently have trouble with. Sometimes, I get a post idea, and I end up putting brackets around it and keeping it inside. For me, there’s two kinds of writing. Work writing and fun writing. Work writing is a job, a way to pay the bills. It’s sometimes fun, sometimes tedious — a hit or miss, really. There’s often a designated theme, and there’s always a deadline that creeps up on you, even when you think you’ve “still got lots of time.” (There’s no such thing when it comes to work writing). As a freelancer, I have to juggle various projects for several clients at the same time, and obviously, clients come first. So, as you can imagine, it’s pretty darn easy to put off the kind of writing I actually want to do. This year, I’ll resolve to spending a few hours a week to fun writing — the sort of writing where I don’t have to fret about erroors (Whoops! Look what I just did. Oh, well) or about mucking up. The sort of writing where I can say things like “mucking up,” and not worry about it sounding too British.

Want to follow up on my progress? Send me a direct message on Instagram and ask. Really. Don’t be shy.

As an Los Angeles-based journalist and fashion writer, Mari Alexander highlights local and global talents through runway reviews, designer interviews, and trend reports.

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