After much anticipation, 2016 is finally here, and along with the new year comes the hope that this is finally going to be the “Oprah Year” (read: being the best version of yourself). Perhaps this is the year you’ve resolved to start working on assignments and studying for exams prior to the night before to be the best academic version of yourself. Or maybe you’re finally confronting your chronic couch potato syndrome and resolving to hit the gym more often and Bella Pita less often. Whatever your current resolutions, you know that this is your year, and you’re ready for all the good, bad, and ugly that it is going to throw at you. Here’s a few more New Year’s resolutions to help you on your quest to be a better, badder, fiercer you in 2016.
1. Eliminate the word “sorry” from your vocabulary
Everyone, 2016 is the year that we all stop apologizing, both implicitly and explicitly. A New York Times article aptly notes that “somehow, as we grew into adults, ‘sorry’ became an entry point to basic affirmative sentences.” Furthermore, a 2010 study published in the journal Psychological Science reports that “women have a lower threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior,” providing a possible explanation for why we apologize for everything from asking for a raise to being vegetarian. Let’s all resolve for this year to be the year we stop being sorry for being ourselves and for expressing our needs and desires, because the truth is there’s no reason to apologize for making what otherwise would be forthright, declarative statements. Plus, since attempting to use the word “sorry” less often, I’ve realized that no one actually needed me to say “sorry” that much, anyway.
2. While you’re at it, stop beginning requests and sentences with “just”
More insidious and more subtle than “sorry” is the excessive use of the word “just” (“Just wanted to see if you were free this week!”, “Just wondering if you could finish up that spreadsheet,” etc.). Former Google and Apple executive Ellen Petry asserts that this little 4-letter word is undermining women’s authority, restricting the power of their sentences from imperative to suggestive. After reading Petry’s diatribe on the “J-word,” I began to become more aware of how much clearer and more assertive my sentences became as my use of the word lessened. A fierce person knows what they want and need from themselves and others, and don’t need to hedge their requests in order to achieve their goals. So let’s “just” stop!
3. Masturbate more often (if you’re into that)
For those of us who enjoy it, 2016 should be the year that we all commit to more physical me-time, if you know what I mean. Masturbation is not only convenient (I don’t know about y’all, but I always have my right hand on me) but is also the safest way to orgasm (100% chance of preventing pregnancy and STD’s, yes!) and is good for you in a variety of ways. Masturbation can lead to the release of endorphins and estrogen that can act as stress-relievers, mood-boosters, and even relief from chronic pain, according to research published in the journal Cephalalgia. In addition, getting to know what you like and what arouses you will make you “more likely to not only want more sex with a partner, but also be more orgasmic when [you do].” And as if that wasn’t enough, masturbation can help you sleep better via a chemical called prolactin that is released after orgasming. There’s nothing wrong with being a little more selfish in the bedroom, as research done by Kwantlen Polytechnic Institute concludes that people who are more concerned with their own pleasure during sex have more satisfied partners. So this New Year, let’s all make like Hailee Steinfeld and love on ourselves, shall we?
4. Work hard, play harder
It’s natural that we think of play as an integral part of a child’s development; all of us have fond memories of games with neighborhood and family friends, whether it’s skipping stones on the lake, playing Twister during family game night, or in my case, playing imaginary games in which my sister and I are jet-setting fashionistas on a plane trip around the world. There’s scientific research that backs up these intuitions, providing evidence that free play as children greatly enhances their emotional and social development, communication skills, and creative thinking abilities. What you might not have realized is that play is extremely beneficial to adults as well. Play can range from doodling to board games to team sports like soccer or basketball, and can provide health benefits such as better concentration, lower bodily stress, and better memory formation. According to this article from Psychology Today, even video games can improve basic cognitive function. So the next time you want to be a pro at procrastinating, do your brain a favor and go play!
The new year is a time for new beginnings, better decisions, and the hardened resolve to be the best version of ourselves in order to enhance our lives and the lives of those around us. So let’s not settle for anything less than being fierce, flawless, and fine in 2016.