"Ditch New Year's Resolution Day" Is A Thing—a Helpful Thing

This year, I'm taking a page out of Gwen Ihnat's book: My partner and I are both doing Dryuary. As regular readers of The Takeout might have noticed, I like a good cocktail. A nice glass of wine. A cold beer. It is only January 4, and I have been daydreaming about the specific cold beer I'll have in February since January 2. This morning, I got a press release that made that daydreaming more potent and more practical.

Y'all, did you know that Ditch New Year's Resolution Day is a thing? Well, it is, and it's January 17. Besides being a highly specific Day Of The Something that's actually kind of cool—a rarity—it also seems actually useful. Keeping resolutions can be hard, and if you're going to ditch one, it might as well be fun. But this year, I plan on celebrating my new 4th-favorite holiday by giving myself a day off from my two January-specific resolutions, and I think it's going to help.

I'm strongly in favor of building little mile-markers and cheat days into your resolutions. Some of that is just because I like writing rules and guidelines and stuff. (Ask me about what qualifies someone as a character actor sometime. I've got a system.) But beyond that, giving myself a day off or a free pass actually helps motivate me. It's like the free square in bingo or something. You're still doing the work, but you get to take a little break. Then you keep on truckin'.

This year, my partner and I are both doing Dryuary, and we're also—as we have the last few years—mostly giving up dining out and delivery. That mostly is important. Last year we allowed ourselves one meal a week from or at a restaurant; this year, we're giving ourselves four meals total for the month, which was can use whenever (I'm making little coupons we can use—it's practical, and tactile, and in addition to rules I also like crafts.) As for Dryuary, my partner is a giant St. Louis Rams fan, so he asked for a Rams-specific beer exception. That exception made it much easier for him to sign on; the four freebie meals allow me to say, "wow, nope, extremely overwhelmed, not going to cook today" when I've got a deadline looming.

And now we've got January 17! Granted, a meal on January 17 would count as one of our four meals, but I am definitely going to have one cold beer that day. It will be a Cold Fusion Cream Ale from Empirical Brewery. I will pour it into a glass. It will be delicious. I will daydream about it until January 17, and by the time I drink it, I will have only two weeks of Dryuary left.