Learning how to get your life together is difficult, no? When you're young, the world makes excuses for your behavior, citing your age as the reason for every careless lark or mistake. Then one day you're of a certain age and you're supposed to have figured it all out. I can confidently say that I still have yet to figure everything out, but in the New Year, I'm working on it.
Below, I've detailed a list of the biggest changes I've made (or will be making) in my life that make me feel like more of a grown-up. Some are very small, and others are a taller order. Either way, I feel better already, and you can too. Keep reading for the best ways to adult in 2017.
Throw out expired beauty products, and get serious about anti-aging. The truth about makeup expiration dates is not pretty, so throw away that flaky mascara and those questionable eyeliners. Just do it. Also, I'm making skincare my top priority (with a focus on anti-aging). It's time to get preventative (and, truthfully, proactive on my newly minted fine lines). I vow to wash off my makeup each night (but really do it) and find the skincare products that really work for my skin (it's not one size fits all). Find out if retinol is right for you, and get educated on the one product every beauty editor uses.
Stop scheduling hard-core workout classes and then canceling last minute. Here's the thing… I know myself: I don't like working out. But, somehow, along the way I've taken up a yoga practice I adore maintaining. So my second step to reaching "adulthood"? Stop pretending I would ever want to go to a different kind of class. Usually I RSVP to a class only to wake up cold and afraid the morning of and cancel. That doesn't do anyone any good. Especially because it leaves me in a guilt spiral until after my first cup of coffee. Instead, I am sticking to yoga and upping the ante from once a week to two.
Get a haircut. I didn't get a haircut for almost two years—much to my hairstylist's dismay. I just didn't believe that you had to cut off your hair in order to grow it. I know; it's a tale as old as time. To make a long story short, my frail ends broke off in massive chunks and I was left with uneven, short layers that were never meant to be there in the first place. I talked to Halli Bivona of the John Barrett Salon about a long-term plan to achieve eventual hair nirvana. The first step? Cut it, even it out, and deal with the consequences. It turns out, though, that I was happy with the results. I had forgotten what it was like to have a shape to my cut with ends that were fresh and healthy. My hair started looking better than ever. Since then, I've vowed to apply coconut oil before each shower, mask once a week, and stop heat-styling for good. Or, at least, until my hair grows back stronger than ever.
Take a lunch break. Eat at your desk, and use the hour to do something for you. Go for a walk, sit in the park, get some errands done, take a class. The ability to check things off your to-do list (even if it's just take a few deep breaths in the fresh air) will help with the stress of your daily grind.
Learn to apply your favorite makeup—properly. No more rogue liquid liner and brown smudges from a contour experiment gone wrong. If no-makeup makeup is your thing, invest in a great tinted moisturizer and have an expert show you how to put it on flawlessly. Love a matte lip? Practice applying it until you can do it in your sleep. There's nothing more stressful than rushing through a makeup routine before a big meeting or interview. Learn what looks great on you, and then practice until you feel totally comfortable with it. This will make your morning routine so much easier.
Keep a cooling eye mask in the fridge. The best way to feel like an adult who's got her life together? De-puff, soothe, and smooth your eyes over a nice cup of coffee. There is nothing better than the cool, firming sensation of eye gels over breakfast. It'll make it easier to get up and seize the day—promise.
Start meditating. I know, it seems intimidating at first. It's hard to know if it's "working" until you give it a few attempts (this trick is really helpful). But at the end of the day, it's so positive. Meditating keeps you motivated, offers pain relief, and helps with insomnia. It'll help you clearly align your intentions with your actions and keep that anxious, buzzing brain at bay.
Actually love your body. It's easy for me to muse about how much I've accepted myself and my curves, how loving yourself feels so great and everyone should get into. That's because no one knows if I go home and inspect myself in the mirror afterward. I've made strides, but part of getting my life together is focusing on actually practicing what I preach. No more scales, no more body insecurity, just love. You know you look good.
Buy a salt lamp. Not only is it very grown-up to worry about the décor in your apartment (right?), this particular piece will keep you calm and happy through 2017. As this lamp heats up, the calming amber-colored bulb releases negative ions into the air to create an ionizing effect. This purifies the air in your bedroom and creates a relaxing, spa-like environment. Clean air and glowy light will help you sleep, stay calm, and clear-headed.
Make sure to get enough sleep. Yes, it's fun and cheeky to party during the week and regale your friends with stories of how you made it to work on time. But you know what's even better? Getting a full eight-hour sleep in a nice, cozy bed and waking up refreshed and ready to take on the day. This will make you a happier, healthier, and more productive person—that I can guarantee. I invested in a luxe new set of sheets (Brooklinen's Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, $228), Lunya Sleepwear (pajamas that are made from fabric clinically proven to help your body maintain an ideal temperature, which results in a more restful and deeper sleep), and a few new pillowcases (Skin Laundry's SleepCycle Pillowcase, $30, and Slip's Silk Pillowcase, $79).
What are your resolutions for the New Year? Let us know in the comments below (and check out five easy ones that won't set you up to fail).