It’s not all green juice and yoga...

By Real Simple
Updated January 03, 2017
Credit: Emily McDowell

January is supposed to mean a fresh start, which is a nice idea in theory—but it also means feeling a whole ot of pressure to turn our lives around immediately by joining the gym, eating only green foods, buying a million-dollar juicer, finding our Zen, achieving inbox zero, Marie Kondo-ing our entire home... OK, partway into the month and we’re already exhausted. It's no wonder why so many of those promises barely make it into February. You’re not alone: Everyone struggles with staying focused on their goals, especially when they involve fancy flavored water and quitting desserts cold-turkey. Writer and illustrator Emily McDowell has designed the one New Year’s chart that won’t make you feel guilty for ordering fries instead of salad, and logging back into Facebook after a short 24-hour hiatus. Look familiar?


Don’t you feel better? Of course, this doesn't mean that you shouldn’t set goals for yourself—the start of a new month and new year is a great time to reassess where you are and decide where you want to go. Just ditch the guilt if you "slip up" along the way and think about ways to make your plans achievable. For example, maybe you don’t cook every meal at home, but you resolve to pack your lunch two or three times a week. And maybe you’ll never be some kind of Olympic-level athlete, but you can manage a 30-minute walk before work or at lunchtime. Ignore Pinterest, ignore what you think you should be doing, and find the guilt-free resolution that makes you happy in 2017. Want to get started? Here, 15 small moves for better health.