We’re pulling out the laptops in the middle of our little vacay to stand on a New Year’s Resolution soapbox. Stop it, just stop it already! The new year does not mean a new you and the other lies we tell ourselves which ultimately make everyone miserable have just got to stop!

Common New Year’s Resolutions include:

  1. Lose anywhere between 10 and 100 pounds.
  2. Eat clean (whatever that means).
  3. Make all the things on Pinterest.
  4. Get to the gym every day.
  5. Quit smoking/drinking/swearing.

Wanna know why these don’t work? There are a few reasons, actually, we’re so glad you asked!

January 1 is not a magical day

As much as you’d like it to be, the world and your life do not magically transform on January 1st. Sorry. It’s just another day, really, and there’s not a whole lot that’s special about it. You will not find yourself with more money, more willpower, or an out-of-nowhere love of cardio that makes you want to spend an hour a day on the elliptical. Nope. Not happening.

You are still you

Peach, we love you, exactly as you are and as whoever you end up being as you evolve throughout your journey on Earth with us. We love the wrinkles at the corners of your eyes when you smile, the way you still sway when standing still even though you’re no longer needing to constantly rock a colicky infant, and your prioritization of laundry over every other chore. If you weren’t checking off the Pinterest Projects by the dozen last year, odds are, you’re not going to this year either and that’s okay! We want you to change and grow in a way that’s natural and organic to who you actually are as a person, as a woman, as a mother.

You cannot take away without replacing

We think having a goal to quit a vice or addiction of some kind is admirable and healthy. That said, you can’t expect your brain or body to give up something that makes you feel good without giving it something in its place. Your addiction to late night Netflix or online shopping is absolutely something that is serving you right now. Making a New Year’s Resolution to just take it all away would be asking too much of your sweet self. If this is, in fact, a goal of yours, we ask that you rephrase it. Instead of saying you’re “quitting” whatever it is, focus on “replacing” it with something better for you and will actually serve you in the future.

What can you replace cigarettes or booze or raw cookie dough straight out of the container with, you ask? Well, we made you a present to help you figure that out. You see, those stress management or coping mechanisms or addictions (or whatever you want to call them) are serving a purpose for you. They’re how you are taking care of yourself right now. They’re quick and easily available. To support you in an effort to replace them, we’ve created this list of 20 quick, easy and cheap self-care ideas.

20 Self-Care Ideas

If, instead of reaching for your preferred substance each time you feel it calling, you tried one of these ideas, you might find yourself transitioning from one habit to the next, and a healthier one at that!

Here’s the thing though. If you’re going to do this, you gotta promise us something, Peach. If you get the urge and then do the thing on the list and then still go do whatever it is you’re trying to replace with something healthier (and trust us, this is going to happen… a lot at first), you have to be kind to yourself. No punishing. No shaming. No guilt trips all around. None of that. It takes time and an incredible amount of energy to change a habit, especially a coping skill that’s served you so well for so long.

Like any other life change, a new year does not mean you get a new you in a day. Becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be could take a really long time. The good news is, we’re here to help you, every step of the way.