The Death of a New Year's Resolution: A Timeline

A rather brief timeline.

Comfort, Sitting, Signage, Living room, Sign, Balance, Physical fitness, Stock photography, Exercise,
(Image credit: Getty, design by Betsy Farrell)

A resolution is expelled from the womb (of your mind), weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces, plus however heavy your expectations for greatness—derived from a culture that would have a bumper sticker reading "fame, notoriety, or bust"—are. It's got your mother's eyes and her determination but also your father's propensity for shortcuts, which makes for an...interesting combination. Let's see what happens.

I love rising with the garbage men to almost barf on my APLs during a Tone House class! Every Instagram quote incorrectly attributed to Gandhi is self-improvement literature! No vile bagel shall test my resolve!

(No, I'm pretty sure Gandhi said that. Or Marilyn Monroe.)

January 1, 3:09 p.m.

::smashes a half-petrified office bagel that's not even good::

January 1, 3:10 p.m.

Forgiveness is key. 🙏

January 1, 3:11 p.m.

::annihilates remaining part of bagel::

January 2

Repeat yesterday but with 5 percent less enthusiasm and 20 percent more carb.

January 3



A woman, near death, runs on a treadmill she's set to 7 (because HITT) but for longer than recommended (because she still can't figure out how to get it down to walking speed quickly, and pulling the emergency cord thingy would be really embarrassing). She pulls it when she begins to see the light.


"Okay, if you think about it, resolutions are very 'nature vs. nurture,' and, like, how are we supposed to figure that out if science still can't agree on it? What if bagels are part of my very DNA? What about being true to yourself, huh? WHY DO I HAVE TO PUT IN SO MUCH EFFORT TO FIT THIS SOCIETY'S DEFINITION OF BETTER??"

Woman loses consciousness, her body rolling gently down to the floor, like in that one video with the Goldfish.

I do not care to discuss it.

As tumbleweeds roll across the foam mats where we once did halfhearted sit-ups, and the meditation guides move further down the bedside-reading pile, we come to realize the truth: That we are already perfect. "Never change," they said. And we won't—at least not this year.

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Chelsea Peng
Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.