What Are Your 2016 Goldfish Resolutions?

Resolutions get shit on a lot. They’re so often lists of things we failed to do the year before; confirmations of our own shortcomings. Making them is like sitting through a year-end review of ourselves that won’t end in a promotion. So that’s annoying.


When you look at resolutions through the lens of both optimism and encouragement (here’s a barf bag in case the altitude makes you sick), resolutions are just room for improvement, and we’re goldfish.

We’re goldfish because when kept in little bowls, we stay the same length and shape and color. But as the bowls get larger, we get bigger. Stronger and longer and more golden. So if a resolution is indeed “room for improvement,” that room is just another square inch we’re given to stretch.

Confused? Consider this: “I want to lose 3 pounds” won’t help you grow. “I want to prioritize my health,” however, might.

Even better: “I want to try a new workout class that sounds fun and kind of scary where I get to yell a lot and finally use my new cool ass sneakers that I bought last year when I said I was going to lose 3 pounds.” See, now you get to dance, too.

A few of my own goldfish resolutions this year are as follows:

– Draw more. (Open ended and without any structured number to measure against, you see. No “draw 1 picture a week,” no “become next Leonardo da Vinci.”) Just: more.
– Get back into yoga but don’t feel like this means I need to master yoga or do a headstand or complete a 30-day Bikram challenge. Just: get back into it.
– Do new things. It’s been over five years that I’ve lived in this city, and it’s high time I see a new museum, visit a new park, try a new restaurant or even take a new subway.

Chances are that if I turn off my phone here and there, do a few downward dogs and like, leave my apartment, I should be able to check off all three by next December 31. But every single magazine I have ever read while waiting at the gyno prior to the New Year has said that this resolving stuff — it’s all much easier when you do it with a friend.

So…what’ll it be? What are your goldfish resolutions for 2016?

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis


Get more Brain Massage ?
  • I love this article and actually said the same thing to my boyfriend yesterday. People tend to get so negative about resolutions and immediately diss the idea of it, while the actual thought behind them is so nice and simple. I hope to improve my writing, and start writing a novel. I don’t give myself deadlines, as my fragile soul tends to collapse or immediately give up hope when given too many, haha.


  • Dawn

    The goldfish analogy made me smile Amelia–love it, and I will think in a new way about what I want to add into my life in 2016.

    • Dorothy Young

      I am getting a salary of more than 4500 dollars each week , that is awesome. Over a year ago I was in a horrible condition , jobless and Bank account with only few bucks . Thanks to one of my friends who showed me a way where I was able to gather myself and making average of 68 d/h. So it can change your life as it has changed mine.



  • Tanya

    This year I am gonna write more. And what I mean about writing I mean less email and more snail mail. Everything has been digitized when communicating. So, this year I will be sending actual card stock “Thank you”s and “Hello”s to friends and family.

    • Hannah Cole

      That is definitely something I need to do also – email is the bane of my existence, snail mail just brings Joy.

  • Leandra Medine

    My three goldfish resolutions:
    1. Stop complaining so much and just do something about it (lest it interfere with the production of a good story!)
    2. Find a reason to celebrate something every single day
    3. Wear more Gucci

    • starryhye

      I too would like to wear more Gucci this year! However that resolution doesn’t quite align with my other resolution of getting my finances in order :/

    • Wearing more Gucci isn’t a resolution is a basic human right. Do it do it do it . And show us while you do it.


    • Lola

      Yes to not complaining so much- i realised a while ago that it was the basis of all of my conversations. I want to be able to have a productive conversation with people without a complaint, and not be embarrassed about that. Because why bring it down when you could bring it up.

  • Nataliya Ogle

    1. Eat more goldfish.

    2. Share said goldfish crackers with loved ones.

    3. Wear Gucci hand-me-downs.

    Style Tomes

  • I’ve never resolved to wear more Gucci, but I bet that’s because I wasn’t using all of my resolution skills! I actually like that whole ‘clean slate’ thing at the start of a new year. This year, I’m learning to scuba dive, going to stick with a 5kADay challenge a friend started and write, write, write. Plus some other stuff, yadda yadda, wear more red lipstick, paint my nails more often, eat less beef. Stuff. Resolved.

    • tiffany dalton

      no, eat MORE beef.

  • Hannah Cole

    Thank you thank you thank you.
    To hell with SMART goals and all they teach you in uni. Vague is ok, and even better, because it takes hardly any effort to achieve.
    So mine is all about experiencing new things and taking new adventures, just generally being happy. So whatever it takes I am ready for.

  • Yes, I agree to the max! My resolutions include a short list as follows:
    1. Write when I feel like writing.
    2. Stop comparing.
    3. Read. Read anything.
    4. Listen to music out loud, without headphones. So others can listen too!
    5. Say “I think so” less, and instead say “I know so”
    Happy New Year fellow Man Repellers!


  • Sanna Wege

    This goldfish resolution stuff doesn’t work for me either. For three years or so I have been saying “This year I will join a yoga class.” Not be good at it, just do it. Still haven’t been to a single class.

  • me

    Poking around online yesterday, I came across this brilliantly inspiring & hopeful post by a 26 year old NYC woman on a roadtrip.

    Now, I’m typically a total slacker with resolutions, but seeing this on the first day of 2016 made me think about how to move forward in a goldfish kind of way ….


  • A great point! I actually said last year I would love to wear more skirts and high heels this year -I seem to be all ready for them, if my current cravings are something to go by.
    Also: wish you all a great 2016. Seriously.

  • Buy more sunglasses, and get out of my skincare rut. Those are my two resolutions. Anything else, I won’t stick to.

  • tiffany dalton

    a lovely approach. mine:

    start journaling again
    prioritize my meditation practice
    be more loving

    p.s. when i first read the title, i thought they were called ‘goldfish resolutions’ because we’d forget about them by the time we complete our next lap ’round the bowl. (:

  • Chetna Singh

    Amelia ..you read my thoughts! I have had a period of total standstill with my artwork and promised to work at it.. I think the hardest part is picking up the brush.
    Yoga .. Need to get back so I can touch the floor with my hands again!
    My only other goldfish resolution that I might add is to listen more and think before saying whatever is on my mind.

  • Sam

    Im going to shop less. But thats hard now that I discovered skye.pm the women’s luxury discovery platform. Am I the only one addicted to this site?

  • BK

    My two resolutions are

    1) run more, which is easy because I haven’t run AT ALL since, like, October

    2) make more sustainable fashion choices (eg Reformation, Everlane, TheRealReal, Vestiaire Collective. Also: sewing!)

  • My resolutions are to travel, go to the beach as much as I can and eat amazing food with friends.


  • Mandy

    1. learn an instrument! this is my big resolution because it’s something totally new to me and kind of consuming, but something I’ve been meaning to do for years
    2. get back into making things. winter is a good time to catch up on that knitting and sewing and embroidering that’s been gathering dust.

  • Jessica H

    We’re just two lost souls living in a fish bowl… year after year.

    Sorry, it had to be said. (It probably didn’t at all)

    My resolutions are to get myself to leave the house more and hang out with the friends that don’t hold me back mentally and professionally, really focus on my mental and physical health and TAKE A VACATION (because I haven’t in three years, damn anxiety).

  • Herd Nicholas

    I got you on the Yoga come thru

  • I love your point of view. I have never believed in all the resolution thing, but i do have similar plans that I want to succeed this year, like “read more” and “learn spanish”. Things that improve our overall being and health should bo our day-to-day resolutions!

    Read more here – http://www.theblogness.com