NEW YEAR’S OPEN THREAD: What’s Your Resolution?

Blessed be, kittens! 2016 is almost over. It’s been decided pretty unanimously that this has been one of the worst years on record, because of the celebrity deaths strewn throughout that struck us in the hearts and the dreams of ours which died on Election Night and the endless stream of no-good, very bad news which created a backdrop for all of these other sad things to happen in the midst of! But one thing is certain: We will go on. The clock will strike midnight on New Year’s Eve and poof! It’ll be a brand new year, a new dawn, a new day, a new chance, a blank slate.

I love the turning of the page that happens on New Year’s Eve. I know it’s mostly bullshit, because really we could start our lives over whenever we want (and trust, I know this because I did not too long ago), but it’s nice to have a celebration around the world ringing out for what could be. This year, I’ve pledged to start the calendar by redoing The Desire Map and getting my emotions in order to move forward as briskly and bravely as possible. Also, I’m going to SoulCycle ASAP because I’ve been in New Jersey with nary an overpriced spin class in my neighborhood.

So, what’s your resolution? Yes, you! I wanna know how you’re gonna make this year the best year ever — and certainly better than this one. I wanna know what’s in store for you. In fact, we all do! We’re all here, a bunch of queers standing in front of the Internet asking it for its truths. And to make it more fair, here’s our resolutions. These are the hopes and dreams Team Autostraddle is clutching to its chest in 2017.

a golden retriever puppy in a party hat with a noisemaker in its mouth falling asleep against a pink background

Carmen, Feminism Editor

I will follow the universe. I will think about what makes me happy — really happy, happy right now, happy for real – and I will shamelessly and unabashedly chase those things. I will follow the universe. I will drink as much fucking coffee and espresso as I want. I will follow the universe. I will write “drive into the desert” and “drive next to the ocean” in my planner more often. I will follow the universe. I will get rid of everything that doesn’t fit, everything that has no place, everything that no longer serves me. I will follow the universe. I will figure out where all of my mightiest parts are hiding and re-attach them to my body. I will follow the universe. I will pack up my car all by myself, put Eli in the passenger seat, and see something I’ve never seen before. I will follow the universe. I will build a revolution. I will follow the universe.

I don’t want to keep secrets anymore. I don’t want to put myself second anymore. I don’t want to run myself into the ground anymore. I don’t want to be noble and scarred anymore. I don’t want to second-guess myself anymore. I don’t want to choose pain in the place of conflict anymore. I don’t want to sleep in anymore. I want to meet someone on the fucking bridge. I will drink two liters of Evian a day, go to SoulCycle twice a week, get to work early and leave while the sun is still out, keep my room clean and keep my car cleaner, smoke American Spirits with the window down, wonder often where it’s going but refuse to script the next scene, pin love letters to my cubicle walls, repeat my CDFs to myself every morning, remember my worth, and surround myself with people who value what I do and who I am.

Also, I need to go back to budgeting.


KaeLyn, Staff Writer

I don’t believe women can or should have to attempt to “have it all” when it comes to work and kids. Until men are culturally expected to take an equal role in parenting, there is always going to be a double standard for moms at work (even gay ones). I love my work and I love my little pooper. My resolution is to find a balance that works for all of us in 2017, even if it means my work life and activist work shift to accommodate my newly intense home life. Also, I’d really like to get back to journaling?


Erin, Staff Writer

My resolution this year is to learn how to invest properly and be so well versed in the stock market that if I called into the Suze Orman show she would have nothing but praise for me.


Carrie, Staff Writer

Slightly ironic to say here, but my resolution is to spend less time online. I don’t mean the unavoidable work stuff — hi, I’m on staff at this website — but the empty hours on social media and going down thinkpiece wormholes. I feel like I used to be a lot more productive than I am now, and unproductivity equals anxiety for me, so I want to try cutting back on my biggest distraction and see what that does. At the very least, I should make my distractions worthwhile — read a book when I’m bored, stuff like that.


Stef, Vapid Fluff Editor

This year, I would like to have a crush on another human being that involves any amount of chill whatsoever. Last year, I wanted to figure out a solid balance of work/personal life and never did, so I’d like to keep working on that as well.


Mey, Trans Editor and Witch

This year I’m moving to LA, so I guess my resolution sort of needs to be to work harder or more? Because I need to make more money this year because LA is a lot more expensive than Idaho. But also I’m going to make a resolution to be a better, less selfish and more kind friend to the people I love.


Laura M, Staff Writer

This year I’m going to be a better activist by thinking deeply about areas where I have privilege and leveraging the fuck out of it to help groups who are marginalized in ways that I am not.

Also I would like to get really good at homebrewing.


Heather, Senior Editor

The night of the election, after it became clear that Donald Trump was going to win the electoral college, Stacy and I were lying in bed, sick and stunned and heartbroken. At some point she rolled toward me and turned my face to her and said, “You have to promise me that whatever comes next, you’ll be gentle with yourself.” Being gentle is kind of my main thing. It’s why kids and dogs and cats love me. But as gentle as I am with other people and animals, I am hard as all heck on myself. (Plus also: I wouldn’t trade this job for all the Kit Kats in all the world, but the hardest part about it is the constant barrage of anger from queer folks blaming me for whatever thing. This thing that happened on a TV show, that thing someone wrote on a mainstream website, Donald Trump getting elected, etc.) I’ve never slept well my whole life, even as a little kid, because I was always convinced there was more I should be out there doing, and I’d obsess over the things I had done, convinced I hadn’t done enough. I’m doing it right this second. It’s snowing and I’m thinking about all the ways I could have made my outdoor feral cat shelters even warmer. So my resolution this year is to keep my promise to Stacy to be gentle with myself as I continue to unleash my fire on the world.

Also I plan to keep going with last year’s resolution which was to remember that Dumbledore couldn’t have accomplished all he did if he’d spent his time acting as a Hogwarts hall monitor.


Alaina, Staff Writer

This year, I resolve to stop disappearing when I get stressed out and also to get back into therapy in a very real way. Also more dancing and Instagram-able moments that happen with friends because I live alone and spend too much time alone. Also, I never figured out budgeting last year, but 2016 was also a hot mess, so I’m gonna try that again. Also, I want to be the kind of person who has routines. They’re so comfortable and yet here I am still living routine-less. No more. Also more dates.


Riese, Editor-in-Chief / CEO

Primarily, I would like to film a queer re-creation of the music video for “Work From Home” in my pole barn starring Erin Sullivan, Kaylah Wilson, Sarah Sarwar, and other stars TBD. The male parts will be played by butch lesbians. Keep your eyes peeled for that. Secondarily, I’m literally living inside the fallout of a breakup — in a house of a certain size on a certain amount of land in a certain location chosen for an eventually-to-be-married couple who wanted to have a family one day and grow things on the land — and I want to figure out what new destiny lies in store for this place now that that relationship is over. Also I want to sign up for or commit to doing at least one recurring outside-of-the-house activity (e.g., volunteer work, club, class, etc.).


Laneia, Executive Editor

I want to do the same things I always want to do: get more sleep, grow something I can eat, drink more water, look at my kids’ faces more, call my grandmother, do yoga, take pictures of abandoned shopping carts, clean out every closet in the house, paint on something bigger than a sketchpad, read a book a week. I want to be a better person. I want to start projects and finish them and make room for new projects. I want to mute doubt. I want to be honest with myself and then do something about it. And I still want a kitten.


Maree, Staff Writer

Eat less meat. Drink all of the coffee in my mug or cup instead of abandoning it. Write more short stories. Write more letters. Write more. Say no to the things I don’t want to do that I don’t have to do, and say yes to the things that make me uncomfortable. Find out where the hell my father is. Speak softer but with more assurance. Buy tissues instead of just using toilet paper. Hang things on the walls of my living room, finally. Make more things with my hands. Take better care of my cuticles. Put more money in my savings account, and less random shit on my credit card. Learn how to whistle. Use the hiking boots my mother sent me at least once. Watch more documentaries. Try to stop being so scared of how much I love my girlfriend. Try.


Isabel, Staff Writer

I already stopped biting my nails because time is an illusion. Take that, 2016.

2017 is looking to be a year of asking for help. I spent so much of this last year struggling with anxiety, depression, overwhelming workloads and astronomical expectations. So (and this already started happening), this upcoming year will be the year I finally believe that constant improvement is better than delayed perfection. This will be a year of met deadlines, reliability, mindfulness and thoughtfulness. I’ll update my software the very night my computer suggests it, I’ll email back in a timely fashion (I hate email for the record) I’ll communicate better, and I won’t get short with my mom. I’m going to call my dad more often.

I’ll finally perfect my hollandaise sauce.


Nikki, Intern

I would just like to preface this with Carmen asked everyone to write a resolution otherwise she would cry, so here I am. I care about Carmen’s hydration and there doesn’t need to be added tears.

My 2017 I want to really dedicate myself to myself. Be less of a hermit. In 2016 I was working so much. I can work but when I have jobs that are more client/customer facing it takes so much energy out of me. I would just work and spend so much time reenergizing myself it left very little time for me to be social.

Be kinder to myself, go to bed on time, make myself food and don’t be lean on the vegetables, talk more, give zero fucks. I give too many fucks about everything all the time. Care only about people who care for me. Oh and figure out how I can add a dog to my life.


Rachel, Managing Editor

This year I would like to work harder than I ever have before on things I care about and for my community, and at the same time would like to give myself permission to not work so hard all the time, at least not in the exact same way I do now. I am hoping that somehow the latter will make the former more feasible! That’s how that works right?


Yvonne, Senior Editor

This year I want to write more and be better at time management. I recently read in a book that “Time management mandates that you get honest about who you are and what’s important to you, and then to make choices based on that assessment, and not out of guilt, shame, obligation or convention.” That’s exactly what I want to do. I need to deeply reflect and reach inward to figure out what I really, really want for myself and make a plan to obtain those dreams.


Cee, Tech Director

My resolution is 2560 x 1440. You meant screen resolution, right?


Cecelia, Staff Writer

This is the first year of my adult life that I’ve actually figured out what my priorities are, what path I want to follow, and how to save enough money to make my dreams happen. My plan for this year is basically: make art in the mountains for a while, then move to Brooklyn and surround myself with weirdos. It’s unconventional, for sure. But I can’t believe I’ve grown enough to get to the point where I’m embracing an unconventional life path. After spending my whole life internalizing the goals of the Asian model minority, and trying to turn my queerness to straightness, and trying to hide my irreconcilable differences into easily understood awards and accomplishments, it feels huge that I’ve safely untethered myself to the idea of stability. It’s huge that I’ve relinquished myself of the burden of thinking that a stable career and a stable income with a neatly wrapped story to give the world equals happiness. Having survived most of my life by changing some part of myself to be acceptable means that I could never before envision a life that would allow me to be loved just for being my authentic self. So I’m gonna try that this year, and it’s very terrifying. I hope that the world loves me! Also I’ll also be in a place where I can re-energize myself to do some meaningful political work for this fucked up world. So I want to commit to activism again! And because I want to continue to grow, I’m definitely gonna get more serious about mental health and find a good therapist!


Okay, now it’s your turn.

How are you starting over? How will you be better, or gentler, or wiser? What will you finally dare yourself to do? Where will you end up? Start dreaming and scheming, queermos. It’s almost time for a brand new year to unfold – and you’ll have 365 days to stuff it full of whatever the fuck makes you light up, stand strong, and burst open.

Tell us your resolution in the comments – or just talk about your day! Or show me photos of your pets. That’s always my fave.


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Carmen is the Managing Digital Editor at Ms. , host of Bitch Media's POPAGANDA podcast and co-founder and Contributing Editor at Argot magazine. She previously served as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director at Autostraddle. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 927 articles for us.

180 Comments

  1. I agree with many others that while 2016 was a general garbage fire for us all, in my own personal life there were some really great things. I have a great job with much less stress and awesome co-workers that I WALK TO FROM MY APT which is totally and utterly life-changing. I spent a lot of time with the friends I have waited my whole life to meet. I started seeing a therapist who is kind and funny and insightful and GAY and who is helping me put the pieces of my soul together. I accepted that I suffer from PTSD and am learning what that means for my continued existence on this planet. I told some people that I want to write books even though I was desperately afraid they would laugh and/or roll their eyes at me and instead they said YES PLEASE DO THE THING HOW CAN WE HELP YOU and it opened a little door in my heart.

    My 2016 Resolution was to stop saying “sorry” all the time. I became very conscious of how much I/women apologize for our existence/opinions/etc and I did a really great job of largely eliminating extraneous apologies from my vocabulary.

    So… 2017

    1. By the end of the year I will have a submittable manuscript of my WIP “In Search of Grace,” a YA novel about a teen mormon girl who realizes she’s a lesbian and has to put her life back together after her parents flip their shit. I’m going to block out time to write and turn all the things off and write. I’m going to write. I’m going to write. I’m going to write.

    2. I’m going to open my heart. I’m going to be less afraid of how much I love my friends and start trusting that they love me back. I’m going to open myself up to the possibility that romantic love is not a lie. I’m going to declare that wanting someone to snuggle up with at night is not a declaration of weakness, and it does not mean that I’m an incomplete human, it just means that I’m awesome and I want to share my life with someone who is also awesome.

    3. I’m going to let go of the things that do not serve the person I want to be. That means probably ceasing communication with the vast majority of my family and fully accepting that. That means getting rid of clothes that don’t fit and gifts I don’t use and stuff I don’t need.

    4. I’m going to be like Neville Longbottom and FUCK ALL THE SHIT UP. I’m going to protest and donate and fight and call out other white people on their shit and do everything I can to support those more vulnerable than I am.

    So basically, I’m going to be more like General Organa. And also write a book.

  2. hi friends!
    okay I love resolutions and I plan to write in my journal all evening about 2017 – yoga, biiiig bike ride with my dad, reconnect with a travelling love, etc. etc. – but right now I’m currently pumped about all these budgeting goals!

    I may be a rare breed but I just love budgeting. I find it soothing and empowering to know where I’m spending money. It also helps me be more accountable to myself because I see where I shop. This reminds me to try and “vote with my dollars” and put my money where my mouth is, when I can. I ask for receipts for everything (even the single stamp from the post office) and then punch everything into a really simple spreadsheet. I have a list of categories (tuition, rent, cell phone, books, eating out, etc.) and the expected amount I’ll spend in that category. So when I punch in a number it’ll automatically subtract that amount from the total.

    All to say if anyone is looking for a spreadsheet that I’ve crafted over the past few years and is basic but super functional, let me know! Maybe comment on here and we can figure a way for me to get it to you. Financial stability is empowering and I wish I could be everyone’s budgeter! This is the best thing I can think of in the meantime while I try to figure that one out.

    love and endless gratitude for this sacred website <3

    • OHMYGOSH yes all of this resonates with me so much in that it’s something I want to do so badly but never do! I also recently just read an article where the title was something like “Self-Control is Just Compassion With Your Future Self” and that’s how I think of budgeting, too, except I don’t do it and I’m absolutely terrible at it! I’m finally making enough were I feel like I should be financially stable but I’m totally not, and I struggle to hold myself accountable for how I spend my money. So I would LOVE for you to send me your spreadsheet and also give me any other tips and tricks you might have!

    • I would looooove a spreadsheet. Keeping better track of my money has always been something I’ve been “meaning to do” (i.e. hasn’t happened)!

      Especially now with everything going on, and I see all these great causes, and I’m like “TAKE MY MONIES!” Should probably track those… ;)

  3. I…don’t really do new years resolutions? I mean, I know the success rate on them, so I try not to set myself up for failure? I’m not saying new years resolutions are cursed, but… it seems like they fail more often than resolutions made at other times of the year.

    which doesn’t mean i don’t do stuff for new years but they tend to fall into one of four categories.

    1) goals that are emotionally difficult but logistically simple.

    last year my new years resolution was to come out to my best friend. Sure enough, i came out to my best friend by January 7th. This year my new years resolution is get and try on a binder. I put it off for the longest time because most binder companies don’t seem to realize people with breasts larger than DD exist and binders are super expensive…wait, the gc2b half-binder is 33 dollars? BOUGHT WITH EXPEDITED SHIPPING. I might try on every size and be disappointed but I will at least know if binding is an option for me. and more importantly, i will have fulfilled by new years resolution and won’t have to worry/feel guilty about it the other 51 weeks of the year.

    2.) witchcraft

    Ok not really, but ‘new years superstitions that might as well be witchcraft.’ I’m spending new years day like I always do, 1) recovering from new years eve 2.) deep cleaning my apartment in the dark because hangover. I have two bags full of cabbage, black eyed peas, and cornbread for the two nye parties I’m going to and a bunch or stuff from last year I am going to ritualistically burn at said nye parties. I will also be doing new year readings because i got the slow holler tarot earlier this month and I need to show it off.

    3.) habits I would like to continue into the new year.

    I’ve started going with a friend to the gym once a week and we’ve been going that for 3 months. I’ve always had a hard time overcoming my perfectionism to do art but on bad days I’ve started using coloring books and coloring in old drawing with markers/watercolor and that’s been working out well for me. I’ve found resources to learn yoga sequences instead of following yoga classes/videos which has really helped me focus on my form/not get frustrated/maintain a sense of meditative flow that is what drew me to yoga in the first place. it’s also cheaper than headspace, which i really have not found helpful.

    4.) That thing with pocket I always do

    for three years my resolution has been to finally read all my articles in pocket. For three years I have managed to make it into pocket’s top 1% of readers. For three years I have failed to clear out my pocket queue. I’m surprisingly ok with this.

  4. I just spent an evening at a party and there were these queer kids calmly, logically, non judgementally,talking about binary sexist thinking and how it’s a systemic thing that is drilled into us.

    It was lovely and made my cold dead heart feel something like hope for the future.

    • I understand what you mean about hope for the future. One of the reasons that I come to this site each day is because I’m buoyed up and inspired each time I read the contributions from both staff and all who post here.

      This old lesbian was a bit too inclined to cynicism about how lousy the world has become and now I’m exposed daily to hope. Life, and hope for the relief of all of the worlds woes is still a possibility.

  5. Usually I have a whole list of goals I want to accomplish in the next year, and I usually get most of them accomplished.

    2016 saw like 1/4 of my goals accomplished, and I honestly can’t think of goals that I want to put down for 2017. Yeah, there’s things I want to do, but I don’t want to commit to writing them down in case my health doesn’t get better because the only thing that’s shittier than getting to watch all your friends do cool shit that you can’t is to look at the list of cool shit you wanted to do and up until earlier that year would have been able to do no problem, but then shit happened and now you can’t do that stuff (or can’t do it reliably).

    I just…want to not be in pain all the time in 2017. That’s it. That’s all I want. On top of that, it’d be cool if I could switch up meds to both not be in pain all the time and also have a brain that is capable of remembering things, like things I need to do that day or that week or whenever. If I could find a balance where most days I can do most stuff, that would be ideal, but that seems like asking too much with the way 2016 went.

    In the mean time I’ll do my PT and take my meds and try to advocate for myself in my doctors appointments because that’s all I can do, really.

  6. I also resolve not to engage in internet flame wars- I’ll read the evidence, make my own decisions and not follow the inevitable evolution of ad hominem attacks and vitriol because that’s not productive for education and it’s sure as hell not good for my mental health. I’ve made this resolution before and I’m not great at following it but one thing I know about myself is I have to try.

    • I followed a “do not engage or stick around for the shit sequel counter statement” rule in regards to flame wars for about 6 years, this weekend I broke ittt.

      I got no regrets but that of my time being wasted.
      It’s like Pringles, once you pop it’s hard to stop.

      Hard resolution to follow dude, I wish you the will power to back out, leave the flames to burn themselves out and not fan them.

  7. I don’t know. Resolutions have been a thing I’ve not, y’know, bought into for a while. But I thought I’d be starting this considerably different. I mean I thought the world would be starting this year considerably different. And I felt good at first. I wrote new year’s eve and new year’s, talked to some safe people. And then today I got dumped, after five years. And I am less optimistic.

    So I guess my resolutions are to try and stay optimistic in light of what have you and be more creative other than towards the beginning and end of the year. I don’t count this as a resolution, cause it’s been in the works for a bit and resolutions are easy to fail at, but I’m going back to school, too.

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