January, the month of the year meant for powder skiing, lazy days in front of the fire, and wine-fueled dinner parties with friends (hygge, anyone?) has long been co-opted by the optimizers. We’re taking it back. No New Year’s diets, plank challenges, or self-betterment protocols allowed. The holidays are long and often stressful, and winter is tough enough on its own. The only resolution you should make this year is to chill out (and, OK, maybe to floss your teeth). Below, Outside staffers share all the bad habits we’re gleefully hanging on to in the New Year.
I just really hate showering, OK? It’s boring as hell, it aggravates my sensitive skin, and it uses a ton of water and energy. So I will do it once a week. That is my gift to you, the general public. In the meantime, I will continue to smell great (courtesy of the shift to natural deodorant I made years ago) and save hundreds of gallons of water per week.
—Aleta Burchyski, associate managing editor
Wearing the Same Thing Every Day
In 2019, I wore this jacket for 13 days in a row. I threw it on for frigid early-morning runs, then wore it to work, and the climbing gym, and at home. Some might call it love, others would call it unhygienic. (My girlfriend would agree with the latter.) But when something works, I don’t see a need to change it up. That’s why in 2020 you’ll spot me in it, equally as cozy at the crag as I am at my computer.
—Jeremy Rellosa, associate reviews editor
While I greatly respect my colleagues who wake up early to engage in their impressive morning routines (smoothie making, exercising, meditating, and even worse, full-blown dawn patrolling), I will continue to sleep in until a cool 8 A.M. After many years of resisting my bear chronotype, I’ve learned my body is a sleep sponge: early to bed, late to rise. If nothing else, this means I am almost never cranky, and so I will hold my head high when I arrive at work precisely at 9 A.M., no caffeine required.
—Jenny Earnest, audience development director
I almost never go outside without at least two items I don’t need, because what if my socks get wet or I lose my hat or take a wrong turn and wind up in an arctic apocalypse? I know that extra midlayer and two pairs of gloves won’t see the light of day. I know that by the time I’m halfway up the skin track, I’ll be so hot I want to scream and then will spend at least five minutes cramming clothes into an already-stuffed pack. But when I’m gripped, exhausted, and on the verge of an altitude-induced meltdown, the reassurance of having that one dry, too warm, totally unnecessary layer pays for itself.
—Ariella Gintzler, associate editor
Being a Quitter
In the past year, I’ve picked up—and promptly put back down—more than a few new hobbies. First there was baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and then there was road biking, and embroidery, and astronomy with no telescope. I know I’ll never be an expert if I don’t stick to things, but I love the rush of learning something new. Being a beginner leaves me feeling focused and more fulfilled. And a few impulsive decisions have stuck: I got bangs (which are absolutely a hobby, ask anyone who has them), and I renewed my season pass this year to continue learning to snowboard.
—Kyra Kennedy, photo editor
Skipping the Gym
I’m a runner, and I’ve edited countless stories for this website about the benefits of strength training. (This headline haunts me.) I’ll get my miles in when it’s freezing or pouring, but literally nothing can motivate me to lift weights with any consistency. I know it would likely make me faster and more resistant to injury, but something about the idea of exercising inside, surrounded by other people, makes me put it off indefinitely. Sorry, muscular imbalances, I’m bringing you with me into 2020.
—Molly Mirhashem, digital deputy editor
I’m not in college anymore. I’m a whopping 26 years old, my joints hurt, I have a full-time job, and I only feel human when I sleep nine hours a night. And yet I remain convinced that staying up until the wee hours on the dance floor—whether I’m chasing it with a day in the mountains or at my desk—is the right thing for my body and mind. Though my feet (and head) protest and I’m not always the first one up the skin track, I’m still not convinced I’m wrong.
—Abbie Barronian, assistant editor
After a stressful day at work, when I should be lacing up my running shoes or heading to the gym, this year I gravitated to the kitchen to blow off steam. It’s a ritual that I’m definitely not giving up in 2020: creaming butter and sugar, cracking eggs, and kneading dough with reruns of the Great British Bakeoff in the background gives me more peace than I’d find at an hourlong yoga class. And while the resulting cookies and cake aren’t necessarily health food, I don’t see my coworkers complaining when I bring in leftovers the next day.
—Kelsey Lindsey, associate editor
Being Completely Useless with a Wrench
I grew up in a city where everyone took public transit, and I didn’t get a driver’s license until I was 22. Since then I’ve done my best to make up for lost time: I drove coast to coast three times and logged countless miles cruising in the many corners of the country I was living in. I’m capable in treacherous conditions and settings—whiteout blizzards, winding coastal highways, midtown traffic—but I still have absolutely no clue how my car works. I couldn’t change a tire if my life depended on it. Part of me hopes to learn to be handier in the New Year, but most of me just doesn’t care.
—Xian Chiang-Waren, associate editor