As we prepare to put on our gyms clothes and try to get one of the remaining treadmills, there is still one more blowout night of the holiday season to come. Filled with champagne, confetti, poor judgment, New Year's Eve is also when we swear to resolve one of our imperfections in the coming year. Some of us may take our intoxicated promises more seriously than others, but few of us can remember whatever vice we swore off the year before. Still, there is some merit to making a vow to enrich our life as we look forward to the promise of a new year. And there are a few resolutions that we all could afford to hold on to for a little longer than a week or so.
Here are the five resolutions that all gay men should make.
Less Staring, More Sharing.
Whether it's at the gym, the bar or the grocery store, we are all guilty of pretending not to see people we know from time to time. For whatever excuse, sometimes you just don't want to be bothered with striking up a conversation when you are in the middle of your squat set. But this aversion to the spoken language can cause much more harm to your environment than a friendly five-minute conversation ever could. Assumptions are created in silence, and you most certainly don't want others believing that you harbor any ill feelings, however casual the acquaintance they may be. Extending a smile and an earnest "hello," may sometimes be the last thing you want to do after a long day at the office. But you may be surprised at just how much of a difference in your own life as well as person you exchange your latest update with. In other words, enough with the awkward glances, and just ask the person how their day was already.
Break the Cycle.
Patterns are natural and routines can bring comfort. We all have our favorite restaurant that we frequent and our normal work regime. Hell, you may have been stuck on the same Glade scent for five years running. But no matter what your cycle is, monotony is never good. Whether it is as drastic as dying your blond locks to black, or as subtle as taking a different route to work, a little something out of the ordinary each day can make quite an impact on your psyche. Your brain, your boredom and your taste buds will thank you.
Disconnect, disconnect, disconnect.
It is probably one of the worst phenomena of our generation. We have all been there -- you are sitting at a table with your friends and no one is uttering a sound. Did a tribe of Amazon women cut out all of your homosexual tongues because you wouldn't give them a child? Nope, but that would be a much better excuse than ignoring all of your real life friends sitting a few feet away, because you are too busy refreshing your Instagram feed. Last year, many of us swore to stack our phones in the middle of the table as a way to avoid the social media pull. But there aren't very many iPhone Jenga piles being erected anymore. Let's take it one step further. Let's make a commitment to leave our little virtual friends at home when we make a date with our real live ones. If you just can't stomach leaving your precious phone all the way at home, your car will probably suffice.
Be nice. Period.
The gay community is already pretty small. But when you start running your mouth and talking negatively about others, your little gay world can shrink to the size of a pinhole. No matter what grievance about someone else you feel the need to air in public, it only makes you look worse. Conversely, choosing to air on the positive side can elevate your standing so much so that you will forget about whichever bitchy comment you had before. Remember, this isn't a drag show, and you aren't getting paid in tips, so there is no need for trash talking.
Do something beautiful.
As gay men, we are pretty much the experts when it comes to the steps it takes to perfect our image. It's easy to get carried away in seeking the right look, and forget to make your actions just as beautiful as your complexion. No matter how attractive you are, the quest to look good will always leave you feeling incomplete. There will never be a procedure, beauty product or article of clothing that will ever compare to the gratification of performing selfless acts for others. This year, make sure you take some time to beautify yourself from the inside out. Who knows, your smoking hot character might be what turns the most heads this year.
All kidding aside, the welcoming of a new year carries with it the opportunity to shake off our short comings, and look forward to the chance to do it all again. Is there any real merit to the idea that the changing of a number on our calendar year is the equivalent to a clean slate? Absolutely. But only because each day is a new chance to make changes in your life that bring forth piece, happiness and greater acceptance of yourself and others. Except on New Years, we can do it with a bang.