It’s that time of year to think up resolutions for 2016. (Well, at least for the first couple of weeks in January). Here’s some inspiration from the Bridgeman archive.
Learn Something New
Illustrations from ‘A French Alphabet Book of 1814’/ Charles Plante Fine Arts
‘Yearning to learn French? Aching to put on those dancing shoes and learn tango? Go ahead and sign up and take the opportunity to check something off your bucket list. Plus,the activities will occupy your mind and body as you are heroically trying to kick that bad habit.
Kick That Bad Habit
The Boss, detail of a magazine advert, 1950s/ American School (20th century)
The desire to quit smoking and drinking usually tops the list of the kick-the-bad-habit resolutions. If you are one of the unfortunate souls who has decided to quit both at the same time, may we offer a suggestion? Don’t! In a weak moment when you really want a cigarette, having a drink may be the perfect antidote.
Lose Weight & Get In Shape
Women in ‘bikinis’, Room of the Ten Dancing Girls/ Villa Romana
We really can’t count this as a true resolution because most of us never really get off the roller coaster – we’re either on a regiment or we’re going to start ‘tomorrow.’ Take solace in the fact that losing weight and getting in shape are universal obsessions…even the ancient Romans were preoccupied with their figures. If you go on a diet, make sure you eat enough so that you don’t – in a fit of extreme hunger – fall for the latest quack remedy. Free, fat-reducing pills should be avoided at all costs!
Enjoy Life More
Cup and Ball – the camel’s favourite game, from ‘The Light Side of Egypt’/ Lance Thackeray
This year, you’ve resolved to seek out more fun and adventure in your daily life. So get out your map, close your eyes and stick in a pin to decide where to go in 2015. If you find yourself in Egypt and someone asks if you’d like to race a camel? Sure! You might look silly and you may be too embarrased to laugh, but without a doubt- you’ve contributed to someone else’s joy.
Magazine illustration, 1950s / English School
Repose / Simon Cook
Having a hard time managing your work and life stress, particularly without the aid of an occasional drink or your daily smoke breaks? You’ve signed up for an 8-week meditation course, but why not adopt a dog or cat in the meantime? Touching Fido and Whiskers can reduce blood pressure (really, we’re serious). Plus, who wouldn’t love coming home to a pair of dark brown eyes looking at you like you are the BEST person ever.
Spend More Time With Loved Ones
Advertisement for DuPont Dacron polyester walk shorts, page from ‘The Du Pont Magazine’, 1965
Spending more time with friends and family is on most people’s New Year’s to-do lists. Try to find activities you can do together. Better yet, find something active and new and you’ve managed to combine three resolutions into one. If you can manage to lose weight and learn something new with your loved ones, we call that a win-win-win.
Get Out Of Debt
You know the saying, ‘you can never be too skinny or too rich.’ You’d be hard pressed to find someone who has not resolved to dig themselves out of debt or to save money this year. Though most of us are not living lavish lifestyles, there are still some areas of the budget we could trim in order to set ourselves up for later. How about curbing your daily $3.75 latte habit, or bringing a lunch to work instead of eating out? A successful bid to reduce expenses will help de-stress your life and will make it much easier to do all the fun, new things you’ve resolved to do this year!
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