5 New Year's Resolutions to Break

After a month of holiday-related indulgences, it is traditional to amass a list of resolutions, some of which are staunchly obeyed. Others, not so much, but with a little luck, the unbending law of resolutions can be read into liberally. To keep safe and sane, work on goals gradually, and read between the lines (or into them) to make even the strictest guidelines a little fun. (Photo: Courtesy of smg-photography.com)

Updated: December 14, 2009

To Lose Five Pounds


Austin GourDough

1219 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

After a season of feasting and partying til dawn, anyone can feel bloated. Or did those pants just shrink in the closet? Easing into a sensible plan of diet and exercise is best done gradually, so start out cutting back with a very small donut. Only the freshest kind of course, and these can be plain like the Amish, or studded with thick pieces brown-sugared bacon. Running three miles will burn off all the fresh, warm, delicious calories.


To Live More Simply


Toy Joy

2900 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

Holding on to that collection of Simpsons dolls or Batman comics, even still in their original packaging or carefully sealed lamitrol bags, can seem fruitless if nothing is done with them. This place will buy cool toys, be they vintage or still packaged, to free up one's valuable shelf space. And of course, once one's space has been cleared of clutter, this fun shop has many objects to re-fill any empty space--try a pair of boxing puppet nuns or a walking Godzilla that spits sparks.


To Cut Back on Meat

Even in Central Texas, land of barbecue, vegans have a strong presence. Veganism has excellent health benefits, can be morally enlightening (not eating meat is cruelty-free), and even organic veggies are cheaper than all but the cheapest cuts of meat. But going cold, um, turkey can be rough, so dip a toe into meatless eating at the Parlor, which features vegan cheese, vegan pepperoni and sausage, and tasty nutritional yeast instead of salty, fatty parmesan as a topping. If that seems too abrupt, a regular cheese with veggies is still vegetarian. Baby steps.


Parlor

100 E North Loop Blvd Ste B, Austin, TX 78751

Even in Central Texas, land of BBQ, vegans have a strong presence. Veganism has excellent health benefits, can be morally enlightening (not eating meat is cruelty-free), and even organic veggies are cheaper than all but the cheapest cuts of meat. But going cold, um, turkey can be rough, so dip a toe into meatless eating at the Parlor, which features vegan cheese, vegan pepperoni and sausage, and tasty nutritional yeast instead of salty, fatty parmesan as a topping. If that seems too abrupt, a regular cheese with veggies is still vegetarian. Baby steps.


To Be Less Wired


Little City

916 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78701

How easily can one increase one's daily consumption of caffeine? Try just one party-packed holiday weekend to up one's Sunday coffee quota. Next up comes Monday, then with little effort comes a six-cup-a-day habit. Caffeine withdrawal technically only lasts 48 hours and causes slight headaches, but why go through all that? Pick up a lighter roast here, like an Ethiopian blend, to become less jangled. The vibe here allows for friendly meetings, but tables by the wall provide several outlets for laptop use. Don't abuse the free wi-fi like it were a bottomless cup of java; pulling one's head out of all available technology for a moment is good for the soul.


To Give up Booze


The Highball

1142 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

The end of party season can leave even the most seasoned partiers a bit bleary. Swearing off booze completely seems so abrupt, so ease into teetotalism by adding an activity to the partying. Like, try bowling here, and during the frame, just enjoy one bowling-pin-shaped bottle of Budweiser. Well, maybe two. But not more than nine.