I have mixed feelings about new year’s resolutions. Sure, maybe they’re designed to help us put aside bad habits and make a fresh start, but if you’re as overambitious as I tend to be, the list soon proves impossible to tackle. Within a few weeks, “Cook healthy meals” becomes “Eat handful of spinach at some point.” Meanwhile, “Don’t wear pajama pants in public” is revised so it only applies to the office. How about “Stop procrastinating?” Yeah. It gets perpetually put off until tomorrow.
This year, I had the good fortune of encountering Lady Bug Naked the Elf Sphynx on Instagram, and the hairless beauty has reminded me not to be so hard on myself. Bug Naked’s account isn’t exaggerating when it says the cat travels “the world and the seven seas” — her mom, Kate McCue, is a celebrity cruises captain aboard Celebrity Summit. Whether Bug Naked is traveling or at home, here are 10 ways this freewheeling feline can help you make this year a great one.
1. Do everything in moderation
After yet another huge meal at yet another holiday party, I’ve been known to swear off all food for life and vow to work out 10 hours day, what I perceive to be the only suitable punishment for the mountains of sugar and butter I’ve just shoved in my face. But I’ve learned that not only are such promises unrealistic, they also get in the way of me having a good time — and Bug Naked knows few things are more important than that.
2. Know your boundaries
Just like Bug did when her daddy tried to steal her favorite pig toy, don’t be afraid to tell people no. Next time I feel compelled to say yes to plans with a friend when I should really be working or resting, I’ll remember Bug’s paw-to-the-face method of resistance.
3. Be proud of your body
I think this one is hard for most of us — no matter how many times we are told that we are already perfect by well-meaning friends and lovers, familiar insecurity has a way of creeping back in. Take a page from Bug’s book, and let it all hang out this year. Someone somewhere will be glad you did.
4. Take fashion risks
Now that I’m [NUMBER REDACTED] years old, I feel like society demands that I start taming down my fashion choices, but I’ve been slow to catch on. Last year I dyed my hair pink, bought neon cat socks, and wore only the brightest leggings I could find to the gym, and I felt right at home. Here’s hoping I can follow Bug’s lead and continue being adventurous in the new year.
5. Practice good hygiene
This one seems like a given — we all look and feel our best when we’re clean — but it’s almost guaranteed none of us look as cute in a bubblebath as Bug.
6. Stretch daily
It seems like all cats are naturally yogi masters — next time your cat is, uh, cleaning his special bits on your coffee table, just consider the strength and coordination it takes to achieve that leg-behind-the-head pose. Make like Bug and stretch daily, and you’ll be folding your body into new cat-like contortions before you know it — or maybe just touching your toes, but hey, all victories are worth celebrating.
7. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself
At some point in the next 12 months, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll do something that makes you look silly. I got a head start: On New Year’s Eve, I was trying to find the bathroom at the restaurant where we had dinner, and I got lost and wandered into the kitchen. It’s easier to shrug off these awkward moments if, like Bug, we aren’t afraid to laugh it off.
8. Try new things
A few years ago, I resolved to do one thing every day that scared me. This led to some interesting adventures — I ate something at a local Thai restaurant called “demon gapow,” and I tried aerial fabrics for the first time, which was as fun as it was terrifying. The “every day” part of the resolution ultimately led to its demise, but if Bug’s happy bacon face is any indicator, I should keep my intrepid spirit alive this year.
9. Take plenty of naps
Whenever I get the chance to indulge, an afternoon nap is my favorite part of the day, especially when one of my lazy kitties curls up next to me for a sleepy cuddle. Here’s to more leisurely love in 2017.
10. Speak up for yourself and others
Heading into January, a lot of people are very nervous for a lot of good reasons. This year, it’s more important than ever for us to have each other’s backs.
Follow Bug Naked on Instagram for more adorable photos. (Seriously. Do it now.)