Every year around this time, many of us sit down and reflect on the past year. More often than not, we reflect on all the awful things that happened, whether it's true or not. Then we take pen to paper and make ourselves a nice old list of all the wonderful things we plan on doing to better ourselves in the coming year.
Here's the thing: How many of us really think we will accomplish any of the things we so desire? We have good intentions for ourselves, just really poor follow-through. Or maybe it's less follow-through and more, "Oh, no, I really wasn't going to do that. I was just drunk on New Year's when I swore that I would give up drinking for the next six months."
So rather than torture ourselves, proverbially flagellating our bodies over every day we miss that Tuesday spinning class or eat one too many gummy bears, we might as well just lower our own bar a few feet. Who really cares if we go vegan this year or not besides you? So just don't say you're going to do it.
Old Resolution: I Will Go to the Gym Every Day New Resolution: I Will Park at Least One Spot Too Far at Target Do you have a gym membership currently? I didn't think so. Don't go out on January 2 and sign up for one. I guarantee that you will use it for no more than two weeks at most and then the gym will go on to charge you a monthly fee for the next 11 months. And getting out of a gym membership is harder than doing one hour of P90X.
Rather than waste your money on a specialized pair of sneakers from Luke's Locker, admit to yourself that you are a lazy fat-ass and it's okay; we all are. Instead of buying that Groupon for the ridiculous 5 a.m. jump-roping bootcamp, make some little everyday changes that will impact the rest of your year. Take the stairs. Park sorta far away and hoof it for the extra few minutes. Stand up from your computer every once in a while and stroll around your office. It's fine, you can take your iPhone with you and check your Facebook.
Old Resolution: I Will Eat Healthy and Lose Weight New Resolution: I Won't Eat Crap Every Day, Just Some Days How old are you? 20? 30? Unless you are overweight and at your breaking point where you know that you need to make a change in your life, making life-altering food choices is rare. So, I'm not talking about those that really need to make massive life changes. I'm talking about those of us out there that need to drop five or ten. Every year we say the same thing, "This year I am going to _________:" get healthy, go vegan, eat only organic, cut out gluten just because I read an article in GOOP about how happy it has made Gwyneth Paltrow and she looks fabulous!
Let's call a spade a spade and admit to ourselves that none of that is going to happen. But that doesn't mean that you should give all in to every chocolate-covered Oreo cookie out there, it means you should try and eat some broccoli every once in a while, and then every so often eat jelly-wrapped bacon and cheese on a Ritz.
Old Resolution: I Will Go Back to School this Year New Resolution: I Will Watch More PBS You are so not going back to school this year. When do you have the time to do this? Look, I'm not knocking bettering yourself through higher education, but it's January. If you are not already signed up for spring, you have basically run out of time.
There is always September, but for what are you going back to study? If your answer is, "I just bought that book What Color Is Your Parachute and it will tell me what I should do with the rest of my life," then you are sorely mistaken. I too bought that book, and I am too despondent with life to even take the time to fill out the worksheets that tell you how to not be miserable. I assume the same about you.
You should try and get smarter this year and it shouldn't take up too much of your busy television-viewing habit. Your best bet is to combine the passive and the active and turn on some educational television. Or at the very least, watch a little less Honey Boo Boo.
Old Resolution: I Will Completely Stop Drinking New Resolution: I Will Not Be a Raging Alcoholic How many of us have made this resolution, usually when we are either drunk or hanging onto the porcelain throne for dear life. "If the world will just stop spinning for a minute, I promise I'll never drink again."
Wrong. At best you will stop drinking for a week to a month and then be so super proud of yourself for not hitting the bottle; you then wind up celebrating with an evening of Irish car bombs.
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I know that people in health columns are always saying, "everything in moderation," and it's really obnoxious because duh...well, duh. Just stop drinking a bottle of Carlo Rossi a night; you'll be OK. (Unless you are really an alcoholic, and then go get help.)
Old Resolution: I Will Read More Books New Resolution: I Will Read More News Blogs and Less Buzzfeed Reading is one of the best hobbies you can take on. People who regularly read have a better vocabulary, are better writers, have stuff to talk about and can rub the amount they read in other people's faces. But not everyone is a reader or has the time.
Don't expect to read the entire Jane Austin collection in one month; instead, pick a book and keep at it until you are done. Even if it takes you six months to read that one book, don't feel bad about it. That being said, while you are not reading that book, read something worthwhile on the Internet and stop watching that He-Man, "Hey Ya'" video over and over again. Read something, anything.
Old Resolution: I Will Be a Nicer, More Tolerant Person New Resolution: I Won't Wish Death on People Who Don't Use Their Turn Signals Hey, guess what? You are who you are, and if that person happens to be a douchebag, more power to you. Just try and not run people over with your shopping wagon at Whole Foods because you can't get at the free-range goat milk cheese. It'll be all right; they will never sell out of that shit. Ever.