Well, we made it. And by we, I obviously mean those of us who actually made it–if you didn’t make it to 2020, you’re probably not reading this. Although maybe you are, on some other plane of existence–I’m a comedy writer, not a philosopher.
For those of us taking another spin around the Sun, its time for resolutions! Now, if New Year’s resolutions stress you out, you can blame the Babylonians, who made promises to repay their debts and return things they borrowed. They made these promises to their gods every year , which, I imagine, must have been even more stressful than posting a list on Facebook.
Right now, it’s 9:03 PM on January 1st, and since I resolved to write something new for my website every day, I’m already behind. I’m already disappointing myself, and we’re only twenty-one hours into this thing! While a part of me wants to just get back in bed for the next three hundred and sixty-four days (“Well, I screwed up–I’ll try this again next year”), I may have a better idea.
We set ourselves up for disappointment (and judgement) by making our resolutions too hard! What’s wrong with a little incremental improvement? I say we all stop trying to get a perfect score, and shoot for a solid B, or a B minus even! If you do achieve some huge goal in the next year, all you’ve really done is messed up the curve for the rest of us…
With that in mind, I’ve come up with some very small resolutions for myself, and you’re welcome to join me, as we commit to trying our best to make partial progress toward sort of making a kind of start at doing the things we all probably should be doing over the next year. If we can–no biggie if these don’t work out.
HYDRATION: I have heard, since I was a kid, that you should drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water every day. Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. What I can shoot for is to drink some water…I mean, the pitcher is right next to the coffee pot, so would it be that hard to drink a little water between cups of coffee, and maybe have a little before bed? No, it would not. Hell, if the roommates aren’t around, I could drink some right out of the pitcher! Who’s gonna know?
DIET: Far too many people get caught up in trying to restructure their entire diet, vowing to never eat this, or always eat that. Well, here’s a thought–instead of shoving the latest trending superfoods into your piehole, and becoming miserably sad because you’re depriving yourself of duck fat fries for no good reason, how about just don’t eat an entire bag of chocolate-covered pretzels the next time you’re stoned?
Or, what about not spending ten bucks at Del Taco at midnight just because “almost everything was on the dollar menu” and you “didn’t feel like cooking.”
EXERCISE: You’re not gonna join a gym, and if you do join a gym, you’ll stop going by mid-March, because going to a gym is a drag. It’s like P.E. for grown-ups, and everyone else at the gym looks better than you. Seriously, why are some of those people still working out? You’re done! You’re already ‘in shape”–now you’re just making the rest of us feel bad!
You know what you can do? Walk to the store instead of driving there. Pause Netflix, watch one less hour of “The Crown,” walk around the block a couple times, and you’re exercising! Achievable goals…
TRAVEL: It’s admirable to want to explore new cultures, and experience new cuisines and customs, but you know what? Maybe we should all just get to know our own neighbors first, and see how that goes. Again–walk around the block a couple of times, meet some new people that way.
FINANCES: Likewise, you will not be getting out of debt this year. But, just a thought–you could make it your goal to to avoid using your credit card for that round of two-dollar Jager shots that you’ll regret tomorrow. Also, maybe stop writing checks for more than you have in your account, just because the bank ‘let’s you.’
LEARNING SOMETHING NEW: Okay, slow down. Before you spend money on dance classes, or foreign language lessons, or a new cello (see FINANCES, above), maybe make use of something you already have, like that book on yoga someone gave you three years ago. Nobody will know that you resolved to start doing yoga three years ago.
BEING NICER: This is a good idea I suppose, but what if, by nature, you’re just not a nice person? No judgement–you’re just not that guy. Then maybe, instead of trying to be ‘nicer’ to people, you should resolve to avoid people…that might be the nicest thing you could do for them.
I’m sure it’s not hard to see why I’m in such demand as a life coach. My approach is simple–I want you to accomplish everything you want in the new year, but to do that, you need to want less! What if, instead of a few people realizing all of their yearly goals, while most people fail before the snow melts, we all resolved to just be slightly better, across the board?
Speaking of accomplishment, I just realized that I might actually be finished with this piece, and it’s before midnight, so maybe I can write a new piece every day this year! Or, maybe I’ll call this a win, and take the rest of the year off. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. Happy New Year!