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Well, guys, we’ve made it this far. What a doozy of a year, if I do say so myself. When July rolled around, marking the half-point of the year, I was confident that 2018 couldn’t get any more unbelievable. My, how the turn tables. Now, Thanksgiving is in the books and Christmas is right around the corner. But you all know what that means: it’s almost time to start coming up with resolutions for the New Year. Not just any old resolutions, though. New Year’s Resolutions are a special sort.
New Year’s Resolutions are the crazy ideas that come to you when you’re lying in bed at night. When your brain is essentially unconscious, and the day’s concerns start melting away into the void. These are the unrealistic plans and ideas that leak into your frontal lobe, ones that seem completely achievable in your sleepy state. It is a new year, after all, completely untouched and untainted by the problems of yesteryear.
Pay no mind to the fact that the entire concept of time is a purely human construct that has no bearing on our existence. The New Year is the perfect time to quit participating in all of the things that bring you happiness and joy in an attempt to flex on all the other people on the planet while simultaneously pulling in those delicious Internet likes.
You can try and tell me differently, but I feel like a New Year’s Resolution is just a bullshit way to try and out-do everyone else by giving up the things that help make your miserable day-to-day existence minutely better. I’m not buying it.
Let’s start with the obvious. If there’s one thing I enjoy doing throughout the year, it’s partaking in alcohol. I like to hang around with my goofy friends and shoot the shit over a few cheap n’ light beers. I enjoy putting on an old pair of sweatpants and drinking Cabernet while watching When Harry Met Sally for the 164th time. After a long hard day dealing with that bitch Susan from accounting, or the pretentious schmucks in grad school, a tasty boozy treat is a pleasant and simple respite.
I feel that this rings true for many, and yet, giving up alcohol for a year is something that many people choose to attempt come January 1. If I wanted 2019 to be even worse than 2018 was, this would certainly be one of my first steps. Now, this is not to say that a sober month is a bad idea, I’m behind you on that one. But imagining 365 days in which I am unable to crack a cold crispy one with the boys does not make me feel good inside.
Additionally, some people decide that “next year” would be a great time for them to try a new diet. Not just any diet, though, it has to be extreme. It has to involve cutting out every type of food or beverage that provides you even a degree of happiness. I also don’t understand this particular choice. The reality of the situation is that after work, I’m going to be tired. That’s not going to magically change in the next year. There’s a 0.0% chance that I am going to want to clean the dust off the cookbook in the kitchen and whip up some paleo-vegan-ketosis dish every night of the week. The heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes, what it wants is a McDouble with Mac sauce and a large fry. Why deny myself this simple pleasure?
And finally, the coup de grâce of New Year’s Resolutions: the incorporation of exercise. What makes a person think that after a full 365 days of inconsistent workouts and hundreds of dollars wasted on monthly gym or studio memberships, that this year is the year to turn all of that around? I honestly respect the hell out of the optimism, but I’m just saying, we should probably start a little smaller than that. Early morning workouts every single weekday are probably not going to vibe with my lifestyle, but going to yoga twice a week might be. I’ve already been doing the same damn thing for 26 years. It’s going to take a lot more than some fireworks and a kiss at 12 a.m. to get me to the gym every morning.
All I’m trying to say, is that instead of trying to come up with resolutions that you feel may impress other people, or resolutions that you wish to accomplish in spite of other people, that perhaps you would be better off skipping the whole thing and just slowly incorporating those improvements in your life on your own volition. No magical January 1 date is going to make those changes any easier.
The ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago. They chose to make these resolutions to their gods to promise to return borrowed objects and pay their debts. I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t need a resolution to remind me to do either of those things. Uncle Sam is going to be breathing down my neck real soon asking for those student loans back, my Discover card reminds me every month that I need to make a credit card payment, and my roommate just comes into my room to retrieve the clothes I’ve borrowed from her from my closet. Crises averted.
Here’s the skinny of it: you and I both know that by January 12th, you’re going to be so fucking tired of your 5:00 a.m. TRX workouts that you’re going to pass out in your cubicle by the lunch hour. You’re going to forget you gave up alcohol and robotically open a beer as soon as you walk through your door after work. And you’re going to have a garbage day that leaves a cheeseburger-shaped hole in your heart that only Ronald McDonald can fill. Stay humble with those resolutions this year, folks. The years are short, but the days are so very long, and I’m trying to fill mine with as many fun times as humanly possible. Godspeed. .