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Now that Christmas is over, we can stop focusing on our pesky family members and turn our attention to the people who really deserve some thought and care: ourselves. In one week, we’ll all be waking up hungover as fuck and announcing our New Year’s Resolutions between popping Advil and drinking half a bottle of Pepto, so why not start thinking about them now? After all, the oh-so-common “I vow to never drink that much again!” resolution is pretty played out. Below are some tips for making your resolutions this year.

1. Remember that resolutions are not about what you want to do, but what you think you should do.

Want to learn another language? Travel more? Go back to school? Skip all of those. Remember, if you’re making a resolution to do something you want to do, that’s totally self-centered and wrong. Who wants to have any drive to adhere their resolutions? So instead of picking a thing or two you actually might carry through with, pick something you loathe to do but think you’ll be a better person for having done, like: losing weight, cutting sugar from your diet, reading the collected works of Jane Austen,* or simply vowing to not call in sick to work every two months so that you can stay home, play video games, and jerk off. Then, your resolution won’t be a resolution, it will be a challenge.

2. Measurements, smeasurements.

Everyone says you should set measurable goals. Bullshit! Who needs a clearly defined path? Remember, succeeding with resolutions is all about willpower, not successful planning and execution. If your goal is to read more, don’t say you’ll read one book a week all year, just say you’ll read more. Losing weight? Easy, just say you want to lose some weight. That way, at the end of the year if you’ve read one book or weigh one pound less than you did on January 1st, you can count yourself a success!

3. You have control over it? It’s a bullshit resolution.

Remember, resolutions usually don’t get carried out anyway, so why pick stuff you have control over? Decide you’ll get into MIT for graduate school in Engineering, get a promotion to a job you know is currently filled, or be discovered as an actor while eating lunch in a McDonald’s in the middle of North Dakota. It’s a long shot, but if it works just think of how impressed people will be!

4. On that note, remember resolutions are all about appearances.

Although fitness and weight loss are typical resolution topics, I’m not talking about your looks. The goal of the resolution is to tell other people around you that you are a smart, attractive, and purposeful individual, not anything as lame as self-improvement. Set goals that will impress your family and friends, not make you happier or better! Does your mom constantly bitch that you don’t know how to cook? Vow to learn! Does your spouse complain that the house isn’t very clean? Vow to be tidier! Remember, no one actually pays attention to whether or not you’ve completed the resolution, it just matters that you say you’ll try.

5. Don’t record your resolution.

Seriously, who needs a reminder that they’re fat, lazy, slobby, or stupid and should work on fixing one or all of those problems? You’ll remember your resolution, especially after a month or two of meaning to get to it.

6. Remember that it’s January 1st or never.

January 1st is a special day in that we can decide to make improvements on ourselves without being derided as lame, goal-setting losers. So if you have anything you think you should work on, it’s now or never. If you wait till January 2nd, you might as well spend your time camped out in the Self-Help section of Barnes and Noble, or become a Tony Robinson fan. Also, remember that it’s nearly impossible to decide to change anything on any day other than January 1st. How will yo have the impetus to actually challenge yourself unless you tie your decision to a single, meaningless day that is given significance only because of our calendar system? The answer: you can’t, so don’t even try. If you think up an awesome resolution any other time of the year, just file it away for 2013 and remember that this way your friends won’t make fun of you for anything as stupid as wanting to be a better person without the influence of an arbitrary tradition to back you up.

That’s it for tips on successful resolution making. Best of luck to you in 2012, at least until you completely forget your resolutions on January 3rd.

*I fucking hate Jane Austen, FYI.