Let’s be Honest About Your New Year’s Resolution

In some ways, our ability to make New Year’s resolution, year after year, is a tribute to the hopefulness of the human spirit. No matter what’s happened in the past, we always believe that things can go up from here, that our Best Life is waiting just around the corner, and that we can turn this sinking ship called our life around. Positive thinking is clearly positive, but hasn’t it been taken for granted? Let’s see if we were really honest on making life target.

Exhibit of resolution #1: Better Body Shape

What you think it is: This year, you’re going to turn your body into a finely-honed fitness machine. You’re going to do crunches, you’re going to run laps, you’re going to start doing yoga and go on diet. Maybe become vegan.

What it really is: This year, you’re going to pay 600k for a membership to a hot gym studio, go once, get so red-faced and sweaty that you feel like you are a giant living piece of ham, and then denounce physical fitness to your friends as a “scam.”

Exhibit of resolution #2: Spend Less Time Using Social Media

What you think it is: You have one precious life, and you’re going to live it! You’re going to go out there and engage with your real community, not the fake, shallow online world that everyone is obsessed with.

What it really is: You’re going to spend three weeks posting ominous Facebook messages about how you’re going to delete your Facebook account, so anyone who wants have your real contact information better ask for it now. Then you’re going to get distracted by new episodes of your favorite TV shows, forget about the whole thing, and get really into a new social media app that lets you text pictures of cat’s butts to your friends.

Exhibit of resolution #3: Eat More Consciouosly

What you think it is: You’re going to do a juice cleanse to jump-start your great new eating habits, and then dedicate the rest of your life to micro-greens and cashew milk. You’ll sagely tell co-workers “Yeah, I just feel so clear-headed and have so much energy now! It really makes you think about all the garbage we put in our bodies.”

What it really is: You will order the salad instead of the French fries with your burger a few times. It will taste like punishment, and you will stop.

Exhibit of resolution #4: Less Drinking, More Sober

What you think it is: You don’t need to drink to have fun! You’re going to go totally dry for the rest of the winter, and just do exciting cultural things when you want to hang out with your friends, like go to concerts or have long discussions about philosophy.

What it really is: You’re going to stop drinking for the first two weeks in January, until you realize that going to concerts and having long discussions about philosophy while sober is excruciating.

Exhibition of resolution #5: Watch More Serious Movie, Like Documentaries and Stuff

What you think it is: Who needs a few episodes of Friends to unwind with at the end of a long day when you have Blackfish?

What it really is: You spend a week watching documentaries about environmental pollution, violent military conflicts, and deadly incurable diseases…which will then be followed by a week where you are so depressed, you can do nothing but stream Friends episodes for five hours a day.

Exhibition of resolution #6: A Better Hobby

What you think it is: You’ll gain self-esteem and a new outlook on life when you find out how talented you are at some new hobby, like needlepoint!

What it really is: You’ll spend three weeks half-assing it through a needlepoint project, and then give up and store it in a drawer beside your partially knit sweater, “Teach Yourself Finnish” course, and the never-realized plans for your pet photography business.

Exhibition of resolution #7: Floss Regularly

What you think it is: You will floss every night, and finally, for the first time in your life, be able to look your dentist straight in the eye when she asks you if you’ve been flossing, rather than averting your gaze like a coward.

What it really is: You will floss every night for a week, forget to do it for three months, and still cower in terror when your dentist asks leading questions about your oral hygiene habits.

Exhibition of resolution #8: Take a Class

What you think it is: Just because you’re out of school, why should you stop learning? Also, maybe you could meet some new friends/dates there…you know, just if it happens, not a big deal either way.

What it really is: You will show up to your night class twice, determine that none of your 65-year-old classmates want to be your friend — or even want to be particularly polite to you when you ask them if they know where the bathroom is — and try to haggle with the registrar’s office to get your tuition back.

Exhibition of resolution #9: Give Up a Bad Habit

What you think it is:
You will gracefully and effortlessly quit smoking/ biting your nails/ consuming your entire body weight in red meat each week.

What it really is: You will tell all your friends about your resolution, and that they should get on your case if they see you smoking/ biting/ double-fisting medium rare Porterhouses. Then, when they do get on your case, you will yell at them for 45 uninterrupted minutes.

Exhibition of resolution #10: Stop Holding So Many Grudges


What you think it is: You’re going to become ultra-spiritual, start meditating, and stop holding petty vendettas against your neighbors over the way they keep their TV turned up super-loud. The past is the past, right? Let’s all have a clean slate, man!

What it really is: Maybe you could reach a higher spiritual plane, move on from the past, and drop all your petty vendettas if you could have FIVE MINUTES OF SILENCE IN YOUR OWN GODDAMNED APARTMENT! DAMN YOUR NEIGHBORS! DAMN THEM TO HELL! Also, your mean 8th grade social studies teacher. Also, the guy who was once on line behind you at the grocery store and said, “Are you having a party, or just buying all that cake for yourself?”

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