New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

 

Don't get all nostalgic for the New Years Eve of yesteryear - this kid is wearing a cloth diaper and is likely wearing a Depends by now!  (Image from pinterest.com - first New Years Resolution - stay off of Pinterest for another year)
Don’t get all nostalgic for the New Years resolutions of yesteryear – the kid in this photo is sporting a cloth diaper and may well be wearing a Depends by now. (Image from pinterest.com – first New Year’s Resolution – stay off of Pinterest for another year)

Optimism is all well and good, but many of you get a little carried away at this time of the year with your resolutions.  Perhaps it’s the promise of a fresh start, or the regret that comes with an epic New Year’s hangover.  For whatever reason, you simply set the bar impossibly high for yourselves in the coming year.   More often than not, your credit card bills for holiday spending haven’t even arrived before most of your resolutions have already been shot to hell.

A wise (and impossibly upbeat, annoying) person would suggest that every day is a new beginning; that we can each strive to just be a better person every morning.  It’s a pretty good idea to resolve to stay away from people like that.  It may prove to be a tough promise to keep, especially for those of you in twelve step programs or Turkish prisons.

Here now, are some typically unachievable New Year’s resolutions with saner alternatives.   You can resolve to thank me later.  In an effort to show how to set and achieve resolutions, I’ve resolved to use old photos from previous posts to illustrate this one.  Done and done.

Resolution #1: Renew your gym membership / Exercise regularly

I looked for photos of actual squatters, but felt the ones I found were demeaning.  This woman chose to dress this way to perform squats, and as such, she demeans only herself.  By the way, honey, love the shoes!  (Image from thegreatfitnessexperiment dot com)
Working out is not always as glamorous as this.  I don’t know how this shot didn’t break the internet.  (Image from thegreatfitnessexperiment dot com)

Problem: Gym memberships pose many problems.  For one thing, the obligatory monthly payments and over-priced juice bars may derail financial management resolutions you may be considering (refer to Resolution 3 below).  There’s also a good chance you haven’t been to the gym since the last time you made this hollow promise about twelve months ago. A slim possibility exists that the gym has folded and the lease was taken over by a do-it-yourself dog-grooming enterprise.  It’s still recommended that you wipe down the equipment when done.

1 PP Resolution Solution: Change your perspective.  By most standards, you’re over-weight and about as active as an arthritic tree sloth, but compared to some folks, you’re the picture of health and living an active lifestyle.  Resolve to spend more time in cemeteries.  Next to the dead, you’ll probably look pretty fit.  While you’re there, you might as well walk around a little.

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Resolution #2: Eat a healthier diet / Lose weight

There is no evidence to support the possibility that Carl's Jr is considering serving Barbequed bowsers or even Hawaiian style buns. (Cut and paste digital collage handiwork by the author)
There is no evidence to support the possibility that Carl’s Jr is considering serving Barbequed bowsers. (Cut and paste collage handiwork by the author for a different post – needed to re-use it to make all that digital labor worth my while )

Problem: A healthier diet will almost certainly include more fruits, dark green leafy vegetabley things and less processed junk.  You’re on a first-name basis with the people in the window at the local drive-thru.  The produce clerks at the local health food co-op shift their glances nervously between you and the AED every time they see you lumbering down the aisle.

1 PP Resolution Solution: What really matters in life?  Looking good and treating your body like a temple, or having friends?  Buy a fistful of scratch-off lottery tickets for your friends at Jack-In-The-Box and nurture your fellowship with that bunch of zany kids!  Those cucumber waxers over at Whole Foods were never going to be your pals anyway.

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Resolution #3: Get out of debt / Improve your financial management

If your bank account looks like this, you need to stop watching the Cowboys get their asses kicked and go do some shopping!  Rumor has it Romo jerseys are going for bargain prices.  (Image from picsbox dot biz)
If your idea of financial management is organizing your wads of cash in neat little stacks like these, you may need more individualized advice. Give me a call on my cell and we’ll talk about my ideas for a combination brewery/day spa.  (Image from picsbox dot biz)

Problem: Committing yourself to improving your money situation won’t get you a raise down at The Kraft Shak.  There’s no need for a calculator to figure out that even going without food and shelter, you couldn’t pay off those credit cards before next year’s resolutions.

1 PP Resolution Solution: Financial experts agree that diversification of investments is key.  If it works for Jimmy Buffett’s rich uncle Warren, it should work for you too.  So when you buy those scratch-offs, make sure you get a wide variety of them.  Bonus Hint: Use a key to scratch off the ticket, having loose coins around will only encourage frivolous spending.

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Resolution #4: Do more for others / Be a better citizen of the world

I saw what you wrote on Facebook - you're allowed into heaven now. (Image from popejokes dot com)
I opted for a funny Pope photo here, because Mother Teresa washing feet is just not entertaining viewing.  (Image from popejokes dot com)

Problem: Let’s face it, volunteering is not as much fun as you thought it would be.  The pay is even less than you what you clear at The Kraft Shak.  In addition, soup kitchens and Habitat for Humanity building sites are teeming with those wildly optimistic, happy-pants yahoos we all agreed to avoid in the beginning of this post.

1 PP Resolution Solution: First of all, you need to steer clear of late night TV ads which result in you donating pennies a day to the orphaned kittens of Botswana.  I mean really, how much of your 12 cents do really think goes to those scrawny little tabbies?  If you’re still hell-bent on doing good, you can come over here and rake my yard or shovel my driveway without me having to drop hints over and over again.  There might even be a cup of cocoa in it for you, but I’m not making any promises.

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Resolution #5: Improve your attitude and coping strategies

You take the espadrilles out of this one and it's nothing but the shallow end of a pool.  You also lose my name, which I proudly stuck in the corner.  Gimme credit WP.
Yes you’ve made questionable decisions, and those shoes are no exception, but it’s not the end of the world.  Besides, if you wanted to do something dramatic and self-destructive, you’re at the wrong end of the pool.  (Illustration by the author, who is trying to get his money’s worth out of the hours invested drawing water and shoes)

Problem:  Dealing with the challenges the world throws your way is what life is all about.  You know that getting passed over for the assistant head checker position down at the Crap Shak shouldn’t have mattered so much, but you ended up sulking for weeks.  How the hell can you expected to be happy and upbeat when the world keeps dumping out second helpings of poop on your plate?

1PP Resolution Solution: If you’ve followed my sage advice thus far, you’re probably reading this as you sit on a tombstone, eating a Jum-Bo-Valu meal amid the sad clutter of losing lottery tickets and dead flowers.  As if that isn’t bad enough, your back is sore from doing gratis yard work over at Casa del One-Point (For future reference, bring your own rake next time – I’m not running a lending library here).  My final bit of wisdom is that you stop making promises which will inevitably end in you disappointing yourself.

You’re quite welcome.

See you next year!

Summer Workout Tips From “Coach 1-Point”

With the start of the Olympic games, many of us are not satisfied with simply marvelling at the prowess of the athletes.  We look up from our recliners, our chests covered with salt and vinegar potato chip fragments and ask ourselves why we can’t have the bodies of beach volleyball players or decathalon medalists.  First of all, if you want to keep from getting anymore of those chip crumbs on your gut, you should close your mouth before asking yourself any such questions.  Thank you.

Luckily for all of you armchair jocks and hot body wannabees, good old “Coach 1-Point” is here with some helpful tips.

If you’re going to work out, then dammit, take it seriously. As they say in the ads, “Make Herr’s Yers”. Cutting corners on the quality of your Salt N Vinegar chips will hurt you in the long run. (Image from Walmart.com)

Nutrition

You need to know that those chips are not the best way to go.  If you insist on the chips, then for an additional push in your workout, hold the bag away from your body, so you have to reach further for each handful.  Salt and vinegar chips are better than other varieties, since they start to macerate your lips and tongue before you can get all the way to the bottom of the bag.  Having a mouth that feels like you gargled with battery acid is nature’s way of telling you to put a chip-clip on that bag and save the rest for your next workout.  By golly, those things are sure salty – so remember to keep yourself hydrated!  I suggest diet tonic water in your gin and tonics as an easy way to avoid empty calories.

Remember kids, leaving off that cherry will greatly reduce your dietary intake of red dye #2, and skipping the whipped cream will cut down on your having a two-tone mustache when you’re done drinking! (Image from smoothierecipe.tv)

There have been some commercials lately which espouse the benefits of drinking chocolate milk after exercising to replenish vital nutrients.  I’ve started working out a little, and the chocolate milk afterwards really does seem to make a difference.   Since my initial burst of enthusiasm, I’ve slacked off on the exercise itself, and now I just continue the chocolate milk component of my regimen.  I’m thinking the addition of some Amaretto or Bailey’s, and maybe a small scoop of vanilla ice cream would make it even better.  Fit-Body Super Hint: Stick with a small scoop of ice cream – you can’t expect to look like a world class javellin thrower if you put extra big dollops of Ben and Jerry’s in your post-workout Kahlua/chocolate milk energy shake!

Stretching

Any athlete knows about the importance of stretching before and after exercise.  Keeping the body limber will limit injuries and help you get the most out of your workout.  Many stretches are best performed lying on the floor on ones back or stomach.  The stretch can be controlled this way and prolonged to tolerance by the comfort of the position.  Most people would agree that while a gentle stretch feels tolerable for a little while, but a more agressive stretch can be downright unpleasant.  I’ve found that minimizing the force of the stretch has enabled me to actually doze off during it.  My wife, who doesn’t have the expertise on exercise which I possess, has accused me of napping when I’m supposed to be working out.

How can she run through the snow with such agility? Easy! She’s a highly conditioned canine athlete who spends hours every day “stretching” on the floor!

1 Point Workout Key: Success in stretching needs to include being on a comfortable floor which your spouse is not trying to vacuum.

Alternate Exercises

Most of us know that a long run or trip to the local healthclub can be both boring and time consuming.  “Coach 1-Point!” you cry, “I just can’t find time in my busy, workaday world to work out!”  First of all, don’t use the word “workaday” – you probably work 8 hour shifts in an office building if you’re lucky enough to have a job.  My blog statistics show you’re unlikely to be slaving away in a steel mill or mining diamonds in South Africa.  The good thing to know is that many of your typical daily activities can be substituted for formal exercise.  For instance, doing a load of laundry burns roughly the same calories as when an Olympic athlete does their laundry.  Power 1-Point Uber Workout Advice: To add a super-challenge to your workout, skip the machines and beat your clothes on rocks down by the river.

Don’t think of this as drudgery – think of it as a two handed kettle-bell weight. For more resistance, do the sheets from the guest bedroom! (Image from teentraveltalk.com)

Accessorize Accessorize Accessorize !

Anyone who’s been paying attention to all of the stories about the Olympics knows that having the right warm-up suit and gear is critical.  I suggest getting a permanent marker and crossing out “China” and writing “USA” on the tags to keep from having negative media attention (Unless you’re from China – but according to my blog stats, you probably aren’t).  You’ll need to choose your accessories wisely, as some of that stuff will put a dent in the old wallet.  Those prosthetic legs cost more than your car, and don’t even get me started about the sneakers the Dream Team wears!  Your best bet is to emulate the swimmers.

Wearing these over your eyes will only look appropriate in the pool or at ComicCon. For the most style points everywhere else, keep them around your neck. In the event you have multiple chins, you may want to just carry them in your hand or wear them on your forehead. (Image from sablewateroptics.com)

You can score a snazzy pair of goggles, a swim cap and a chamois for less than the price of dinner out at a French restaurant.  Also, you can buy a pair of spandex bike shorts instead of the high tech bathing suits to save another couple of bucks.  If you go with the bike shorts, steer clear of the ones with the butt pads sewn into them, they will not help your look.  On another swimming related topic, you may want to skip shaving down.  Though body hair can slow your times by as much as a thousandth of a second, it can also help to hide some of the imperfections.  A creative man-scaper can actually give the illusion of washboard abs, simply by shaving the belly hair in horizontal bands.  For the ladies, consider a one-piece suit with the added aerodynamic benefits of a Spanx insert.  Mega-Power Disclaimer: In the event that these helpful workout hints don’t give you the results you had your heart set on, you can always go with the blazer and hat ensemble popular at the closing ceremonies.

Check back in for more helpful hints and remember our corporate tag line – “It only takes 1-Point to win!”

Prior to beating three loads of laundry on those rocks behind me, I dropped 3 1/2 pounds just by manscaping. (Individual results may vary – 1pointperspective recommends you get clearance from your physician before undertaking any exercise program including, but not limited to, jumping over sleeping spouses on the floor)