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!

The Sarcasm Workout

In my defense, there were still some patches of snow around when I started writing this post, but I got distracted. Please forgive me.  (image from wikimedia dot org)
In my defense, there were still some patches of snow around when I started writing this post, but I got distracted. Please forgive me. (image from wikimedia dot org)

It looks like spring might finally be here.  There are buds on the trees and migratory bird-shit on the pollen on the snow.  Spring means one thing; it’s time to shape up.  Even though my abs look like I’m 5 months pregnant and the places where my arm muscles used to be look about as well-defined as sausages, I’m not talking about the traditional pumping of iron.

I need to get some tone where it counts – on my sarcasm muscles.  The past 17 months of winter have done wonders for my cynicism, and I’ve got a personal best for reps of bitterness, but my sarcasm is as flabby as Rush Limbaugh’s third neck wattle – that’s right, I said the third one!  Any flabbier and Obamacare would cover me for a wattle-ectomy (obviously my irony still has a pulse).

Wattles two through five are kind of merged together into one mega-wattle in this pic, but you get the idea.  (Image from wikimedia dot commons)
Wattles two through five are kind of merged together into one mega-wattle in this pic, but you get the idea. (Image from wikimedia dot commons)

The logical place to turn was the myriad of gyms which sprout up constantly in my area, usually in under-performing strip malls.  They promise all sorts of workouts and low introductory rates.  Surely one of these sweat shops could help me.  I checked in at the one just down the highway which was sandwiched between a vacant supermarket and a space which had a sign in the window promising that a pet grooming business was “Comming Soon“.  Clearly the spelling portion of the pet grooming curriculum is not as critical as “Advanced Schnauzer Trimming” or graduate level offerings such as “Persian Cats and the Dingleberry Dilemma.”

I was set up to chat with a personal trainer.  He seemed like a nice enough guy and had one hell of a handshake, but I wasn’t sure he was going to be able to help me.

I need to tone up my sarcasm” I told him.  There was no need to beat around the bush, and I wanted to avoid having him start focusing on my absent abs or gelatinous gluts.

He looked a little confused for a second, but then he nodded his head.  “Sure!” he said.  “I can see that you know your anatomy.”  He started going into some discussion about which machines would focus on which muscle groups and after a minute or two, it was clear that he’d confused the sarcasm muscle with the one called the “sartorius”.

The sartorius is the green one, and this is a right leg.  If the sartorius on your left leg runs in this direction, or if you have an erection lasting more than four hours, see your healthcare professional right away.  (Image from kenhub dot com)
The sartorius is the green one, and this is a right leg. If the sartorius on your left leg runs in this direction, or if you have an erection lasting more than four hours, see your healthcare professional right away. (Image from kenhub dot com)

I left the gym without signing anything and trudged across the nearly empty parking lot with the added burden of knowing that my sartorius muscles were withered.  I tried not to think about how horrific I’d look in a bathing suit, with neither well-defined muscles nor the defense of sarcasm I’d need to deal with the disapproving stares of fellow beach goers.

I tried another gym.  Since sarcasm resides in the very center of my being, I foolishly assumed that working on my core strength would address it.  After one Pilates session, I realized that I was very much mistaken, and now my tummy hurts when I laugh.  Fortunately, nothing is that funny these days.  Hot yoga also turned out to be a bust from a sarcasm-building standpoint, but I did discover that after enough limbering up, I am physically capable of kicking myself in the ass.

Having struck out in gyms, I decided to take a break from the quest to rebuild my diminished sarcasm.  I turned to my trusted friend the internet.  After brief forays into Dutch Toe-porn and checking the Facebook status of that girl who sat behind me in 3rd grade and allegedly ate paste, I surfed over to the news.  There were tons of stories from the world of entertainment, sports and politics.

It seems Subway, among others, has long been using an ingredient in their breads which is also found in yoga mats.  The company has been so concerned that they are nearly done phasing it out of the recipe.  This begs the questions as to whether your sandwich tastes like a yoga mat, or if your yoga mat tastes like a sandwich (or in some cases, both).  For the record, toasting ones yoga mat will make hot yoga even hotter.

Stephen Colbert has been attacked via Twitter for upsetting some group.  Calls for his firing were attached to a hashtag.  He’s been such a target of onslaught that he’s been awarded the single most prestigious job in TV, replacing a retiring David Letterman.  There’s rumor of a new Twitter option which essentially says #GoAheadAndGetMeFiredBecauseIveAlreadyGotABetterJobLinedUp.

Back in January, an Ohio man was buried straddling his beloved Harley in a custom plexiglass casket.  A team of morticians (and/or taxidermists) labored to insert rods into his back and take the necessary steps to keep him upright on the Electra Glide for all eternity.  This is a perfect example of the kind of human interest stories which got buried*  due to all the media hype about stray dogs at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

* Pun not originally intended, but left in as an attempt at appearing clever.

If the sight of a dead guy on a motorcycle in a big plastic box offends you, then avert your eyes from the picture above.  If you already looked, just pretend you didn't see it. (Image from the Dayton daily news dot com)
If the sight of a dead guy on a motorcycle in a big plastic box offends you, then avert your eyes from the picture above. If you already looked, just pretend you didn’t see it. (Image from the Dayton daily news dot com)

With each word I read, I can feel the sarcasm rising within me like a crocus shoot breaking through the permafrost.  It seems the answer to my problem has been right at my fingertips all along.  With my sarcasm back on track to potency, maybe I’ll find the time to work on those saggy sartorius muscles after all.