How To Do the New Year: Blog-a-thon Day 1

Here we are. 2014. Last night we said goodbye to 2013: the year of the snake, the selfie, and tweaking and we said hello to 2014. There’s something so odd about writing the first blog post of 2014. It is like standing on a precipice of profundity and  ingenuity. This year could hold some wonderfully funny and insightful posts… or crap. So here’s to hoping it’s the first one.

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Now naturally everyone has begun to do the whole “New Year, New Me” thing. In fact today the cashier at Panera asked me if I had already made my New Year’s resolutions. Not only is that not his business but in general I don’t submit to the idea of New Year’s resolutions. I would much rather like to think that I can make positive choices and make change in my life regardless of what time it is in the year. I don’t need to wait for the first of the year or be told by the calendar when I can change habits or anything of that nature. However just for fun, and the sake of an interesting blog post, I decided to use the Google-machine and search “How to Make a New Years Resolution”. The following is a portion of a legitimate step by step guide to making your very own resolution. Allow me to dissect it:

Step 1: Be Specific. The example they use of specificity is as follows: “I want to lower my body fat percentage by 7 percent by December 31st.” This is in contrast to simply saying you want to lower your body fat percentage this year. First and foremost I think we can ditch the December 31st part. Isn’t it inherently a part of New Year’s resolutions to include the time span of one year? And also, what kind of person is that intense about the exact percentage they want to lose. I am not even that intense about how many minutes I brush my teeth or how long I microwave my cup of coffee when it gets cold. But I will follow along. By 11:59 pm on December 31st of 2014 I want to lose exactly 16.73 pounds. 17 will be too many and I will have failed. 15 is a downright embarrassment.

Step 2: Be Realistic. This is very much the “don’t get too big for your britches” guideline. According to this listing, the idea is to make sure and not set the bar too high. Because heaven forbid that you actually try and push yourself beyond the extent of your realm of expectation. The non-realistic example they list is “I want to lose 60 pounds by February.” That’s not an unrealistic goal. The Lindsay Lohan diet (also known as drinking water and vodka while getting more than your suggested daily serving size of cocaine) could easily get you to that point. But because I want to follow along with this guideline I will set a realistic resolution. This year, between January and December of 2014 (remember to be specific) I resolve to sleep every night. That seems quite doable. I’m absolutely killing this year already.

Step 3: Determine the Path. Now reading that I would assume that this step just includes mapping out an appropriate plan. That seems easy enough. However their listing of steps is comical and completely ridiculous. I would like to present, for your reading pleasure, the “correct way to determine the path”. “I am going to lose 10 pounds by June 1st by only having one scoop of ice cream once per week instead of every day and by walking for 30 minutes on my lunch break every day.” I am audibly giggling just thinking about a businessman walking around the floor of his office building for 30 straight minutes because he is required to stick to his determined path. But here is mine: Between January and December I resolve to wear pants daily, and I will do this by beginning with the right pants leg and then moving to the left pants leg. Again, I’m nailing this.

Step 4: Make it Known. Nothing makes me want to throw a kitten into oncoming traffic more than the people who decide to treat their Facebook friends like a mixture of a focus group and an accountability group and consequently feel the need to post a 5 paragraph tirade regarding what changes will be made in the New Year. I fully understand that some people need accountability in your life. But I don’t need a Facebook status, a live tweet session, a before/after Instagram photo, and a Spotify playlist all relating to you going to the gym more this year (or for the first 3 weeks before you get tired of it). For all 12 months of 2014 I will drink fluids every day by lifting a cup to my mouth and swallowing… and I want you all to know. I’m so amazing at New Year’s resolutions.

Step 5: Make it Rewarding. I am completely in support of the idea of rewards for achievement. If not for the reward of grades and a diploma I would have never made it through college. However this seems a bit preposterous. 1) This article literally says to not do a food-based reward so as to not sabotage your achievement right after reaching it. As if someone was thinking, ‘I’m going to lose 15 pounds and then I can eat a whole cake in one sitting. 2) This also seems quite costly. For example, their example of correct rewarding is: “If I lose ten pounds by June 1st, I’m going to take a vacation to my favorite destination.” Unless my favorite destination is the Starbucks around the corner (which it occasionally qualifies) there is no way I can do this. Also, while losing 10 pounds is great, 10 pounds is not quite enough to get me to shell out the money for a vacation. So here is my final resolution: For the 365 days of 2014 I will wake up every morning and begin my day by checking my cell phone and getting out of bed. I will then send out a witty social media post to alert the world of my awake status and will then reward myself with coffee. I don’t see why so many people complain about these resolution things. I can totally do that.

So while I have spent the better part of this making fun of the preposterous nature of most resolutions, I hope everyone has a great New Year of self-empowerment and betterment. I also am now announcing that I will be blogging every day of January (or as many days as I can make work… which is my definition of “every”). This will hopefully make it more habitual. Or at least that is the goal. The reality is probably about 10 days of good content and the rest will be posts at 11:40 that are mind-numbingly tacky. But we will go on this adventure together. Let begin Blog-a-thon 2014.

Make sure to subscribe for more January musings and let me know what your resolutions are below… remember to follow the formula! 🙂

…gm

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