How to Fail-Proof Your New Year Resolutions

new year resolutionsWhen it comes to New Year’s resolutions, I’ve learned to aim low. Real low, like low enough to shoot myself in the foot. Because that’s what’s going to happen, metaphorically-speaking, if you believe a 2007 University of Bristol study that found 88 percent of resolutions fail.
That we haven’t seen such a study since leads me to believe that the researchers resolved to “do it again next year!” but fell victim to their own statistics. I speak not with derision but with empathy. I’ve never made a resolution that lasted more than a fortnight. By “fortnight” I don’t mean the few hours that your parents allowed you to build a fortress made of couch cushions. I’m talking about two whole weeks of earnest resolutionizing, which, not coincidentally, are always the worst two weeks of the year.

Don’t be This Guy

Tuxedo ShirtThat said, I will never be that wag who resolves “not to make a resolution.” This is the same guy who dresses as “himself” for Halloween. I hate this guy. And his t-shirt with the tuxedo printed on it. Instead of baking loopholes into my New Year’s resolutions, I’ve finally learned to lump them all together into an über-resolution, which will permit me to fail singly, all at once, instead of several times.

I suggest you do the same. Own it. Take your annual resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, cut down on drinking, spend more time with family and save money; lump them together and call the resulting heap of good intentions “MY FUTURE FAILURE.” Then wait the requisite two weeks (with or without couch cushions) and sigh in relief because soon it will be over. You will have failed. The upside is that you failed five resolutions for the price of one, so you’re technically ahead at this point. So, hey, 2013 is looking up, despite the credit debt you racked up last year in anticipation of the apocalypse (damn Mayans).

Make an über-Resolution

If, however, you’re inclined to succeed at your outsized über-resolution, you might consider locking yourself in your parent’s basement for the next 52 weeks (if you’re the tuxedo-shirt guy, you’re probably already there anyway). That’s your only hope. Or be in a coma. The best way to get yourself into a coma post-New Year’s Eve is to fail at the aforementioned resolutions in the course of a single hour. Or, more specifically, spend profligately on being a chain-smoking, drunken glutton at your brother’s house. If the concentrated overindulgence doesn’t brain you, your sister-in-law will. Welcome to your coma – now you can quit your vices with ease. Just don’t go into the light.

My Personal (über) New Year Resolution

In the spirit of being a spectacular failure with my own über-resolution for next year, I resolve to be more evil. I will spend 2013 as a real nasty, booze-breathed beast with nothing but darkness and rancor in my heart. I also resolve to ratchet up my inborn misanthropy and do my utmost to undermine any attempt of humanity to better itself, especially the wee part of it to which I have some control – namely me, me, me. Bwahaha! Whenever possible, I will direct those who mistakenly seek my counsel to rack and ruin. I will curse at children, kick dogs and insult old ladies while escorting them to the middle of streets.

And at all of this, I hope to fail splendidly. I hope to fall so short of this über-evil resolution it would appear I might not have tried at all. I’ll be so bad at being bad that self-sabotage could be mistaken as a virtue. And if it helps I’ll even wear a tuxedo t-shirt, the hair-shirt of failures. So, there. Happy New Year, suckers.