There’s a well-known saying that has been said many different ways by many different people, but I prefer the version the immortal Al Swearengen of Deadwood fame once said:
Announcing your plans is a good way to hear God laugh.
I use that quote a lot, usually when people make what I believe to be ridiculous statements about what they’re going to do, when in reality there is absolutely no chance of that thing ever happening. Does it need to be said? No, but sometimes it gets annoying hearing a friend say they were moving to a given city after a fun weekend for the 14th time. I’m sure it makes me look like a douchebag.
The problem with this quote is that I’ve also used it as an excuse to never announce goals or aspirations to anyone. Sure, I want to lose weight, but given my love of food, drink and laying on the couch as opposed to being active, the chances of that actually happening aren’t great. So why announce that you’ll lose weight when the likelihood is that you won’t, and in doing so you’ll look like a failure?
Motivation (and shaming, to a lesser extent), that’s why.
Saying you want to lose weight, or read more, or get through all of the Bond movies in order, or run with the bulls in Pamplona sounds good when you make it as a New Year’s Resolution, but in 2 weeks you’ll be watching Moonraker thinking, “God, this is so not worth it, and anyway, everyone knows no one keeps their resolutions.”
No more. I hereby announce my New Year’s Resolutions to the 3 people that read this sparsely updated blog. If you see me breaking any of these resolutions, I give you permission to punch me in the face (or, you know, just shame me).
Without further ado (because I know you’re waiting with bated breath):
I WILL stop being so negative and judgmental. This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but it’s going to be really freaking hard.
I WILL eat healthier. Sure, I may still have pizza once a week, but it’s time to swap out McDonald’s for Subway (or, God forbid, making a sandwich at home). No more cookies in the morning, no more telling my brother to get me a Big Kat when he’s out, no more 3+ pop-a-day habit.
I WILL exercise more. This is more of a mindset thing. I don’t have a problem with motivation once I’m at the gym. I have a problem getting to the gym. It’s so much easier to respond to someone asking to meet up for drinks (or, more realistically, asking someone to hang out BECAUSE I don’t want to go to the gym) than it is to talk yourself into going and doing actual physical activity. This one isn’t even that hard. Three times a week, minimum. No excuses.
I WILL drink less. A few years ago I started getting concerned about my drinking habits, and, being the cheap bastard that I am, I thought if I started keeping track of my alcohol spending, I might cut back on it. Bad idea. The simple fact is that if you want a drink, you want a drink. Not only did this approach show me that my spending has increased over the years, but it is truly disturbing to see what I’ve spent. My brother had the balls to stand up and say he had a problem and then do what he needed to do to fix that problem. I won’t say I’m at that point yet (I’m hoping “yet” is not a key word), but I come from a long line of drinkers and it’s time to be responsible. Am I quitting drinking? No. But it’s time to stop going to the bar alone on a Wednesday night because the Tigers and Red Wings are playing at the same time.
I WILL be less invested in social media. I stopped looking at Twitter sometime shortly after the Tigers were eliminated from the playoffs. I unsubscribed from the threads I participated in on a message board I was heavily invested in. I know these are amazing technologies, but if you’re one to take things too personally, as I am, they’re emotional drains that cause too much stress. In the time I’ve been without these services, I can’t say I’ve missed anything.
(And yes, I recognize the irony of me posting this on Facebook.)
I WILL write more. I like to think I’m a good writer, but it’s not anything I’ll ever make money on. But since I’ve just decided to cut back on the solo nights at the bar and the time I spent on the message board, I should have a lot more free time available. So I’ll post here or on my sports blog once a week, minimum.
I WILL watch the Bond movies in order. I got a great deal on the Blu-Ray set, I might as well watch the freaking things.
Are these any different than anyone else’s resolutions? Of course not. Do I want to keep them? Yes I do. They don’t even look that hard. So if you’ve got any suggestions to help, I’m all ears.
Oh, and since this has been a little less funny than usual, I will close by guiding you to the greatest dick joke of all time.