It’s that time again. You’ve made your resolutions for the new year, or you’re in the process of doing so, and now comes the hard part — actually keeping them.
You’re probably pretty determined to hit all your goals this year. Maybe you’ve even taken to our favorite how-to source — YouTube, obviously — for some inspiration or guidance. And that’s phenomenal. Props to you for wanting to change your life. But with the help of some YouTubers who are very much on the same page as I am, I’d like to suggest an alternative:
I know, I know — crazy idea. But let’s go through some of these “resolutions” you’ve probably come up with to “better yourself,” and determine what kind of toll this is really going to take on your world.
1. “I’m going to drink less alcohol. Maybe no alcohol. Definitely not the same amount of alcohol.”
This is a very well-intentioned resolution. Drinking less alcohol saves you money, calories, time, and, if you love having your friends and/or tech around while you’re drinking, embarrassment. And setting a realistic goal — something like only drinking on the weekends, or no more than one drink when you go out — is totally doable, right?
Don’t you DESERVE a drink? After a long, hard day at work, or after acing that final you stayed up studying for all week, sometimes you just wanna kick back and relax with a nice glass of your preferred beverage. There’s no crime in that. You’ve earned this. One drink won’t hurt, anyway. Maybe one more…
2. “I’m going to start eating better and going to the gym.”
Hey, who doesn’t want to get in better shape? Maybe you bought a gym membership, or one of those fancy blenders to mush all your food up into juice for better nourishment. You’ve probably got a friend’s wedding or a high school reunion or some other event coming up and you want to look your best. And you know eating better and working out will help you get there AND make you feel better, too.
Look at those brownies. Look at ‘em. Even if you don’t like brownies (the horror!), sometimes you’re just not in the mood to go to all the effort of finding organic foods at the grocery store, or driving the extra three blocks to get a salad when Chipotle is right there. No one can blame you for that. Besides, if you do go the brownie route, walking around your kitchen baking is practically as good of a work out as going to the gym, right?
3. “I want to spend more time with my family.”
What is it that people always say? You never look back at your life and wish you’d spent more time watching TV or playing solitaire or something like that? Probably. You always wish you had more time with the people you loved once they’re gone, or once you’re on the way out yourself. Don’t wait. Spend that quality time with them now. Cherish it. Don’t waste your life on long hours at the office or reading things like books. Go be with your family.
Do you really want to do that? I mean, do you really, really want to do that? Let’s be real, if you’re an average human being with an average family, you can probably spend maybe an hour with them before wanting to hurl yourself out a window. Whether it’s your parents nagging you about why you haven’t gotten married/had babies/started a career/paid off a trillion dollars of debt yet, your kids nagging you about how you didn’t get them that gaming system they’ll just DIE without for Christmas, or assorted extended family going on and on about religion or politics or how your cousin is just designing all the hottest clubs right now and wow he’s even looking to break into television maybe he can help YOU get a career after he becomes the next Matthew Weiner — ahem. Either way, maybe you should think about this one for a few minutes. Just a few. Major holidays are for putting up with family, if you have to, but maybe spending your random days away from work or school playing Candy Crush alone in your apartment isn’t the worst idea after all.
4. “This year, I’m finally going to start saving money instead of spending it all.”
Wow, wouldn’t that be wonderful? Knowing that if you lost your job, you’d have something to fall back on? Or that if your computer breaks, you won’t have to start an Indiegogo campaign and hope against hope that enough of your online friends like you enough to help you get a new one? Or hell, maybe you could even start saving for a dog, or a house, or retirement. Cut out the money you spend on coffee every day, refrain from buying that new DVD set before the next season of your favorite show starts, skip out on that trip your pals are taking to Vegas…these are just minimal sacrifices for long term life improvement.
Stuff is awesome. Having stuff is awesome. Buying new stuff is awesome. It makes you feel safe and warm and like nothing can ever go wrong because you have COOL STUFF surrounding and protecting you like a giant child in a cold, plastic womb. Sure, you could save for some distant, possible future that you very well may never reach due to a freak electrical storm that strikes you dead and/or gives you superpowers and forces you to go on the run and never check your bank accounts again, or you could buy stuff that current you can enjoy right here and right now. I mean, is buying that $12 trick card deck really going to make the difference between whether you can retire at 55 or not? No one gets to retire anymore except old white dudes who made their fortunes ripping people off on Wall Street, anyway. Live it up while you’re still young enough to win people over with cool magic tricks.
5. “I’m going to set deadlines for work/school, and I’m going to meet them.”
Your boss and/or teacher would certainly appreciate this one. Plus, getting things done on time, or even early, can save you a lot of stress. Which would probably make it easier to avoid breaking your resolutions of not drinking before noon or stress eating Cheetos for breakfast as you await a phone call asking where the f**k your assignment that was due the night before is. Setting small goals is the key to achieving bigger ones, so pacing yourself and getting things done one step at a time should make this one of the easier resolutions to maintain.
There are just so many other things to do. Whatever it is that you need to get done, it goes without saying that the joy you would get from doing whatever minimal single step towards getting it done pales in comparison to the joy you would get from checking Tumblr or re-organizing all your books in alphabetical order or spending however long it damn well takes to learn the “Cups” song perfectly according to how Anna Kendrick actually performs it in the movie, not subsequent interviews, which do vary slightly. You can always do whatever it is you have to get done tomorrow. Just shove it all off until the last minute so the unpleasantness doesn’t drag out and you can enjoy the life you’re living in the meantime. And if you miss a deadline, oh well. What are deadlines anyway but meaningless impositions into the free spirited life the universe intended us to have?
6. “I’m finally going to start that cover channel/daily vlog/use my Vine account.”
Bravo! At NMR, we applaud any new creators venturing into the space. Or any existing creators wanting to up their game and challenge themselves to do new things. This is how stars are born, after all. And even if you don’t become a “YouTube star” or “Vine-lebrity” or what have you, you’re doing something you enjoy, something that makes you happy, and that’s all that really matters.
What could you possibly do that hasn’t already been done online, and done phenomenally well? Have you watched cover channels lately? Daily vlogs? Vines? Go ahead. We’ll wait. Creators are at the top of their games. Even those who don’t have top notch equipment or production skills are killin’ it with creativity and talent. Can you do something better than them? What about if you get real equipment? Are you even in the running then? Even if you don’t want to be the best (and, let’s face it, you won’t be), how frustrating is it going to be when you spend two weeks on a mediocre cover of the latest Ariana Grande hit only to have Pentatonix come out with a kick-ass version the day after you post yours? I mean, why even bother.
7. “I’m going to stop annoying my co-workers by writing about things related to Taylor Swift every day.”
I’m not sure why anyone would set such a strange and counterproductive goal, or even what scenario one would have to be in to prompt such a resolution, but if that’s your thing, sure, why not? I’ve been told refraining from annoying people is a worthy pursuit, and Taylor Swift has been a little all over the media lately. Maybe the world could use a little break.
Taylor Swift is amazing. The breadth of Taylor Swift covers out there — whether involving talent or not — is amazing. And right now, this list has a blank space, baby, and I’m writing Taylor’s name.
8. “I love myself and my life just the way things are. I don’t need any resolutions.”
There you go. Good job. Be proud of who you are and how far you’ve come. There are no other yous in the world, and that’s…well, you know, that’s something.
Grace Helbig. Look at this woman. Look at all she did last year. She vlogs all the time. She has a podcast. She wrote a best seller. She bought a house. She made a movie. She has a new show coming up on E! network. She’s friends with a million cool people. She made NMR’s Top 100 list. She’s in the Lowe’s commercial that never dies.
What have you done with your life? Given up on a bunch of resolutions? What’s there to love about that? You have nothing to be proud of. Try harder next time, will you? There’s always next year.