Beat JENeration #020: If you really must make a New Year’s Resolution

Resolutions are bullshit.

Over half of them don’t see February, and honestly everyone sounds like a douche when talking earnestly about theirs. Just like veganism, carb negativity, crossfit/rock-climbing/SoulCycle/hot yoga, sugar shunning, sobriety, and juice cleansing normal people don’t want to hear about it. Intended or not, talking about all the good you do for yourself always comes off as passive aggressive.

Self betterment is best when you keep it to yourself, but I can’t deny that it has its place. Until the world decides to be Mark Darcy to our Bridget Jones and like us very much, just as we are, many of us will feel the pressure of peer perfection. And as such, one shouldn’t be shamed for making New Year’s Resolution.

Maybe we can make your resolution a little less bullshit together.

There’s no crime in editing your resolution in the first week to something that is as doable as it is meaningful. Though for god’s sake, if you declared to make a life change because of some  soulful post on a celebrity style guru’s IG or a whimsical Ways To Improve Yourself Lifehack I cannot help you refine. Just start over and concentrate on the three keys to living one’s best life.

Don’t put pressure on yourself. Embrace being basic. Don’t play into what society wants, man. 

Actually, those all sound like really great, while also low pressure, resolutions. But I didn’t do your work for you. Pithy as hell, yeah, but not SMART. (Here’s where I start to sound a little life-coachy. Sorry).

I used to work for a motivational speaker. One of those Tony Robbins types, but not quite as scary. Or tall. This dude mostly catered to fledgling real estate brokers, MLMers in the mid-to-low end of the pyramid, and lone wolf salesman types who just knew they were one more self-help book secret away from tremendous wealth and a trophy wife. The reason I bring this up is not for you be impressed by my resume (or how I can really market anything — even something  that feels a tad scammy), but because there were actually a few nuggets of common sense in those mandatory Monday morning staff meeting self-development pep talks. Stuff like: Create achievable goals.

It’s that simple. Who’s hand-crafting your resolution? That’s right, YOU! So, make that sucker air tight. Rig the game in your favor. Make that resolution your bitch. Excuse me, your SMART bitch.

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Time-Bound

My ex-boss didn’t make that up, he snagged it from some early 1980’s management course. And now you too can steal it! Though let me put my lazy-person spin on it first.

Hypothetical Resolution: I will get through my Netflix queue.

Really? How? Are you going to delete stuff or watch it all? All the movies? Are you high? They keep adding new ones every week! You are doomed before you start. AAARGH!

Shhhhh…..slow your roll….breathe. How can it be more specific? How many little rectangle pictures of TV series and movies are taunting you each day. How do we measure success? Is your list in the 500s? That’s a lofty goal even getting down to 200 titles. But probably, not even that is achievable. So, maybe you let yourself off the hook with the series and just focus on movies and mini-series. That cuts down a lot of the clutter. If the list looks shorter, you’ll feel more in control. It is relevant, no problem there. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Timebound well, that can be sussed out. Make a timeline, build a habit. Maybe you will get through the queue by watching three new movies a week every week. Let’s average that out to 6 hours a week, so it can be interchanged with one mini-series. Math math math…that’s like over 150 boxes gone and still time to rewatch Ragnorak for 10 minutes a day AND also blow through some TV shows. Who can’t do that? I bet you will overachieve! Six hours, pffft, that can be done in one night.

Improved Hypothetical Resolution: I resolve to burn through an average of 3 new-to-me movies or 1 short mini-series in my Netflix queue every week so that by the end of 2019 I will be able to have conversations with others about pop culture that didn’t take place five years ago.

In conclusion, it’s still all bullshit.

To be perfectly honest, there was going to be a Hypothetical Resolution 2, but my husband was watching Defending Your Life just as I was going to write that part. Had I been the type to make resolutions myself, I might have leaned toward something about not procrastinating on my column. But I’m not that girl. Not that the glimmer of self-improvement can compete with Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep, AND Rip Torn anyway.

Truth is, this year is going to spew out lots of obstacles and choices will have to be made. Successes of any size feel good, but it can feel even better to smugly say “Fuck it” and mean it. So, if even the SMARTest and laziest resolution doesn’t stick, big whoop. No judgement.

Except seriously, you should make a resolution to watch Defending Your Life this year and then give me your best line from the movie in comments to keep you accountable.

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