It's been a week since you awoke with a hangover and promised to do something different. If you are an American, the odds are high that the different-something involved making yourself better in some incredibly tedious way.
Maybe you pledged to be less fat. Maybe you resolved to be a better friend. Maybe -- the absolute worst -- you pledged to exercise more often.
So, how's it going? Let me guess: you ran two miles on Thursday. On Friday, you called Cindy, even though you secretly kind of hate her. And on Saturday, you binge-watched The Big Bang Theory and ate 12 boxes of raisins, the only sweet food you hadn't tossed in the garbage in a fit of optimism.
Here is the awful math of New Year's resolutions. By the time you read this, there is a roughly 25 percent chance that you have given up. Already. After nine days.
By June, almost everyone everyone has abandoned their pledge.
The problem isn't necessarily resolving to do something different. It is that people are resolving to make themselves better.
Here's a quiz. Are you over the age of 18? If the answer is yes, I have some bad news. The current you is probably as good a version of you as will ever happen. Sure, you may learn to yodel or graduate from college. But don't mistake skills and degrees for actual improvement as a human.
To be sure, some people will achieve something, such as quitting drinking, where the side effect is better-ness. But for most folks, the present iteration is as good as it is going to get. So here's a resolution for you: stop trying.
By all means, if you want to do yoga and you aren't doing it now, take a class. Just don't resolve to do so. If you insist on making a resolution, pick something that you can easily achieve, and that you might even enjoy. Here are some suggestions:
Eat an entire tray of Rice Krispy treats slathered in hot sauce.
Cuddle with an angry dog.
Charge something that costs in excess of $500 from the Home Shopping Network on your company credit card.
Tell every person you meet that their hair smells "scrumptious."
Me? I'm running a marathon this year. But I didn't make a pledge to do so in the dawning moments of 2015. My new year's resolution isn't nearly such a heave.
I resolved to offer terrible advice.