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How Not to Fail Miserably at Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

How Not to Fail Miserably at Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

By Josh Sorokach

Happy New Year, Sparklers! Can you believe it’s still 2013? I thought this whole “new year” thing was just a fad, but evidently it’s here to stay. A recent study suggested that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolution. 8%!? I did better than that on my first driving test (24%, suckers! BOOM!). With that in mind, I thought I'd share progress updates on 5 of my  New Year’s goals and give you a few pointers to help ensure that your resolutions don't become FAIL-o-lutions. (There's plenty more zingers where that came from, guys. Get pumped.)

Resolution 1: Wake Up One Hour Earlier Twice a Week

6 PM-Josh believes that waking up early is a wonderful idea, but 6 AM-Josh thinks, “Hold on, this pretty porcupine is going to share her scrumptious blueberry muffin recipe with me” and then drools on his own face before falling back to sleep. Yes—like most normal men, I often dream about an attractive female porcupine finally teaching me how to bake the perfect batch of blueberry muffins.

Resolution Update:

Has this resolution worked? I'll tell you the same thing the girl I met on New Year’s Eve told me when I asked her if she wanted to go get a slice of pizza: “No. And you suck at Jenga, Josh.”

Resolution Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to change your resolution. If it’s not working, pinpoint the problem and make a change. Nobody’s perfect… except me and Emma Stone. Together. Separately, we're both mediocre at best.

Resolution 2: Waste Time Efficiently

There's a productive way to waste time, and then there's ABSOLUTELY WASTED TIME. For example:

Productive Waste of Time: Learning how to do the Cup Trick from Pitch Perfect.

ABSOLUTELY WASTED TIME: Watching four straight hours of How I Met Your Mother reruns that you’ve already seen 17 times.

Resolution Update:

According to a recent joint poll conducted by my television and refrigerator, I spent about 78% of my holiday vacation in pajama pants, BUT I’d say only half of that time was spent watching reruns or texting my friends to say that my ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend looks like a “bloated dinosaur” in pictures. I'm giving this resolution a rating of  “needs improvement."

Resolution Tip #2: Tell your friends or your pet lizard Lizard McGuire about your resolutions. The more people (or lizards) who know about your goals, the more inclined you are to follow through!

Resolution 3: Learn Something New Every Week

I always thought it would be fun to learn how to pick locks. Just once, I'd like to sneak into a research lab after-hours only to have my shenanigans impeded by a locked door. “Let's just say the law and I weren't always simpatico, Pretty Eyes," I'd drawl confidently as I effortlessly picked the lock, released the stolen puppies, and shared a borderline R-rated kiss with puppy activist/actress/girlfriend/cup jamboree enthusiast Anna Kendrick.

Resolution Update:

Learning how to pick a lock is surprisingly difficult. I don’t say this often, but good job, criminals! Way to not give up! I’ve started reading this book and watched a documentary on flamingos last week, so basically I’m CRUSHING it.

Resolution Tip #3: Give yourself a cheat week! With the exception of me and Channing Tatum, nobody's perfect, so don’t feel bad about giving yourself a resolution reprieve every now and then.

Resolution 4: Break Out of My Comfort Zone

Every year I say, "2007 is the year I finally get my life together." 2007 was the only year this sentence actually made any sense, and I wasn’t even remotely close to getting my life together. I did plant a tree in 2007, though, so you're welcome, PEOPLE WHO BREATHE. I want to try one new thing every day week month in 2013 and increase my use of the word “yes” while limiting my use of the word “no.”

Resolution Update:

I registered for a real, live cooking class and NOT one that’s led by a fictional, yet attractive, cartoon porcupine. Baby steps.

Resolution Tip #4: Find new and exciting ways to carry out your resolutions! Learning to knit? Cool. Learning to knit while taking breaks to jet-ski? FUN.

Resolution 5: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Everybody has anxiety. Even perfect people like me and my best friend Joseph Gordon-Levitt have the occasional bout of the old "scary hiccups" as Joey-Go-Levy likes to call them. In fact, I’m having anxiety RIGHT NOW about writing this post. What if everybody dislikes it and decides to track me down and throw “hate rocks” at me? Well, good luck finding me Sparklers, because I’ll be in the last place you’d ever think to look. That’s right: Concord, New Hampshire. CRAP! And my delete key is borken. BORKEN? I meant to say broken! Arg!

Resolution Update:

I wrote this and so far… no rocks! A+

Resolution Tip #5: Resolutions tend to be far more successful when you make them specific as opposed to keeping them vague. “Write more” is a fantastic resolution, but you’re far more likely to achieve your goal if you create a definitive plan of attack. Instead of planning to write more, set a specific goal like: I’m setting aside every Wednesday night to write my novel about a temperamental New York City Cow Cop tentatively titled Moo Grumpson: Jerk Cop.

Let’s make 2013 the BEST YEAR EVER. Okay, that’s a lofty goal. How about we shoot for top 5?

How are your New Year's resolutions coming along? Do you know of anyone in the East Coast that gives private Jenga lessons?

Topics: Life
Tags: guides, funny things, how to, joseph gordon-levitt, funny lists, new year's resolutons, 2013

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About the Author
Josh Sorokach

Josh Sorokach is a comedy writer living in New York City. He's a former American Idol winner, three time Olympian, and habitual liar. Follow him on twitter @Joshsorokach.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.

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