Any expert in making New Year’s resolutions will tell you the same thing: it is important to set attainable and measurable goals. Otherwise you are only setting yourself up for failure and the humiliation of having to admit to friends and family at the end of the year that you have accomplished nothing. With that in mind, I have worked out a set of goals for myself in the New Year that I think are both practical and modestly ambitious.
1. 100% increase in travel
This may seem like an overly ambitious resolution right out of the gate. A 100% increase sounds like a daunting amount. However, consider this: I only made one trip outside of Michigan in 2016, so if I take two trips in 2017 then I will have met my first goal for the year.
2. 66% decrease in time spent pining
I’ve looked at the stats, and it turns out I spent a staggering amount of the back half of 2016 pining. This is what my therapist would refer to as unhealthy behavior. The total elimination of pining from my daily routine is not a realistic goal, however, so I have settled on a two thirds reduction by the end of the year. This reduction will free up some of the time needed to fulfill my other resolutions.
3. 50% reduction in the consumption of sad sack emo music
This is somewhat related to resolution number two, and no less important. I looked at my Spotify year-end stats and they made one thing abundantly clear: I listened to far too much Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, and Death Cab for Cutie in 2016. I’m not in my early 20s anymore. I’m a grown man who should be listening to grown man music like Wilco or whatever. And in 2017, I’m going to do just that. Maybe not Wilco specifically, though.
4. 75% reduction in spaghetti dinners
I ate a whole lot of spaghetti in 2016. We’re talking up to three times a week during my darkest days. That’s ridiculous, and probably puts me at risk for malnutrition. Starting 2017 with a Blue Apron subscription will help me diversify my culinary experience, and from there I only need to keep the momentum going. This is not a paid advertisement for Blue Apron; it’s just a thing I got for Christmas.
5. 33% increase in exercise
I worked out an average of 1.5 times per week in 2016. Most health experts will tell you that that is not enough exercise. In 2017, I’m going to increase that to 2 times per week. Sorry/not sorry about how ripped my abs are going to be.
6. 10% increase in correct mathematical calculations
I’m pretty sure my math on resolution number five does not check out at all. This is because I am not very good at math. I often get my calculations totally wrong. I would like to do that less this coming year. If I’m being honest, though, this is the goal for 2017 that I am least likely to attain.
Six New Year’s resolutions may seem like a lot, with the average person having just one resolution per year according to what I’ve seen in TV and movies. However, the only way to move forward after the trash heap full of discarded hopes and dreams that was 2016 is by making a real effort toward change, and just telling myself I’m going to eat fewer donuts in 2017 would not result in any meaningful improvement in my overall life situation. Also, I have no intention of eating fewer donuts in 2017.
Happy New Year, and good luck with your own resolutions for the year ahead. Now let’s never speak of 2016 again.