Let me guess: New Year, New You? You’ll be saying that next year too and you know why? Because you aren’t going to change. But don’t get me wrong, your optimism is cute.
I am all about baby steps. No need to set lofty goals only to have them loom tortuously out of reach all year. That is a gluten-free recipe for disaster.
I’ve always been this way. Last month my stepmom gave me some old note cards she’d kept from when I was 12 and 13, on which I’d written my New Year’s resolutions. Some particularly ambitious goals were “Take a drama class”, “Get a perfect score on DDR” and “Turn 13”. Congrats, preteen Helen, you did it all.
Here’s an objective scan of my progress one week into 2016.
smoke less cigarettes: so far, I have smoked far less cigarettes in 2016 than I did during 2015. So this one is going wonderfully.
cook one “real” meal a week: apparently pretzels and soup don’t qualify as nutrition so I’m trying to step up my health game. This morning as I ate a handful of cookie dough for breakfast, I realized actions speak louder than words, and if I ever have a husband I need to be good for something other than sex. So tonight at my house I will be performing a one-woman adaptation of Pixar’s Ratatouille. Get in line, boys.
read happier books: I tend to lean towards melancholy existentialist literature and often wonder if this is because I’m cynical, or if this is why I am. Chicken or egg, it might be nice to brighten up a bit. Right now I’m reading Dead Babies by Martin Amis, which I started in 2015 so it doesn’t count. When I’m done with that I’ll get cracking on something more Devil Wears Prada. Maybe.
go somewhere new every week: this is worded vaguely on purpose. Ideally this goal will motivate me to hitchhike up to Seattle and stay in an AirBnb treehouse, but so far it’s just taken me to the Lagunitas Brewing Company. This weekend I might get gas from a different Valero station. Who knows?
listen to other people: I’m the most insecure narcissist you’ll ever meet, and I don’t shut up about myself, ever. I bet other people have interesting perspectives to share, but I can’t be sure because I always interrupt them with my own voice. To change this, my current strategy has been keeping my mouth shut and mentally repeating “Don’t say anything” as a fellow human speaks. It’s better than nothing, but I don’t catch anything anyone says.
don’t get more tattoos: my most recent ink is a lyric from Gods and Monsters by Lana del Rey. Yeah, I know. I hope to refrain from another permanent impulse buy, even if it means 20 more body piercings.
With my humble standards it’s hard to slip up, so I can stay motivated every week. Besides, what’s the point in attempting an extensive personal makeover when chances are the world is ending in the next five years? Make your dwindling time count by finding a happy medium between self-improvement and daily contentment. Like they say, you can’t fly before you run, you can’t run before you walk, you can’t walk before you crawl, and uhh…
if you can’t crawl, take a cold bath and stop mixing the wrong drugs.