4 New Year's Resolutions You Can't Possibly Screw Up This Year

2016 has been a fetid, soggy diaper bag of a year. A few neat things have happened, but on the whole, the past twelve months have been a non-stop avalanche of political turmoil, neo-Nazis, fake news and the tragic, sudden death of every celebrity you loved.

Goddammit, 2016.

But for those of us who weren't unjustly stolen from the world on trans-Atlantic flights, 2017 is here, and holy shit, do we need it to be a good year. Even though a racist Jack o' Lantern will be taking office in twenty days, everyone on my various social media pages is determined to grab 2017 by the balls and turn this shit around, goddammit. And there's no better way to do that than with some solid New Year's resolutions.

Not these. These are garbage. 

There is no better way to have a good year than achieving major life goals you set out for yourself. And there's no better way to do that than setting major life goals you can't possibly fuck up. So in 2017, be your best possible self, and join me in achieving the following resolutions:

Don't Get Eaten by a Bear

There are a lot of things you might want to achieve this year. Maybe you want to write a novel. Maybe you want to finish school. Maybe you want to steal a single-engine aircraft and embark on an exciting new career as a high-flying air pirate using the stolen identity of a dead hitchhiker. I don't know your life. But I do know that every single thing you could ever hope to accomplish depends on you not getting mauled and digested by a large land predator.

This. Avoid this. 

On the surface, this might seem like a difficult goal. Bears are strong and fast from their lives of hunting and battling the odds for survival, while you are doughy and soft from a life of scrolling through Reddit and disappointing your parents. The good news is, even if you don't have the physical fitness required to punch a rampaging bear into submission - which you absolutely don't - bear attacks are relatively rare, even if you insist on going into places bears frequent, like mountains, forests, and literally all of Canada. According to backpacker.com - a source I would trust with my life - bears claim the lives of two to three people annually, making them statistically less dangerous than cars, lightning or your 12lb purse dog named Madame Frou-Frou.

Their vengeance will be swift and merciless.

If you absolutely insist on spending all of 2017 hiking through bear territory with meat in your pockets (and on your pathetic human body), there are ways to fight back against a bear attack. If you happen to get charged by a black bear, experts recommend that you puff yourself up and punch that fucker square in the face, as black bears are smaller and prone to running away. If you come face-to-face with a Grizzly bear - recognizable by its brown colour, humped shoulders, and that fact that you'll immediately shit your pants upon seeing one - the best strategy is apparently to bear-spray that fucker into submission as all 600lbs of it moves toward you at 35 miles per hour, or simply play dead and hope it gets bored.

And if you're unlucky enough to come face-to-face with an angry polar bear this year, experts recommend that you spend your final moments pledging to do better in the next life, because you are absolutely fucked.

Declare an Arch-Nemesis 

Any moron can set a goal - it's sticking to them that's the hard part. I mean, just yesterday you pledged to spend more time with your family, and now you're already claiming to have Dutch Elm Disease to avoid taking your mother's phone calls, because you are the greatest mistake she ever made. Goals are useless. If you really want to get things done, you need an Arch-Nemesis.

Human fear: cheaper than a dayplanner.

Look, we can pretend that humans are primarily motivated by love, or family, or the betterment of mankind, but deep down in our cold reptile hearts we all know that there's no better reason to get out of bed in the morning than to stick it to that one guy who vaguely wronged you that one time. You might not give two sad little shits about gardening, but the first time that asshole Brad next door gloats about his flower beds, you'll turn into a plant-tending wizard until one of your magnificent new oak trees falls over and crushes Brad's house. You might be indifferent about what colour your house is, but if that bitch Helen complains about it not being beige enough, you'll be struck with a burning desire to paint that fucker green with orange polka-dots. I want to be a published author partly because it's the fulfillment of a lifelong dream that I find intensely personally meaningful, but also so I can mail a copy of every single one of my books to my least-favourite third grade classmate, along with three dozen photocopies of my butt. 

This is how adults behave.

So this year, make 2017 more fun and productive by turning yourself into a comic book hero and declaring an arch-nemesis. It doesn't have to be a local supervillain, or anyone who's done you any significant harm in life; any old asshole off the street will do. You don't even have to tell them they're your new arch-nemesis. Did that random guy just cut you off in traffic? Follow him back to his house and kidnap his children so you can raise them to destroy him. Was that customer rude to you at work? Hack into her boss's email and send her contradictory instructions until she flips out and crashes her Lexus through his office. Did the moron across the street paint their house green with orange polka dots? Release termites into his ventilation system until he's living in a pile of orange rubble.

Instead of making empty promises to make yourself a better person this year, make a real promise to drag someone else down with you. Because that's something we can all achieve. 

Turn Feral

Every year, you probably make some kind of resolution to clean and re-decorate your living space, because your apartment is both a literal and figurative dumpster. "This year is going to be different," you declare, tossing aside the dirty Pringles can you've been using as a drinking glass because you're disgusting. "I'm going to tidy this place up! I'm going to join Pinterest! I'm finally going to do something about the feral raccoon that lives under my sink and feeds on the neighbors' children!" And then you sit down and spend the next twelve months slowly fusing to your couch and somehow evading health authorities, because again, you are fundamentally disgusting.

Well, not this year.

New year, new you.

Don't waste another year flipping through paint samples and wondering just what the fuck "upcycling" is supposed to mean. You were doomed to failure. This year, you're going to experiment with something you can't possibly fail - life as a feral animal. So throw your trash on the floor. Rip down your curtains. Eat all of your food raw with your hands as you crouch naked in a moldy bathtub. You can do anything you want. Tired of waking up early every morning? Become nocturnal. Tired of making small talk? Fling your own shit at the neighbours. Tired of parenting your children? Release them into the wild as soon as they can walk, and let them fend for themselves.

Or eat them. Your choice.

But even the grossest of us can't stay feral forever; three, six or even twelve months from now, you'll emerge from your lair, snarling, matted and covered in your own filth, but ready for change. And for the first time in your adult life, you'll be truly ready to wear pants like a human and switch on a vacuum cleaner. Living like an adult is hard for most of us, and only by experiencing the shit-stained hell of feral living will you truly be able to embrace civilization. 

You're welcome. 

Screw Something Up

At the top of the page, I clearly told you that these were resolutions that you couldn't possibly screw up. Now I'm telling you that you have to screw something up, because I am a confusing and contradictory beast. I'll give you a moment to scrape your brain off the ceiling.

And you thought you read this blog to be entertained.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you're going to fail at pretty much everything you ever try to do, at least once. Before you were born, you successfully fused into a zygote, divided into a being with enough internal organs to keep you alive, and made it out of the birth canal mostly unharmed. That was the end of your time as a successful living being. Since then, you screwed up your first words, fell down after your first steps, put a whole lot of things up your nose that didn't belong there, and banged your head into playground equipment until you temporarily forgot how to write the letter G. You've failed tests, ruined friendships and driven at least one of your siblings into therapy. In the future, you will get rejected, disappoint your boss and the first corpse you bury in the woods will probably get discovered. Face it: you suck. We all suck. It's part of being human.

Pffft, orange tarp? Amateurs.

Ultimately, this means we all spend a whole lot of our precious time trying not to suck. We are willing to go to unnatural lengths to pretend that we're all superhumans who never make mistakes, never create anything less than perfect, and definitely never eat Kraft Dinner right out of the pot with a wooden spoon for dinner. Hell, trying to not to suck is the entire point of making New Years' resolutions.

But not this year. 

This year, screw something up. Don't hide from failure - seek it out. Write a bad book. Film a terrible movie. Show up to a fancy date in a pair of flippers and a unicorn onesie. Say something you shouldn't. Date someone you shouldn't. Apply to a job you are so objectively unqualified for that the head of human resources wipes her ass with your resume. Go on vacation without packing any shirts. Get on a bus without checking where it's going. Experiment with psychedelic drugs until your family has you institutionalized for trying to stab the refrigerator to death with a spoon. Screwing up isn't just okay - it's the whole point. Best case scenario, you'll succeed at something you never thought possible. Worse case scenario, you come out with one hell of a story. Or you die penniless in a foreign country and your body is never found. That works too.

Welcome to 2017, everyone. Let's make it one hell of a ride. 

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