Okay kids, Christmas is over. That means it's time to stop goofing off and get busy making New Year's resolutions. This is a time-honored tradition which every living human is required to participate in. Everyone understands and follows the unspoken rules of New Year's Resolutions:
1) Set lofty goals for yourself that you have no reasonable expectation of ever accomplishing. Generally these are the exact same goals you've been setting for yourself every January 1st since you were 18 years old.
2) Spend the first two weeks of the new year pretending you're really working at these goals.
3) Give up entirely in week three, and sink into a depression in which you berate yourself for the next month or more for failing to achieve your New Year's resolutions yet again. By mid February, the cheer and general good will of the Christmas holiday has completely evaporated and you are now nearly suicidal and full of self-loathing. If your goal was to lose weight, you are now stuffing your entire face into fast food containers and potato chip bags to ease the depression of failure. If your goal was to stop smoking, you're now smoking three cigarettes at a time to distract you from the self-deprecating voice in your head. If your goal was to start going to the gym every day, you are now napping five times a day because in sleep you are able to forget for awhile that you are too unmotivated to go to the gym.
Well, I'm not falling for it this year. I mean, I'll definitely make New Year's resolutions, because it's a tradition. Without traditions our society would spiral into chaos, and eventually cannibalism would run rampant. But the difference is that this year I'm not going to set myself up for failure. I'm going to set goals I can actually achieve, so that I end up feeling good about myself all year long instead of wishing I were dead by April. To ensure victory, I'm also going to set up a reward system so that I can celebrate my successes along the way. This will be an added incentive beyond mere personal growth, which is the only reward people usually expect to get from accomplishing their resolutions. And personal growth is a lousy prize no matter how you slice it, so it's no wonder people give up before February.
And because you guys are a nosy bunch, I know you want to hear what my resolutions are.
Karla's New Year's Resolutions for 2006
1. I will not scale Mt. Fuji.
2. I will eat only edible food, and drink only potable water.
3. I will wear a bra when out in public. Usually my own.
4. I will speak English primarily.
5. I will do all I can do prevent flies from breeding in my car.
6. I will use the phrase "gutless swine" in a sentence at least once in 2006.
7. I will not kill anyone with a machete.
8. I will drink more in 2006. While everyone else is promising to drink less, I will take the path less traveled, and I will drink more.
9. I will not sleep with any dictators this year.
10. I will read great works of literature to sharpen my intellect and help develop my analytical thinking.
11. I will wipe front to back.
12. I will steadfastly refuse to participate in any plots to overthrow the government. And this year I mean it.
So there you have it: My New Year's resolutions, hereafter referred to as The List. At the end of each month in 2006, I will review my performance for that month. If I can honestly say that I have stayed on my chartered path and am still well on my way to the New Karla in 2006, I will reward myself with a handful of ecstasy tablets and a bottle of cheap 100 proof whiskey, which I will drink alone under the bleachers at the local high school on a weeknight. By the time 2007 rolls around, I'll be dead of liver disease, possibly following several arrests for public intoxication, but I'll have accomplished all my New Year's resolutions for 2006, which is more than most of you will be able to say.
And I call that a successful year.