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My Low Expectations New Year's Resolutions

I quit making New Year's resolutions a long time ago. They had become a vicious cycle of failure and disappointment. Setting lofty, life-changing goals only to give up on them by January 15th made me feel like a loser who couldn't stick to a couple of simple little tasks for more than a couple of days.

Problem is, I am a very sensitive young man. I take perceived failures badly and let them spiral me out of control. One misplaced comma and suddenly I can't write for six weeks because I suck and I've always sucked and I am probably adopted and why did I bother to try because I can't even use a fucking comma right (see what I mean).

Resolutions have always set me up to react poorly; if I am not thin within a couple of days, I suck; if I haven't written a novel by January 12th, I suck; if I am not saving any money, I suck. Not meeting my goals makes me feel bad about myself, and feeling bad about myself makes it harder to meet my goals. I don't put myself through that anymore because living with that kind of emotional self-abuse is not much fun.

But I had an epiphany a couple of days ago: What if I set goals I could absolutely accomplish with little or no effort? Would meeting my goals make me feel better about myself, leading to more goals being met? Would I gain self-confidence and self-respect if I actually met my New Years resolutions, thereby improving my ability to make a better life for myself?

I believe I would.

Therefore, I resolve to have really low expectations for my goals in 2011. I am setting the bar fucking looooooow this year. No more "healthier, more productive, happier" bullshit. I need the confidence boost of not asking that much of myself for a change. I need goals I can actually stick to - shit I was probably going to do anyway. Checking everything off my resolution list is going to give me the motivation to underachieve for another year.

I feel like a new man already - just saying that I'm slacking off makes me feel more accomplished and capable. Sure, I'm overweight and underemployed, but inertia and apathy are going to solve all of that this year for sure. Yes I can, dammit. I just know it.

Here, then, are my Low Expectations New Year's Resolutions:

1. Jamming.

I resolve to listen to some music this year but I don't want to buy anything new, so I'm sticking with the same old shit I've always listened to. I'll probably listen to some Metallica; maybe really get into one of their older albums for six months. I think I'll also watch some old Rolling Stones videos on YouTube; maybe that one clip of John Lennon and Keith Richards jamming with Eric Clapton.

2. Next Tuesday.

I resolve to put off some shit until later. Could be anything; paying a bill, calling someone back, finishing that piece I started a couple of weeks ago. Whatever it is, it's going to get done at some undetermined time in the future when I feel more like it.

3. Steak Umms.

I resolve to eat and drink a lot of crap that will make me feel physically and emotionally ill. I intend on only eating things that are of a color that does not appear in the natural world. I've already stocked up on chips, Hot Pockets and Tastykakes. My hope is that by the end of 2011I'll be back up around 300 pounds and maybe have had my first pre-coronary event.

4. Automatic Renewal.

I resolve to subscribe to numerous highbrow magazines that I have no intention of reading. I'd like to brag about the intellectual breadth of my magazine subscription list without expending any actual mental effort. I want to have a massive collection of unread Economists, Atlantics, Harper's' and Scientific Americans stacked up somewhere conspicuous to constantly remind me of how far behind I am on my reading because of yesterday's Family Guy marathon.

5. Chapters 1 - 10.

I resolve to brag about the novel that I am "working on" as a way of masking my lack of productivity. See, I didn't do that thing you asked me to because I was "outlining" my novel. I hung out at the coffee shop all afternoon staring at girls' asses because I was "researching character development." When I sat on the couch with a bag of Fritos and a Fanta all day, I was "brainstorming" my narrative arc. I figure I can reasonably get to my mid-forties before anyone asks to see "my novel."


I resolve to rot my fucking brain looking at garbage on the Internet. I've marked off March through August for this one. Seriously, I am hoping I become so desensitized to the silliness of the Internet that I eventually understand the appeal of celebrity babies and Michelle Malkin.

7. Creativity Journal.

I resolve to write down some really kickass ideas in a notebook I am going to buy soon. Believe you me, I am going to note, with creative fervor, what a cool blog my thoughts on cafe asses would make; how awesome it would be if I did a series of photos capturing the failure of the American economic system as seen through shuttered factories at night; and how that one story my friend told me would make a really cool novel.

8. Five and Dime.

I resolve to constantly complain about how broke I am. I don't intend on changing any of my financial habits (like my $75-a-week coffee shop budget) but I fully intend on letting everyone know how much I hate being poor. In fact, I'll probably start every conversation this year with "Oh, I'd like to but I don't have any money."

9. Pack-A-Day.

I resolve to start smoking pot again. It makes a lot of sense - I can't afford it, I'd feel like shit and it would make all of my anti-drug bullshit seem really hypocritical. Plus, I'll be a dirty hippie with no job, something I've always aspired to, kind of.

10. Same Old, Same Old.

I resolve to keep hoping my wife doesn't catch me punching dummy to Saved by the Bell reruns. I just have to make sure I can control myself until she heads off to work before I catch up with my old friends at Bayside High.

Damn, 2011 is going to fucking rule.


Comments welcome.


Other Lists By Drew Adamek:
* Today's Syllabus
* Shit My Dad Says
* Work Weirdos
* Things I Miss About Chicago
* 20 Albums I Wish I Had Never Bought
* Their Chicago
* Cities I've Slept In
* My Favorite 1980s Chicago Radio Memories
* Why Milwaukee Rules
* Why I'm Glad I Don't Live In D.C. Anymore
* The Beer Goggle Recordings
* A List Of Reader Comments To Drew's Lists
* Life's Little Victories
* The Worst Jobs I've Ever Had
* Jobs For The Zombie Apocalypse
* Lemme Get A Bite Of That
* Lists I'll Never Write
* Things I Miss About My Imprisoned Best Friend
* Things I Miss About Being Single
* Things I Love About Being Married
* Why Chuck D Should Have Been Our First Black President
* Picture This
* My Suggestions For Ways To Further Desecrate Wrigley Field
* Signs I Am Getting Older
* My Most Memorable Half-Assed Ideas
* Why My Mom Rules
* My Summer To-Do List
* Signs That My Doomsday Is Nigh
* Five Albums That Changed My Life
* Things That Make Me Happy
* My Guilty Pleasures

* Fan Note: Me & Metallica


Posted on January 10, 2011

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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