In recent weeks, many of you have made a series of bold New Year’s resolutions. Things about yourself and your miserable existence that you desperately want to change. Is it your boring low-pay job? Not having a girlfirend? The 60 pounds you need to lose? Whatever it was, it’s D-Day, brother (or sister). 2020 has arrived. It’s time you put those bold resolutions to the test? Will you?
Here are five things I know many of you have thought about — and why, even if you do them, it won’t matter in the slightest in the end.
I’ll join a gym. You might, but that would require you to do some research, and actually buy some gym clothes. Even if you get this far, you’ll only sign up for the membership, maybe get an orientation — hopefully from someone wearing tight-fitting yoga pants and a tank top — and then never show up. Oh, you’ll let the gym keep billing you, if only because it keeps up the fiction that you might one day exercise. Don’t worry gyms are counting on you bailing out. That’s how they make their money. They cater to the elite few that really want to embrace fitness. You clearly don’t. Stay home, eat a pizza and watch a fitness video
I’ll ask for a raise. Why bother. You hate your job anyway. Another few dollars won’t change that. It may just bump you up to a higher tax bracket, and the company will expect you to work even harder. How much more will you ask for anyway? What’s the industry rate for your position? What do comparable positions at your own firm pay? Do you even know? What you really want is a different career, because you chose this one for the wrong reason. A raise won’t change that; you’ll just be doubling down on your current misery.
I’ll hire a coach. You might if you knew what you really wanted to do, but you don’t. You never have. You’ve just been following a long career path on auto-pilot. You went to college, got your sheepskin, worked an entry-level job or two and went back to school for your accounting degree — just like your father. But you don’t want to be an accountant. You want to be a ski instructor or a writer. They sound a lot more interesting but you have no idea how to get paid to do those things. And you’ve only skied a few times anyway.
I’ll join a dating site. You’ll be matched with the woman of your dreams… right? You’re bored, boring, fat and unhappy. What do you have to offer? Maybe you’ll find a bored, fat and unhappy woman and the two of you can commiserate — and have sex. Having someone else to focus on is not going to get you where you want to go; you’ll just be spending more money on dates. Maybe that’s the real reason you want a raise? To pay for dinners with someone just as miserable as you. It would be cheaper to get a masseuse or to hire a hooker. They’ll pamper you in bed and allow you to pretend everything’s just fine.
I’ll get a therapist. Now we’re getting somewhere — in theory. At least you’re focusing on the main obstacle to your happiness — you. The problem, you’re smart and evasive can probably talk circles around your therapist, who will get paid, whether you make “progress” or not. I’ve known people who stayed with the same therapist for more than 20 years. One had an eating disorder. She loved her shrink. The transference alone could have launched a thousand ships. She had that special person who understood and sympathized with her. And yes, his eldest son was able to go to dental school thanks to the fees she paid.
So there you have it. Your resolutions don’t really mean squat. You may well have been drunk when you made them. They’re vague statements of intent, with no real goals or benchmarks attached. You didn’t say I’ll lose 50 pounds by my birthday. You said I’ll join a gym. So what? If you were committed to change, you would take real action. You know, make an actual commitment — and follow-through.
The real problem is you, of course. You realize change is hard, and you’ve been stuck on stupid for years — your whole life actually. And the fact is you’re not out on the street or feeling suicidal. What’s the real pain point here? There’s isn’t one. Nothing a few shots at the bar or vaping some dope won’t fix. In a twisted way, you actually like yourself just as you are — fat, lonely, underpaid, and confused. Just like so many of your Facebook friends.
Enjoy the New Year. And see you in 2021!