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Well, folks, it's a new year, and like a lot of you, I'll be damned if I'm going to let this one turn into the shitshow that 2010 did. God, what a disaster. Who knew a dolphin could bleed that much? Marine biologists probably. Dolphins, too, I guess. But certainly not me, the one person who really needed that information in 2010.

"This dolphin is all I need for the best Valentine's Day ever!"

But unlike a lot of you, I'm not going to partake in any new year's resolutions -- the traditional way to improve one's life at the start of a calendar year. Resolutions are easy to make, hard to keep and each abandoned resolution forms the bass kick in the failure drumbeat of your life. (For the curious, my self-improvement regime will consist of doing everything exactly the same as last year, only with a tarp draped over my living room around mid-February.)

But, for those of you that still want to make resolutions, I've offered some advice below on how to make them suck less.

Resolution 1: Lose Weight

If you're using a special, extra-wide keyboard to access this page, then you might be in the group of people who've vowed to lose weight this coming year. Weight loss is one of the most popular new year's resolutions, possibly due to the number of broken chairs and bathtub entrapments which come with the heavy holiday eating season.

Why it sucks:

Because this is also the most broken, least plausible new year's resolution. Resolving to "lose weight" hilariously understates the scope of the issue, considering the massive amount of hard work and lifestyle changes that are typically required to have any effect. If you seriously want to lose weight, that would have been a good decision before the gravy-based meal.

A better resolution: Move some place flatter

See this is good because it's easy, requiring only a one time commitment, rather than major lifestyle changes. And it gets at the core reason you want to lose weight -- your difficulty getting around town. By picking a location with less challenging topography, your self-propelling ability should improve, making you happier and more virile looking. Look for communities with ranch homes, moving sidewalks and salt flats.

Resolution 2: Spend More Time With Family

As we go about the daily challenges of life (work, bills, dolphin maintenance), we inevitably lose sight of what matters most in life: our families. Spending more time with loved ones seems like a fine idea every new year, and loudly claiming you want to do so makes you seem like a real swell guy, or at minimum, a friendly drunk.

Why it sucks:

You're too drunk to remember it, but that slip away from your family was not entirely without reason:

- You've been in a medical quarantine.

- The boys in Call of Duty love you back.

- You have a really nice chair at work.

A better resolution: Start a second family

Back in the 90s, it seemed like every week Dateline had a feature on one of those guys who traveled a lot for business and kept separate families in different towns. For those of you that don't remember the 90s, imagine this is sort of like rolling an alternate character in World of Warcraft -- you can play someone else with different skills and strengths, who can make use of different armor.

"Sorry honey, but I'm going to be out of town for a few weeks again."

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Resolution 3: Quit Smoking

I don't want to dissuade you from this too much. The odor reasons alone make this a worthwhile endeavor -- unless you're considering giving up pipe smoking, which means you're a fool. You smell like a tapestry depicting an old naval battle. You can't just throw that away.

Why it sucks:

Like the weight loss one, this is way harder than you realize, primarily because addictive things are addictive. You've also likely established a social circle which enables your smoking, and changing other people is extremely difficult, something only hypnotists and wives are good at.

A better resolution: Quit ping-pong

Giving up ping-pong is way easier than giving up smoking, to the point that only the worst among us haven't. The social circle you've developed to play ping-pong is filled with horrible, embarrassing people, and leaving them behind is a fantastic idea.

Spread your big beautiful butterfly wings and fly.

Resolution 4: Pay Off Debt

Debt weighs heavily on people, especially after Christmas, what with all the expensive gifts we have to buy to maintain familial peace.

Why it sucks:

This is actually one of the easier resolutions on this list, as it requires little more than a plan and common sense, with no great leaps of self control. But it's so small scale -- the best case scenario is you getting back to square one. A cool, knife-licking resolution needs to be more ambitious.

A better resolution: Cause hyper-inflation

Inflation is the process by which a currency decreases in value. By causing an accelerated form of inflation, known as hyper-inflation, you'll lower the value of your debts and thus be able to pay them off easier. How? Massive scale counterfeiting. Leave trillions of dollars in piles scattered around the country to debase the currency. This will develop multiple skills, including your understanding of macroeconomics, your ability to forge and your ability to make daring escapes from the law.

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Resolution 5: Learn Something New

You used to hate school, but thinking back on it now, you can't help but notice that all the people with jackets and cars with doors have taken at least some form of schooling. Maybe it's time to flesh out your resume? Or at least learn how to play a G-chord.

Why it sucks:

Because you're so dumb. Smart people don't resolve to learn something new -- they're always learning. You're not going to catch Stephen Hawking taking an online course on transmission repair -- he figured out how to repair transmissions by accident, during a conversation with a man who saw a bus once. If you're not the kind of person always absorbing new information, the likelihood of you getting anything useful out of a class is very slim.

A better resolution: Spend more time on Yahoo! Answers

If you ever want to feel smart, spending time on Yahoo! Answers is, aptly, the answer. This is a community composed entirely of people with terrifying head injuries trying to help 12-year-olds with their homework, and you could do very well here indeed.

Resolution 6: Volunteer

Wouldn't it be nice to give something back? After all you've taken? After all the crap you've dumped on the world? (Sometimes literally.) Even dogs throw a little dirt over it when they're done.

Why it sucks:

This is actually a pretty good resolution, because it only takes a couple hours to clean up a highway shoulder or feed an illiterate person, at which point you can sit back and feel good about yourself. But it's this ease, and the short-term band-aid nature of most volunteer work which makes this a weak resolution -- you've done something, but likely nothing of lasting importance.

A better resolution: Robin Hood

The reason we need volunteers to pour soup into homeless people is because of the systemic inequality inherent in the capitalist system. A basic redistribution of wealth can address this, which could be accomplished by years of steady legislative effort, or by knocking off an Armani Exchange and distributing tight pants to a homeless shelter. Either way will make a lasting difference in those men's lives, but only one will improve their ability to meet shallow women.

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