4 Awful Tips for Keeping New Year's Resolutions
I don't eat salads, I eat fist-size balls of lettuce and spinach. I will draw the blinds on my windows, sit on the kitchen floor, and then cram a day's worth of vegetable servings into my mouth all at once because I would rather suffer for a very short amount of time than try to fancy up something I fundamentally hate and prolong the torture. I know greens are good for me, but I'm not stupid -- they are not a delicious base for any meal. If they were, we wouldn't have to mask all that rabbit food with butter cream or pure oil, and we sure wouldn't have to call that disguise "dressing."
That's not a meal, that's a flimsy excuse to eat flavored mayonnaise.
The point is, I am motivated to be a better person, but only for very short periods of time, and judging by the fact that most New Year's resolutions start to fall apart right around now, just a week after they were created, I'm clearly not alone. So if your plans to reshape yourself, whether figuratively or literally, have already started to crumble, I want to help. I want to teach you how to cut corners in your own life, allowing you to pack all of your goals for 2013 into a metaphorical lettuce ball you can choke down in a week. Some of these tips may seem experimental and at times even unhealthy, but I assure you they are likely much more dangerous than that. I found them all on the Internet.
Weight Loss through Enchanted Pills and Enchanted-er Cabbage
At the tail end of the 20th century, science sketched out the blueprint by which any person could permanently lose weight and live healthier. All it would take is a lifetime of tedious, uncomfortable exertion and a diet of disgusting, unfulfilling, tiny meals. Naturally, millions of obese people responded by pounding their fists on gas station nacho cheese dispensers like "no deal" buttons until science can do a little better.
Well, good news, wintertime perspirators! The Internet says it doesn't have to be that hard. If your goal is to lose around 20 pounds this year, there are plenty of ways to do that in a week that are as easy as they are completely untested. Pills like Lipofuze and 7-Day are weight-loss drugs that promise you'll lose 10 pounds in a week through the magic of ... well, it's not real clear, so let's just stick with magic. A quick poke around their websites reveals that the ingredients seem to be, at the very least, things that exist. The pills include dandelions, raspberry leaves, vinegar ...
... this complex-looking chemical compound ...
Somehow, all these innocuous elements combine into a potion that rewires millions of years of evolution and the entire human Krebs cycle to ensure that you shit out at least 10 pounds of fat right now.
But 10 pounds is only half the weight you want to lose, and you can't afford to waste another week forcing pills down your throat (that's where pot pies are supposed to live). That's why I'm proposing that you double up those magic capsules with one of the many week-long diets that also promise that you'll shed at least 10 pounds. In tandem, there's no reason to suspect that you can't lose 20 pounds in a week. I'm pretty sure the Internet would have to tell you if you couldn't.
You can try the seven-day diet, or as it's sometimes called, the Sacred Heart Diet. Apparently doctors originally used it in extreme circumstances to help patients lose weight before surgery, so it's lucky that someone managed to steal it from Big Medicine like a modern-day Prometheus and gift it to the world. Most of the diet consists of cabbage soup and not much else. Of course, there will always be those worrywarts who insist that the diet is the equivalent of starvation or that it does irreparable damage to the body through severe malnourishment, etc., etc. And sure, fruits and other normal foods are good at lowering heart disease, strengthening the immune system, and general cancer prevention, but none of those things are going to help you get skinnier right now. You only have a week! So swallow your pills in between spoonfuls of your soup, and seven days from now, people won't even realize it's you in that hospital gown.
Becoming More Successful Through Telekinesis
Back in 1757, Benjamin Franklin published The Way to Wealth, which was essentially the first American self-help book for achieving success. The advice mostly boiled down to hard work and diligence, and a relentless pursuit of tangible goals. I think it's valuable at times to look over these old teachings of our forefathers, if for no other reason than to be glad we don't have to put up with that bullshit anymore.
We live in a new age now where self-help guides have little to do with ingenuity or effort, and almost everything to do with the power of positive thinking. Just by picturing yourself accomplishing goals and building a thought structure around achievement, success will start falling all over itself to get inside of you. That's particularly comforting because it confirms what we've always secretly assumed: that the people out there who are successful haven't actually worked any harder than the rest of us, they just happen to know the Konami Code to wealth and happiness and didn't tell anyone.
Up up down down left right left right B A close-your-eyes-and-wish-super-hard start.
So if you're thinking of opening your own business this year, writing a book, or saving a local dance studio with a dance fundraiser that will raise neighborhood awareness about dance, take a minute to collect all your thoughts on how you'd complete it from start to finish, as well as the endless amounts of work that dream will take, then mentally burn that heap of nonsense. It's not doing you any good. According to the website for the Law of Attraction, you only need to ...
"Fill yourself with thoughts of success. Eat, sleep, dream successful thoughts -- cram them in until you are oozing success from every pore. When you can envision what you want the most in your mind's eye and never doubt your capabilities for a single moment, success can be yours forever."
Licenses, permits, agent costs, marketing, distribution ... get that pencil pusher crap out of here. You're oozing victory, goddamn it. You don't need a plan because your plan is to fucking win. It's that simple. If you're willing to think really hard and kind of vaguely about achieving your dream for a full week, there won't be anything you can't accomplish. My only suggestion would be to avoid the eating portion of the "eat, sleep, dream success" equation because it's not really accounted for in your cabbage soup diet.
Quitting Smoking with Mushrooms
Like ending a bad relationship, quitting smoking is complicated and messy, and it temporarily turns nice people into terrible human beings. It's also filled with relapses, secret rekindlings, and late night indulgences that just make the process harder in the long run. But unlike a relationship, you can't just move to a new city and leave the problem behind, because addiction is part of you. To get over smoking in a week, you need something more effective than gum or a patch; you need to fight fire with fire. Or more specifically, you need to overcome your drug addiction by doing harder drugs.
Within the last three years at Johns Hopkins University, they have experimented with feeding concentrated psilocybin (the hallucinogen in mushrooms) to smokers to see if it can cure their addiction to nicotine, and it's been working. Incidentally, Johns Hopkins is also testing psilocybin on cancer patients, because apparently throwing mushrooms at problems is their answer to everything.
"The bad news is that you have asthma, the good news is that where you're going, you don't even need lungs.
There have only been four patients in the nicotine study so far, and all of them have quit smoking completely, although the sample size isn't big enough for Johns Hopkins to feel comfortable revealing their methods yet. But that certainly can't stop a diet-pill-popping, positive-thinking miracle of personal success like you from trying to replicate it.
Once you're properly dosed up, there's no harm in giving yourself a little extra insurance by participating in one of the many online hypnosis sessions for smoking cessation. Now, there's a good chance your trip will last for a long time, since the closest thing to actual nutrients in your body is vegetable broth, so you may want to have a couple other videos lined up as well.
With any luck, you won't even need a full week to quit smoking -- it should happen in just a few hours.
Trying Something That Scares You
One of the benefits of charging through your resolutions all at once is that you'll find along the way that many of them overlap and complement one another. As you branch out of your normal life into near starvation, mind control, and hallucinogens, you will also discover a vast new landscape of horrors previously unknown to you. Horrors you can then overcome.
Silence, death, time, and umbrellas (depending on where you are in your psilocybin adventure) will all appear to you in new hideous gradients and textures, a new relevance you never understood before because you refused to look closely. Suddenly you'll realize that you unconsciously reached a point long ago when you stopped saying hello to the world and started saying goodbye to it. Just existing from breath to breath will feel terrifying and heroic under the new looming shade of death as it spreads those hideous, dark wings above you. Your only weapon is, itself, part of the hovering nightmare; that single rod of metal or plastic polymer and a stylishly curved handle that is specific to umbrellas. Wrap your fingers tightly around it, you are in control. My god, you're brave. The new year is lucky to have you.
There is no turning back.
In addition to being a Cracked editor and columnist Soren was also your eighth grade boyfriend. Why not reconnect on Twitter or Tumblr?