Around the Cracked offices, we have an annual tradition every New Year where all the staff gather around and publicly make promises as to how they'll be better comedy citizens in the coming year.
"I'm going to get really good at baking, and bring treats to all the Cracked meetings" says Brockway. We clap lightly. It's very generous of him.
"No more suicide pacts," says Swaim, again.
"I'm going to bench 8,000 kilograms" says DOB, winking at me to indicate he was using metric units for my benefit. Or because he likes me. I cross my legs.
"Waitresses," says Wolinsky, adding no verbs, modifiers or physical gestures to indicate what he will or won't be doing with the waitresses. We fill in the blanks quietly to ourselves.
According to a Wikipedia entry which has probably been deleted by now, New Year's resolutions were first invented in 1979 by Tony Danza on the set of Taxi
. They're also famous for how rarely they're followed through on, with most people abandoning them within a matter of months. Gyms always report massive surges in new members joining in January of each year, as legions of well meaning and doughy individuals set out to lose all the turkey weight they've accumulated. And those same memberships almost always fall idle in February, the whole country slowly gaining back that weight in Chicken McNuggets.
But let's say you really want to follow through on your resolution this year. Whether it's due to excess levels of motivation, or a really glaring personal shortcoming that can no longer be ignored, this is finally going to be the year you finally stop shitting in the sink. Here then is some advice for you, which I've compiled from my observations of past years resolutions around the office.
Resolution: Spend more time with friend/family member/significant other.
Why: I dunno. Are you dying? You say you love them? Heh.
Sure fire way to succeed: Develop a shared hobby or passion. Or just handcuff yourself to them while they're sleeping for some hilarious buddy-cop comedy hijinx. If that's too out there for you, also consider the more discrete route of matching nipple piercings connected by a medium gauge chain.
Resolution: Lose weight
Why: To improve your self image, physical fitness and reduce wear and tear on your car's suspension.
Sure fire way to succeed: If I was a doctor - and there's several reasons I'm not - I'd recommend eating right and working out if you're interested in losing weight. But speaking in my non-licensed opinion I'd also suggest you look into amputations or horse-enemas.
Resolution: Quit drinking
Why: It's tearing your family apart, jeopardizing your health, and causing inadvertant internet video sensations.
Sure fire way to succeed: Remove yourself from friends and situations where you would normally drink. Befriend some Mormans, or young children. Alternately, get pregnant.
Resolution: Learn a new hobby
Why: So so much free time. Also no-one wants to hang out with you for long.
Sure fire way to succeed: Join a club. Finding like minded people with similar interests is a great way to keep your interest in a hobby from waning, so if you want to learn how to, say, swap wives with strange men in a dimly lit room, just ask some questions in the right internet forums.
Resolution: Get out of debt
Why: Build a solid financial foundation for your future, not get your kneecaps caved in.
Sure fire way to succeed: Pay Yourself First. Every paycheck make sure to set aside a small amount that goes directly towards your debt. Your bank should be able to set this up to happen automatically. Also good is the combination of Property Crime and eBay.
Resolution: Get organized
Why: You're always late and can never remember where you left your wallet or kids.
Sure fire way to succeed: Keep lists, and make habits. As an example, buy a little hook at the hardware store and place it by your front door. Always hang your keys there when you get home. Larger hooks will serve for children.
Resolution: Eat right
Why: Standing up takes awhile. You wish more surfaces had banisters.
Sure fire way to succeed: Enlist someone else to join you in eating right, ideally someone who lives with you. By supporting one another you'll manage to get your potato chip intake down to 3 servings per day in no time!
Why: You have a predilection towards self-satisfied smugness, are fleshing out a college application, or actually genuinely care about the plight of others.
Sure fire way to succeed: Volunteering once is easy. Volunteering repeatedly is the tricky thing. How do you do it? Get caught committing a minor crime (public nudity is great). Community service is indistinguishable from volunteering in the eyes of all the most popular theologians.
Why: Always wanted to see what television is like in other countries.
Sure fire way to succeed: The reason many people don't travel is because of all the other commitments in their life. Work, family, a new season of 24 to watch, etc... So the answer is simple: re prioritize your life. Move travel to the top of your list of priorities. This works best if you can combine it with a hobby, like scuba diving, or sleeping with other men's wives.