Fats, tell me. I'm really bad at following through on New Year's Resolutions. Any thoughts? I mean, I thought I could really come through with my vow to save all of the children of the world last year, but I think I'm going to come up a little short. Where did I go wrong?
Wow, I've had to dust my computer off, it's been so long since I got some questions for advice. But this one is a doozy that I'm sure everyone can relate to, except for the Japanese, who are so incredibly thorough and meticulous that they complete their New Year's Resolutions, on average, by February 9th. Everyone makes resolutions for the new year except, of course, inhabitants of Mercury, who would be coming up with new life-improving goals every couple of months (however, they do make daily resolutions, as that would only be once every six months or so).
The easiest solution is to alter your goals. I mean, this is the surefire way to make sure that you meet your goals at all costs. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year, tweak that to a little more realistic number. Like -10. Resolve to lose AT LEAST -10 pounds by the end of the year. Or, conversely, if your goal is to achieve a 4.0 GPA at your ivy league college and you fear this might cause massive stress, remember that college is supposed to be 'enjoyable'. Change your goal slightly to not getting arrested for indecent exposure. This might still be too lofty. Aim perhaps for putting in at least some effort not to kill someone with a corkscrew. If your resolution is to get a promotion at work, think more along the lines of yawning at least one. Perspective is key with resolutions - don't try to scale Everest when you can drive to Denny's instead.
Some people insist on truly challenging themselves, however, and never seem to be able to pull it off. The problem with most of these people (I'm looking at you, America) is will-power. It's that natural ability (some say muscle) to stray from those negative influences in life (alcohol, masturbation, penochle, lite rock... etc) that so many people lack that makes following through on resolutions nearly impossible. Of course, the very first thing you need to do is increase your will-power. The easiest way is with energy drinks. Not your typical store-bought energy drinks that come in impossibly tall, dangerously luminescent cans with names that are synonyms for the word 'explosion', like Slam, Boom, Scguuush, and, my favorite, Kablooie™. You need my special concoction that contains ginseng, nutmeg, grog... in fact, countless ingredients that end in a G. It's called Asskick Pop, and for a limited time, I'll offer it free to anyone who is up for feeling a certain unshakeable tingling feeling in the face and an extremely powerful magnetic attraction to helicopters.
But barring chemical alteration and near-certain gastro-intestinal mayhem, how can Johnny Layman himself just follow through on his goals? It's easier than one might think. Ivan Pavlov was able to make dogs salivate by a simple process known as classical conditioning. You can do the same with yourself, and you will only need the assistance of one person to do it. Let's say your goal is to use less profanity in front of your kids, pastor, captor... whatever. First, what you need to do is to hire a professional boxer. Sure, it's a year's salary, but it will be worth it when you've finally flipped off your grandmother for the last time.
For the first offense, your professional boxer (or Classical Conditioning Enforcer, as we'll call him) should strike you once, preferably to the mouth area. This will prevent immediate verbal recourse, and likely any speech for a week. The second offense should take two punches. This sort of conditioning works best exponentially, so the third offense should not generate 3 stiff punches but 2^3 punches, or eight punches, probably scattered about your face, upper torso and genetalia. If you are worried that this still may not be enough conditioning to achieve your initial goal, just remember that if you were to cuss just once a month, you would have received over 7,000 punches to your person, in that one year alone. Almost 6,200 of those would be right around the holiday season alone. I think that's enough to wean even the least resolute person off his/her bad habit. (This system also works for more serious, life-changing resolutions such as making the marriage happy again, for which I recommend your CCE shoot you in the shins with a pellet gun at 6 feet for every day you do not bring a smile to your spouse's face for at least four hours.)
Well, it is the New Year, and I resolve to continue doling out the renowned advice. I, who has never had trouble keeping my resolutions, give myself positive reinforcement for achieving my goals. That having been said, someone has a can of beets that needs attention.