It’s the start of a brand new year, and it’s time to celebrate in the traditional manner by regretting what you did on New Year’s Eve.
If you’re lucky it was something harmless, such as running down the street naked or sleeping with a complete stranger. Sure you’ll have to do some explaining, and possibly book a flight out of the country, but after a few days it will all be forgotten — at least until the footage goes up on YouTube. (Let’s hope it’s just of you running down the street naked.)
But if you haven’t been outside all week, and are refusing to answer the phone, then you probably did the unthinkable: made a New Year’s resolution and told your friends about it.
Historical fact: Osama bin Laden made a similar mistake, which is why he’s gone into hiding.
Normally there’s nothing to worry about. You simply make an effort to change some major aspect of your life, realise it’s a lost cause a few days later, and get back to drinking, smoking, or eating your body weight in chocolate.
However, chances are that after your fifteenth cocktail you decided to shared your life-changing plans with your friends, which by then was pretty much everyone. And having just solved one problem (”How do I stop the room from spinning?”), you realise you’ve got a problem that’s much, much worse. Your friends may struggle to remember your name (or even their name) by the end of the night, but they will remember what you said you were going to do. Especially if they’re women.
The good news is that with a little lateral thinking, and a lot of lying, you can not only achieve your goals, but also take advantage of them.
Let’s take one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions: stop smoking. Years ago it was a real effort, because you could only go cold turkey (which is incredibly hard to light). But these days with just a few… dozen nicotine patches, you can not only give up cigarettes, but also cover up unsightly scars on your body.
Alternatively, you can colour in the patches with a black felt marker, arrange them in a checkerboard pattern on your stomach, and charge people to play chess on it while you sleep in the park.
Of course, if their pieces keep toppling over then you’ll need to lose weight, the most popular New Year’s resolution of all. In an article by Amy Ireland in the Northside Chronicle, Brisbane-based hypnotherapist Tony Romano says you are getting very sleepy. (Your wallet is also getting very light.)
No, what he actually says is you can try “visualisation”, where you picture how you’ll look and feel in your new body. So cut out a photo of a supermodel (you’ll find one in any women’s magazine), and stick it on your wall. Then, when you’re ready lose weight, simply look at the photo and hurl darts into it as hard as you can. You’ll not only burn calories throwing the darts, but also pulling them out again, not to mention replastering the wall between throws.
Mr Romano also says you should break your resolutions into smaller, more manageable tasks. Yes, it will take longer to achieve your goals, but it also means you’ve got longer to come up with an excuse as to why you failed. (The “El Nino” effect is a good start.)
Your ultimate goal is to drag them out until New Year’s Eve, where you can replace them with a whole new set of totally unrealistic goals. (Pretend you’re a prime minister or president with an election coming up.) Just keep them to yourself this time.
But don’t be afraid to celebrate. After all, it’s the start of a whole new year, and there’s a lot to be happy about.
At least until the footage reappears on YouTube.