What will you do differently in 2017?
Despite my general disdain for mainstream concerns, I’ve come to appreciate the New Year’s Resolution, at least in a conceptual sense. Despite the fact that the calendar year is 100 percent arbitrary from a cosmic perspective — as if the Earth’s rotation gives a crap which day we designate as “first” — there’s something noble about facing the next 365 days with big ambitions to be a better person, or even change the world.
I, for one, have had great success with past resolutions, and, by way of proof, here is a very long answer to a very short question.
Three years ago, I resolved to make the world a cooler, hipper place; and thus “Ask a Hipster” was born. Last year, they said I was crazy when I promised to bring back Crystal Pepsi and Ecto Cooler, but who’s laughing now?
The secret to my success is that I like to think of the new year as a time to dream big. Try it with me: instead of the inevitable promise to lose 15 pounds by July, which turns into 11 months of autocharges for that unused gym membership, double the weight of your recycling bin and cut your trash by half.
Don’t go on a diet. Try foie gras, sour beer, oysters, kimchi, single-origin coffee, and vegan cookies for the first time; even if you don’t end up liking any of it.
Don’t “quit drinking.” Buy six bottles of expensive wine and resolve only to open them at six dinner parties, each hosted by you, with guest lists that force your friends who aren’t already friends with each other to become friends.
Don’t promise you’ll “live life to the fullest.” Buy a tuxedo or evening gown and make damn sure you wear it. Create an opportunity if you must.
Sure, you could plan to eventually get out from under your credit-card debt, but wouldn’t it be better to straight up close all your credit accounts and then spend the entire year paying for everything (and I mean everything — no Amazon for you, friend!) in cash just to see if it’s possible to live a normal life without digital currency?
Want to quit smoking? Well, actually, you probably should quit smoking. It’s a filthy habit. But don’t do it because you think it’ll make you a better person in 2017, do it because the tobacco industry comprises a slew of incorporated concerns who almost certainly don’t have your best interests at heart, and you could buy a lot of used vinyl with the $6/day you won’t be spending on cigarettes.
If there’s a common thread here, it’s that I don’t advocate breaking long-standing habits.