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You Say You Want A Resolution?

How to keep those 2017 expectations low

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If only my 2016 New Year's resolution had panned out, I'd still be celebrating my Golden Globe nod for "Best Screenplay, Motion Picture."

But that would have involved writing a screenplay at some point in the past 365 days. Or at least that novel I had planned for National Novel Writing Month.

NaNoWriMo? Ha. It wasn't even NaNoWriYear.

January is coming soon again. Ugh. Time for more resolutions.

It's the month to jot down our excruciating list of things we'll accomplish in 2017. Why do we put ourselves through this? Life "coaches" will drone on about how getting these goals in print gives us the motivation to accomplish them. At least I'm sure they would have droned on if I had only possessed the motivation to drive around and interview a few.

Luckily the editor of this fine paper let me slide on that one. Her resolution? To find freelance writers who own cars.

Let it now be resolved: After the all-out, living nightmare that was 2016, you're going to make a well-deserved, stress-free list of resolutions for 2017.

Here's how to get that done:

1) Forget the whole thing. Do you see how I'm improving your life already? No list means no December disappointments. Not even an October surprise.

Still, if you're intent on ignoring Number 1, keep your resolution list simple and doable.

Things like: 

2) Write short newspaper columns. This one practically explains itself.

3) Stop Snapchatting. Seems way high stress. All these videos appearing and disappearing and then you pretending you didn't take a screenshot when in fact you did. (Pro tip: The sender gets a notification when you take a screenshot.) How is Donald Trump not using this yet?

4) Brush your teeth for no less than two minutes at a time. A dentist told me this once. Best advice I've ever received. Of course, you will need a phone in your other hand. No decent person would try to go two full minutes without some sort of digital activity.

5) NaNoReadMo. Ever consider just reading books!? Look, you are NEVER going to write a coherent novel. Do you know how long novels are? Tens of thousands of words — and you can't just write "I don't know what to write" for 225 pages like they do in that NaNo contest. And on the off chance you do finish a novel, believe me, it'll be a great big mess involving characters who coincidentally act and speak just like your relatives.

Oh, and Happy 2017, everyone! Enjoy yourself. It will be better than 2016. Guaranteed.

Now go grab an iBeer and iRelax. There is so much to not do.

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