Your Top 4 New Year's Resolutions for 2015

Well, it's that time again. Another year has come and gone, leading into yet another year that will come and go, to be followed by another after that, and so on. Unless you're extremely old right now, in which case I suppose every day is a crapshoot. But hey, every day is a good day, right? Just try missing one. Well, it seems that these days, that's exactly what most people are doing: they're doing the same day over and over again, and missing out on new ones. With that in mind, here are what your resolutions for 2015 SHOULD be.

  1. Spend less time on Facebook and Twitter, and more time actually doing shit. This is for two reasons. First, all that time you're spending on social networking websites is time you could be spending enriching your life in some way. You could be out enjoying the outdoors, or meeting up with friends and family, or indulging in a hobby. But no, instead you're spending your time reading about things that other people have been doing - people who lead far more interesting lives than you do, because they're actually doing those things rather than reading about them. Unless they're talking about shit like what they ate for dinner, in which case the mere existence of that content is an abomination and a waste of time for all involved, and you waste your time by reading it anyway. Seriously, nobody cares if they put an extra shot of espresso in your americano. Shut up.

    Which conveniently brings me to the second reason you should break from social media, which is that the current generation seems not to understand the difference between public life and private life. We don't need to know every person you've ever given a handjob to. We don't need to know how much money you make. We don't need to know your mom has diarrhea. And seriously, nobody gives a shit what you had for lunch today. People have legitimately been raped, kidnapped, and murdered, after having been tracked down from information on their public Facebook pages. There is actually a site called Please Rob Me that correlates FourSquare checkins and Twitter posts to tell you who's not at home, specifically to raise awareness of this very issue!

    Before posting anything on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media, you need to ask yourself one question: would I want this information in the hands of someone who wants to hurt me or steal my stuff? Odds are, most things you would have posted aren't going to make the cut. Between that and keeping the incredibly boring shit off your profile, you're going to find yourself with a lot more free time anyway, so why not go the extra mile, make a conscious effort to use social media less, and actually do things worth remembering?
  2. Learn and become proficient with at least one new skill. What I said at the top of this piece was a comment on how repetitive most people's lives are. Raise your hand if your average weekday is something like this: Wake up, eat breakfast, go to work/school, come home, eat dinner, spend the rest of the night on your computer or in front of your TV (possibly with alcohol), go to sleep. Now put your hand down, you look ridiculous. Not only are you living the same day over and over again, but it's a staggeringly boring day. You're not enriching yourself in any way, you're probably not accomplishing anything you're actually proud of, and you already knew this before reading it here.

    The solution is refreshingly sipmle: start doing new things. Always wanted to learn guitar? Go to a pawn shop, pick one up for $100, and start teaching yourself to play it after work. Want to lose some extra pounds? Start going to the gym after work. Take up a new sport. Learn to juggle. Learn magic. Find a local group that does things you haven't done before, and join it; use that experience to identify something you want to do on a regular basis, and start doing that thing. Doing fucking anything is better than the rut you've voluntarily put yourself in. Pick a skill you wish you had, learn how to do it, and get good at it; a year is a long time in which to practice.
  3. At least one day a week, exercise to the point of sweating. I don't mean you get a small bead of sweat on your forehead and call it quits, either: I mean you go until there's sweat covering every inch of your body, to the point where it falls off of you as you walk, and your shirt is a different colour than it was when you started. It doesn't matter how you do it - going to a gym, running outside, playing basketball, or even just going up and down the stairs of your apartment building until your legs are threatening to murder you in your sleep - like the Nike ad says, just do it.

    Here's the reason: between all your time on social media, and the fact you basically live your life sitting down, odds are you're hideously out of shape. And the truly sad thing is that in today's society, somehow, that's actually normal. Most people can't touch their toes without bending their legs, and even fewer can run a mile without stopping because they're out of breath. Can you do either of those things? Statistically speaking, no, you probably can't. And that should make you upset. So get off the couch a couple times a week and change that. And yes, this will mean different amounts of work to different people; the less work it takes, the more important it is that you do it.
  4. Stop eating food that comes from your freezer and is thawed in your microwave. I'm going to tell you a story that's 100% true, with absolutely no exaggeration. At the end of 2013, I went to Austin, Texas with two of my best friends for two weeks for Christmas and New Year's. Austin is a great town for eating local food: everything is good, and there's a tremendous amount of variety to it. I spent two weeks eating fantastic food for every meal. Then I got home, and put a frozen burrito in the microwave for dinner. That is no good, and I haven't had any such food in my house since then.

    Frozen food, generally speaking, is pretty bad. Not only does it tend to be basically flavourless, it's also generally pretty bad for you. Most of it is pre-cooked, full of saturated fats and other things that are bad for you, light on protein, and offers little to no actual enjoyment from eating it. The only food you keep in your freezer should be food that has to be prepared in or on a stove, or food that you bought fresh or made, and then moved to the freezer so it would keep for longer. When you put garbage into your body, you end up feeling like garbage.

Before you start questioning who I am to give you this list, stop right there: this website is a one-way medium, and I wouldn't be able to hear you anyway. Also, you should know that these are all things I do already. You've already read the story of my trip to Austin, so I won't reiterate that, but in 2014 I learned to scuba dive, and got very good at it. I wrote and performed my own music for guitar and vocals. I work out an average of 3 days a week, to the point where my muscles actually don't work right the next day because of how hard I pushed them. And if you take a look at my Facebook page (if you can find it), you'll notice it's practically devoid of content I posted. I spent a week scuba diving in Belize at the beginning of December, just because I could - and people outside my family and close circle of friends didn't even know I was gone until I got back and told them. And how few articles did I post on this website this year? That's because I was too busy with other things.

I've been walking this particular walk for over a year already, and I can tell you with certainty that my 2014 was better than my 2013, and I am a better person for it. Get on my level - it'll do you good.

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