New year – new me, right? Our brains love these imaginary doors that we can shut behind us and move on from, as if our past could be compared to a pair of old socks, too full of holes to wear anymore or even to keep in the cupboard just in case. With the new year come the reflections, the goals, the resolutions… and all that jazz our Instagram feeds get flooded with sometime around the beginning of December (with some occasional posts still popping up until around mid February). But let’s face it – the chances are that we screwed up the year 2017, most likely badly, so what gives us the sudden confidence to think that we can magically not do exactly the same this time? You have no answer? Well, maybe the question you should be asking yourself instead is how to ruin your year – and how to do it in style.
We are all experts at not delivering. Do not trust people who claim they are excellent at everything they touch. They’re either robots, lizards or both. Either way, stay away from them.
And, since we are of course doomed to repeat our mistakes over and over again, the best we can do is embrace our flaws and make sure we break the Biggest Screw Up of the Year record – as it is the only one we have a shot at.
If you’ve been around for a while, you should already know how to ruin your day or your work, but this time we are going to break the bank – I am going to teach you how to ruin your year just as it starts, from one master ruin-er to another.
Reflect on the last year…
… and make sure you include a chunky list of things you have failed at. Bonus points if you do have a list of last year’s resolutions to compare with so that you can finally prove to yourself that you can, indeed, ruin your year with little to no effort.
Forget about gratitude lists. Gratitude lists are for babies that cannot face the harsh truth. You are better than that. You know that the key to real improvement is through blood and pain, and self-hatred.
Remember that time you thought you could go to the gym twice a week? Ha-ha. You were so naive and delusional, surely no sane person would find it possible with all of that Netflix to catch up on. You have never been to a gym, what made you think one day you will just pop in there – and stay? Please.
All the good things that happened last year – just a streak of luck. All the bad things are on you.
Make promises you cannot keep
I have heard there are people in the world, crazy people, I must warn you, who believe promises should be made with the intention to keep them. Life must be difficult for such people. So much disappointment!
The new year is the perfect opportunity to reinvent yourself as a person, right? Do it! If you’ve never painted more than an elephant’s behind (my personal best) – decide from now on that you are a Painter. Don’t bother with classes, tutorials or any sort of practice though; learning is also for babies, what else do you think they do with their lives? You are better than that.
One day this year you will wake up and become a Painter. I promise you. That’s totally how it works.
There is no better way to make big life decisions than to approach them at the beginning of the new year.
Being emotional, passionate, empowered by this symbolic change, on a hype train for the new you… You are bound to make some pretty bad choices. Embrace them. You wanted to ruin your year in style, didn’t you? Style doesn’t come with the resolution to go to bed earlier.
Style needs something louder.
Now I am not saying that abandoning your job, house and family to live with llamas in Peru is not a good idea. It probably works out for some people. Well, I could potentially see it working out for me, especially the llama part, less the Peru part (I’d never eat a guinea pig). But… I mean… Go for it! Who cares about the consequences of your actions, right? January is not about consequences! It is about following the true you and you alone!
Surely, everyone, even you and I, is capable of stick to one or two resolutions. We are not barbarians, please. So to truly ruin your year you need not only quality – but also quantity.
If you are to force yourself into new habits and regimens, why not do everything AT ONCE? Come on. Have you ever had a better idea? It will hurt, sure, but for a shorter time than if you spread all of that throughout a year, or two, or maybe even ten.
Look at me. In 2017 I shot a laser into my eyes. I quit my job. I moved abroad to a country I do not speak the language of. And I even got myself some braces, to ensure maximum body suffering. And now I gave up on writing a Best of 2017 post because looking back on the year it seems as if it was just haze of pain and confusion throughout.
It worked, people!
Apply some gentle (not) pressure
There is one thing you need to engrave in your brain – January happens only once a year. Realistically, the reflection time in January should not stretch past a week or two. Now that you are reading this post, provided you are reading it in January 2018, you are kind of behind schedule anyway. A new opportunity like this will not happen for at least a year.
You cannot let yourself waste it.
Under no circumstances can you postpone it or slacken it in any way. You are under one of the strictest deadlines in the book. The Earth will not just slow down its journey around the Sun so that you can have more time to think about your life and yourself. You are not that important, after all.
If you cannot gather your thoughts, or for any reason are going through a low period (and who isn’t in the time of winter sniffles?) – force yourself to. You cannot miss out. If you do, for the next 365 days you will be just boring old you; and who would like to be you anyway?
Making resolutions is tough, ok? If that means you will cry, cry. If that means sleepless nights, sleep is for babies. You need to understand how important this time of the year is. Shift your priorities a little. Come on. How can you ruin your year if you do not prepare properly?
Watch the perfect years unfold
And the final clue – a clue that applies to everything, not just tips to ruin your year – there is nothing better at making you feel worse about yourself than the comparison game.
Yeah, yeah, I know I just told you everyone’s year sucked. But please remember that nothing on the Internet is real. People do lie, you know, there was an entire TV show about it (and TV does not lie). You can find countless examples of perfect year summaries around to feed your disdain for yourself. Do not fret. The internet has your back.
We all do.
So if you do feel like you have messed up your resolutions from last year (as you definitely did) and this year cannot be any different, give yourself an extra treat of reading how other people allegedly completed their goals. Whimper over how you could never be like them. Point out all the things they did right that you did wrong. Try to tell yourself it is all lies and then do not believe yourself anyway, because you are not trustworthy enough.
Enjoy the suffering of knowing that you can only ever be yourself. Do not take pride in it. Pride is not for babies, babies do not understand why they cannot put forks into electric outputs, let alone such difficult concepts as pride, but is there really anything to be proud about yourself? Come on. If you think hard enough, surely you can make all of your good qualities disappear within the blink of an eye.
Tell yourself you cannot do it. And then you definitely cannot.
Or… if you are looking for some better advice, check out my guide to making your new year better from last year – and enjoy some frosty time with your friends, family, pets or just a favourite book. Have a nice, stress free January – and remember that if there is indeed something you feel uncomfortable about, you will have all of the next year to reflect on it, not just these few miserable, January days.
Happy New Year!