Tag Archives: Resolutions

Streak Day #7 Sucks (and some stuff about New Year’s Resolutions)

Seven days?! Really? Wow. I’m proud of myself, but at the same time realize that it wasn’t really that hard. All you need to do is plop your ass down for an hour each day and force something out. I was skeptical about these posting streak proponents but now I realize they’re probably onto something. While I don’t think these posts are “typical” Everything Sucks posts like everything else is, I think they still fit the tone of the blog. Instead of bitching about big, grand, and ‘complex’ topics I find myself complaining about smaller mundane and bothersome things that I encounter during the day. Being sick (but not too sick), depression, and in this post, my failed New Year’s Resolutions.

A friend at work said she wasn’t going to commit to any resolutions this year because most of them fail. Fine, I thought, she wasn’t wrong. Somehow I think I’m an idealist or something; I love the idea of things and to hell if they’re practical or not. Go big or go home, I suppose.

Referencing this post right here for my list of resolutions. If you check it out, you’ll see the post (for once) is overflowing with optimism for 2020. Sadly, it only took a few weeks into the year for everything in the world to go off the rails. The stock market has fucking died, coronavirus is terrifying everyone, and we almost went to war with Iran. I’m sure there are other fucked up incidents in the year that I’ve forgotten over the past six two months, but with me having so much optimism for 2020 it sure was depressing to see things go to shit so quickly. And the same was true with those damn resolutions of mine.

The first to go was the “compliment a person daily” resolution. That was always the hardest one to pull off, me being a raging pessimist that never sees the good in anything. At first I was surprised at how complimenting people daily actually got me to see the good in people, but that didn’t last. What happened was depression. Anyone who has struggled with depression knows that it puts you into a very basic and lowly mode of survival. It’s like a haze of limping along blind hour after hour with no overarching goal in life but to survive to the next moment. At least for me, I found myself sleeping all the time, feeling tired and unmotivated, antisocial, and eating just enough food where the starvation didn’t make me feel worse. Naturally, complimenting someone in one of these moods is a no-go and that’s exactly what happened. One bout of depression into the new year and the compliments stopped. First I missed a day, then got back to it, then missed a few more days, got back to it, and then I don’t think I’d given a compliment purposefully for my resolution in at least a month. Not that I never give compliments; they’re just not part of my daily routine anymore. Resolution #1: DEAD.

And let’s go back to depression real quick: it makes you exhausted and tired all the time. One of my resolutions was to wake up at 10 a.m. everyday and that was great for a few weeks (maybe a month) until depression kicked the fuck out of that goal too. What’s funny is I still wake up around 9:45 a.m. naturally for some reason, like my body knows it needs to wake up. Maybe I trained myself well. But I wake up after having went to sleep around 4 a.m. and feel like utter shit; I then roll over and go back to sleep until noon, 1, or 2 p.m. depending on how shitty I feel about the day. Resolution #2: DEAD.

What about only drinking on Sunday? Moderate success there so far. I do have an exception to the rule: something like “special occasion drinking” whatever that means. Social events, unusual events, etc. The past few weekends have been hell. We had to drive to Chicago two weeks ago and finally got back home around 11 p.m. That meant my day was totally and utterly fucked and what better way to cap off the shitty day than with a six-pack of cheap beer? Last weekend my sister and I went rock climbing — same deal — gone all day, physically exhausted from climbing up walls and riding in a car, and what better way to relax than to pound a six-pack down? Luckily, drinking on the weekday is still a major no-no because that’s where the real cliff edge is. Once you start that it’s a full-send into fully-fledged alcoholism. Hopefully this weekend is uneventful and I can wallow in depression/boredom without needed a six-pack on Saturday. Resolution #3: MILD SUCCESS.

Resolution #4: Publish two Kindle ebooks. Yeah, I’m working on it.

Resolution #5: Write and post my Morrowind fanfic on Wattpad every Sunday. I’m going strong on this one. At first it started off really rough; I was struggling every Sunday to finish and post, but now I think I have a flow. It’s still a chore, but I make progress during the week now. I usually start working on the next chapter on Monday or Tuesday, really tidy it up Wednesday-Saturday, and edit the damn thing on Sunday. It’s great. The biggest thing I’ve learned so far is how much having a routine you stick to helps the project actually progress.

Which leads me back to resolution #4: the ebooks. I really think I need to force a chapter out, like the Morrowind story, weekly. Doing this almost guarantees 50 finished chapters in a year making the book probably complete. Even if the chapters aren’t as inspired, at least they’ll fucking exist. I haven’t written anything for these stories in at least a month and it’s depressing. But somehow the Morrowind story keeps trucking along because I have a schedule hold myself accountable.

Lastly, and to wrap this post up in a nice and tidy bowtie: reach 1,000 monthly views on this blog. This one has suffered in the past two months: December had record viewers and each month since the viewer count has went down.

But for March? Fuck. I really think I’m on track. Like with the Morrowind story, having a routine is awesome and really helps productivity. This impromptu posting streak really seems to be bringing people here. It makes perfect sense too: the more you post the more people have to look at. Duh. But so far this month I’ve had 102 views in only 4 days. Doing a little math and assuming the same rate of views per day puts my monthly views on track to reach around 800. This is still 200 short but would be a record month in terms of views at least. I’m still debating if I want to keep this streak going — I really think I’ll burn out — but the idea of going for the major goal of having 1,000 monthly views is tempting.

The New Year Sucks Part Two: The Nostalgia of New Beginnings

Back when I was younger (and stupider) I always found myself sitting around on December 31st with either a piece of paper or a Google doc writing and reminiscing on how the year went and reflecting on all of the shit that had happened. This would inevitably run into dreaming about The New Year and wondering what the next 365 days would bring. I have suspicion that many — if not most — of us do this and while I never really told anyone about this habit or asked others if they do it, I’m sure I’m not alone.

On a very superficial level many people like to party and celebrate the new year, which as you can probably tell from my first post I think is stupid because it’s so arbitrary. I’d be all up for having a celebration at the solstices or equinoxes (like dancing around a campfire on the first day of spring or some shit) but outside of pagans, witches, and astronomers (maybe?) no one actually does this. If anything the news just blurts out something like “It’s the first day of summer, and the weather is nice!” while maybe mentioning that it’s the longest day of the year. Ya know, by the way. But The New Year is a big circle jerk of partying, drinking, kissing, and watching some fucking ball in New York “fall”. This is if you have an “ideal” life; if you’re single, miserable, and/or depressed the holidays in general just make you want to kill yourself or hide in a closet for a month. After any intense year-end partying I just can’t help but ask myself “Okay. So…now what?” The whole thing feels pointless and hollow. Like at the end of the day you wake up in The New Year: Day One with the worst hangover you’ve ever had and smelling like expired pizza and sweat. Happy New Year!

Failed Goals

People also like to use The New Year as a start for various goals and self-improvement plans they set for themselves. These are usually referred to as “New Year’s Resolutions” and have a horrible failure rate. At the very least this should prevent people from starting any goals on New Year’s Day; why start a goal if it will have a 55% chance of success after only a month! Like if you set two resolutions for yourself, only one will succeed on average; if you start a diet and stop drinking for New Years you’ll either be eating a doughnut or drinking a six-pack on February 1st. Maybe even both. The rate of success also becomes worse with time. After two years only 19% still followed their resolutions — higher than I would’ve guessed — but still dismal. If you started a diet you most likely would’ve fucked up between a month and two years. It was a good run but in the end you still failed at your goal.

I attribute these failure to various things, but the most obvious reason I can think of is that New Year’s Day is a terrible time to try the typical shit people like to set for their resolutions. Think dieting, losing weight, exercising, starting (and maintaining) a hobby, being a “better person,” and whatever else. This is mostly because New Years occurs near the start/middle of winter and immediately after the holidays. How is this not setting up for instant failure?

Let’s say you want to exercise like maybe run a marathon or something by summer. Well, January 1st is likely cold and shitty so why would you want to force yourself outside to run when it won’t get warmer for another two months? You might be able to get out and run a mile or so, but this isn’t the situation that actually favors sticking with it. Even if you keep with the goal of training for a marathon, running a few miles every few days isn’t going to help much in the long run. It makes more sense to wait until the season improves a bit and then hitting running in a hard but sustainable way.

What about dieting? You just came from stuffing your fat face all holiday season and a week later you’re all of a sudden going to eat vegetables and fruit? Cut your calories in half in a day? It could work but it seems like the worst time ever to start an actual diet that you can stick with.

What about not drinking? The holiday season has probably been so stressful that you’ve been hang onto reality bottle by bottle but then have to cut the cord right immediately after? Good luck…especially when your first day sober is you waking up after a YOLO-final-New Year-drinking-party with a terrible hangover and craving another shot of vodka just to make the headaches, spinning, and the shaking stop for awhile.

Any sort of these motivational, self-improvement goals also have one primary thing in common: motivation. You can’t just do your goal: it takes drive, dedication, hard work, and persistence. Once again, the cold darkness that is early January isn’t conductive for any of this especially in regards to some goal you set for yourself in a make-or-break attempt to make progress. You’re putting it all on the line with a hard start date at a time where your motivation is likely total shit and waning. Pile on multiple goals and you’re left grasping for any sort of willpower you can find. And January isn’t helping any of it.

Then again maybe all of this is just a problem for me.

The Nostalgia of it All

In the end, all of this hating on the practical downsides to resolutions are nothing with the whole naive “starting over” aspect of it all. Remember when I was talking about my little journal entries on December 31st? And how every year I’d reflect on things and while I wouldn’t set hard resolutions I would try to pick a direction for the year: how to improve on things, what large ideas and goals to keep in mind, what sort of person I should be, so-on-and-so-forth, etc. It always seems so nostalgic to sit and write and dream about a whole new 365 days where you can start over and I still find myself wanting to do such a thing.

The truth is I recently went back and read some of these entries and they’re cringeworthy at best and depressing at worst. Any sort of lofty goal I’ve had like “helping the family achieve their goals,” “investing more in ETFs,” “do something with my life,” or “day-trade cryptocurrencies” have fallen totally flat on their fucking faces in the course of just a few months. Is this my fault or the fault of the entire idea of “starting over?” I don’t know, although it could be both.

Everything seems so clear from the year-ending perspective. You can see how the year has been, what your mistakes were, and what you could’ve changed. You realize how you didn’t spend the summer outdoors enough, or you didn’t garden as much as you wanted, or whatever and you regret it. But this is all in hindsight and in the actual moment you “screwed up” you never had that hindsight perspective and clarity. When you could’ve been outside gardening or biking you decided instead to sit inside and play video games, but that was your reality and you made the best choice you could at the time. It’s only by looking back you’ve seen how you “screwed up.”

Looking forward also offers this messed up vision, but this time it’s based on vague hopes for the year. While hindsight is 20/20 the future is always rosy, dream-like, and successful. Even if you fucked up in 2018, 2019 will surely be different because, well, it’s in the future and you can construct as rosy of a picture of your year as you want. Even if you end up filing for bankruptcy or losing a loved one in 2019, you don’t know this on January 1st so obviously 2019 will be a landmark year of happiness and success for you. In short, no one realizes how much of a challenge the next 365 days will be and we always imagine the best possible outcome.

Hency my newfound hatred for looking backwards/forwards during the New Year. When you look back you seen how much a struggle it has been and see all your mistakes in perfect hindsight clarity. When you look forward you see a clean slate that will probably end up as much as a struggle as the last year where you make the same stupid hindsight-obvious mistakes that you always end up making. When I’d read my past entries regarding The New Year, I always see this nostalgic vision I put forward into the past and the hope I put into the future; it never seems to arrive. Each New Year is just as bittersweet as the last — if not more — because it’s the same shit all over as it’s always been. Determination, hope, mistakes, reflection, regret. Then determination, hope, mistakes, reflecti……….

The New Year Fucking Sucks.