One really does have to be smart when it comes to those pesky New Year’s resolutions. They need be attainable! Possible! Reasonable! Don’t go reaching too far for the stars, boys, or you’ll be doling out the excuses by the third week of January in many cases. So before you draw any up, beware the worst resolutions you can make…

1. Lay Off the Booze
Unless you turned the corner in the past year and hit blackout territory, why set yourself up for failure? If there’s a real problem, it’ll take more than a resolution to stop. If it’s just because your last coupla hangovers were whoppers, change up what you drink and take the aspirin before you go to bed, as opposed to first thing the next morning.

2. Stop Being Stressed
Did I mention the words possible and reasonable yet? Unless there’s some Valium or Xanax in your future, stress is king, baby. Inevitable. What you can do, however, is identify some key stresses and if they’re things you can cut out, then go right ahead and do it. If that’s not an option you just might find yourself, well, stressed. It’s a part of life, man. Manage it.

3. Get a New Job
This isn’t exactly the resolution you can share at the office holiday party, or on social media, or say to anyone outside your immediate circle, now, is it? The only upside to referring to this as a resolution and not a goal is that once the word gets out you’ll be fired and that much closer to a new job anyway.

4. Be Single Again
Plotting out when to dump someone is indicative of a truly calculating personality, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except when it comes to matters of the heart. When it’s over, it’s over. Sure, you can wait until after her father’s funeral or for her to get out of the ER, but to “plan to be on the prowl” come the new year is stupid in all sorts of ways. For starters, you’ll have just given her a bunch of gifts and spend New Year’s Eve with her, and she might have just given you some real good stuff, which only makes dumping her that much harder.

5. Get Rid of the Gut
So, hitting the gym is obviously the #1 resolution, like, of all time. And no one is saying not to make getting in better shape a resolution. But, statistically speaking, taking off weight is one thing and building muscle mass another, with both being achievable. Targeting your beer belly and angling for abs by spring has been shown to lead to frustration and even depression. Lose the weight first. The abs’ll come later.

6. Reconnect With Old Friends
You fell off for a reason. To “resolve” to recapture that old bond reeks of grappling with your mortality, waxing nostalgic, and also suggests you’ve become one friendless, lonely SOB. In this social media day and age anyone you are truly meant to still be corresponding with you no doubt already are.

7. Give Back
Ah, how magnanimous we are come the holidays. Stuffing ten dollar bills in nieces’ and nephews’ cards and a fiver into the Salvation Army bucket. Chances are strong that once gloomy January rolls around (dependent upon where you live), the last thing you’re going to want to do is leave the house for anything other than work. By all means, volunteer; just pick the right time of year.

8. Find Your Soulmate
This particular resolution is the equivalent of setting out to hit the lottery. You can sure as hell go after it, and try with all your might, and put all the positive energy you can muster out into the universe. Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, though. Then again, the finding of a “soulmate is something you can convince yourself has happened. But believe me, you do not want to do that.

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