Recipe for Resolutions

A lot of people think New Year’s resolutions are for losers. “Hey,” they think, “Why do I need a new year to make a change in my life? I don’t even know what month it is, anyway. I love frozen yogurt any time of year. Should I call it ‘fro-yo’ or ‘frogurt’? Both names are great! I’m so lonely!”

Well, I have good news for those people: You should call it “fro-yo”.

Also, New Year’s is a good time to reevaluate your life because it is a time. It’s completely arbitrary, and that’s what makes it work. All the best, most effective stuff is arbitrary. Take the U.S. Congress… please!

You’re probably thinking, “OK, Conlan. You’ve convinced me that New Year’s resolutions are a good idea. But—I’m embarrassed to admit—I don’t know how to make a New Year’s resolution. Can you help me?”

The answer is no, of course. I don’t even know you. (Or, if I do know you, I probably don’t want to know you. So the answer is not so much “no, I can’t,” but more “no, I won’t.”) But I can help you help yourself. Here is your recipe for success:


  • 1 pencil with eraser (everybody makes mistakes!)
  • 1 spiral notebook, wide-ruled
  • 1 pack of 3×5 notecards, blank (for “resolution-storming”)
  • 1 cupcake (for ritual cupcake sacrifice)
  • 1 roll of duct tape (just in case)
  • 1 garbage bag
  • 1 butcher knife (for chopping)
  • 1 large bottle of bleach (for destroying the evidence)


  1. Spread out all the ingredients on the drafting table in your bunker.
  2. Take off your pants (leave your underwear on). You can resolve better when you are unencumbered.
  3. Assume the “thinking pose”: clasp your hands together, but with your index fingers extended. Touch your fingers to your lips. Alternately, if you have a beard, stroke it gingerly. I said, GINGERLY.
  4. Think. Consider the different areas of your life (work, family, TV, Facebook, and breakdancing) and think about how you suck in each area.
  5. Write down all the ways you suck in your spiral notebook (henceforth known as your Life Inventory Journal).
  6. Think about the ways you can suck less in each area of your life (fitness, bathroom etiquette, shoe size, Chinese finger traps, and healthy eating) and then—here is the tricky part—write down these resolutions on the notecards (one resolution per card, please).
  7. Arrange each solution notecard in a circle on your table.
  8. Place your Life Inventory Journal in the center of the circle, and then place your cupcake on top of your Life Inventory Journal.
  9. Violently smash the cupcake with your hand or hoof.
  10. Chop something with the butcher knife.
  11. Brush everything on the table (notecards, journal, smashed cupcake, broken dreams) into the garbage bag, and set the bag aside.
  12. Pour the entire bottle of bleach all over the table.
  13. Bask in the cleansing destruction.
  14. Put the garbage bag into your escape chute and blast it off into outerspace.
  15. Live your BEST LIFE.

And that’s how I help you help yourself.

Happy New Year, everybody.