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How to write realistic New Year's Resolutions

It's that time again! As one year draws to a close and another one unrolls itself before us like a fresh path into the unknown, full of promise and possibilities, people everywhere begin to lose their ever-loving minds.

It's almost like folks who were relatively rational human beings as recently as the day before Black Friday undergo some sort of lobotomy to their Reasonable Expectation Glands over the holidays.

It starts before Christmas, when we convince ourselves that credit card debt will never manifest itself as an actual, physical credit card bill. Then we trick ourselves into believing that calories from all that shrimp dip will never manifest themselves as actual, physical multiple chins. Finally, we invite Uncle Snake to our celebration, thinking that this time he won't show up already three-fifths of the way through a fifth of Jim Beam, with an actual, physical "lady friend" he met online while he was in prison.

This equates to a solid month during which we do little more than act delusional - which is why, by the time December 31st rolls around, we're fully prepared to fool ourselves into embracing New Year's Resolutions. I'm all for goals, and I'm all for optimism. But I have plenty of other ways to ensure I disappoint myself in the coming year without setting myself up for failure with a long list of promises I know I'll break by roughly mid-afternoon on January 3rd.

That's why I'm going to write more realistic resolutions this year - I'll still improve myself, my health, and my life in general, but (hopefully) without the ego-crushing defeat brought on by my all-too-quickly deteriorating motivation and will power. And I can show you how to do it, too!

So who's with me?!?

How to write realistic New Year's Resolutions by Robyn Welling @RobynHTV

1. lose weight
C'mon, we all say we're going to do this, and heaping piles of kudos to those of you who do it! But my old-lady metabolism conspires against me, plus I'm too exhausted from carrying extra tubs of shrimp dip everywhere I go to be expected to exercise. So, instead of losing weight, I resolve to renew my dedication to last year's weight loss goals, such as they were - or, better yet, I'll scale back my expectations even more. I'll just resolve to eat fewer cookies. Fewer cookies than whom? Exactly. Anybody - as long as they eat more cookies than I do.

2. quit smoking
This one's my favorite, because I already did it three years ago with the help of a hospital stay during which they wouldn't let me smoke (what a bunch of jerks) but they did give me a morphine drip, which really took the edge off my nicotine withdrawal (as far as I remember). So... DONE!

Adding resolutions that you've already completed is, by far, the fastest way to cross everything off your list and get back into the slovenly habits you had way back in November. A few other things I plan to tackle this year:
  • go through puberty
  • get a perm 
  • forget to remove toenail polish until it finally just wears off on its own
  • learn to write in cursive
See how far ahead I am already?!?

3. reduce debt
The nice thing about this one is that, in order to succeed, all you have to do is eliminate a ton of the other stuff you might have otherwise added to your New Year's Resolution list. Travel more? Improve your education? Eat only healthy, organic food? Forget about it! Just make sure to remove anything that remotely involves fun or personal growth (read: costs money), and you're already well on your way to savings!

4. manage stress
Stress can be damaging to your health in about six zillion ways and leads to nasty side effects like hives and chronic complaining, so the sooner you can get it under control, the better. But just saying you're going to "manage stress" is too vague, and sets you up for inevitable disappointment when you find yourself unable to quantify whether or not you're actually making any progress.

The lesson here is to be specific with your goals. Don't just say you're going to manage stress - say you're going to chant a relaxing mantra multiple times throughout the day, or you're going to do stretching exercises whenever you start to feel tense, or you're going to practice deep, heavy breathing. Any of these techniques will freak other people out and make them want to avoid you, which works out because being around other people was probably what was stressing you out to begin with.

I hope this helps you usher in a satisfying and successful New Year, friends. I know I feel like a better person already! If you need me, I'll just be over here in the corner, breathing heavily and eating fewer cookies than somebody else.

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


  1. I think I once pledged to eat healthy in the New Year - but that was only because my tummy hurt from the excessive amount of Christmas goodies shoved in my yap.

  2. I resolve to get through all 3 Seasons of Downton Abbey before Season 4 starts. Since Pringles were on sale for a $1 and I got lots of coffee for Christmas, I am fairly confident I can accomplish this. Plus, Season 4 actually premieres on the 5th -- so that leaves the whole rest of the month to just chill! some more.

  3. Me too - it seems unfair that avoiding fatty, sugary foods is only easy when you're still full from your last helping of fatty, sugary foods.

  4. Inspiring. Really.

  5. Lofty goals, but attainable with the right amount of preparation/Pringles. I'm on my way over!

  6. I just attained my 2014 exercise goal, with the ab workout I got laughing at this. Perm. Puberty. Priceless.

  7. Susan Bristow-McleanDecember 30, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    I love adding resolutions that you've already completed! Genius!

  8. Thanks! I'd say laughter is the best exercise, but I'm pretty sure it's the ONLY exercise. Happy new year, my friend!

  9. I like skipping steps, and skipping the steps where I have to *do* stuff is my favorite!

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