We all tell ourselves that in the new year we will get better. We will become thinner, healthier, wealthier, and more successful. We’ll drop our bad habits and achieve a greater self.

That lasts for a couple of weeks, a month max. Then most of us are back to square one. Thus it makes sense to me to skip the middle phase between commitment and sloth and just go directly to status quo lethargy. So here are things I should do in the new year but won’t.

1) Be nicer to people- I’ve tried. I really have. And I think my family, pals, and main squeeze think I’m okay. But true, some professional contacts and casual business acquaintances think I’m a jerk and justifiably so. It’s just that I don’t suffer fools or extremists well at all. So when faced with either I tend to go into sarcastic killer robot mode, especially if I can make my pals laugh in the process. Bad me.

2) Lose weight- A perennial for a lot of people, I know I’m not going to look like I did when I was 22, even 32, anytime soon. But a combination of bachelor living, boredom eating, and covid isolation put pounds on my frame that would qualify me for a starring role at SeaWorld. So I’m trying one of those send you food in the mail diet systems a friend recommended. He had great success with it. I’ll do it off and on until the motivation wears off and then just buy the next size up in Dockers trousers.

3) Be more tolerant of the young- I’m a parent of 6, 3 boys and 3 girls aged from 35 to 18. Watching them turn into great adults has been excellent. However, listening to some of the drivel that they speak, as does their generation, has been excruciating. As I did at their age, they think precocious snark substitutes for wisdom and they even get the snark wrong. It is the curse of every generation to be at their dumbest just when they are making the decisions that will set their lives in motion for decades. At any rate, I will try to cut my kids a break. However, I will disdain contact with most under 40, as they are generally gormless and devoid of real world experience.

4) Read more, less social media- I read a lot already, about a book every two weeks. But my job keeps me glued to social media. The problem is that even after work I’m still browsing YouTube or Facebook or Fox News or The Economist or The Spectator of London. There are more, but those are my worst vices. If I gave them up outside of work I’d get way better sleep and would be better edified. Okay, so I’ll move my phone away from my bedside table and to the dresser when I go to bed. I’ll do that for less than a week. Then, I’ll be lying in bed and will feel the need at 2am to watch a 37 minute documentary on the fall of the Ottoman Empire. And so it goes…