Microresolutions 2024

Sometime in the last few weeks, between trying to bring the work year to a close and force myself into the Christmas spirit as Cinderella’s sisters might a glass slipper, I found that I was right on schedule. There were hints, you see. I’d open my notebook only to be greeted with a self-interrogation from the night before.

Will Damien December 2024 (hereafter DD24) be in the same place in 365 days as Damien December 2023 (hereafter DD23)? Will DD24 be OK with that?

DD23 did not know the answer. Assumingly, neither would DD24. But they both found more clues. My notebook – sort of unbeknownst to me, as those who write in notebooks will understand – became strewn with esoteric phrases and sentences. Routine needs a tweak. Hey asshole, dogs sense mood. There’s grass everywhere! It was clear that I needed to address some of these things.

My brain needed a New Year’s Resolution. But what?

Every year I do what I swear I won’t do by making a new year’s resolution. I justify these by pointing out to myself that the resolutions I pick are always an extension of something I already do rather than a complete overhaul or a radical direction shift. And even these sometimes – read, always – flop. I am mostly satisfied with the way I run my life. I work out regularly, I write, I eat my vegetables, I walk, I am rarely nude in public. And the last time I bit a stranger was just ages ago. So, the big pieces of the puzzle are in place.

And as I am careening with ever knobbly knees and back pain towards the age of 50, I have to be self-aware enough to know that undertaking an enormous change in personality is just unlikely. So, when putting some things together for how to approach 2024, I made sure that I avoided useless resolution like ‘live in the present moment’ or ‘smile at strangers’ or ‘try to see things from others’ perspectives’, mostly because these resolutions make me want to vomit. Yes, vomit while reminiscing about a time in the past when I wasn’t vomiting, on a stranger who is unlikely to consider a smile from me as anything less than the finishing touches of a sociopath. No, I needed real acts of forward movement and development. Things that will have immediate results, rather than things which promise change or development over time. Because that’s just stupid. I needed a microresolution.

A microresolution by definition (created seconds ago in my kitchen) is a very small resolution. This is in large part due to its prefix, which does the same when affixed to -penis, thus making us very sad and -aggression, thus making us very confused. A microresolution therefore is meant to be a thing that can be done in one go and whose successful completion in itself will provide me with the instant gratification most of us only get from stating a resolution. Not the delayed gratification we rarely attain. It is a perfect thing. Here is my list.

  1. Floss tomorrow.
  2. Watch Citizen Kane all the way through without saying ‘I don’t fucking get it’ more than six eight times.
  3. Watch an entire episode of a 22-minute show without looking at my phone once.
  4. Find a better lightbulb for my living room lamp (the light is too white now, it’s like hanging out in a dental office).
  5. Buy stamps.
  6. Buy a better bedspread on June 1st.  
  7. Read a Wikipedia page all the way through without jumping to another Wiki link.
  8. Spend one day speaking in quotes from Brooklyn 99’s Captain Holt. (RIP AB ☹ #BINGPOT4ever!)
  9. In July, ask someone if they like mushrooms and not berate them when they say ‘yes’.  
  10. Buy floss.   
  11. The next two times someone speaks highly of soccer, I will not talk at length about how boring soccer is and make fun of them for liking a sport in which nothing happens and in which the players are all complaining toddlers. After those two times, all bets are off. Soccer sucks.  
  12. Three times this year I will get on a bus without saying ‘God, I hate the fucking bus’.
  13. Six times this year I will not say ‘man I need to lose weight’ when putting on pants.
  14. Three times this year I will not say ‘man, I need to lose weight’ after eating an entire pizza on my own in a metro station.
  15. On September 24th, I will floss.  

There you have it. My list of microresolutions for 2024. Hopefully, DD24 will report a series of grand and glorious successes with his dental health, bedding, and his abilities to not be an overt asshole to someone’s face. Who knows, maybe DD25 will even be able to withhold his opinions on soccer three times. But I wouldn’t bank on it.

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