The new year marks an arbitrary time to set goals, make changes and pledge to live a life more inspired and envisioned. Whether the changes and goals are major, earth-shifting life alterations, like “start paying child support” and “stop free-basing heroin,” or smaller, slight adjustments such as “read a book” and “be nicer to cats,” the intent is to better oneself, to make 2015 the year you become someone great — or in most of our cases, someone slightly less incompetent and gross. The question is, will you be able to keep your resolutions? Luckily I’ve devised a quiz to help determine that.
1. When facing a life change, whether forced or by your own volition, you react:
a. With steadfastness. The change is necessary, and although it won’t be easy, you’re committed to seeing it through.
b. With unsure footsteps. Change is scary, and your track record would indicate that you’re horrible at it. But screw it, you have to try, right?
c. With extreme distaste. Weeks spent crying in bed, subsiding on nothing but stale Sour Patch Kids and a coffee mug full of Ancient Age bourbon is how you handle most forms of change.
2. What words best describe your substance intake?
a. Moderate, timely, controlled.
b. Average, fun, depends on the party.
c. Lawless, consumptive, Herculean, Churchillian — what have you got?
3. In regards to your reliability, family and friends would describe you as:
a. Solid as a rock.
c. A continual disappearing act. Was once entrusted to pick up 12-year-old nephew from summer camp. Once. Showed up with nephew two weeks later, with both of you wearing “Reno: the Biggest Little City in the World” T-shirts, nephew missing the tip of his index finger.
4. In regards to other issues such as gambling, family and friends would describe you as:
a. A straight arrow. Never been one to take chances with money.
b. Occasionally prone to foolishly squander money, but it’s never been a major issue.
c. Reckless. Prone to mismanage every dime. Would wager his grandmother in a poker game if given the chance. A chance he won’t be given again. Had the local sheriff not intervened those men would’ve taken grandma.
5. You would describe your physical fitness routine as:
a. Intense, disciplined, taut.
b. Sometimes, barely inspiring, I’ve been known to do the elliptical.
c. Fictitious, sedentary, embarrassingly man-boob jiggly.
6. How bad do you want to change?
a. Very badly. I can taste it. I’ve hit a low point and I’m ready to make serious sacrifices to better myself.
b. Somewhat badly. I want to change, it’s just not that easy.
c. Meh. I know I need to change, I mean I have a freakin’ mirror. I was just hoping that change would come about organically, with little to no work on my end. Look, get off my case, Dad. These ongoing issues that have rendered me feeble and without hope, and besides, my life will sort itself out eventually. (Sort of trails off saying something noncommittal about Rome not being built. ...)
7. How would you describe your outlook for the future:
a. Robust, full, bright.
b. Hazy yet hopeful, like the light at the far end of a tunnel.
c. Not great, my man. Bereft of hope and sunshine. A lone man eating a block of cheese on the couch. Hoping some unknown rich uncle leaves money in a will.
If you answered mostly A’s: Change is coming, my friend. A positive outlook and rock-solid habits are good cornerstones with which to begin your new life. 2015 will be a great year as long as you continue on your path.
If you answered mostly B’s: It won’t be easy, but no one ever said it would be. Your confidence isn’t where it needs to be and that will affect you going forward, but there’s hope yet. You can make the changes you need to make by developing better habits. Every morning you should envision what you want your life to be like and then, inch-by-inch, hour-by-hour, slowly move the football down the field toward your goal.
If you answered mostly C’s: Don’t give up. Or do. Just remember, it’s not your fault. It’s society’s fault. Your parents, your friends — they’ve all wronged you. Pass the buck. As far as 2015 goals, start low. Let’s see if you can fit 20 Sour Patch Kids in your mouth. I think you can, in fact, I know you can.
That’s called positive affirmation.
Now go and make 2015 your bitch, or you can let 2015 make you its bitch. Either way, there is no try. Happy new year, Richmond!