NYE resolutions don’t work so try this instead

This article first appeared in the Herald Sun

NYE resolutions are a stellar idea, in theory. The problem is, meaningful change is among the most difficult feats any human can perform, harder than merging onto the Monash between 4pm and 6pm, and remaining comfortable in leather pants if it’s over 30 degrees.

Every NYE I hear countless resolutions and make plenty myself, and the amount kept by all of us is still zero. Perhaps we’re all weak-willed losers, but I think it’s the tradition itself that’s weak. The date changes by a single digit, and we all expect to be bestowed with magical powers of dedication forever, when all it really does is grant abilities to stay up late, drink too much, and make poor decisions, and only for a few hours.

For 2018, I want to increase my wealth and health, but there’s no way I’m leaving it to untamable and uncontrollable urges such as my own dedication and willpower. Around the world and for centuries, other cultures have known of the innate failings of all humans, so have developed many surefire traditions that depend on far greater sources of power, such as luck, symbols, and superstition.

If you do attend a NYE party or otherwise get arrested, instead of being labelled a lunatic, pervert, or weirdo, you can also use these practices as an excuse and claim you were simply being traditional. It won’t work, but it may confuse everyone for long enough that you can escape.

The Danish save all their chipped and unwanted china, then smash it on a person’s doorway as a sign of friendship. Key words here are ‘unwanted’ and ‘friend’. Please don’t use this as an excuse to smash up the kitchen of someone you don’t like. Unless you want it to be.

If you do make it to a NYE party, and you don’t care what people think of you or if you end up in prison, further traditional ideas for causing a ruckus include throwing buckets of water at people like they do in Thailand, fist fighting as they do in a certain Peruvian village, or throwing old furniture out the window as happens in South Africa.

The strangest tradition occurs in Romania and Belgium, where some believe whispering to cows is good luck, but all my friends know this is silly because cows are terrible at keeping secrets, which is why we tell all our secrets to fish.

Spain has my favorite NYE tradition though. If you shove twelve grapes in your mouth at midnight, that apparently grants good luck for the year, and should be easy since twelve grapes is exactly one large glass of wine.

This article first appeared in the Herald Sun

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.

His second comedy memoir ‘Going Out of My Mined’ is available now.

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