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When That New Year’s Resolution Becomes Toast

Lenore Skenazy.

lenore skenazyBY LENORE SKENAZY | Readers: Right about now, you may be feeling bad about the resolutions you’ve already broken, crushed into a million pieces and washed down with a pint of Banana Chocolate Swirl Talenti.

But there’s no need to hate your ice-cream-addicted, never-get-ahead, willpower-of-a-gnat (who doesn’t exercise) self. No indeed!

A year-long resolution is simply too hard! The trick is to clear your mind and resolve to spend just two hours as the new you. All you need is a new “Post-New Year’s, Two-Hours-Only Resolution.”

It’s easy! Here’s how I did it. As of Jan. 4, 9:30 am, I re-resolved that:

  •  I will not eat a second breakfast, right down to the extra buttery toast, with the excuse that, “I get my best work done right after a satisfying breakfast!”
  •  But…buttery toast. Mmm…
  •  No, no, no! They say that after you do something for 30 days, it becomes a habit. So if I can just spend the next two hours being good, that’s like 30 days on Mercury, right?
  •  And then I’ll be trim and healthy and positive!
  •  Positive I need more butter-slathered toast.
  •  No! Positive about life! And health! And exercise! Like, I am positively glad I just joined the gym for a full year starting, um, let me check … Saturday?! I’ve already wasted almost a week of this ridiculous, overpriced gym filled with torture equipment and people who look like they should be doing Dasani ads?
  •  When all there really was, was me — walking around the exercise room right before New Years, checking it out, imagining me so buff I’m no longer about to pass out on 63rd St., when the escalator isn’t working up from the F train (ahem, MTA). And then I decided, “Yes! I’ll join for the free January and then be stuck paying through the nose for the next 11 months.”
  •  Okay. Reset. The joyous exercisers are not “them.” They are me. I will become one of them. Hello, yoga for beginners!
  •  Although, are there actually any yoga beginners left, besides me? I remember trying yoga once so long ago, it was before some cynical yogi came up with the idea of yoga mats — something you have to buy to do something that about a billion people do every day who live on lentils. Do you suppose they scrimp and save so that one glorious day, God willing, forget about replacing the dead goat, they can buy a yoga mat?
  •  Or yoga pants?
  •  Can you believe that stupid gym? Filled with sweaty hypocrites who can’t stop gulping water, wearing pants that cost more than a micro-loan that could give the children fresh goat milk every day and lift the entire family out of poverty? No way am I going there! For exercise, I’ll just start getting off the subway one stop earlier.
  •  A stop with a working escalator.
  •  I will also quit reading my e-mails when I should be — wow, this prince in Nigeria needs help securing his insurance windfall! — concentrating.
  •  What’s more, I will spend at least part of my day at my desk standing, since sitting is the new smoking.
  •  Or maybe I just won’t start smoking. Or even vape. Because vaping is the new smoking, too, except no one can agree if it’s going to kill you or just make someone want to kill you because you’re such a poser.
  •  Question: How hip is it to smell like a grape Tootsie Pop?
  •  Resolve: I will not keep drifting off topic! I will concentrate on eating better, exercising more, and focusing on my toast.
  •  Work, I mean! Focusing on my work! I will also read more books, call my relatives, write thank you notes and — OMG! Notes!
  •  I will mail out my holiday cards!
  •  Ok, yes, yes, I will also write them first. Jeez. And put them in envelopes. What am I, Superman? I suppose you think I should find a bunch of stamps, too? Which would mean digging through the stationery drawer, which no one has successfully dug through since stamps came in a roll and you had to lick them. They had prices on them, too. Speaking of which, how many 37-cent stamps does it take to mail a holiday card around mid-January?
  •  Presidents Day is a holiday too, you know. I’ll just say, “Happy Presidents Day” on them. It’s my personal toast to our presidents.
  • TOAST!!!

Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker who authored the book, and founded the blog, Free-Range Kids (freerangekids.com).

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