“‘He means well’ is useless unless he does well.” – Plautus
It’s that special week of the year again. The few days after Santa gave our kids way more stuff than they needed, and the few days before we will once again realize how old we have become as we struggle to stay awake long enough to ring in the New Year like we used to in our younger days.
It’s during this most hopeful week of the year that we look back and try to remember what we resolved ourselves to do twelve months ago, and then figure out what we could do better in the next twelve.For most of us family men, let’s be honest, we’re already doing pretty damn well. Roof over our heads? Check. A spouse that has agreed to endure, not only our company, but also our morning breath until the end of time? Check. Ungrateful little snot-nosed brats that will someday turn into upstanding citizens even though they are currently whining about “needing” something they didn’t get for Christmas? Check. A whole bunch of football and couch time in our immediate future? Double check.
Right now we’re ahead of the game. For us, resolutions for the upcoming year are mainly about extending our happiness lead over all the poor single schmucks who have yet to discover the unending gratification that comes from the family life.
I have no idea what you might want to improve upon in the upcoming year, but what I do know is how you can help yourself actually follow through with it this time. It all comes down to five simple steps:
Step 1: Figure out what you want to do
Let’s say for example that all the hair on your head fell out when you turned thirty and you want it back. Vanity coupled with insecurity. Yeah, this is a great example.
Step 2: Write it down
Not type it down. Go find a piece of paper and a big black Sharpie and write down what you want to do in a coherent sentence consisting of as few words as possible. Make it simple, and then post it somewhere that you’ll see it every day. Like by the bathroom mirror. Or next to the television. Or by the beer in the fridge.
Maybe you’re accepting the hair club for men challenge (and as a side note, god I hope you are because this world is always in need of guys that are secure enough in themselves to have their pubic hairs moved to the top of their heads for the rest of us to laugh at…thank you for your service). If this is you, your sentence might look something like, “Move the pubes north,” or, “Short and curlies on top,” or, “Broadcast vanity on my scalp.” However you phrase it, just make sure it’s short, simple and clear.
Step 3: Figure out how the hell you’re going to get it done
Now that you know where you want to go, you’ve got to look at the map and figure out how to get there. Most likely, there’s more than one way to do it. Pick any city in America and there’s a whole bunch of different roads you could take to get there. Some are faster than others. Some are safer than others. But no matter what, if you pick one and stick with it, you’ll eventually get there. Just pick one.
Step 4: Set benchmarks
This means specific time frames for achieving certain aspects of your journey. For the future curly tops out there, try saying something like, “By January 15th I’m going to have called around and found out how much this will cost me,” and then, “By January 30th I’m going to have decided which provider I will use (the infomercial doctor, the doctor from the classified section in Playboy, etc.),” and then, “By February 15th I’m going to have scheduled my consultation,” and so on and so forth.
You want these benchmarks to cover every major point in your journey from start to finish. And you want to write these down in a place that you can go back and easily reference during your journey.
Step 5: Get off your ass and make it happen
Now that you’ve got a nice detailed plan about how you’re going to drive your wife wild again with your thick, permy-looking new locks, it’s time to get to work. Achieve your first benchmark, then your second, then your third, all the way until the top of your scalp is sufficiently hidden underneath your former ball-warmers.
And please, by all means, when you’re done send us a picture.
Good luck and Happy New Year to all!