Monthly Archives: January 2016

Get Psych’d for New Years Resolutions

NewYearsResolutionsWe see New Year’s Resolutions in your future. Or maybe you’ve already made your list, which means you’ve probably already given up. By now, you’ve most likely disposed of any evidence said list ever existed. Shredded, burned and buried it. The list is dead to you. The “new you” that you dreamed of becoming this new year is fated to remain imprisoned somewhere in the back of your mind, reminding you how much you suck until next New Year, which will bring you new hope, which will be shattered just the same. A vicious cycle.

The New Year always brings with it a vision of a perfect version of the flawed and fucked up person that we really are. The desirable, successful, happy version. The person that we want to be, but aren’t. And when we wake up New Year’s morning and we’re not Jennifer Lawrence (for instance), we’re disappointed. January 1st always finds us at our worst, wasted, hungover, a far cry from the person we aspire to become in the new year. So we abandon all the hope we had, the resolutions we composed, because they seem impossible.

They probably seem impossible because they are. As surely as you are to write your resolutions, you’re just as sure to write them wrong. Most resolutions are unrealistic. The problem isn’t you, it’s your list. Your resolutions are too vague, or too far out of reach. Your expectations are too high. It’s constructive to set goals, unless your goals just set you up to fail. Try something new this year. Set yourself up to succeed. Be smart about your new year’s resolutions. How, you ask? Good question. Frankly, I’m as clueless as you are, so I consulted my psychic / the Missus / Wagz Kahlifa. This feature is a collaboration between the wife and I.

Get Psych’d Smart

The New Year is here, which means it’s time for you to diet, exercise, undergo a personality transplant, and ultimately hate yourself. The customary yearly ritual of New Year’s Resolutions confronts you with an overwhelming list of everything wrong with you and your life that needs fixing, and you expect yourself to actually fix it, somehow, presumably by magic.

Self-improvement can be healthy, but it can also be discouraging when change doesn’t come easily. And when has change ever come easily to anyone? There’s a reason why people don’t exercise or eat their vegetables—those things take commitment, energy and time, and Netflix and Taco Bell are easier. But New Years lets us romanticize a better future where we’re thinner, nicer and more successful. Yet, we lack the structure, necessary steps and motivation to actually follow through.

So as your psychic, I’m prescribing you a different strategy. Take once annually, or as needed. HR at MIT recommends SMART Goals, and we’ve taken creative liberties composing these examples, as they may pertain to your new years resolutions.

S

SPECIFIC

Really narrow down what you want to achieve. (Use the who, what where.)

Bad example: Be thin

This example sucks because what the fuck does being thin even mean? You won’t know at what point you’ve reached your goal because you could always be thinner. ‘Thin’ is relative.

Good example: Lose 5 pounds by cutting soda out of my diet and substituting it with coffee or water instead.

This example provides you with a concrete number of pounds to lose, and a concrete step you plan to take to reach your goal—eliminating soda from your diet. It also goes so far as to offer some alternatives to soda, so you know what to do when you want a fix. Replace it with a cup of coffee to caffeinate and energize you, or water to refresh and hydrate you, instead of soda. You’ve constructed a clear set of instructions that accounts for inevitable setbacks, like craving soda, a substance you knowingly abuse. And you’ll know for sure when you’ve achieved the goal, so there’s an end in sight.

 

M

MEASURABLE

You want to be able to measure the goal so that you can easily track your progress.

Bad example: Get fit

Vague, not instructive. How are you supposed to know you’re making progress towards your goal?

Good example: Exercise for half an hour at a time, four times a week

Now you know exactly how many times you need to exercise, and for how long, in order to achieve you goal. Also, if you fall shy of four, at least you know you’ve made some progress towards your goal, and how much.

 

A

ATTAINABLE

Goal setting means finding a balance between a goal that is challenging yet attainable.

Bad example: Write the next national best-seller in one month

Who are you kidding? Do people even still read books? And if they do, writing a novel is hard enough, but a best-seller? You don’t control how your creations are received. You only control what you create. Don’t leave your goal up to forces out of your control, like how well your book will sell. And when the end of the month inevitably finds you without a finished, best-selling novel, you will have failed your goal.

Good example: Write for half an hour, four times a week.

This goal seems attainable, depending on the person’s schedule. It will be challenging to set aside the time, but not impossible. The key is to NOT to burden yourself with impossible goals.

 

R

REALISTIC

Be real. There are some things we can’t change about ourselves. It’s harmful to focus on changing the unchangeable. Instead, it’s healthier to accept the parts of ourselves we can’t change and learn to work with them.

Bad example: Be nice

Not only is this vague and unmeasured, it’s also unrealistic. You can’t just suddenly decide to change core personality traits overnight. Oftentimes, the hardest goals to meet are ones related to our personality because they’re so deeply ingrained in our brains. There’s a reason you’re not nice, and this goal doesn’t account for that. This goal has the hidden expectation that you’ll just wake up one day and start acting in a completely different way. Good luck with that.

Good example: Be more polite to my co-workers by greeting them and saying please and thank you.

This goal is the realistic version of “be nice.” This goal identifies a specific setting in which you want to be more pleasant company. Greeting people, and saying “please” and “thank you” are things nice people do. This goal is attainable, and it’s a step towards the broader goal of  “being nice,” while allowing you room to be yourself.

 

T

TIME-BOUND

Determine a time frame for your goal. Due dates, as dreaded and stressful as they are, offer us the necessary drive we need to see our resolutions through. If we complete our goal by the deadline, we’ve succeeded. If we haven’t, we’ve failed. In the difference of one day. It turns out arbitrary shit like this is the only reason we do anything. So set a deadline.

Bad example: I want to run a marathon in one month, and I’m a couch potato.

This is a bad example because, the time frame is not realistic. If you’re a couch potato now, realistically, you might be jogging a few blocks in a month, not running marathons. Or you’ll run a marathon before you’re ready, and die in the process. Pick a time-frame that is reasonable, but also pressures you to get to business.

Good example: I want to run a marathon in five months.

This is a better example because, according to Google, this is the average length of time it takes for beginners to train for a marathon. So it’s actually scientifically proven to be possible to meet this goal within this time-frame.

 

Your turn. Love, D$ & $WAGZ

Open Letter to Drunk Boys at Parties

Dear Drunk Boy Lying Next to Me on Couch,

I drank too much tonight. You did too. This is a party. That’s what we were supposed to do. You tried to kiss me after my last shot, but I said no. I told you it was wrong to come onto me just because I’m fucked up. I’ve been sober with you dozens of times, and you’ve never made a move. So why tonight?

Is it because I needed to lay down? Is lying down a universal cue for any man to lay with me? Did you interpret my intoxicated state as an open invitation? It isn’t. You assumed, and you were wrong. And when I told you no, you didn’t stop. And I lay here, pretending to be sleeping, just to see how far you’ll go with a girl that you believe to be unconscious. I guess I should count myself “lucky” I’m lucid enough to stop you, if I need to.

But “luckily” for me, you don’t go that far. You keep your dick in your pants. But your hands… You hold me like I’m yours to hold. You pet me, like an animal. Except, unlike an animal, my coat isn’t attached. You take it off. You feel me up. You touch my skin against my will. Without consent. Without permission. And unlike all the women who are too drunk to say no, I said no, and you still did.

So why am I surprised? Maybe I’m surprised because you seem like a nice boy. Because you seem respectful when you’re sober. Because you don’t act sexist. Because you don’t act like a player. Because on the spectrum of men, you seem better-than-average. A gentleman, even. So to think that you, a respectful, better-than-average boy, who I thought I could trust, still feels entitled to touch me against my will, unsettles me.

It scares me.

But that isn’t what surprises me the most. You touching me without consent — to be expected. You, a man, taking advantage of a woman at a party when she’s drunk — standard procedure. Keeping your hands off my body is my responsibility, not yours. I guess I should thank you for reminding me. I guess this is what I get for being female. Why should your persistence come as a surprise? Who am I to deny you permission?

So that isn’t what surprises me the most. You holding me, caressing me and petting me, kissing my neck. You, the nice boy, violating me. What surprised me most was when you held my hand. Because it was so sweet. Because it was so innocent. Because it didn’t seem malicious. Because it seemed less like aggression or possession and more like loneliness. It confused me because, for a second, it felt like you were just as vulnerable as me.

Maybe you’re not a monster. Maybe you just want somebody to be close with. Maybe you don’t know how else to be close with me. Maybe you are a nice boy, after all, just lonely. If you are, the physical closeness you’re forcing isn’t what you’re looking for, and forcing it won’t help you find it. You want somebody who wants you too.

Maybe you’re scared to ask permission because you’re scared that I’ll say no. Scared I don’t want you. Scared that I’ll deny you. But I can say no either way, and you not asking me won’t stop me, just like me saying no didn’t stop you. And even if I didn’t say it, the absence of a no is not a yes. The yes is not implied. Implied consent does not exist. Sleeping is not implied consent. Being single is not implied consent. Being available is not implied consent. Me being drunk is not implied consent. Me looking nice tonight is not implied consent. Me being female is not implied consent. You being drunk is no excuse.

Just because you want it doesn’t mean it’s yours to take. Maybe your chances would be better if you asked.

Sincerely Not-Yours,

Drunk Chick

PS. Joke’s on you. I’m covered in scabies.