You don’t have to tell me that New Years resolutions are tough.

It seems like the perfect time for a change of pace to turn an otherwise flawed existence around, and after a handful of apple martinis, you might be surprised at some of the really good alterations one can come up with for a new life in a new year, but unfortunately once the hangover from those drinks wears off and you’ve finally managed to finish picking all of the confetti out of the carpet, the actual follow-through for said resolutions can be a whole ‘nother beast…

Which in judging by our current position on my brand-new 2007 wall calendar featuring none other than America’s favorite dysfunctional family, The Simpsons, it probably goes without saying that at least for a good majority of you, your resolutioning has just about come to a crushing halt. I mean, even if right out of the gate you took the extra step and made your first resolution Try Really Hard to Keep My Other Resolutions, chances are you’d still be crying for help a few weeks into January … but never fear, for when life proves once again that you’re an utter failure, that’s when I’m here to step in as your local resident humor columnist to help you through these toughest of times with my superior wit and inferior wisdom!

The way I see it, while your own personal failure is truly an embarrassment to the human race, by the same token if I don’t step in to try and help you back on your feet, I’m not much better to our greater cause. Now mind you, compared to you I’m still better – I mean, you’re the one who wasn’t able to keep your resolutions, not me – but all in the same, eventually after the gloating and showboating tapers off I do feel a bit of an obligation to come forth and do what I can to keep my fellow man chugging along towards goals of being more attractive by losing weight, being more attractive by not being in debt to every creditor on the planet, and even being more attractive simply for the sake of being more attractive! Hey, it’s the least that a non-failure like me can do…

So what I’ve done here is spelled out a few tips, if you will, to address your failures in each of the most prominent of New Years resolutions categories. Some of them are common sense, and no doubt all of them should be pretty easy, but nonetheless if this kind of gentle prodding is what it’s going to take to get you back off the couch and into that gym so you don’t find yourself sitting on the beach in a sweat suit here in a few months, then I’m more than happy to do my part. You can thank me later, when you’re thin and presentable…

Dieting & Weight Loss

  • Despite the talking Pillsbury guy in your dreams, cookie dough is not your friend.Throw away the tube of it that you have stashed in your purse, and for the love of God stop stuffing your face with it while you finish reading this column!
  • Exercise hurts so much because it’s God’s way of punishing you for getting so fat in the first place. Remember, they can only make those angel wings so big in heaven, so suck it up and give me another twenty laps, princess!
  • A general rule to always keep in mind while dieting is that if you find yourself actually enjoying any given food, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
  • When the going gets tough, never underestimate the powers of starvation.

 Debt Reduction

  • Don’t pay for anything that you can get for free. Food, entertainment, sex – all of these things can be had without costing you a dime, as long as you’re willing to lower your standards accordingly. Remember, when you’re up to your neck in debt, you’re in no place to be choosy.
  • Spending your hard-earned money on things might be deemed a waste when trying to pay down your debts, unless said things can be used to blackmail those whom you owe money into reducing or eliminating your debts entirely. In the case of incriminating photos, video, and audio recordings, I think you’ll find that quality can be the most worthwhile investment of all!
  • If all else fails, I’ve heard that there are people who can get you a new identity for a small fee – kind of like a witness protection program for deadbeats, except considerably less legal. Just make sure that the new social security number that they give you is from somebody who did a little better at managing their finances than you did…

Getting More Organized

  • Ask any government employee – the key to being productive is planning, so don’t even think about getting organized until you’ve made at least three comprehensive assessments of your target goals, held numerous planning sessions, and brought in an outside team of highly paid consultants to analyze the most probable road to success. Four months down the road, you’ll be almost on your way to starting to get organized!
  • Instead of letting things pile up on you, deal with them as soon as they’re in front of you. For example, if you know that you have no intention of ever paying those child support payments, don’t pile them on the corner of your desk where you’ll mill over them later. Just toss them in the garbage can and give yourself a pat on the back for taking a step towards getting your life in order!

Social Anxiety

  • Take baby steps by first spending time around lesser creatures before working your way up to larger crowds – start with dogs, then when you’re ready move up to something bigger like cows or horses (a trip to a local farm may be necessary). Eventually you might be ready for country music fans – they’ll be a good transitional step from the barnyard to actual human beings for you, and if things don’t go exactly as planned, the worst to come out of it will be a couple of bad country songs that nobody’s going to listen to anyways.
  • Tip the scales in the other direction by not only making an effort to spend more time around lots of people, but also making everyone else as uncomfortable as possible with your presence. Shout catchphrases from your favorite television show, randomly touch people in seemingly innocent places when they least expect it, wear clothes completely opposite the season you’re currently in – who’s socially anxious now?!
  • At the end of the day, consider that there are a lot worse things in this world to be afraid of than simply being around people. Unless they happen to be cannibalistic people, I’d take a crowd of people over a crowd of grizzly bears any day.

Being Less of a Jerk

  • Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’ll take even more to curb that bad attitude of yours, buddy, but you can start by doing one nice thing for somebody each and every morning and build from there. Even if for a while that somebody just so happens to be yourself, hey – you’ve gotta start somewhere!
  • Sometimes the key to being kind to other people can be found in simply not spending any time around them, so hopefully you’re not facing both social anxiety and general jerkiness at the same time or this suggestion of embracing solitude isn’t going to help much. Nonetheless, one out of two is still better than the none out of many that you’ve got going now, so maybe it’s time to choose your battles…

Being a World-Renowned Humor Columnist Like Me

  • Woa, woa, woa … now let’s not go crazy here and bite off any more than you can chew – besides, that’s what got you here in the first place! Why don’t you spend the next couple of months just focusing on not being an overweight, broke, socially awkward jerk and if that goes reasonably ok, we’ll circle back and teach you how to be hilarious like me later…