It’s January 2017. Welcome to the future!
This year is going to rock. How do I know this? Well, I plan on making sure you help.
2016 sucked harder than any previous year in existence because all the deaths, violence, and presidential-nightmares-turned-reality seemed so far beyond our control during a time when we feel extra-connected to the rest of humanity.
The first step to turning things around is participation. So, here is a fistful of hand-picked resolutions to ensure you drag 2017 back on top.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): If you see something, say something. I’m not talking about an Arabic guy at the airport; I’m talking about those douchebags in Congress. Download the Countable app, which will keep you up-to-date on what your representatives in the government are doing and let you call or email them to express your displeasure. Believe it or not, they do pay attention.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Quit unfriending people. As a society, we’ve become accustomed to silencing any dissenting opinions we don’t like by disconnecting from people on social media, in a sense becoming dictators of our own little input countries. But we need opposite opinions to force us to examine what we really agree with. Plus, people are way different in person. Talk to the guy who posts about Sandy Hook being an Obama-led conspiracy to force people to trade in their guns for homosexuality, and you’ll remember he’s just your uncle who quietly barbecues the best ribs on Earth when you’re actually around him.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20): Visit multiple news sites. Fox News, CNN, NPR, Huffington Post, MSNBC, and most other U.S.-based news sources only give you the real news if you look at all of them. Take a second to look at the front page of each one in the morning and realize what stories you’re not hearing anything about. It’ll also give you insight into why talking to people on the other side of the aisle is so freaking hard now. We’re living in different worlds.
ARIES (Mar. 21-Apr. 20): Eat better, and by that, I mean Taco Bell. Instead of going vegan or gluten-free (BULLSHIT unless you have celiac disease) or any other drastic choice that you’ll definitely quit, start making healthier choices that you can stick to. Taco Bell has been praised for cutting sodium and sugar from its menu while adding vegetarian options. So run for the border, but stick to just one Doritos Locos Taco.
TAURUS (Apr. 21-May 21): Learn something new. Teach it to people. Programs like EdX, Khan Academy, and Udemy teach tons of different courses, many for free. Choose just one to learn this year, then share that with people. Make the world smarter.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21): Talk to people. No, really talk to them. Last year, I found myself dreading my biweekly trip to Circle K because the woman behind the counter was an ungodly bitch from hell. One day I heard her talking about the trouble she was having with managing her diabetes, and I mentioned a couple of things that helped me out. Months later, I still don’t know her last name, but at least I don’t want to throw hot coffee on her anymore. Plus, we check in on how we’re taking care of ourselves. Baby steps.
CANCER (June 22-July 22): Make real changes to your exercise routine. Keep them to yourself. We all think about getting more exercise and getting in better shape, but the reason we fail comes down to setting unreasonable goals. Don’t go from nothing to P90X or marathon training. Go for a freaking walk. Do it again tomorrow. It’ll grow from there.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 21): Realize Donald Trump sucks balls. This isn’t college football. You can admit he is an ill-prepared, childlike, crybaby bully and still support the Republican Party. John McCain is doing a fine job of this. We need to hurry up as a country and get over the fear of his newfound power so he can be replaced by someone who knows what he’s doing before the world explodes. This especially applies to the press who keep quoting him as though he were any other president and not a living punchline who calls information security “the cyber,” says computers are confusing, then says he knows a lot about hacking. Enough. Stop pretending he knows what he’s talking about. Be the person everyone talks about in three years as the first person he remembers not putting up with it.
VIRGO (Aug. 22-Sept. 23): Eat more chocolate. If you’re allergic to it, then eat more nuts or oysters, or drink more coffee. These things make you feel genuinely happy.
LIBRA (Sept. 24-Oct. 23): Realize you don’t have forever. You just lost another Christmas; how many do you have left? Quit pretending you have time. Tell people you love them. Make amends. Write your book, or start painting, or go back to school, or try out for a play, or whatever thing you are too scared to try for fear of failing. You’re going to get older anyway; might as well keep busy.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22): Travel, and it doesn’t have to be to the other side of the world. All those inspiring Facebook quotes about seeing the world don’t take into account things like budgets, work issues, and kids. However, even driving an hour away to somewhere you’ve never seen in person is enough to remind you how much bigger the world is and how similar we all are despite that.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): Learn a little bit of a new language. Nothing crazy like Zulu or Finnish, but something you hear around you regularly, like Spanish or — in my case — Chinese. Download one of the dozens of free apps and just promise to learn one or two words a month. It’ll force your brain to rewire itself and think in new and delightful ways. At the very least, you’ll be able to guess at what they’re saying when they’re making fun of you.