There is no more futile exercise than setting New Year's resolutions. We make them, we break them. No matter how many self-help guides you read online – churned out by bored journalists grinding through a slow news period and running on an empty ideas tank – temptation and frustration will prevail.
Oh, you wanted to lose weight? Tears of defeat will roll down your chubby cheeks and mingle with the butter puddling at the corners of your greedy mouth. Forget resolutions. It's time to set some anti-resolutions.
Put on weight
Blah blah obesity epidemic. Blah blah too much sugar. Blah blah dangerous levels of alcohol consumption. Blah blah we need to get you to A&E sir, you're having a massive heart attack. Bore me later, Adolf Healthler. Not interested. Never mind losing weight and getting fit, the most common New Year's resolution. How about gaining as much weight as you can, transforming yourself into an impressive mammalian mound of excess flesh. Don't just eat pies. Eat all the pies. That apple looks nice, but wouldn't it be better smothered in toffee? Why not double all your portions? Twice as nice and two times the pleasure. You could go for a run. Or you could sit down in your favourite armchair watching Netflix, eating a multipack of pork scratchings and drinking pints of melted butter. You'll probably sweat as much as you would while running. And if you're sweating, you're exercising. That's basically science.
Take up smoking
Far too few people smoke these days. And that means fewer cool people around. Which means the world is less cool. So grab a pack of 20 -- let's not muck about, I'm talking fat Cubans – and make your lungs foggy with coolness. Then grab another pack of 20. You'll find tobacco really moreish – one billion smokers worldwide can't be wrong. Don't worry about all that phlegm on your chest, it's what smokers call "cooljuice". And the tobacco industry creates tens of thousands of jobs. What would all those healthcare workers do otherwise?
Unlearn a skill
"Upskilling" (yuck) is exactly the sort of thing people aspire to in a New Year's resolution. Like learning another language, or, I dunno, carpentry? But we already know too much. It's hard to juggle multiple skills like walking and talking. It's time to free up some disk space in the brain. Defrag the ol' head-drive. De-learning skills can take many years of effort. Simply not doing something is in itself doing something. But fear not. There is a shortcut. Blunt force trauma to the head is a great way of clearing out the memory bank. So put down the pasty and the cigarette. Manoeuver yourself up out of the armchair. Preemptively call an ambulance, stick your head down and run as fast as you can into the wall.
Do less for other people
People always want to do more volunteering as a resolution, but that sounds like an awful lot of effort and, as any fule kno, altruism is about ego anyway. You ultimately do things for others to make yourself feel good. So it's pretty arrogant to want to volunteer, right? Which means it's actually less egotistical to not do anything for anyone. Make "no" your new buzzword for 2016. Could you pass me the salt, please? No. Could you pick our son up from school today, please? No. Please for love of god help me, I'm dying, call an ambulance, please I'm begging you! No. Take it a step further. Actively waste the time of volunteers by repeatedly calling the Citizen's Advice Bureau helpline with excruciatingly arcane and fictional legal issues.
Spend all of your money and others'
You're only here once, unless you're a Buddhist, so what's the point in saving all your money? You might die tomorrow, and the likelihood of your early earthly exit increased significantly with all that weight gain, chain-smoking and the serious head injury. Spend everything you have on food, booze and cigars. Borrow from every bank, payday lender and loan shark that is stupid enough to give you credit. Then spend it all again on even more food, booze and cigars. Then run away into the horizon and never look back. Enter the sea and start life again as a dugong or other marine creature of your choice.