Hello, and welcome to a brand new year!  I have recently eaten my entire body weight in pie, and I got the Little Suzie Bake-O Oven that I was really hoping to get, so I’m feeling pretty darn good.  We’ve also re-branded ourselves, and each of our monthly newsletters is going to focus on a particular topic.  And we’re going to start off the new year with a little motivation.  Isn’t that exciting?  (He asked, hoping desperately that you’d agree.)

Now most motivational books and speakers and so on are paralyzingly boring, and they tell you crazy things like “If you can dream it, you can do it!” which is a total lie because last night I dreamed about riding a dinosaur into battle against an army of evil moose people, and I don’t see that one coming true any time soon.  Besides, the days are about as short as they’re going to be all year, it’s so cold that one of my hands recently froze off, and I just know I’m going to have to scrape ice off my windshield sometime in the next couple days.  Can anyone tell me exactly what there is to get excited about?

So let’s see if we can make 2014 your least useful year ever.  Here’s how!

Focus on the Negatives!  To a certain extent, we are what we think.  For example, successful entrepreneurs attract customers and investors by focusing on the benefits they can provide, not on the problems they’ll face along the way.  But successful people often buy boats, and boats are kind of expensive to maintain.  So this year, try to see the world for what it really is – a series of catastrophes waiting to destroy you and everything you hold dear.  If you haven’t failed yet, then it’s just a matter of time.  Keep on with that attitude, and pretty sure you’re bound to be the life of whatever parties people forgot to uninvite you to.

Expect Your Bad Habits to Change Immediately!  You may have heard that it takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit.  A 2009 study in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it takes between 18 and 254 days to form a new habit, depending on the complexity of the habit you’re trying to form.  Which is why you should expect major changes to happen immediately.  If you get bored at the gym during your first week of membership, then you’re obviously not meant to be physically active.  If your first new recipe tastes like sandpaper, then you weren’t born to be a chef.  That’s why I do as little walking as possible.  It took me like a year to learn how to do it, and something tells me that if it were worth doing, it wouldn’t have taken so long to figure it out.  Which reminds me – does anyone out there have a bean bag chair they’re not using?  I’ve pretty much worn completely through mine.

Spend a Lot of Time with Unhappy People!  You know that one person you work with who seems to have a superhuman ability to suck all the joy out of whatever room they’re in?  Well you should hang out with them, because they are great at making sure you don’t expect too much out of life.  Besides, misery loves company, which apparently means that happiness loves solitude.  And you don’t want to spend the rest of your life alone, do you?  I didn’t think so.

I hope that helps.  A lot of people like to use words like ‘bright’ and ‘promising’ and ‘hopeful’ to describe their future goals, but I prefer words like ‘stagnant’ and ‘goopy.’  They’re more fun to say.  Have a goopy 2014!

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