Ask Azra: How to Stick to New Year’s Resolutions

Dear Azra,

This is definitely going to be my year. I’ve got a ton of resolutions to transform me into the best version of myself possible. It’s quite a lot on my to-do list. Do you have any advice on how to best stick with all of these grand plans and not backslide into my old 2018 self?

Happy New Year!

New Year, New Me


Dear New You,

                What is it with this time of year that makes humans go absolutely batty for self-improvement? Is it the cold? I bet it’s the cold. You all know that this is an arbitrary thing, the concept of New Years, right? You clods created the calendar. Heck, do you know how many calendars before this one there were? Lots. This obsession with time and changing years is one that frankly boggles my mind.

However, the other part of your question I can help with. You need to stick to the habits you have decided to take on, right? Well that’s easy. All you have to do is hold yourself to the highest standards you can think of. I don’t mean one or two. No, if you are going to do this, go for the whole enchilada. List out everything that is wrong with you and your life and dedicate the next year to upgrading all of it. Really become the best version of yourself right now.

If you don’t make your goal, what will happen? The worst. Studies have shown that the best way to set new habits is to introduce discipline as a result for failure. I don’t mean self-discipline either. That never works. I’m talking about actual sudden and brutal discipline. After all, the best way to make better choices are substantial negative consequences.

To do this, decide what the absolute worst punishment you can imagine would be. It’s the thing that would literally drive you mad if you were to have it happen to you. The harsher the better. 

Next, hire a person to execute said punishment if you are deviating from your goals. This person should ideally be a stranger, someone that doesn’t know you and would have no problem administering the torture that’s sure to head your way. They should have access to you at all hours of the day. Honestly, this should be easy given today’s technological advances. Punishment should be swift and in real time, so you don’t continue to make the mistake in error.

If you do this right, then six months into your goal you will either be absolutely insane with terror and paranoia from random punishments or you will be on track to truly being the best version of yourself possible. Really, it’s your choice which path to take. Remember, that which does not kill you makes you still alive.

Keeping Resolutions Real,


***Disclaimer***Azra is not someone to take advice from. He’s not even human- he’s an exiled angel that gets his kicks dispensing horrible advice to people. Do not take his advice seriously. It is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally.


It’s a New Year. Why Are We Making the Same Resolutions?

First, Happy New Year! I hope your hangover is slight and you did not drunk text anyone you shouldn’t have.

Now, you’ve probably already made your resolution and it’s probably along the lines of “I will lose weight/ get healthy” or “I will save more money” or “I won’t drink ever again”.

It’s the same list of self “improvements” as last year. It’s the same old promises we break year after year. By February, all that we’d promised ourselves will be out the window.

I’m usually in the same boat. Every year, I take a good, hard look at myself and point that magnifying glass right at my faults. I’m too heavy, I’m not organized enough, I’m broke, I am going nowhere in my life. I’m nowhere near as successful at life as others my age.

That’s why I think most New Year’s Resolutions fail. They are grounded in negativity and rooted in comparison with others. They are all focused on things that we are lacking or things that we are not up to par with. They are also incredibly selfish. All of those resolutions I listed off have more to do with you and your happiness as an individual than your community, your family, or your world.

So why not change this? Why not tackle the concept of New Year’s Resolution with something completely different? Instead of putting the focus on something you lack, or something you aren’t currently, or even based on yourself, why not do something that will improve the lives of those around you, like your family, or your community? New Year’s Resolution: stop being selfish and spread kindness everywhere you go.

Instead of blowing money on a gym membership that you will only use for the month of January, why not use that money to invest in your community? If you need to get out and do something instead of sit on the couch, volunteer your time with people less advantaged as you. Help your neighbors with their yardwork. Read to kids at your local library. Donate blood. Deliver handmade cards to Veteran’s Hospitals. Teach people about a favorite hobby. Learn something new from someone every day.

The world is full of so many people thinking only about themselves and what they want/need. Be different. Be someone who gives rather than takes. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Try something new this New Year. Make the commitment to think about how you can better the world around you and do it.  And hey, if this kindness/ thinking of others thing doesn’t work out, there’s always next January.

Happy New Year!