How to make New Year’s Resolutions like a middle-aged man with high cholesterol

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grazianoOpen a can of beer first thing in the morning on New Year’s Eve. This will be the last day you indulge in the age-old art of Day Drinking. Tomorrow starts a new year with a new Self, a disciplined Self, a Self your past Selves will watch with awe.

This will be your Best Self.

Rip a piece of paper from the notebook you vowed to diligently write in each day last year. The last entry is dated February 2, 2021. Write down your list of resolutions, the road map to finding your Best Self.

Start by losing weight. Pledge to hit the gym after work a minimum of three days a week. Your Best Self won’t tolerate a torso like congealed oatmeal. Burn it off. Get ripped. Your Best Self walks around the house without a T-shirt, flexes in the shower, cranks out sets of push-ups during commercial breaks.

Confront your high cholesterol. It’s primarily the low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or the “bad” cholesterol, that your primary care doctor called “very problematic” at your last physical visit. Have your Best Self declare war on that acronym[1].

Start by cutting out anything that tastes good—red meat and cheeses and chips and beer.

Don’t forget about the beer. The beer has to go[2], which will likely mean staying away from the bar and drinking with your friends; which will likely mean finding a new route home from work so you don’t drive past the bar and get tempted to stop and drink with your friends; which will likely mean driving straight to the gym after work with your bag already packed; which likely means driving off a bridge at some point before spring…

Wait, that’s not your Best Self speaking. That’s Old Oatmeal Gut with his dark humor and incorrigible cynicism. Your Best Self needs to show him the door.

Along with avoiding beer and the bar while getting ripped at the gym and lowering your LDL, you should also stop gambling. You place the majority of your bets while drinking beer at the bar with your friends, and it’s an expense your Best Self doesn’t need.

Think of all the soy milk lattes and protein shakes your Best Self can buy with the money you’ll save by not pissing away your hard-earned cash to the local bookie[3].

Stop for a second. Take a long look at your list. Ask Old Oatmeal Gut if he’d ever want to hang out with your Best Self. Imagine waking up each morning with that Best Self asshole.

Tear up the sheet with your resolutions and open another beer. Fuck it. There’s always next year.


[1] LDL, you can GFY, bitch! Best Self is on the job now.

[2] Be sure to put a footnote on your list that allows for drinking beer when you’re at the bar, hanging out with your friends, but only once a week. Twice, tops. Three times on particularly stressful weeks.

[3] While you’re at it, you may as well quit drugs, too.


About this Author

Nathan Graziano

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester with his wife and kids. He's the author of nine collections of fiction and poetry. His most recent book, Born on Good Friday was published by Roadside Press in 2023. He's a high school teacher and freelance writer, and in his free time, he writes bios about himself in the third person. For more information, visit his website: