Get better looking than your ex, and other great spiteful resolutions

SCREW self-improvement and growth. New Year’s resolutions are best made with bitterness and malice. Like these:

Get better looking than your ex

Everyone makes a resolution to lose weight or join a gym, but nobody actually does it. The way to inspire yourself is to remember the ex who screwed you over and think about them strolling around hotter than you. The frothing resentment will see you hitting the treadmill all the way through to 2024.

Cut down on drinking so you can lord it over people at parties

Drinking doesn’t feel as good as it used to, so why not instead indulge yourself in the buzz that comes from smugly declining a drink? When offered a beer, reply ‘No, thanks, but don’t let me stop you if that’s what gets you through’. You’ll feel so much better about yourself when forcing your friends and family to confront their problematic relationships with alcohol.

Achieve greater success than your colleagues

There are few things in life that cut as deeply as the accomplishments of other people. Sure, achieving a personal career goal is a satisfying experience, but the most important thing is preventing others from surpassing you. So this year, instead of pledging to excel to new heights professionally, simply resolve to do moderately better than those around you.

Travel more to outdo your annoying mate

Everyone’s friendship group has that one twat who’s constantly bragging about their holidays and saying things like ‘You haven’t really experienced calzoni until you’ve eaten one in Naples’. Tackle this by resolving to travel more in 2023. Not to expand your horizons but to put that prick in their place by outdoing their anecdotes.

Quit smoking to outlive your enemies

It would be nice to live to a ripe old age, but not so nice that it’s worth giving up smoking. A better motivation to quit the habit is imagining all the bastards who’ve wronged you living on happily after you’re dead and buried. Get the fags in the bin and use the sheer strength of your bitterness to outlive them all.

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The middle-aged couple's guide to pretending you still give a f**k about New Year's Eve

NEW Year’s Eve was bad enough when you were young and carefree, but now you’re middle-aged with kids the magic is dead. Fool yourself that it’s still 2005:

Have friends over

Nothing says ‘Let’s party our way into 2024!’ like a huge piss-up, but it’s fraught with risk. You’ll have to lay on a spread, so that’s half the day in the kitchen when you could be doing f**k all in front of the telly. You’ve got a proper salary now so you’re expected to have booze in the house for others, not just you, so expect to spend a fortune on bastards who turn up empty handed. 

Then you’ve got to work out how to make the f**kers leave the moment Ben Ben stops chiming. Pointed yawning from 11pm onwards then scooping up their unfinished drinks and fetching their coats might seem rude, but at least you’ll get to bed at a sensible, middle-aged time.

Go round to theirs

You’ve been invited to a New Year soiree and your stupid mouth accepted before giving your brain chance to think up an excuse. In truth you’d rather die than drag yourself out of the house into the cold, so plan your escape ahead. Lying about getting back for the babysitter only works if you’ve got young kids, so a safer fib is having to let the dog out for a piss. 

It’s trickier if you haven’t got a dog, but just pretend you got one for Christmas and later say you sent it back to the animal rescue centre because it was too much responsibility. Try not to get so immersed in this lie you feel guilty for abandoning your imaginary dog.

Actually go out

Only for the hardiest middle-aged souls. You haven’t gone out for New Year for as long as you can remember, so maybe it’s not as traumatic as you imagine. Your worst fears will be lurch vividly to life when you find yourself in a pub packed with 20-something dickheads downing shots and already singing f**king Auld Lang Syne at 8pm. 

Make your excuses well before 10pm and leave for the sanctuary of home and the patron saint of the middle-aged at New Year, Jools Holland. 

Stay in and blame it on the kids

You’d love to accept the invitation to go out and celebrate, but you can’t get a sitter, so what can you do? Pull suitably disappointed faces and hope no one flags up the fact that the twins are 16 now, and you were perfectly happy to leave them to their own devices for a dirty weekend in Brighton in August.

‘We’re just having a quiet one in together’

Probably the safest option, even if all your friends correctly deduce what tedious old farts you’ve become. You’ll be tucked up in bed by 10pm, but record the midnight celebrations on the BBC so you can join in the conversation about how spectacular the fireworks were again this year.