The Haught guide to new year resolutions

New Year fireworks, Melbourne 2014
Photo: Chris Phutully


New year resolutions have been considered naff and juvenile so widely and for such a long time that they’re now, inevitably, about to come back into fashion.

Written by one of the internet’s great trendsetters, this article will only turn that probability into a certainty.

This year, I resolve to create a sarcastic Haught spin-off blog about parenthood. That’s my resolution. What’s yours?





Well, I’ll take your (quite rude) silence to mean you don’t have one yet, so here are some ideas:

Sell hope

Sell new year resolution ideas to people who don’t yet have a new year resolution. This is more of a venture than a resolution, so just make your resolution to be more entrepreneurial and then sell the ideas at $8.95 a pop.

Find a new job (conditions apply)

Finding a new, more rewarding job, is pretty standard resolution fare, so make sure you add a stipulation that makes it more challenging and interesting. Your new workplace must have a nude Fridays policy, for instance, or the job must involve you becoming the boss and carrying a sword and wearing epaulettes and eating danishes regularly.

Or the job must be borderline obsolete, such as full-time lector, stench eeler or scullery maid.

Participate in a non-standard -ee change

Let me explain. First came sea-changes, then there were tree-changes, which brilliantly rhymed with their predecessor. What followed were dozens of -ee changes, none of which really caught on.

Try one:

  • brie change (eat more of it)
  • nee-change (go back to your maiden name or, if you’re male, change your first name to your mother’s maiden name)
  • bee change (change your lifestyle from one of self-gratification, to one of selflessness, obediently protecting a giant, hugely powerful female of the species, brutally overheating invading forces, if necessary)
  • flea change (have a shower occasionally)
  • plea change (who cares how strong the Crown’s case is against you? Ignore your lawyer’s advice, switch to “not guilty” and see if you can get off on a technicality.)
  • ‘key’-change (use the word less, exchanging it for ‘important’ or just not using it at all, comfortable in the knowledge that it actually doesn’t add anything to your sentence and makes you sound like a bit of a wanker when you use it)

So there it is: your Haught guide to new year resolutions.

That’ll be $8.95.

An edited version of this article first appeared in the MyCareer section of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

You can read Benign to Five in those papers every Saturday, and if you miss it, you can look it up online in the BusinessDay section of The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times, WAToday and the Brisbane Times. (I now wankishly call myself a “syndicated columnist” on my CV.)


Read more Haught newspaper columns

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