happy new years

How to Outsource Your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions

Photo: Print Collector/Getty Images

As I look back on my 2015, the landscape is littered with a lot of stuff I’ve left undone. There’s a coffee table I didn’t finish building, and several dietary plans I wrote up and sacrificed to cheeseburger consumption. There’s a stack of books I resolved to read but never cracked open, a Gmail draft folder full of emails (apologies, pitches, introductions, “how are you?”s) I never sent, and an apartment I started but never finished Kondo-ing after getting interrupted by a movie date. Now regret, shame, and piles of clothes obstruct my view of a happy, organized 2016.

But it’s the New Year, the time for resolutions, and this year I have just one: finish all of my resolutions from 2015.

I matured a bit last year. I learned that I cannot do things alone. We are not islands; we are people who need help. And so, to free myself of the anxiety and shame that come with neglected resolutions, I will outsource as many of these tasks as possible:

I will convey all of the regret, gratitude, and admiration I meant to express in 2015 by hiring a TaskRabbit to clear my in-box (currently at 33,000) of all unnecessary correspondence. Once I can focus on the exchanges that really count, I can ask the TaskRabbit to send out heartfelt apologies and thank-you notes. This person can also decline invitations to those events whose RSVPs I ignored for fear of disappointing people. Phew, I feel better already.

Okay, now the old love life. In 2016, it will not be a smoldering pile of feces. Until True Love Tinder Robot is a real thing, I will settle for handing my phone to any of my married friends. They still think Tinder is fun and therefore will spend hours swiping, sending clever messages on my behalf, and setting up dates for me. And when these dates don’t go well, I will not be a cowardly ghost. This year I vow to make good on my resolve to let people know I’m not interested by using one of these new “digital breakup” services the New York Times told me about.

When you’re not focusing energy on romantic failures, it’s incredible what you can get done. All of a sudden I have room in my heart for so many other people and an increased capacity for loving and caring for others close to me. Whenever anybody needs me, I’ll send an Uber bike messenger to drop off PARO, the therapeutic robot seal, to spend some time with them in my place. PARO will give people hugs; I don’t like to be touched. PARO will make me popular by proxy.

With all of these social obligations taken care of, I can really turn toward getting my hearth in order, you know? Last year I started to redecorate my apartment — I got a new coffee table, some new bookshelves, some pictures framed. All of those things are still sitting on a pile on the floor. For this, another TaskRabbit.

And for all those clothes I Kondo’d yet kept? This year, I’ll get the service Linda’s Stuff to clean the clothes and list them on eBay for me while I just collect the checks. A clean home, and some passive income, means my mind is clear enough to focus on getting my body in order.

In 2015 I tried South Beach (two days), a juice cleanse (one juice), the Whole 30 (minutes, the whole 30 minutes), and the 22-day vegan diet by Beyoncé. This year, I’ll outsource “willpower” by having a friend text me “Beyoncé wouldn’t eat that” at regular intervals throughout the day.

But wellness is not just about losing weight; it’s about keeping up with regular health care. Like going to the dentist. I have yet to find a service where people will go get dental surgery for you, but I have four cavities that need filling if anybody is interested. Also one invasive outpatient procedure that I’ve been putting off. I’ll put out a Craigslist ad.

I can already tell 2016 is going to be such a good year. My body and home will be temples. My intimate relationships will be well tended. Which means I will finally have time to complete another 2015 goal: mediate every day (a.k.a: watch all five seasons of Angel on Netflix.)

Outsource Your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions