Johnny Scott’s New Year’s Advice

Well, it’s that time again. Time to say farewell to all the failures of the old year and greet the promise of the new one with verve and gusto. To look back one year and reflect upon the resolutions we didn’t manage to achieve, and set forth into the next year with the drive to do better this time around.

I’ll admit it, I didn’t do too well with my promises for 2013. Maybe they were too ambitious. Maybe this year I should set my goals a little more realistically.

For example, one of my resolutions last year was to join a gym and go to it regularly. Well, I achieved half of that one. Joining the gym was easy. But who has time to go to they gym on a consistent basis? I sure don’t. I’m a busy man. I have a job and a social life and a lot of my time is devoted to keeping the forest around my village free of prowling wolves and imps.

I think it’s too easy to fall again and again into the stock resolutions like “lose weight,” or “quit smoking,” or “drink less potions.” You’re never going to be successful at bettering yourself unless you take a real, honest look at your own personal situation before you commit to anything.

I mean, it’s totally impractical for me to try to quit smoking right now. I’ve still got this jade spectre possessing my lungs; if I stopped smoking a hash of sycamore root and oleander, by this time next year my New Year’s resolution would be to not be a reanimated scion of the Dark Gnome Emperor, Gord.

It’s also important to prioritize your goals. If you overwhelm yourself by trying to conquer all of them at once, you’re bound to fail. Rather, take each one at a time and focus on the most crucial ones first. Everything falls apart if you don’t have a firm plan of action.

For example, I know I must defeat the terrible sorcerer Jeremy to free my father from the grip of his spell of Draining. But I can’t defeat Jeremy without first having my sword tempered with the mighty ore of Magmar, which I must obtain from the belly of the great fire-breathing salamander, James, who lives in the depths of the Cave of Woe. And to even get in to that cave, I need the Key of Sorrow, and getting a hold of that is another quest entirely.

So you see, it would be ridiculous and imprudent of me to just traipse into the terrible sorcerer Jeremy’s lair and try to slay him with a regular sword. It’s all about prioritizing. Like, don’t you think I want rescuing my beautiful Elfin bride, Stacy, from the clutches of Ted, Warrior King of the Mountains, to be at the top of my list?

But there’s, like, a thousand little side-resolutions I have to take care of before I even get access to the airship that will take me to the continent that Ted’s Skull Fortress is on. And even then I have to first defeat his Ravenous Hordes.

Anyway, my point is, don’t over-extend yourself. Most New Year’s resolutions fail within the first few months, because people try too hard to make them all happen at once. You’ve got a whole year to make sure you do this right. Don’t try to rush things and end up like so many other wayward travelers, wandering for eternity in the misty Swamps of Displaced Souls.

You have it in you to achieve whatever lofty goals you seek and conquer whatever twists and trials your adventure throws your way this year. The first goblin you slay on January 1st may not seem like much at the time, but when you’re heaving that final decimating sword slash upon the Undead Lord of Chaos next year at this time, freeing your land and people from centuries of darkness, you’ll look back on that runty little thing and realize that slipping your dagger between his gnarled ribs was the first step on a much larger journey.

Happy New Year, Hero. Your quest begins now. Please enter your name and press start.


Photo by arbyreed via Flickr

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