A Very Tonic New Year

In my previous article I discussed New Year’s Resolutions, and how typical resolutions bore me to tears. I suggested we should break away from the norm, and dare to do something different this year.  Normal resolutions are so vague (I want to be healthier, I want to travel, I want to read….stuff) that it’s no wonder 25% of us have already fallen off the bandwagon after the first week.

If we focus on a series of specific goals rather than unclear ideas, we’ll have a better chance of succeeding. This is why I thought long and hard about what I wanted to achieve this year.  After eliminating things such as “Drinking until I’m better looking” and “French kissing at least 50% of Hall & Oates” I came up with what I consider to be a pretty great list of things to accomplish.

Here is how The Tonic will be spending 2012:

(1) Sending more cards to people this year for absolutely no reason other than it will make them smile.

(2) Devoting more time to volunteering.

(3) Running a 5k.

(4) Learning a new skill each month.

(5) Crafting more. It really helps bring me to my place of Zen.

(6) Completing the book I’ve slooooowly been writing. Publishing to occur in 2013…if the world still exists.

(7) Forgiving all of the people who have been royal pains in the ass the last couple of years.

(8) Writing D-list celebrities (did you hear that Dave Coulier?) in an effort to make them feel relevant. Pictures of my boobs included.

(9) Kicking ass and taking names.

(10) Calling and/or writing my grandparents more often.

(11) Going on more hikes in the Columbia River Gorge.

(12) Getting down to California to visit my family more than just once during the holidays. I’m sure my parents miss their favorite child!

(13) Telling people how much they mean to me more often.

(14) Taking more pictures of anything and everything.

(15) Getting up when the alarm goes off instead of hitting the snooze button (dozens of times) because I always end up rushing around like a crazy person.

(16) Planning out my meals in advance. Stressing about what to eat for breakfast during dinner, or about what’s for dinner during breakfast is just dumb.

(17) Stopping the madness that is my procrastination.

Yeah, I realize I’m a jerk for making fun of resolutions, and then going and making 17 of them.  Maybe one of my resolutions should be to stop being hypocritical. Nah, I’ll just file this under: Things I get away with because I’m The Tonic.

So how have I done so far? Considering it took me three weeks to put out this craptastic post, I’d say I’m not doing so well on the procrastination front, but I’ve done pretty well on the others. I’ve already sent cards, gotten my craft on, and have gotten into the habit of snapping photos. I’m pretty proud that I dove right in, and am confident I’ll keep up this momentum.

I believe the key to success isn’t against measuring yourself against what others are doing. It isn’t about beating yourself up when you fall off the bandwagon. It isn’t even about meeting every single benchmark you set for yourself. What I believe this year should be about, for all of us, is kicking ass and taking names.


This piece originally published on Sips of Jen and Tonic

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About the Author:

Jen and Tonic was classically trained in the art of guzzling a beer in less than fifteen seconds. She is single-handedly responsible for creating the David Hasselhoff empire, and destroying Dustin Diamond’s career.
On the weekend she enjoys wearing pants with elastic in the waist, arm wrestling small children, and skinny dipping in her neighbors’ bathtubs when they’re not home. She has struggled for years with being overly badass, and scientists are currently studying her in an effort to figure out how one person can be so awesome. View My Profile

21 Comments on "A Very Tonic New Year"

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  1. avatar Bill Friday says:

    Asses kicked… names taken… and Chuck Norris made proud. THAT’S HOW a CRAPTASTIC new year kicks off!!! And while I will never French kiss ANY percentage of Hall and Oates, I do intend to embrace #17, and make it my bitch!!!

    That, and finally giving the people what they want… my own YouTube channel, filled with me, yeah ME, reading stuff… my stuff… out loud!!!

    Thank you Jenny, for being such an inspiration to me for so long.

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    • avatar TJ Lubrano says:

      Ohhhhhh THE YT channel :)

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    • If Chuck Norris could see you now…

      I’m so happy you’re giving the people what they want-- Bill Friday, up close and personal. I think the YouTube idea is great, and I’ll be the first person in line to subscribe!

      Thank YOU for being an inspiration to ME as well :)

      Oh, and I have to ask…what do you have against Hall & Oates? John Oates was kind of rocking that sexy pornstache for awhile.

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  2. avatar TJ Lubrano says:

    Jen! You totally have to create NYE cards with that phrase ‘A Very Tonic New Year’ :)

    Fun resolutions are the way to go. Seriously why make things boring for yourself while you already have tons of responsibilities to take care off? I love your list!! You probably already know which one makes me even more happy?? hehe

    You ARE The Tonic indeed. Never let someone tell you otherwise. If they do, send them to me. I’ll shall throw a curse word or two at them.

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    • AH! The card idea is so great. I shall have to put that in my back pocket for the holiday season. It will just be a HUGE picture of my face :D

      Fun resolutions ARE the way to go. I agree that we have so much responsibility, and it’s pointless to pile on more. I think when we’re having fun our life heads in the direction we wanted it to go in in the first place. And yes, I think I know which one makes you most happy!

      I just imagined you cursing at someone, and I burst into laughter!

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  3. Numbers 6, 15 and 17 for sure and number 4 maybe. I have a guitar I bought two years ago and still can’t tune up, makes a nice decorative object though until people say, oh can you play the guitar? NO!

    As long as you keep writing the humour filled articles i’ll be happy.

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    • The key to impressing people with the guitar is learning a few chords of a variety of songs. Then bust it out and say, “Would you like to hear a little ‘Smoke on the Water’? How about “House of the Rising Sun’?” Nobody will question it after you’ve played 5 songs.

      If you don’t want to do that, I suggest getting piss drunk, strumming it wildly, and then smashing it on the ground at the end of your “set” as a rock star would. The ladies will love it.

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  4. avatar Cher Duncombe says:

    #12 for me Jen. I have to go to California and see your parents too! Who are these people that produced The Tonic? They need hugs, gratitude and 30 boxes of candy for giving us you! Do they realize how famous you are becoming? :)

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    • My parents don’t appreciate the true artist I’m becoming! I’ve tried to get them to field my personal calls, respond to media inquiries, and hold my umbrella for me when it rains, but they refuse to participate. Want to adopt me?

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  5. avatar Katy Kern says:

    Jen, awesome list. I gave up making New Year’s resolutions years ago but try to sneak in a change or two throughout the year -- for some reason that helps. #15 was cured with putting it across the room and having the clock set 15 minutes ahead. Why that works, I have no idea. haha
    Wishing #13 was easier and #16 -- my kids would be thrilled and I would actually be able to answer them when they ask, “What’s for dinner?” and I wouldn’t look like a deer caught in the headlights every night. :-D
    Great photo!!

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    • Now that I’m older, I feel so badly for how I’d always whine to my mom about dinner. I’d think, “What’s so hard about putting some NOM NOMS on the table, woman?” Now I realize it’s much harder than it looks!

      Oh man, I tried the alarm clock across the room thing, but I’ve got a great arm. I’ll pick up anything near me and knock that little beeping jerk right off the nightstand.

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  6. avatar Janene says:


    These are awesome. I’m stealing some of them. Heck, I’ll steal most. My favorite one is actually the first. I love getting cards in the mail for no reason — spread the love! And planning meals in advance has always been hard for me, but when I do it things go so much more smoothly. I need to own that one.

    Thanks for the ideas and best of luck on following through.
    You can do it!

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    • I envy those people who just hire someone to come in and make meals. At this point I’d hire a full-time pizza delivery boy to come and drop off a few slices each night. A girl can dream…

      I think part of the reason greeting cards are so awesome is because it’s a lost art. People do so many things electronically that when they receive a card in the mail they’re like, “What is this foreign rectangle paper-like thing in my mailbox? Somebody call the Smithsonian!”

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  7. avatar Julian Gallo says:

    Another great one, Jen! The reason why I probably never make any resolutions is because I often never stick to them. But I realize that I actually DO make them, all the time, just to myself. I made one and only one for myself this year going forward -- and so far I’ve been sticking to it (although I’m sure slipping and falling off may happen now and again) and this year it’s fairly simple: to rid my life of those who’s sole purpose is to try to bring you down. Sounds simple but you soon discover how many around you often to this. Those who purposely set out to anger you and when you DO get angry, they accuse you of being “angry”. That sort of mind game, manipulating crap. Rid oneself of this, and everything else falls into place.

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    • What a great resolution, Julian! Life is too short to be surrounded by people who just want to spew negativity. I’ve slowly been chipping away at this myself over the last few years, and it makes a world of difference. I agree that it was surprising to find out just how many people were manipulating or sabotaging me in subtle ways.

      Best of luck to you in 2012!

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  8. avatar Anya Pham says:

    They all sound fantastic! Much joyful energy your way in your pursuit of each and every one. Do you keep a list of the skills you learn each month? Will you?

    I’m working on changing goals/how I set goals, too. Your advice was helpful. :)

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    • I don’t have a list of things I want to learn-- I sort of am just going where my fancy strikes me. Last month I tried cooking new things that were outside of my comfort zone. Some turned out well, some not much! This month I’ve been doing more DIY, but with mediums and in areas (paint, leather, attempting book binding) that I’m not used to. Next month I’m trying my hand at jewelry making. After that, who knows!

      It’d be interesting to hear about what you’ll be attempting. You’ll have to keep us updated here or through Facebook :)

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