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By M. Quinn

In 2023 I am going to be unrecognizable. Clean break. Here’s my plan. 

1. I am going to sleep in the gym so that my body learns how to work out for eight hours at a time. In two weeks, I’ll be able to lift 500 pounds without breaking a sweat. I hate the legs that carried me through last year. The clock struck midnight, which means it’s time to exercise more. 

2. I will weigh forty-two pounds by March (pure muscle). 6 celery sticks a day and one lemon water with Stevia on Fridays-my cheat day. I have a folder on my computer of dozens of diets, and each of them is the only one that will work. I hate the memories of birthday cake and late-night french fries and movie theater popcorn and summer hamburgers from all of last year. The clock struck midnight, which means it’s time to lose weight. 

3. My home will be a single white room with one blanket and two books, painted beige. There will be so little clutter that I will create an impossible vacuum of matter and destroy the world. I’ll be able to find all of my missing hair ties and never lose my phone charger. I hate every ticket stub and passed note and polaroid photo and impulse bought tchotchke and all the jumbled memories from last year. The clock struck midnight, which means it’s time to get organized. 

4. I will spend 26 hours each day making money. You think there are only 24? Wrong. That’s the mindset of an unsuccessful person. My bank account has a number you’ve never even 

seen. My eyes are bleeding from staring at dropshipping sites, but I’ll replace them with gold. Life is a whetstone and I’m getting grinding. I hate every moment I spent on immaterial goals last year. The clock struck midnight, which means it’s time to be more successful.

5. I’m going to memorize every single book in the university library. I’ll bet you didn’t know that there are grades above A+. I’ll have a PhD before I have a Bachelor’s. They’ll make up a new Nobel Prize for general brilliance. I hate every second I got distracted from my homework to talk to friends or read or draw or enjoy myself last year. The clock struck midnight, which means it’s time to get better grades. 

6. This year I’m going to be so happy all the time. My face will freeze in a smile. I’ll never need any medication again. 

Whenever anyone says anything mean, I will literally be unable to hear it. Instead, I’ll hear the inevitable applause of strangers around who are seeing me for the first time. I hate every bit of complexity in life, and everything that makes moments meaningful. The clock struck midnight, so I’m going to be so happy. 

Daily Plan 

Working out: Eight Hours 

Relaxing: One minute 

Making Money: Sixteen Hours 

Sleeping: One half hour 

Studying: Sixteen Hours 

Cleaning: Eight Hours 

I am going to be perfect. 

I am going to be thin. 

I am going to be strong. 

I am going to be flawless. 

I am going to be smart.

I am going to be successful. 

I am going to be unbearably, complexly happy. (How could I not be?) 

I am grateful for the year ahead, and scornful of the years behind. Every year I was a failure. This is just one more tick on the loser tally. It doesn’t matter that it’s only because of them I’ve gotten this far. I will do everything every day. 

I am grateful that nothing unexpected will happen to throw off my goals. I am grateful that I will never burn out. 

I am not grateful for the opportunity to love myself and find joy in my life.

 I am not grateful for the symbolic clean slate and the chance to improve next year for the people I care about. 

They’re all getting cut out. 

I am not going to be a better person, I am going to be the best person. I am going to be a new me because I have to be. 

Because the old me isn’t good enough in any way. 

And extremes are the only way to fix it all. 

I can’t afford to be reasonable, because I’ve tried to be reasonable. This is my year. 

Be better to yourself. The new year is just a reason to celebrate, take a deep breath, and be proud and grateful that you are wherever you are.

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