New Year’s Resolutions, Basketball Edition

It’s a new calendar year, but you don’t need me to tell you that. You probably saw a big ball drop, or had someone wish you happy new year, or maybe got, like…657 emails with all these “amazing deals for 2022!”

Of course, one of the most common things we do in the new year is create resolutions. “This year’s gonna be different, darn it!” we say, perhaps slamming our fists on a table to punctuate our point. I hope that table is made from a sturdy material, lest you shatter it and get a splinter and/or a glass shard stuck in your hand.

Sorry, got kind of off track there. The point is: resolutions are hard, and it’s easy to give up on them. But there is some value in resolutions that are attainable and that we’re interested in, so that’s what this issue is all about.

You don’t need to do all of these resolutions. In fact, you should probably only pick one or two to actually stick with them. But if you’re feeling stuck and don’t want to do the traditional “lose weight, eat healthy, save the world” cliches, I’ve got your back.

1. Incorporate basketball moves into your day. There’s no shortage of moves you can do on a basketball court. From a Euro step to a pick and roll, you can bring the game into your daily life. And your day will be brighter because of it.

But why limit yourself to moves only? Call out different plays as you go about your morning. Basketball plays are sometimes named after the action you’re supposed to do, but they’re often a location or some other random word. Drop in a “reverse Memphis!” or “skeeball 19!” on your next Zoom meeting and you just may earn that promotion you’ve been working toward.

Or throw in some fan chants—if someone cuts in line, get everyone to yell “you can’t do that! *clap clap, clap clap clap*” and embrace the admiration that comes your way.

During the holidays, I called out a woman for cutting in line because there were several people behind her who stood in stunned silence when she did it and I wanted to give them a voice (and I had already gotten my drink and was on my way out of the ordering area, so no skin off my back).

The woman was apologetic and said she thought there was only one line. Well, I saw her clearly leave a longer line and actively cut in front of another woman who was stepping up to order, so I call BS on her excuse. In fact, that’s another resolution we’re going to list right now—never mind that it has nothing to do with basketball.

2. Don’t let people cut in line. People do this because they think they can get away with it. We’ll all be so floored, we’ll softly gasp and clutch our pearls, clucking disapproval under our breath, but never taking action.

It’s a new year, so let’s change that! You don’t have to make a grandiose scene; just walk up to the person and let them know there’s a line. In most cases, they’ll apologize and slink back to the end. Occasionally, you’ll come across someone who gets a wild look in their eyes and says something like, “what are you going to do about it?”

If that happens, you should probably let them cut in line. It’s not worth incurring that uniquely specific kind of rage.

3. Yell a different player’s name whenever you throw something in the garbage. The most commonly yelled name is “Kobe,” done during the heyday of Kobe Bryant’s career and continuing after his death in January 2020.

While you can certainly still pay homage to the late Bryant, don’t be afraid to mix it up. A well-placed “Zydrunas Ilgauskas” or “DeMar DeRozan” also gets the job done.

4. Celebrate the little victories in life. Sometimes we assume something is supposed to happen, so we don’t celebrate it. But you know what? We should allow ourselves to feel good!

The next time something makes you happy, even if it’s something minor, share it with the world. One way to do that is through an over-the-top celebration. Here are a few ideas to begin with.

5. Every week, watch highlights from one NCAA Tournament upset. March Madness, as the name suggests, begins in March. Specifically, the middle of March, so that gives you about 10 weeks to knock this one out.

Watching highlights from previous tourneys offers a chance to practice your yells of delight (or frustration) for this year’s tournament. I recommend starting with this game, which was truly a historic upset because it’s never happened before or since.

6. Share this article with one person. know you know someone that likes basketball or pop culture. So, I want you to do me a solid by delivering an assist—a crisp bounce pass, if you will—and sharing this article with that person.

Put a clever line at the top if you’d like, or just check in on how they’re doing. We could all use a little more of that humanity in 2022. Happy New Year!