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Just a month into 2021 and many of us have broken or given up entirely on our New Year’s resolutions. If that sounds like you, don’t stress, because we are here to help you out of your legal bind. Using contract law. 

Common resolution clauses and how they may be interpreted

  1. Drink less alcohol: Let’s be honest, you were intoxicated when you wrote this. You did not possess adequate legal capacity to understand the implications of this resolution, thus the clause is void.
  2. Exercise: Your friends and followers are relying on earlier promises to not post obnoxious BS online (or else, unfollow). But inevitable posting of gym phrases such as “Never miss a Monday” or “No pain, no gain” would contravene this promise. You are hence estopped from going to the gym.
  3. Be more present: This is a really vague clause; it would never stand up in court. 
  4. Keep a gratitude journal: One vitiating factor is all-important here: mistake. You mistakenly thought it would be a good idea to buy a gratitude journal with a unicorn on it. Moreover, you mistakenly thought you were #blessed.
  5. Travel: It is impossible to perform this clause amid the pandemic. Frustration is invoked. (Let’s overlook the fact that it was a foreseeable problem given we all spent the past year under house-bound lockdowns.) 
  6. Be kind to everyone: “Everyone” is an absurdly broad group and impossible to define. It creates an offer to the world that simply cannot be fulfilled. Also, no person of sound mind could reasonably construe this term to include being nice to colleagues who repeatedly snort and clear their throats in the office. 
  7. Cut out all carbs: This clause is in direct contradiction with Resolution 6 – “Be kind to everyone”.  Everyone knows you turn into a monster when you don’t eat bread; therefore, this term is void. 
  8. Spend more time with your family: Contracts require consideration and you put no consideration into this one. Take a beat and reconsider.
  9. Stop procrastinating: If you’re reading this, you are literally procrastinating from work, so the intention was never really there, was it?
  10. Read before bed: Prima facie it goes without saying that the word “read” in this clause means “scroll Instagram”. In which case, nailed it.
  11. Save money: Frustration is relevant again as this is impossible. The Iconic is having a sale! 
  12. Get over your ex: The limitation period for a breach of contract is six years, so surely you can still talk about your ex’s obsession with his mother for another couple of months. He only broke up with you five years and seven months ago.
  13. Write a book: You’ve been writing this so-called “book” for 10 years. Termination by delay.
  14. Quit smoking: Pfft. Mere puff. 

Above all, none of these resolutions appear binding due to the fact you entered into the agreement with yourself, five champagnes deep on New Year’s Eve. None were made in good faith with full mental clarity.