John Oliver: Give Up on Your New Year’s Resolutions Now

Last Week Tonight’s host shares some helpful advice on how to break your New Year’s resolutions early to avoid disappointment.

For the second time this holiday season, John Oliver appeared out of the blue from his months-long Last Week Tonight hiatus, this time to talk about the extremely important issue of New Year’s resolutions. Or as he characterized them, “the exact middle ground between lying to yourself and lying to other people.”

Just a few days into 2016, Oliver told viewers that if they have not yet broken this year’s resolutions, “statistically” they are about to. His sound advice was not on how to keep those inevitably broken promises but “how to revise them once you’ve failed.”

For instance, many people say they want to exercise more. “But that’s hard,” he said. “Exercise is like reading for your muscles. Except you can’t watch a movie of someone else exercising and basically get the gist of it.” With adequately lowered standards, Oliver said simply waking up late for work or taking a pregnancy test can count as exercise as long as your heart rate increases moderately.

Alternatively, Oliver said you can just scale your expectations up to an “unachievable level” such as winning an “EGOK”: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and the Kentucky Derby. “You’re not going to do any of those things, so you won’t feel bad when they don’t happen,” he said.

“Deep down we all know, the key to a successful resolution is not hard work and dedication,” Oliver continued. “It’s managing disappointment and that’s it.”

Oliver returns to his weekly HBO show on Feb. 14. And perhaps now he will finally start putting in some coverage of the 2016 presidential election. As he told Stephen Colbert back in October, “Come on, it’s the 2016 election, and it’s 2015 right now. I don’t care until we’re in the same year as the thing I’m supposed to care about.”