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  • "So grab the wheel, keep on holding it tight, 'Til...

    Screenshot from Vampire Weekend's "Diane Young"

    "So grab the wheel, keep on holding it tight, 'Til you're tottering off into that good night."

  • Ashley Dean

    Ashley Dean



New Year’s resolutions have always felt like a setup for failure.

A goal to get in better shape will just end with me sitting on the couch saying, “screw you,” to no one in particular and eating a giant sandwich. Promising to manage my money better will only lead to a wild shopping spree. If I declare 2014 to be the year of international travel, I’ll never leave Colorado.

I’m too compulsively defiant for resolutions. These things might actually happen if I just, you know, let life happen.

In lieu of lying to myself on Jan. 1 and then hating myself a month later, I decided to make a motivational playlist of sorts. I’m stacking it with songs that could be the soundtrack to my year, if all goes well. It looks something like this…

“Same Mistakes,” The Echo-Friendly


OK, I didn’t start aspirational. I started with a lecture. “I make the same mistakes / Feels like I never learn,” the song drones. Time to get it together.

“***Flawless,” Beyonce


This one shouldn’t be too hard. I’m already halfway there, mentally. There is another half of me that would like to hide under my bed and not be looked at or judged. I need to walk around thinking “I WOKE UP LIKE THIS” all the time. (See also: Janelle Monae’s “Q.U.E.E.N.”)


“Start From The Bottom,” Drake


Maybe I’m not at the bottom, but damn am I broke. Right now, my definition of “here” is paying rent without sending my bank account plummeting into the red. I’d also like to have internet access and maybe even cable in my apartment. “Started from broke now I’m financially stable,” is the goal, really.

“Stronger,” Kanye West


Yeah, a throwback. This song is too classic for its purpose on the playlist. Another year of climbing mountains and throwing myself down them, acquiring all kinds of injuries, is ahead. You know the words.

“Female Guitar Players Are The New Black,” Marnie Stern


I really do not try hard enough to play my guitar. The poor thing really only gets attention when I’m bored or have a fit of musical. That’s no way to learn and I’m really just terrible. This song is highly aspirational.

“Cheap Beer,” FIDLAR


This song works two ways. 1. Bring on more partying and fun (see also: Icona Pop); 2. Pay less for alcohol.

“When I’m With You,” Best Coast


Er, um… yeah. *blushes*

“Diane Young,” Vampire Weekend


The kicker is totally abstract. I love the way this song makes me feel. My life needs to feel like this song.

So, here’s to a 2014 of no-pressure progress. Live life like a video.

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