Do you remember when you were a little kid and as the end of the year approached you used to always tell people, “See you next year!” or “See you in a year!” You used to think you were so funny when you said it too. Then when you’d return to school after the break you would say things to your friends like, “Man I haven’t seen you in like a YEAR!” You thought that was about the funniest thing ever.

You thought it was so funny, in fact, that you might have even used that line if you called your grandparents or something. You would call and say, “Grandma, I haven’t seen you in like a year! When are you going to come?” It felt like the funniest joke.

Remembering how funny I used to think this was as a kid, I decided yesterday to try it as an adult. So when I woke up the next morning I looked at my wife and said, “Babe, man we haven’t had sex in like a year. This is ridiculous! Our marriage, what are we going to do about it?!”

I also tried it out on a friend of mine when he called me. I said to him, “Man, what is wrong with you?! I haven’t spoken to you in like a year!”

Then I went into a store to get a cup of tea. When the person behind the counter wished me a happy new year, I said “Happy New Year? You should look at me and say ‘Man you haven’t been here in like a year! What happened to you? You used to be such a good customer.'”

So how did this work as an adult? Not too well . . . The joke actually just didn’t seem to work anymore. Nobody really found it that funny.

That brings me to my first marching orders for you for the new year: Have fun and stop taking everything so seriously!

The other night I was watching an episode of the Showtime series called “The Big C” starring Laura Linney. Her character on that show suffers from untreatable Melanoma, and she only has between six months and three years to live.

So she decides to do things that are totally out of character for her. She has an affair. She buys a new car. She says things to people she would have never said.

The bottom line about this is that we just take things so seriously in life. We’re so serious all the time.

Why are we so serious?

People think things like, “My God if I don’t talk to this person now, I’m just going to beat myself up mentally for the next four days and be totally miserable” or “If this date doesn’t go well, that’s it. That’s the end.”

It’s time to stop taking things like this so seriously. You really need to start having some fun.

You didn’t think my ‘see you next year’ and ‘I haven’t seen you in like a year’ jokes were funny? It’s time you stop taking life so seriously, and time to start having some fun.

Just enjoy yourself. That’s actually a good New Year’s resolution: Stop taking yourself so seriously.

You are a guy and you don’t talk to that one woman you want to meet. You are a woman and you don’t get asked out by that guy you really like. So what?! It’s time to stop caring about all that stuff!

Have a “don’t care” attitude. When something like this happens to you, have an attitude of “Really? Oh well… There are plenty of other people for me to meet with whom I can have fun and date.”

Laugh every single day. Smile at people every single day. Have a good time. Most importantly, learn how to be able to laugh at yourself.

Here is what I want you to do tomorrow. Every time you see someone you know but are seeing for the first time since the New Year, I want you to say this: “How have you been? I haven’t seen you in like a year!” Do it with a really big child-like smile on your face, almost as if you’re still ten years old and think what you’re saying is the funniest thing in the world.

Try it! Do it as the start of your resolution to not take life and yourself so seriously in 2011.