You Can't Kick the Resolution Habit

Every year I say I won't make resolutions for the new year ahead. I'm not alone in this. There are lots of you who resolve not to make resolutions. You say this to your friends. You proclaim it on Facebook. You write it in letters. Some of you are downright funny in your denials. Some very serious.

To all of you I say, "Liar, liar, pants on fire." You can't fool me. I'm the only one who can do that. I know that you have already made some resolutions for the new year. Why? Each new year brings a birthday and with that comes more pressure to shape up and fly right, or something like that. The older you get the more these things pile up. For example, of the 71 years I've been around, I've resolved to lose weight for at least 30 of those years. Smoking? It took me 43 years of resolutions to finally get that one off the list. Drinking cheap wine? I may still be making that resolution when I spy the Grim Reaper on the horizon.

For some reason, the resolutions keep getting made and most of them last about two days…maybe three. The reasons for this are fairly straightforward. Most resolutions are made because we feel pressure to change our lifestyles in one way or another. This could be done after any visit to a doctor or after listening to family and friends express concern but we like to wait for New Year's Eve. After all, we've had lots of experience in this habit of making resolutions. We grew up watching our parents make them and they grew up watching their parents make them. That's a lot of history to try and walk away from.

Most of us keep our resolutions a secret but I'll bet there are some dandies out there. I'm happy to share that one of my resolutions this year is to give up salt and vinegar chips. I tried out a resolution to give up Cheetos and cheap wine but choked up when I began to say the words. That's part of the deal. Secret or not, you've got to say your resolution out loud. This makes it a permanent part of the universe and helps imprint it on your mind. I read that in one of those doctor office books during one of my many visits.

I have also resolved to give up reading magazines in doctors offices. This will require another resolution to stop seeing doctors. See what I mean? There's a lot more to this resolution business than meets the eye. It's easy to find lots of things to make resolutions about but it's pretty hard to find one that you can do without a lot of trouble. That's why I'm sticking to salt and vinegar chips.

I think resolutions would be a whole lot better if we made them more fun. It seems to me that most of the ones I've made during my life have been some type of punishment for my bad habits. What if we made resolutions about good things? It might be easier to stick to a plan if it made you feel good instead of filling you with guilt.

Just in case you can't think of anything positive, I've got some ideas to help. How about if you open your address book to a random location and call one of the people on a page. First you'll have to try and convince them that you aren't a telemarketer but you might just have a good visit with an old friend. Random cards are the same. Send a card to a friend you haven't been in touch with for a long time. An added bonus to this resolution is that you get to shop for cards. I can spend an hour laughing at cards in the store. This activity never fails to cheer me up.

If you are living in a special diet house, you can still bake goodies and give them to people who are living in a we eat everything house. I love to bake but no one around this place can eat what I make. Why should I be deprived of the joy of baking? I know a lot of folks who love baked goods and this year, they're going to get them.

See? You can make resolutions that don't set you up for failure. Last year I resolved to say, "Good morning, afternoon, etc." to people I didn't know when I went out and about. I'm happy to report that most of them thought I was a nutcase but I did get some smiles and a few people actually thanked me. Of course it's a habit now so I'll keep doing it. I might get arrested for stalking but heck, it'll be a new experience and that will satisfy one of my resolutions and keep me from having to sky dive or bungee jump, which are also considered new experiences. Happy New Year, Geezers! May all your resolutions come true.

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