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The Suburbanite
  • Gary Brown: Resolving the resolution dilemma

  • Since one of my resolutions is to try to help humanity, I’m going to attempt to assist you in making your New Year’s resolutions.

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  • Since one of my resolutions is to try to help humanity, I’m going to attempt to assist you in making your New Year’s resolutions.
    Pardon me while I check off one of mine. This isn’t as tough as you might think.
    Bear in mind that whether you keep your resolutions is of no real interest to me. I wish you well. But, my resolution is merely to be of some help. The rest is up to you.
    This reminds me of my first bit of advice: When you make your resolutions New Year’s Eve, be pretty vague. Leave yourself loopholes. Use such words as “try” and “work toward” or say something like “I’ll do my best to” do something that you may or may not ever accomplish.
    But, you’ll feel good about yourself. You’ll move on down your list quickly.
    CONSULT WITH OTHERS
    You’ll also want others to feel good about you and your resolutions, of course. You don’t want people standing around at parties calling you “Resolution Guy” and refraining from making eye contact because they know you’ll “try to push a resolution off on us.”
    So, when you make resolutions that might affect others, consult them. If you resolve to stop watching television — in fact, you sell all your TVs on eBay — and your spouse is smack dab in the middle of watching the best season ever of some forensic science crime-solving show, don’t count on keeping that other resolution about improving your family relationships.
    If, on the other hand, you want to be a hit with your family, resolve to quit doing something that family members don’t want you to do anyway — that you don’t even want to do. When you refrain from doing it, everybody is happy.
    Before you resolve to stop watching as much sports on television, for example, start watching some event that you aren’t even interested in. Billiards is a suggestion. Bowling is good for others to give up. Almost always we can do without roller derby. Then, when the time is right, making it into a grand gesture, announce that, “As a New Year’s resolution, I no longer am going to be wasting time watching that ‘World’s Most Muscle-Bound Guy’ competition that you’ve all be rolling your eyes about.” Then change the channel over to a football game. You’ll have yourself another well-kept resolution.
    OTHER ADVICE
    I could go on, but I’ve already given humanity a lot more help than my resolution required.
    Just remember this: Resolve within reason. When you make your resolutions on New Year’s Eve, don’t overdo it. Lower your expectations and you’ll increase your success.
    Page 2 of 2 - Resolve to exercise more, not get physically fit. Resolve to eat less junk food, not give it up entirely. When you resolve to try to dress better, be wearing a T-shirt.
    If we resolve to watch more educational programs on TV, all most of us will have to do is leave Discovery Channel on for an evening and we’ll have achieved our goal.
    Personally, I’m resolving to finish more of the tasks that I set out to accomplish, so I’m planning to make it easy on myself. What good is a list if you’re not crossing things off of it?