I’m a big fan of resolutions.
It’s not that I often follow through on any of these myself, mind you. But I do usually try for a little while, improve my general way of living for a few fleeting moments, and blow up spectacularly in a majestic avalanche of whiskey, Doritos and self-loathing, while I slink off my couch and my tattered bathrobe slowly opens to the world.
We’ll just wait for you all to erase that image out of your minds. Better? Good. Let’s do this.
The reason I like resolutions is because they are truly about something. It’s not reciting a bunch of names or material possessions as we re-hash what we’re thankful for each year at Thanksgiving (though I do still believe that’s a good practice from time to time). Making a resolution is about identifying something you would truly like to change about yourself, coming up with a plan of action to attack that plan, and going after it with the start of a new year.
Well, yeah, and then the whole Doritos-whiskey-robe thing happens. But that’s immaterial. The real win in a resolution is being honest enough with yourself to set hard goals and trying your best to get there. If you fail, there are two options you can take: admit defeat and just accept that’s who you are, or come up with a new plan and attack that problem over and over again until you defeat it.
For that reason, you will see quite a few repeats on my list of annual resolutions this year, but hopefully they involve different strategies, as well as a little more self-discipline from yours truly. If I succeed in just one, then, hey, I made myself a little better this year. If not, we strap back on the helmet and go at it again in 2017.
• I resolve to eat better, increase my exercise habits, get more sleep and generally place my health at a higher rung on my ladder of personal priorities. I got some wake-up calls this past year regarding my health, and I’ve taken some steps to improve what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis. But there is still much more work to be done, and I resolve to take it on in 2016.
• I resolve to learn all the words to every song in the “Daniel Tiger” show. This should be an easy one, as my daughter ensures that I watch 17 episodes with her every day I am home from work.
• I resolve to learn to close the metaphorical door on work when I get home. I’m shortchanging my family, and myself, when I take my stresses home with me.
• I resolve to climb the highest mountain in Sussex County I can find this year. Unless that highest point happens to be on top of the landfill, as I suspect. Then I just promise to climb my stairs once more in 2016 than I did in 2015.
• I resolve that our staff will continue to be vigilant in reporting on town, county and state offices, and the way they conduct their business. People place a lot of trust in both their elected and appointed officials, and it is important that everything is done above-board and by the letter of the law. There is little doubt to us that all our local officials have the best interests of their constituents in mind, but rules are in place for a reason. On the flip side of that, we will continue to report on all the positives these people do on a day-to-day basis. It is a thankless job to serve the people, and that side of it doesn’t always get the credit it deserves.
• I resolve to stop placing bets with Shaun Lambert on his Seattle Seahawks falling apart every other week. I love the guy, but I am sick and tired of buying him lunch. From this point forward, I am only expecting the Seahawks to win every meaningful game they play. Well, after this week. They’re so going down this week. Want to wager lunch, Shaun?
• I resolve to make some progress on a few personal projects this year. I start out hot on this every year, then eventually succumb to the restraints of time and my own laziness. This is the year to get these projects rolling.
• I resolve to always wear two socks that were expected to be worn together. I’m colorblind. I make some unfortunate mistakes from time to time regarding my foot armor. This is the year I put my socks together in the light... and maybe get a second opinion before I put them on in the morning.
• I resolve to finally pare down my expansive collection of T-shirts this year. This is a constant source of unrest in my house, as I am constantly being reminded that 60 percent of the shirts in question have holes and rips and fit the definition of “clothing” by only the strictest of measures. My argument is that they are now in their “sweet spot” of being comfortable. Guess how that argument is going? Again, I resolve to toss a bunch of these shirts.
• I resolve to try. Hard. In every single thing I do. That one goes from year to year.