Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution? I have–often. One of the definitions in the dictionary under the word resolution is: “A resolve or determina-tion–to make a firm resolu-tion to do something.” The word in this definition that I wrestle with is “firm.” All my past pledges to begin doing something on Jan. 1, that previously I had neither the determination nor strength of mind to follow through with, were anything but firm!
Let’s begin with an easy one that I am sure we have all failed to live up to-lose weight. The first problem with this soon to be broken vow is your plan to begin on January 2 or 3. With all the football bowl games on TV New Year’s day, myriad left-overs in the fridge, and the simple fact you are nursing a massive hangover from New Year’s Eve and prepar-ing to mix a Bloody Mary at 8:00 am, dieting must be briefly postponed. Frankly, there’s no way you can instantly begin to reduce your portions of the high fat, high calorie diet you’ve become accustomed to over the last ten years. Also, you’ve been stuffing your face since Thanksgiving Day and you are a little concerned the junk food withdrawal could be worse than kicking heroine. Stay fat my friends, and drop this well- intentioned pledge.
This next one is a time-less classic–start working out and getting in better shape. Ya, right, that’s gonna happen. Since the two heaviest weights you’ve lifted in the past six months are a Costco sized bag of oatmeal cookies and a gallon of chocolate milk, I’m not feeling real confident about this one either. Oh, you might do a few pushups for a week or so, and walk to the store once or twice instead of driving, but let’s be realistic. Whatever you do, don’t join a gym during the month of January.
Joining a gym just after January 1 is a classic blun-der for those who have never broken a sweat in their life. Health clubs love the January swarm of middle-aged chunkies wad-dling through the doors to lay out big bucks to sign a lengthy membership contract. Give your head a chance to clear until Febru-ary. By then you will have come to grips with the realization that joining a health club is a huge waste of money, and by next Jan. 1 you will be wearing pants two sizes bigger than the ones you are squeezing into now.
For those of you who are financially challenged, here’s a 2015 goal to strive for–get out of debt. Okay, can we be honest here? If you’re in debt, there are only two possibilities; you have a dog meat, going nowhere, dead end job, or you blow your money on unnecessary frivoli-ties or socially unaccept-able addictions. So I’m to believe come January 1 you’re going back to school to further your education, and/or you’ll be seeking help for your drinking, gambling or drug addictions. Call me on Jan. 10 and let me know how it’s going. May I offer some unsolic-ited advice to set you on your merry way to financial security? First, get your raggedy rump out of bed before noon, learn to speak in complete sentences, and have the facial tattoos and nosering removed. Also, it might help to iron your clothes and wear a pair of shoes instead of flip-flops to your next interview–just a thought.
Here’s another, but is only for a smaller segment of society–quit smoking. Smokers have been relegated to second class citizens, much like the Lepers from the Bible. Their odds of quitting are equal to finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. It’s depress-ing to see them huddling in small groups outside of office buildings or lurking in alleys, head darting from side to side hoping none of their coworkers spot them taking a drag off their cancer stick.
Now that we realize it is fruitless setting unrealistic New Year’s resolutions, may I suggest a few more modest goals to kick off 2015? I’ll assume you said yes. Wash your hands every time after using the bathroom. Quit buttering your donuts. See less of your family. Learn cuss words in four different languages. Watch more TV. Spend less time at work. Stop reply-ing to emails that inform you that you have inherited $20,000,000 from a blind monk living in a cave in Tunisia. Quit blaming your dog when you break wind. Now that you are back on track and headed in the right direction, may I sincerely wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Pete Whalon, author of “The Siagon Zoo” has called South-ern California home since age five.