Testing my resolve

For 2011 I'd like my right foot to weigh less than 40. Also, I want to paint my toenails red.

“They” say that 80% of us will fail on our New Year’s resolutions. I like those odds so count me in!

Of course, one of mine was to get a post about resolutions up by Jan. 1. Oops. Missed it!

Personally I think waiting for a date on a calendar to try to make a change is a bit silly. If you want to improve something, go ahead and do it now. Why wait?

On the other hand, the first day of the year is a very easy day to remember. It will help you with one of the principles of Kaizen – namely, if you measure something it will improve. “How long has it been since I bit someone’s throat? Oh yeah, New Year’s Day. Now I remember!”

Before I pontificate further let’s do a little exercise together, shall we?

Grab a sheet of paper and write down your list of this year’s resolutions. No fair peeking ahead to find out what comes next! In fact, I’m going to do the jump thingy to enforce compliance. Fill out your sheet then click to continue reading.

Don’t lie to me. We all know you didn’t write anything down. Whatever, the post must go on.

Now, identify all resolutions that involve the acquisition of material things, possessions or money. Put a line through these.

Next, identify all resolutions that involve something to do with yourself. (Gaining weight, drinking more alcohol, etc.) Put a line through these as well.

So, how did you do? What’s left? Anything? Anything at all? This residue of your list is what I like to call “Shit that Matters” or, perhaps, “Things that involve other people.”

Anything left on your list? Be honest! And if so, pound the comment function and let us know. Like there is any chance we’ll actually believe you.

I think one thing to keep in mind is that resolutions need to be realistic and attainable. “I’m going to die 42 times,” although bold and daring, simply isn’t very realistic. It’s better to reword this. For example, “I’ll die at least once.” Now that’s something you can actually do!

One of my resolutions involves posting on this humble blog every single day for one more year. Another is to start a second blog and post there at least once a week. I’d also like to participate in team blogging at some point, if possible.

Last year I gave up sugar, soda, and coffee. The holy trinity of what I like to call “What the fuck am I going to drink now? Water?!?” That translates well to a resolution to drink more water. I’ve got my Klean Kanteen and I’m ready to go! Besides, the only water provided at work comes from the toilet and even I won’t drink that.

I was also a lacto-ovo vegetarian for about half of 2010. I’ve gone back on that wagon for 2011. Three days of success so far and counting!

For me, taking the concept of “other than self” to a whole new level, I’d like to try an external resolution. Number one on that list is something I like to call “listening.” This may be alien to most Americans reading this blog, so I’ll take a brief moment to explain. This is the act of paying attention to another human being. Strange concept, I know.

I’ve found that even when I’m listening I’m still not listening. I’ve mastered the art of pretending to listen. Here’s a couple of examples: My wife will tell me if she needs a ride home after work or not. I’ll grunt to acknowledge she made some sort of noise. Later, as I’m about to get off work, I find myself wondering if she needs a ride, so I’ll give her a call.

Another even more dramatic example is when she’s going to be gone in the evening and tells me where in the house I might find food. I’m really screwed over on those nights.

So yeah, listening is important. Besides, I hear that it might even make other people feel good so why the hell not try it more often?

My other resolutions are fairly simple. Try to be more honest, more ethical, more moral, give up World of Warcraft so I can have free time in my life again (the account was canceled in December) and generally try to be a good person. I’d also like to actually begin working on my book. My goal, to be acheivable, is to complete at least one sentence by the end of the year.

Good luck with your resolutions, if you made any. Maybe next year we can meet back here and see how we did. 🙂

11 responses

  1. I figured nobody wanted TOO much on my “goals” as part if that 30 day challenge I’m doing but I *am* doing some. I love goals. I love to make myself sick about accomplishing them, all the while sitting at my tatty job as it falls apart around me. I *did* give it a hard try a couple of years ago & upon finding nothing, threw in the towel.

    I think that was a good call at the time. Too much family suicide drama going on.

    I think THIS year things are finally going to get better. Fairly certain my crap job will fail altogether, got a line on a temp job & I hope to meet people who love me and want to hire me more:)

    I can dream.

    No sugar, coffee? Whew. Good on you!


    1. Wow. I rushed my post and left out a lot of my other resolutions. Oh well. No harm, no foul. I can always try them next year. 🙂

      Speaking of resolutions, I can’t remember a single one I had last year. Ignorance is bliss!

      Goals are cool if they work for you. In my case goals just make me feel worse and like a pathetic loser. Good luck to you, though. I have no doubt you’ll find some damn perceptive people who will indeed love you and give you a nice job!


  2. My resolution this year was simply NOT to have any! Woohoo! Of course, somehow that’s also an oxy-moron or something like that, right? Anyways, I’m excited to say the least to have nothing to tense up about, nothing to feel negative about when I don’t succeed, etc.!

    I can’t wait to meet back here and SEE how I did! So far, so good!



    1. Absolutely brilliant. I’m so jealous because I wish I had thought of it. That’s the ultimate resolution!

      I will point out, however, that depriving yourself of something to feel negative about deprives you of a very exciting part of the feelings spectrum. Personally I feel those opportunities need to be maximized. It’s that whole yin-yang thing again. You can’t have day without night! 🙂


      1. Worry not my beautiful one — I’m pretty sure the negative feelings regarding OTHER aspects of my life, like just regular living for example, will keep me on par with all yin-yng levels and such. I’m just not dealing with negativity from failed resolutions! So, I think we’re still good, right?



  3. I resolve not to resolve. But that’s about me so I clearly wasn’t really listening 😉


  4. I try not to make resolutions, I always end up breaking them shortly after making them. I do have some goals, though, that I had made for myself last year, to accomplish this year. NO – it’s NOT the same fricking thing. Cause I say so, that’s why.

    I would love what Hyppo and Critter’s resolutions are… *hint, hint, nudge, 😉 SMACK*


  5. I try not to make resolutions, I always end up breaking them shortly after making them. I do have some goals, though, that I had made for myself last year, to accomplish this year. NO – it’s NOT the same fricking thing. Cause I say so, that’s why.

    I would love to see what Hyppo and Critter’s resolutions are… *hint, hint, nudge, 😉 SMACK*


  6. Ok, so that was not supposed to happen… sorry!


    1. Heh! It’s all good. Just in time, too. I just came up with a new resolution for this year.

      I resolve not to wear the same shirt to work two days in a row.

      I might be aiming too high. That is going to be a tough one!


  7. […] my previous post about resolutions, Brea had wondered if Hyppo and Critter had made any New Year’s […]


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