Since we all only get to enjoy a fraction of those celestial occurrences (or all of them if you believe in reincarnation), we have a tradition of making resolutions for each turn of the calendar. Despite our good intentions with these promises to change our ways, most of us fail miserably. I happen to believe the New Year's resolution business was created by the fitness industry as a ploy to thin our wallets rather than our waistlines (just as Thanksgiving was created by Butterball and Easter was invented by Peeps to thin our wallets and expand our waistlines), but since we all gleefully partake in the aforementioned holidays, I too try to make the best of the resolution folly.
Last week on our Friday business page, we printed an article from a local consultant giving tips on achieving goals in the new year. Among his suggestions were to have both easy goals as well as goals that actually take effort. This will enable us to feel inadequate on several levels when we accomplish neither type. He also suggested we write down the goals, thereby serving as a visual reminder of our aforementioned inadequacies.
As a good American, though, I should at least try his suggestions as I blindly resolve to better myself at this arbitrary time of year. Admittedly, I have seen some positive results in the past when I used the written goals theory, so I will give it a shot yet again so I can help make the world go 'round.
Resolution #1: Get in better shape. This resolution is very cliche, which is why I am getting it out of the way first. Most people would look at my slender frame and scoff at the notion, but I have been pretty lazy this past year. I get a little winded climbing the stairs at home, which is not a good sign. So I resolve to be more active each day, even if it means doing some light exercises. This resolution also includes eating better and drinking less alcohol. Note my use of the words "better" and "less." This resolution is no way intended to terminate my consumption of greasy food or bourbon. Resolutions are supposed to make your life better, not strip it of all pleasure.
Resolution #2: Manage my money better. This unfortunately conflicts with Resolution #1, since I spend $20 a month for a gym membership I haven't used in six months. So I will reconcile this by going to the gym twice a week for the next six months and then canceling my membership. I will also resist at least one urge to buy something frivolous each week. The money I would have spent on said frivolity will go into a bank account to accomplish Resolution #3.
Resolution #3: Take a nice vacation. My girlfriend really wants to take a big trip somewhere and although I love vacations, I am a workaholic for 50 or so hours a week and too lazy to travel more than 100 miles the rest of the time. So, I will save my money and see a part of the world I have never seen before.
Resolution #4: Be better at my job. I will improve my work here at the Tribune by applying the write-it-down approach I am using at this moment. I will make lists of what I want us as a staff to accomplish this year. When I say "us as a staff" I mean "the people who work for me" and when I say "accomplish" I mean "things I want my employees to do while I take credit for making them do it."
Resolution #5: Learn to fix a door frame. When a door from my garage to the yard got stuck this weekend, I tried to out-muscle it rather than out-think it. As a result, I cracked the frame trying to get it open. At least I got the door open.
Resolution #6: Handle stress better. Lately I have had a short temper and I need to work on that. Maybe the exercise will help, especially since I have resolved to drink less.
Resolution #7: End this column.