People are reluctant to say "Merry Christmas" to me, an Italian - a pretty safe bet that I celebrate (or at some time celebrated) the holiday - but have no problem asking "What's your New Year's resolution?" It's equivalent to saying "Which problem of yours, and there are many, my dear friend, Michael, are you going to half-heartedly attempt to fix before giving up in futility like everyone else this year?"
OK, I'm putting a lot of assumed offense-intended on my friends, which truly there isn't, but it does bring up a point. A resolution is required to resolve something (solve an issue, unravel a mystery, fix a problem). I don't like to make New Year's resolutions because I never really took them seriously and in the past I repeatedly set myself up for disappointment. Instead, a few years ago I decided to try making small but serious tweaks in my life that would slowly become part of my routine and not a sudden shock to my system, and hopefully improve me in the process.
I didn't go on a crash diet, I slowly changed the portions of food I eat. I didn't give up my favorite foods, I simply cut down on them. And smaller portions actually made me feel a lot better. Once I got used to the portions, I started paying attention to what I was eating. Could I try wheat or whole grain bread instead of white? Sure! Could I find food without trans fats, nitrates and nitrites, high fructose corn syrup, and ingredients that don't read like a chapter from organic chemistry? Absolutely! So now I read the labels and am more discerning in my shopping.
After a stress-induced trip to the cardiologist, I didn't hit the gym but I did try a free Yoga class. Then signed up for a Yoga session. Then attended a few more. I recently took a break and learned I need to have a class to attend because I don't have enough self-discipline to practice enough on my own. Did I make a resolution to attend Yoga again in 2008? Not really, but I did think about it. So maybe one of the positive things I can say about resolutions are they get me to look over the past year and see if there are some new tweaks to consider.
I didn't resolve to get thin, lose weight, join a cult or gym, or be a better person. I did consider what other new routines I can try to introduce that I could benefit from or could make me even happier. Writing more is definitely one of them - nothing quantitative that I will ultimlatey come up short on; just more.
And I hope you'll like reading some more from me.
I did quit smoking at the very end of 1996, but I didn't announce it to the world (until I really announced it in my Smoke-Free World blog).
So maybe resolutions aren't all bad. Happy New Year!