The secret to maintaining your New Year’s Resolutions…

… is never to make any, of course.

It’s January – a new year and another chance to wipe the slate clean and press the RESET button on all those failed commitments from the previous year.  Every year, I revisit my New Year’s Resolutions from the previous year, not so much to analyze how many of them I kept, because of course I kept NONE of them. Rather, I look back to chronicle how many weeks it took before I had completely bailed out on my very last resolution.

Usually that date is around January 16th. But then there was that one exceptional year – 2004. I made it all the way through February before completely giving up on all my resolutions, goals and dreams.

In looking back over my past New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve noticed an unsettling trend. Over time, the goals I set kept getting more and more ambitious. Meanwhile my results have hit a bit of a plateau… then slowly slipped off the edge of that plateau…. into the deep, dark, cavernous ravine of best intentions gone miserably awry. So this year, I have decided to set more reasonable goals in order to feel a sense of accomplishment. Let me explain with a few examples.

These are some typical New Year’s Resolutions from previous years:

Fitness and health: Lose 40 pounds before our July vacation. Build up to running ten miles. Use my Buns of Steel-Ab Rocker machine, wear my Miracle Trim Vibrator Belt two hours a day, along with my Torso Tiger Sauna Suit I bought seven years ago but never wore once.

Nutrition and eating habits: Cut out eating anything pleasurable. Eat only steamed foods that are green and taste like dirt. Drink at least twenty 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Install a urinal in my car.

Finances: Pay off all my credit card debt and car loans. Finally pay off my grad school loans from 1984. Accept once and for all that getting on a hot streak at the roulette table at the Emerald Queen Casino is not an effective strategy for coming up with money for my kids’ college education.

Career: Create an action plan to finally obtain a respectable career in which I can explain to my kids what I do for a living without using the phrase, “I am hoping to make a comeback.”

Personal Development: Take up a hobby. How about a musical instrument like the violin? Master Vivaldi’s Four Season’s Suite in time to perform it for my family for Christmas.

In the case of last year, I failed miserably on all of my New Year’s Resolutions. In fairness, I was able to I was able to make a small dent in paying down some of my debt – by selling my Buns of Steel-Ab Rocker machine, the Vibrator Belt and the Sauna Suit at a garage sale. And while I never actually took up the violin, I made it through listening to almost half of Vivaldi’s Four Season’s Suite before I got bored and switched over to watching an episode of Ice Road Truckers.

The sad reality is that when it comes to sticking with my New Year’s Resolutions and avoiding temptation, I possess the self-discipline and restraint of a female bonobo monkey in heat. So for this year, I have come up with slightly more realistic goals. I feel really good about my chances:

Fitness & Health: Put away the running shoes. Sell the rest of my exercise equipment – way too hard on my aching knees. Start preparing for the Olympic Decathlon, by which I mean Track & Field VII for the Nintendo Gameboy. Buy a La-Z-Boy recliner so I can play the game in comfort. 

Nutrition: Who am I kidding with my goal of eating only healthy foods? Never going to happen. Eat more fruits and nuts, and by that I mean strawberry cheesecake, peach cobbler and Butter Pecan ice cream. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that pecans are high in fiber. 

Finances: With two kids who will be in college this year, looks like I’ll have to put my goal of reducing debt on the back burner for a few more years. Encourage my lower potential child to drop out of college. Extol the virtues of a career as a trucker. That should help my debt load considerably.

Career: Do whatever I can to hold onto my day job – even if that means cutting back on Facebook at work to less than three hours a day. Accept the reality that in all likelihood my childhood dream of launching a business designing my own haut couture intimate apparel and perfumes for cats may never get off the ground. 

Personal Development: Don’t give up just yet on my weekly humor blog View from the Bleachers. This year, for a change, try something completely different by remembering to include humor in some of my posts. Keep on writing, no matter how many people urge me to “Stop! For the love of God, just stop!!!!” 

If there is one thing I have learned from previous New Year’s Resolutions it’s that the only thing I have consistently achieved is an unbroken track record of abysmal failure. So this year, my resolution is set the bar low enough so I can walk over it… in my sleep…. with a tub of Butter Pecan ice cream under my arm.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS:  If you enjoyed this week’s post, please let me know by sharing it on Facebook, posting a comment or giving it a.  Here’s a great New Year’s Resolution: Make sure to forward View from the Bleachers every week to 10,000 people. Okay, perhaps that’s shooting a bit high. Let’s scale that back to 5,000 people per week. Good call. 

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2013

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  • Published On Jan. 10, 2013 by TEJ
  • 2 Comments


    1. 1/11/13

      Tim,

      This was very helpful and inspiring. I especially relate to your comment:
      “The sad reality is that when it comes to sticking with my New Year’s Resolutions and avoiding temptation, I possess the self-discipline and restraint of a female bonobo monkey in heat.”

      I too have female bonabo monkey tendencies but no longer date them.

      A quote I will always remember:
      “I have consistently achieved is an unbroken track record of abysmal failure.” – Tim Jones


    2. Drew Fisher
      1/12/13

      Oh, it’s “Ab Rocker!” I thought it was the Buns of Steel Al Roker machine. That used to be a funny line, until Al had that bariatric surgery, lost all that weight, and pooped his pants at the White House.

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