January is a perfect month to begin this plan. It is the month of the New Year’s Resolution. And some of my very favorite columns have been written on that topic. Here’s one I liked from 2014.
The curious website USA.gov, whose slogan is “Government Made Easy” (insert your own joke here), ran a list of the most common New Year’s resolutions last week.
Sure enough, they look familiar.
Lose weight. Not a big deal for me thanks to some combination of the lucky gene pool and regular visits to the chlorinated lap pool.
Volunteer to help others. Sounds good. But I have never actually resolved to do it.
Quit smoking. Never — thank all the lucky stars above — started. Phew!
Get a better education. Six years at Wakeman Elementary. Two years at Townsend Junior High. Four Years at Western Reserve High School. Four years at Ohio University. That was plenty of education for me, thanks.
Get a better job. As I mentioned here in five recent columns, I’m retired. It feels like a job for which I am well-suited.
Save money. This is another trait apparently built into my DNA. Lucky me. It also helps that as the Joneses are speeding on past I have no particular desire to keep up.
Get fit. This is a resolution I have made more than once. But I usually attach it to a goal: “Get fit enough to take a hiking vacation.” “Get fit enough to do the Maple City Triathlon.” “Get fit enough to keep up with a three year old.” Like that.
Eat healthy food. Some variation of this one is on my list almost every January. The bad news is that I only achieve about 10 percent success each year. The good news is that I am old enough that all those 10 percents have added up to some reasonably good eating habits.
Manage stress. See number 5 above — I’m retired.
Manage debt. See number 6 above — I’ve managed to not be in debt.
Take a trip. I never wait for January 1 to make this resolution. As soon as one trip ends I resolve to take another. And then I make you read about it.
Reduce, reuse and recycle. I have never made one of these 3Rs resolutions. But Char’s Christmas wrapping is a model for how this is supposed to work. The appearance of gifts under our tree changes only slightly from year to year. Bows and tags and much wrapping paper are unchanged since the 1970s. It shows you what’s possible.
Drink less alcohol. Not a resolution-worthy issue for me. When I am your designated driver, you are in good hands.
Seeing this list caused me to look back at what my actual resolutions have been over the years.
And I can do it, because my resolutions are not simply pinned to the refrigerator door with a magnet so they can be conveniently wadded up and thrown away in early March after they have been broken. Oh no. I put mine right here in this newspaper for you and everyone else to see.
That means I also have a digital copy of those old resolutions.
Last week I dug out all of the ones I have published since the turn of the 21st century. And re-reading them made me think you might enjoy some of them, too.
Thus, my first resolution for the new year is to devote a couple of columns in January to sharing lessons I have learned from my eclectic resolutions from the past.
That will give us all at least 11 months to do better in 2014.
Jim Busek is a free-lance writer who lives in Norwalk. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] hotmail.com.