Tag Archive for New Year’s Resolutions

I’m Crowdsourcing My New Year’s Resolutions



In case you missed the headline, I’m crowdsourcing my New Year’s Resolutions for 2018. Because who knows better than you? No-bah-dee. I’m in such deep denial about my faults that I’m not going to be any help at all. I’m just staring at a blank paper here. 


Besides, the old way of doing resolutions doesn’t work. We’ve all been there. The calendar year turns and it’s time to make our big New Year’s Resolution. Or Resolution(s) if we’re feeling particularly ambitious — or covering our bases in the event of, you know, not bothering. Often people pick one big thing, for instance, “Lose Ten Pounds,” or “Spend Less Time on Social Media.” 


The whole concept never takes hold. By late January there’s broken resolutions scattered everywhere. Collectively, across the country, we’re unresolved.


Because there’s too much pressure on that one big resolution. The success of an entire year rises or falls on that single thing. Did you learn how to macrame? Did you read more “serious novels”? Did you give up wheat? (You never even tried, did you?) Twelve months later you look back and it’s an “epic fail” because of course you didn’t lose those last ten pounds, nobody dreamed you would, in fact you packed on six more. Oh well.

I’ve come to believe that it’s much better to spread our the burden of resolutions as if they came in a large tub of room-temperature margarine. I’m not talking about a tub of ten solutions. Or even twenty. I’m talking about a very, very large tub.


I’m announcing my intention of having 1,000 resolutions in place and fully documented by midnight, December 31st. In fact, while typing this I thought of my first resolution:

1) Never again say or type “epic fail.” In fact:

2) Never say or type “epic” anything. That word sucks now.

See? I need only 998 more resolutions.

Oh, wait:

3) Read at least one poem a day.

4) Don’t get my hopes up. Across the board. Just. Don’t.

Now here’s where you come in. I need only 996 more resolutions.


Oh, wait, again:

5) Don’t believe any swimmer when he or she tells me the water is “refreshing.” That person with blue lips is a liar. Don’t get fooled again!

6) Say “namaste” at least once this year and actually believe it instead of, you know, faking it. I think it has something to do with a light.

7) Enough already with the IPAs.

8) Help more with housework.

8A) Ask Lisa where she keeps the broom. 

8B) Do we own a broom?

8C) Buy Lisa a broom for her birthday.

9) Boo somebody, anybody, but not an athlete. Ideas: baristas, politicians, family members, random strangers, the plumber, etc. Really let ’em have it.

10) Write Bill McKibbon a fan letter.

11) If it doesn’t look delicious, don’t eat it. Tasting things that look horrible is not open-minded, it’s overrated. Trust my eyes.

12) Tell Paul what I really, really think about him. Truth to power!

13) Get other people to finish my lists.

Okay, I need 987 more.

Got any suggestions?


My Word for 2009

About a week back, I linked to One Little Word, a concept for the New Year when we are called upon to select a single word as more or less our theme/mantra for the coming year. As far as I can gather, it was first discussed a few years back by Ali Edwards at capture.create. She wrote:

Last year I began a tradition of choosing one word for myself each January — a word that I can focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life. Last year my word was something I wanted to bring into my life in a more tangible way. My word was play.

Ali went on to explain:

It can be something tangible or intangible. It could be a thought or a feeling or an emotion. It can be singular or plural. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you. This is not your mother’s word or your spouse’s word or your child’s word – this is YOUR word.

For some reason, this simple concept struck me. The truth is, while I always appreciated the idea of New Year’s Resolutions — it seemed like an awful lot of work, all that thinking and resolving. It reminded me of Woody Allen’s line about fitness: “I tried lifting weights once, but they were so heavy.”

Undaunted, I resolved to come up with a really good word.

One stinking word! Even I could muster that. After all, I’m a professional writer (stand back, folks, don’t try this at home).

Then the overthinking and the doubt and worry began. What if people found out about my word? Was I supposed to share it? Say it out loud? Type it? Blog — gasp, shudder — about it?!

I glanced around the web and found people who had their own words, like SHINE and SERENITY and ACCEPTANCE and HEART and TRUST. They seemed pleased with their words, pleased with themselves, and mostly pleased with what their words said about them. Cool, I understood, this could be a new, easy way to feel good about myself without the actual hassle of doing something worthwhile. For example, your word could be GIVE, but it’s not like the Feds are going to check up on things. They’re too busy with Homeland Security. So you could profess to GIVE, but secretly be on the TAKE.

Nobody would be the wiser.

I considered REMEMBER, but worried it wasn’t original enough. Plus, I figured it was already taken by a lot of Jews and all those 9/11 people. Those folks are very big on REMEMBER, and for good reason. Nothing wrong with that. But I wanted my word to be different. A singular statement of my amazingness.

What about . . . FORGET? That was probably wide open. A word for the taking.

Sure, if it was two words, people might have grabbed FORGIVE and FORGET. But the rules are quite specific. You can only have one word. I figured while everybody was out busily grabbing FORGIVE, I could quietly pick up my FORGET and not have to wait on any long lines.

Picking a noble word is key. After all, it makes you look like a Good Person, and isn’t that the whole point? Trying to give the (possibly phony) appearance of a Good Person?

Person #1: What’s your word for 2009?

Person #2: My word? Oh, I couldn’t say.

Person #1: Come on, it’ll be fun.

Person #2: Forgive.

Person #1: Oh, wow, you must be a really good person.

You see that? It’s all about selling yourself. Look how easy it can be: “My word? LOVE, of course! It’s my word every year! Aren’t I fabulous and . . . urm . . . loving? Perhaps even deserving of a Cybil?”


Of course, sad as this sounds, the first word that came to me was . . . ME.

I naturally wished it could be three words: ME, ME and ME. Could I invent a new word? MEMEME!

Then I distilled it.


Perfect. Except . . . it wouldn’t look so great to family and friends. Strangers, too. So MINE! would have to be my secret word, on the down low, the word I don’t tell anybody, but think and dwell on like Gollum’s ring.

If anyone asks, my word for 2009 is . . . DO.

Just that.

My theme, my mantra. In the meantime, I remain open to the possibilities.

What’s your word? Come on. Bring it.