With only two days left in 2021 we come to an annual tradition of self-humiliation. No, not the photos of us at New Year’s Eve parties, passed out on the dog’s bed; I refer to New Year resolutions.

Here’s an example: “I will lose 15 pounds before March and keep them off for the rest of the year.” This is a lofty, and perhaps weighty, goal. We forget that the coming year will put land mines in our path: holidays, birthdays and parties. As the bathroom scale creeps back up, we see our firm resolutions turn flabby.

Don’t despair. You can make keep-able resolutions by following these three easy rules:

Rule 1: Never resolve to do anything that requires actual will power. Example: resolve not to take up smoking, a much easier promise to keep than to give it up.

Rule 2: Never make a resolution based on a doctor’s advice. When you wrap a medical directive in a squishy New Year’s resolution you’re admitting defeat before you start, thinking, “It was just a goal, not a prescription.”

Rule 3: If you pick a hard resolution, don’t tell it to anyone until you’ve adhered to it for the full year.

Note: Some people, especially spouses, may deduce that you’ve made a hard resolution when they see you jogging for two miles a day. If so, don’t say it was your resolution. Say, “I just felt like it.”

Here are a dozen keep-able resolutions; they aren’t patented, so feel free to try one:

- I will not intentionally touch a live, venomous snake this year.

- I will not binge-watch a boxed set of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” episodes. And if I do, I will not eat popcorn, unless it’s buttered and salted.

- I will count the number of times I say the word “like” in one hour while I’m, like, awake each month, then do, like, nothing to stop saying it so often.

- Same with “You know,” you know.

- I will clip my toenails whenever one of them starts cutting through my socks, at a minimum.

- I will not put maraschino cherries on top of ice cream sundaes. I hate maraschino cherries.

- I will say a prayer at least every day, even if it’s only “OMG!”

- When someone is speaking to me and has spinach stuck between his teeth, I will wait until he comes to the end of a sentence before pointing it out.

- I will turn off the television at least once a day, unless I fall asleep on the couch again.

- I will not refer to my dog as a mongrel. I will call her “a dog of complex heritage.”

- I will not point out to people who use “DEI” as shorthand for diversity, equity, and inclusion that it’s Latin for “God.”

- I may or may not try to come up with a single word that means “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” other than “fairness.”

Self-improvement doesn’t have to be a bother, especially if you’re like me and have so many things needing improvement.

Louie@coastsidenewsgroup.com wishes you a happy and healthy 2022.

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