I make my New Year’s resolutions daily. I just strive to be a better person and I always believe in karma. —Jay-Z
Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. —Oprah Winfrey
A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. — Leslie Dinaberg’s South Coasting Column, 2004
Like many ridiculously optimistic and otherwise rational people, I always take some time at the end of December to reflect on my accomplishments of the past year and set goals for the next one. The idea is to come up with a list of goals that will help transform me into a kinder, nicer, more organized, healthier, richer person with a better figure, a well-behaved family, and a much cleaner house.
Okay, so maybe my 2008 accomplishments weren’t all that stellar, but a look back at the history of my New Year’s resolutions tells me that at least I’m continuing to make some progress every year.
1988: I will get back to the weight on my Driver’s License.
1997: I will get back to my weight when I got married.
2005: I will follow my new diet religiously until I get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.
2009: I will try to develop a realistic attitude about my weight, focus on getting healthy, buy myself pretty clothes and develop my personality. (Confession: I’d like to take credit for this line, but truthfully it’s what my father said about me the first time he saw me when I was an hour old.)
1992: I will not spend my money frivolously and save enough money to put a down payment on a small house in Santa Barbara.
1998: I will not spend any money at all on anything, under any circumstances, and save enough to put a down payment on a small house in Isla Vista, with the help of my parents and anyone else who might want to invest.
2003: I will not spend my money frivolously and save enough to put a down payment on a small used car.
2006: I will stop buying so many new pairs of shoes.
2008: I will try to keep my expenses below 110 percent of my income.
2009: I will stop crumpling my tax deductible receipts into teeny tiny balls of paper that raise my husband’s blood pressure every year come April.
2003: I will stop smoking.
2004: I will stop smoking.
2005: I will stop smoking.
2006: I will stop smoking.
2007: I will stop smoking.
2008: I will stop smoking.
2009: I will stop smoking. (Confession: I never started smoking in the first place, but I always like to give myself one easy thing that I know I can accomplish to make myself feel better about this whole New Year’s resolution thing.)
2003: I will spend more time with my family.
2006: I will spend more quality time with my family.
2008: I will redefine quality time with my family to mean that we all have to be awake, with no one yelling, but not necessarily doing the same activity in the same room at the same time.
December 22, 2008: Screw the family. I will carve out some quality time for myself, by myself, and not feel guilty about it. (Written immediately after disembarking from a five-day cruise with my extended family.)
2009: I will spend more quality time with my family and my dear friends, but only after spending enough quality time with myself to not be grumpy.
1998: I will treat my body as a temple and eat only healthy, organic foods.
2000: I will only order out for pizza once a week.
2003: I will remember that Chuck’s Mai Tais do not count as a serving of fruit, even though they come with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry. The celery in a Brophy Brother’s Bloody Mary doesn’t count as a vegetable either.
2006: I will sit down with my family and eat a healthy, balanced meal at least once a week.
2008: I will eat a piece of dark chocolate and I will drink a glass of red wine every night, but only for the good of my health.
1982: I will write a book before I’m 30.
1995: I will write a book before I’m 40.
2005: I will read at least 10 books a year whose titles I’m not embarrassed to talk about.
2007: I actually wrote a few books. So what If they’re shorter than this column and the graphics are kind of cheesy. I have my own ISBN numbers.
2008: I co-authored a book and it’s actually pretty good. I will do my best to help sell “Hometown Santa Barbara” so I can actually make some money this year.
2009: I will write a novel before I’m 50.
1993: I will not fight with my boyfriend about household chores.
1994: I will not fight with my husband about household chores.
1999: My husband will stop pretending he knows how to fix the car and I will stop pretending I am the least bit competent in the kitchen.
2007: My husband will stop pretending he doesn’t see the pile of laundry that needs to be folded and I will stop pretending I don’t know how to plunge the toilet and pump my own gas.
2009: My husband will make sure I have gas in my car if I give him enough warning when the tank is low and I will stop making New Year’s resolutions on behalf of other people.
2003: I will not fight with Koss about cleaning up his toys.
2005: I will not fight with Koss about doing his chores.
2006: I will not fight with Koss about his homework, doing his chores and cleaning up his dirty sweat socks.
2007: I will not fight with Koss about his homework, doing his chores and cleaning up his dirty sweat socks and his sweaty t-shirts.
2008: I will not fight with Koss about his homework, doing his chores, cleaning up his dirty sweat socks and his sweaty t-shirts, and how much time he spends on the computer.
2009: Koss will be responsible for his own homework, his own chores and his own dirty clothes. But I am still his mother and I can make resolutions for him if I want to!
2008: I will put away money that I would have spent on lattes in a little jar every day and maybe when I retire I’ll be able to afford an R.V. that I can park somewhere in Santa Barbara.
2009: Who am I kidding? I can’t live without lattes. Pass the Equal, and the wine and chocolate while you’re at it.
Cheers to a New Year and may all your troubles last as long as my New Year’s resolutions.