The New Year is upon us and now is the time to look to the future and all the changes we will make next year. In other words, this is the time for the annual New Year's Day resolutions.
We often make the same resolutions each year because they did not make it through the first week of the last year.
The reality is, the only resolution that has more than an average chance of being successful is the resolution made by someone who resolves to make no resolutions.
The most time honored of all resolutions are the famous lose weight and get more physically fit vows. Almost everyone, including people who can wiggle through a straw, will say they want to drop some poundage this year.
Losing weight calls for diet and exercise, two things people who are trying to lose weight will avoid at all costs.
Almost certainly there are those out there who received the stationary bike, stair-stepper or rowing machine for Christmas and are anxious to get started on their weight loss program. The first week will be met with enthusiasm.
But by spring the stationary bike, stair-stepper or rowing machine will be available at the yard sale.
The weight lose resolution seldom survives January and normally meets its final demise on Super Bowl Sunday, killed by an onslaught of hot wings, chips, dip and cold beer.
In Atlanta, many people declare this is the year they will be more patient and civilized while driving. This resolution will last about two days or until you head to the mall to return the purple and green sweater and get cut off by the yahoo in a rusted out 1987 Buick, at which point you make an obscene gesture and yell out the window for the driver to perform what would be an impossible anatomical act.
Another annual resolution is the vow to rid ourselves of years of clutter, the piles of unwanted, seldom used, ill-fitting or outdated items taking up needed space in our garage, attics and closets.
The resolution usually ends when we find something we know we can still wear after we drop a few pounds or that quaint little item you kept for sentimental reasons.
Next year you will find those same clothes and still not be able to wear them and the sentimental item will have the same sentimental value, although you are starting to forget why.
This may also be the year you vow to be more tolerant and less judgmental, but that one has no chance because this is an election year.
Effective New Year's resolutions should be rooted in reality, the need to promise yourself you will find a way to enjoy the coming year.
Pledging to lose weight is not nearly as enjoyable as promising to eat your fair share of ice cream and chocolate.
There is nothing wrong with having goals for the coming year, call them resolutions if you will, and given the state of things and the trials and tribulations we face just to get through the day having a goal, even a simple or small one, may be just what it takes to keep us sane.
Perhaps the best resolutions are the ones we make with good hope and heart and feel no despair when they are not achieved.
It may be the only resolution that really matters is our inner voice calling for us to try and be a slightly better person tomorrow than we were today. That is a noble goal and one we have the power to accomplish.
As for my New Year's resolution? Well, I'm heading to the grocery store to see if I can find a buy-one-get-one-free sale on ice cream.
Have a happy and safe New Year.
Ric Latarski is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics and can be reached at Rlatarski@aol.com.