I like to make New Year's resolutions, but many people don't. They know that they're not going to keep their resolutions, and they figure, quite logically, that it's stupid to make a resolution you're not going to keep.
They're absolutely right.
But I'm not that logical.
I always resolve to do things I know I won't do, so why should New Year's be any different? Last week, I resolved to get my truck inspected and my roots done. I didn't do either. If you inspected my roots, I'd get a ticket.
Don't mistake me, it's not as if I didn't intend to do the things I'd resolved to do. It just didn't work out. And I don't feel guilty about it, because there are so many other things to feel guilty about.
Ask my mother.
Maybe the problem is with the word
. It has a legal vibe that's no fun at all. A resolution is for a corporation or a national constitution.
is a good start to a preamble about the right to free speech, but it's overkill for me losing 10 pounds.
is just too intense for what we're talking about. If you look it up in the thesaurus, its synonyms are dauntlessness, staunchness, and tenacity.
Got a headache yet?
I suggest we replace the word
, and from now on, we can all make wishes for New Year's. It's dull to make a resolution, but it's fun to make a wish. It makes you think of birthday cake.
Everybody loves birthday cake.
And if you look up
in the thesaurus, its synonyms are desire, hankering, and itch.
Isn't that better?
doesn't take itself as seriously as
, and neither should we. We're just people, and often we fall short. To err is human, right? For homo sapiens, failure is a job requirement.
If we stop resolving and start wishing, we would never fail, because nobody ever expects a wish to come true. For example, I wish I could marry George Clooney. I wish I could lose 10 pounds. I wish I had naturally blond hair, so I didn't have to worry about my roots in the first place.
We know that none of my wishes is going to come true. But I really do wish for them, beyond all logic. And I'd like to keep wishing for them in 2008. Wishing fulfills a human need that goes beyond common sense. After all, we buy Powerball tickets and hold presidential elections. Somebody wins, but it's never us.
I bet some of you are reading this right now and shaking your head. You agree that
is too hard-core, but you think
is for slackers. You seek a compromise between
. You wonder, isn't there a middle ground?
Don't despair. I have another word.
suit you? You could make a list of New Year's aims. I view
as resolution with a fallback. With
, you get to announce your resolution, but it automatically includes a Plan B. Like an exit strategy, built-in.
Let's say you aim to lose 10 pounds this coming year. That's like saying you resolve to lose 10, but you'd settle for losing two. In other words, if you lose 10, great. If you lose five, also great. But if you lose only one, then you have to feel guilty and worthless for the holidays next year.
Now ya happy?
is like a prenup. You want to keep your aim. You will try to keep your aim. In fact, you aim to keep your aim. But you're realistic enough to know that you might not be able to keep your aim. Because you can get so sick of your aim, it's not even funny. And if your aim tells that duck story one more time, you might commit murder.
But I'm off track. Bottom line, if you don't keep your aim, you keep the house, the Schwab account and the Jag.
is growing on me, if you can't tell.
has the connotation of physically aiming at something, like a target, but there's wiggle room, in case your aim was off. As if you just missed the mark. Close, but no cigar. The failure wasn't your fault, exactly. The sun was in your eyes.
You with me?
Come along. I'm converting to aim. Aim works better for me and George Clooney.
Here is my New Year's aim for 2008: I aim to marry George Clooney, but I would settle for sleeping with him.
Am I aiming too high?
Or would that be a miracle?