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I’ve finally come up with the ultimate New Year’s resolution!

Unlike previous resolutions over many, many years, it cannot be broken. I don’t have to worry about getting enough exercise, eating healthier, losing weight, getting more sleep, being friendlier, exhibiting more patience and self-control, becoming less critical, holding my temper, watching my language, being more charitable, driving more carefully, watching TV less – and all those other answers, decisions, declarations, decrees, determinations, doggedness, ends, motions, oaths, outcomes, pledges, promises, purposes, resolves, rulings, solutions, steadfastness, tenacities, upshots and vows that year after year went into making resolutions for the New Year. Usually, most resolutions were broken before kickoff of the first bowl game on January 1.

Previously, I’ve striven faithfully to keep my New Year’s resolutions only to be depressed and disappointed soon after the midnight confetti hit the floor since once again I had just broken a resolve I so fervently vowed to keep this time around. And it’s discouraging to begin again knowing that deep down inside you have an exposed weakness for breaking a particular pledge since you just broke it. Sound familiar?

One may even go the extra mile of writing down their New Year’s resolutions, posting them on a bulletin board, the refrigerator, a calendar, a mirror, in the memo section of a phone or computer and worse yet – telling a parent, spouse, sibling, friend, neighbor or work associate of what we intend to do or not do in the coming year. Not only does your conscience bother you when you mess up, but now there’s another human being around to remind you, “Hey, you screwed up! Wasn’t what you just did a New Year’s resolution you told me you weren’t going to do anymore?” If you have to relate aloud the resolutions you intend to keep, you’d be much better off telling them to your dog or cat. They won’t judge you when you mess up. Well, maybe your cat will sneer at you.

Probably by now you’ve discovered my secret regarding keeping New Year’s resolutions. First of all, you only make one resolution! And that resolution is: “I resolve to make no New Year’s resolutions!” Period. Amen. That’s it. Problem solved! You don’t have to worry about breaking the resolution as long as you don’t make any additional resolutions.

If you want, go ahead and be the better person you’d like to be for the New Year, practicing all those things above or others you vowed you would do or not do in previous years. And if you forget or make a mistake, so what. Simply begin again without the disappointment and guilty conscience of breaking a resolution.

Vince LaBarbera
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Vince LaBarbera

Vince is a Fort Wayne native. He earned a master of science degree in journalism and advertising from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. LaBarbera is retired but continues to enjoy freelance writing and serving the Radio Reading Service of the Allen County Public Library. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer