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Jewish World Review Jan. 4, 2005 / 23 Teves, 5765

Lenore Skenazy

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Consumer Reports

Resolutions I will keep (Possibly) | Three hundred and sixty-five days is a long time.

Reeeeeeeeally long if you have just resolved to exercise, cook leafy greens, actually EAT the leafy greens, not waste water, not waste time, call your mother, stop slumping, start flossing, stop obsessing about your so-called "finances" even though if you don't start saving SOON you will end up with a hot plate and a rat for your roommates, adopt a positive attitude (ha), start going to bed without dithering for an hour and STILL not hanging up your clothes (ha), stop frying everything in butter, stop making piles, stop moving the piles around, start doing the crossword puzzle so (the scientists say) you will have slightly less chance of developing Alzheimer's (as if that's really going to make a difference with a family history like yours), stop driving yourself and everyone else nuts with all the doom and gloom and, of course, start living in the moment.

Though why you'd want to live in this particular moment, G-d knows.

In short: No matter how naturally Pollyanna-ish one may be, it is hard to live up to one's resolutions. That's why most of us end up tossing them out this time of year (9:27 a.m., Jan. 2) and, for good measure, doing so with a celebratory breakfast of sausage patties and a McFlurry.

Followed by a brief nap, sometimes in public.

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Still, it does feel a tad disappointing to give up so soon on so many fresh starts. So this year, instead of saying, "McPloyee! Bring me another McFlurry, and make it a double!" maybe it is time for us to start making smaller, easier resolutions of much shorter duration. That way, instead of setting ourselves up for a year of failure, we set ourselves up for a half hour of success! May I therefore propose we all write a list something like this:

In the coming 30 minutes I will -

  • Not eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's. Although if I eat down to the last spoonful at 9:29 and then polish off that last bite at 9:31, that's another story, right? Right!

  • I will start an exercise regimen and begin by exercising my right to find a cool spot on the pillow.

  • I will call my mother!

  • Telepathically, that is.

  • I will not smoke. (Not that I ever have.)

  • I will not sink into sloth and despair. (Not that I ever - oh, who cares?)

  • I will not tell any stupid jokes. (Not that - quick, before the resolution kicks in: What has four legs, is tiny and white and has a trunk? A mouse going on vacation!)

  • I will save for the future. And I will start by saving those leafy greens for dinner sometime next week.

  • I will put at least one thing away. Like my floss.

  • I will exercise self-control on all fronts starting - whathasfourlegsisbrownandhasatrunk?AmousecomingBACKfromvacation - NOW.

  • I will get out of bed!

  • P.S. - But if I don't, I won't beat myself up, because at least I'm awake and rarin' to go and ... leafy mouse ... four trunks ... Happy New Yearzzzzzz.

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    JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.

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