Editorial for Dec. 31, 2005

Now that we’re at the cusp of entering 2006, many are thinking ahead to their New Year’s resolutions and how they’ll change their lives for at least a couple of weeks until they dismiss the whole thing and go back to what they were doing before they opened up their new calendar.

The government Web site, www.firstgov.gov, states that the most common resolutions are: lose weight; pay off debt; save money; get a better job; get fit; eat right; get a better education; drink less alcohol; quit smoking now; reduce stress overall; reduce on-the-job stress; take a trip; and volunteer to help others.

“Those who refuse to make New Year’s resolutions because they always break them anyway miss the point,” said noted columnist Eric Zorn. “Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self-assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle.”

“On New Year’s Day the best resolution is to take a long walk, mix a stiff drink and eat a hearty meal with old friends,” Eno Putain said. Of course, this is the same person who once said, “Beware of inspirations that take wing on the vapors of your second martini.”

Coming up with a resolution is all fine and dandy. The true test is to see if you can stick to it. But if you’re not up for the task, make a resolution that you’ll have no problem breaking. Swap that Google stock for junk bonds. Keep the TV off during the Seahawks’ playoff run. Eat nothing but tofu. Root for the Yankees. Never go to sleep again since those eight hours could be spent chatting online. Gain 100 pounds so you can wear Jared’s old pants. Develop your nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills or computer hacking skills to impress girls.

For a truly happy new year and a real resolution, the best place to start is inside one’s self. B.C. Forbes, the late founder of the magazine which still bears his name, once said, “Happiness is normally the prime search of every rational human being. One way to derive increasing happiness during the year we have just entered is to strive diligently to promote the happiness of others, to think of them fist, yourself second. Happiness is the greatest tonic, the greatest elixir, of all. Worry is among the worst poisons. One sensible New Year resolution: I will do my utmost to have consideration for others, to exercise unselfishness, to radiate happiness, to conquer worrying over things I cannot possibly remedy.”

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