A Resolution For Your New Year’s Resolutions


Establishing New Year’s resolutions that are difficult to attain just leaves the door open for disappointment by the year’s end. That’s why several years ago I stumbled upon a more successful way to achieve New Year’s resolutions: Don’t set such lofty goals. There is a lot of pressure that comes with things like losing weight, eating healthier, working out more or quitting bad habits.

Who needs the additional stress of setting high standards for one’s goals?

To achieve a goal, one must come up with a strategy for doing so that’s based in practicality. In other words, set simple goals and employ simple strategies.

If there is one thing that I know, it’s about being simple.

As an example, one year I set a goal of losing more hair. All I had to do to achieve that goal was to breathe. The hair was more than happy to do the rest on its own by exiting stage left at every opportunity afforded it by my advancing age.

Goal achieved? Check.

Another past resolution I’ve set for myself – one that can be achieved at a workmanlike pace over a number of years – is to keep a messier car. The benchmark for that goal is the number of people that can comfortably fit into my car. If that number is three, then it means I haven’t strewn enough fast-food, bags, empty water bottles, candy wrappers and newspapers onto the seats and floorboards.

Unfortunately, I recently had to abandon that goal because I got a new car and had to start all over with messing it up. That’s actually a good way to clean up a car if that is one’s goal: to sell it. It’s kind of the same simple approach I use to washing my car – I wait until it rains.

Sometimes, seemingly simple resolutions become more complicated due to circumstances beyond one’s control. One year I made a resolution to quit losing socks. On the surface, that sounds simple enough.

But nobody, including me, has ever been able to solve that age-old mystery of how two socks go into the clothes dryer but only one comes out. I’ve found socks that have gone missing from the dryer out on my front lawn, for crying out loud. How does that happen?

So I adjusted my strategy on laundering socks. Every time I finished a load of wash, I put one sock in the dryer and threw one sock out onto the front lawn. My hope was that the lawn sock would just as mysteriously find its way back into the dryer and my problem would be solved.

Hey, there is no reasonable explanation to the missing socks mystery, so what did I have to lose other than more socks, which I was already doing anyway?

Well, that didn’t work. Socks apparently cannot travel very far without feet in them. And it left me with the problem of having to answer to my neighbors as to why I had a front lawn full of socks.

So this year, I am trying to adhere to the original premise, which at least has a reasonable chance of succeeding: Establishing simple New Year’s resolutions and employing simple strategies to achieve those goals.

My goals for 2014 are:

1)          Resolution: To sleep more. Strategy: To get out of bed less.

2)          Resolution: To yawn less: Strategy: To sleep more.

3)          Resolution: To talk less: Strategy: To yawn more.

4)          Resolution: To nap more: Strategy: To talk less.

5)          Resolution: To doze less. Strategy: To nap more.

I’ve got a real chance to succeed this year, huh?

One last point about New Year’s resolutions is that research shows that those with perfectionist personalities tend to do better with step-by-step plans for pursuing those goals.

Well, that’s not me. All I have to do to remind myself of that is to look down at my mismatched socks.

Michael Morsch

Michael Morsch

Mike Morsch is a freelance writer from suburban Philadelphia. His award-winning weekly "Outta Leftfield" humor column appeared in Montgomery Media's 15 newspapers and websites for 10 years. He is also the author of the book, "Dancing in My Underwear: The Soundtrack of My Life," which is about growing up with the music of the 1960s and 1970s.
Michael Morsch
Michael Morsch


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