MARTY RUSSELL: Replace unrealistic resolutions with realistic ones

By Marty Russell

OK, so it’s a brand new year, brand new calendar, and you have the opportunity to do something differently this year that’s going to change your life, or change the world. Or you could finally change the cat litter, just like you said you were going to do about this time last year. How’d that work out for you? Thought so.
Ever year about this time, we vow we’re going to make mostly unrealistic changes to better our lives. Unrealistic because they usually involve making changes to ourselves and, let’s face it, most of us really like ourselves. Somebody has to.
Think about it. Most New Year’s resolutions involve things like losing weight, stopping smoking, getting out of debt, being a better person or finally getting organized. Who needs that? The only realistic means of achieving those types of goals is to lock yourself in a closet and not come out until next Christmas. It’s setting unrealistic goals like that that cause 99 percent of us to break our resolutions before the final bowl game gets played.
That’s why, this year, I’ve resolved to set more realistic goals, ones that perhaps can’t be achieved but the failure to achieve them is probably better than success.
For instance, I’ve resolved that I am no longer going to worry about fiscal cliffs and the grandstanding politicians who create them and who are responsible for the gridlock in this country. Instead, I’m going to focus my efforts on getting all those politicians from both parties to come together as one. Preferably atop a physical cliff where I can give them a gentle nudge over the edge.
I resolve to become a better person, not by changing my attitude or my habits but by having all my body parts replaced by bionics.
I vow to stop making lame excuses to get out of social events like blaming it on a sick pet or a scheduled court appearance. Instead, I’ll simply ask the hosts if there’s any limit on the number of rounds of ammunition I can bring to the party.
I resolve to love my neighbor. She’s hot.
I promise not to wait until July to stop writing 2012 on my checks. OK, so maybe that one’s not so realistic.
I vow that I will stop bad-mouthing excessive news media coverage of celebrities and show genuine interest, concern and compassion when Justin Beiber announces that he’s pregnant. Likewise, I promise to stop complaining about obscenely paid and pampered professional athletes. As soon as one of them writes me a check.
And, finally, I resolve not to believe any more predictions about the world coming to an end. Everybody knows that won’t happen until 2015 when a new, lethal virus emerges whose symptoms are initially mistaken for a new Korean dance craze and the cure for which requires a gland from a small newt driven to extinction in 2014 by the construction of a Walmart in Florida.
Happy 2013!
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at

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