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I'm resolving not to make resolutions this year

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Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Why do we do this to ourselves — and to those around us — year, after year, after year.

I'm speaking, of course, about those three words that bring great promise and skepticism with them: New Year's resolutions.

I'm guilty of it, too. Every year on Jan. 1, I take my place at my imaginary podium, raise my finger in the air in determination and, along with throngs of other Americans — as if running for some sort of office — promise to do the right thing, either for myself or others.

“I'm going to lose weight.”

“This is the year I'm going to quit smoking.”

“In the next 12 months, I swear I'm going to finish that project.”

“I'll be nicer to people, learn patience.”

And the list goes on and on and on.

Here's the thing. Why the heck do we wait until that fateful first day of the year each year to state vows we should be sticking with all year long?

I'll tell you why — not to state, with conviction, what we plan to do, but instead, to say in a falsely assured tone, the stuff we actually, deep down, know we should have taken care of long ago.

And in the end, we always seem to fall short, to disappoint ourselves and each other when we don't stick to our Jan. 1 campaign promise.

So this year, I'm not going to call it that. I'm not going to make a New Year's resolution. Instead, I'm just going to admit that my to-do list — of things I should know better about, be more ambitious about and be healthier about — just keeps getting longer.

But this time, maybe I'll keep a pencil right there beside it — and check things off for a change.

Mya Koch is news editor of the Sewickley Herald. She can be reached at 412-324-1403 or mkoch@tribweb.com.

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