Resolutions, 2011

Rachael Phillips, a former Plymouth resident and the 2004 Erma Bombeck Global Award winner, is a freelance writer whose novella “Ride with Me into Christmas,” part of “A Door County Christmas” collection, will be released in September 2010. Check out her website at for more articles and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Welcome to my second annual list of resolutions for the New Year. In 2010 I revolutionized the centuries-old practice of resolution-making. Instead of fixating on goals that could only be met by a combination of Biggest Loser coach Jillian Michaels and Mother Teresa, I compiled a list of resolutions I could actually keep.
Even with this monumental breakthrough, making resolutions for 2011 looks a little scary. After all, we are beginning the second decade of the 2000s. How can we have flipped through 10 calendars? Where did the past 10 years go? Seems like only yesterday we were storing cases of drinking water, batteries and Spaghettios in our basements in anticipation of a new Stone Age — also touted as the New Millennium.
Second, after 10 years, I still can’t spell the word “millennium.” Mr. Webster insists on all those Ls and Ns, with the Is and Es placed just so. Talk about argumentative. He’s been dead for more than 250 years, and I still cross Ts with him.
So I’ll make that my first resolution for 2011: I will not argue with dead people. There are plenty of live ones to go round if I’m in the mood for debate.
Resolution #2: I will refrain from washing my car. Taking this precaution not only saves me time and money, but it also discourages auto theft. Sometimes my Prizm grows a little testy, claiming neglect — it continues to hide from me in parking lots. But deep down in its increasingly rusty innards, it knows I’m doing this for its own good.
#3: I will not vacuum my garage. Such a practice would not only give my car false hopes. It would disturb the feng shui of my entire house. Plus, I’d be taking cues from my OC relative. (Having married into our family, though, I can hardly blame her for a few neuroses.)
#4: I will smile when my hormonal printer jams — right before I fix it with a crowbar.
#5: I will fight the irresistible urge to detox in an algae slime bath or undergo a Baby Boomer crisis chemical peel at my local spa.
#6: I will set new Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup records. This will, of course, require intense training and dedication. But if God, in His wisdom, created the cacao bean and the peanut, along with the human ingenuity to turn them into a chocolate and peanut butter delight, who am I to reject His sovereignty?
#7: I resolve to polish my bathroom scales once a month so they won’t feel neglected.
#8: But I will refrain from stalking Richard Simmons, no matter how (ahem!) tempting that might prove.
#9: Despite 50-plus years of failure, I will continue my incessant efforts to fold laundered fitted sheets into squares.
#10: I will, as always, buy books by the bushel — real books that smell like knowledge and imagination, with rustling pages I can turn without the aid of a battery or power button. Where will I store them? Um, not sure. Under the bed, on top of the refrigerator, inside the piano. …
#11: I will faithfully watch all the home/lawn/garden makeover shows to get decorating ideas. Ideas cost nothing, never result in physical rehab and perpetuate the sunshiny procrastination that keeps us all going. Sort of.
#12: However, I will not procrastinate when it comes to my Christmas decorations. I’ll have ’em back in the boxes before Easter.
#13: I will annoy my grown children by dressing ’90s, talking ’60s (“What a groovy iPhone. Far out!”), and keeping only fat-free mayo in the fridge.
#14: I will redeem myself to them by bragging on my grandkids to complete strangers, including grocery baggers, construction flaggers and ATMs.
And finally, #15: I will scramble at least one TV remote per day (hey, my husband needs to feel needed, too).

Simple, right? And so convenient. You, too, can achieve 100 percent success in keeping your New Year’s resolutions if you think safe and repress those destructive urges to accomplish something. Plus, for trying my revolutionary method, you’ll receive, absolutely free — except for shipping and handling — a lifetime supply of Archibald’s Apricot After Dinner Mints, a battery-operated potholder and your very own hairless Mongolian yak (milking stool and pail extra).
What more could you wish for in 2011?