Tag Archives: resolutions

No Resolutions

17 ny resolutions copyby Mike O’Mary

I don’t make resolutions on New Year’s Eve anymore.

Now before you put me in the “Scrooge” category, allow me to add that it’s not because I think resolutions are a bad thing.  For the most part, I think they may be a good thing.  They give people goals, and goals help us live our lives in an orderly fashion.

But we also need hope, and my concern is that too many goals–especially goals in the form of New Year’s resolutions–can have a bad affect on hope.

All too often, we rush blindly from one goal to another or from one project to another without really examining what we’re doing.  I’ve been guilty of this on more than one occasion.  I love to take on household projects–paint the dining room, build some new shelves in the basement, refinish that old table–all of which give me some degree of pleasure and satisfaction, but all of which, if taken on in quick succession, ultimately serve as distractions and diversions from our real purpose here.

What is our real purpose here?  I won’t pretend to be able to answer that question.  But I suspect that our purpose–and whatever meaning there is to our lives–is something we have to discover for ourselves.  Some think meaning comes through the pursuit of knowledge.  Others feel art and self expression hold the meaning of life.  Still others feel that to leave behind a healthy, well-adjusted child is no small feat.

Whatever the meaning of life may be, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have to do with a fresh coat of paint on the dining room wall.  Not, as I said, that there’s anything wrong with doing a little home improvement–I personally find it relaxing at times–but we have to guard against letting such projects take on lives of their own.

So I don’t make resolutions any more.  I’ve got enough things I’m trying to do in my life without putting more pressure on myself.  Instead, what I do is to sit down sometime before the end of the year??and hopefully, a few times during the year, too–and think about why I’m here and what I’m doing with my life.  I figure that if I keep working on home improvements, I’m eventually going to have a pretty nice house.  When that time comes, I want to make sure there’s a pretty nice human being to occupy that house.

Mike O’Mary is founder of Dream of Things and of the Note Project, a campaign to make the world a million times better by inspiring participants to write 1 million notes of appreciation. “No Resolutions” is taken from his books Wise Men and Other Stories.

Resolutions For The New Year



On the eve of the New Year most of us are making resolutions for 2009. Popular ones include losing weight, quitting smoking and getting finances under control. I’ve heard that if you combine your personal and professional resolutions, or group them under a theme, you may have a better chance of beating your bad habits–or adopting good ones. For example, if you are going to try and quit smoking this year, use the time you would normally spend smoking to surf for new work. Here’s a little extra help for some of the more popular resolutions. Good luck – and Happy New Year!

Five New Year’s Resolutions

Sure, it’s a few weeks early to be obsessing over New Year’s resolutions, but here are my current five favorites for 2009:

5. Pay attention to my back.  2008 has been full of bad ergonomics, couch-slouching with the laptop and overall crappy posture. If I want to be writing comfortably at my desk for any length of time, I’m going to have to pay more attention to good ergonomics. Otherwise, I’ll wind up looking with a nickname like “Jerry the Pretzel Boy”.

4. Stop working around the clock. Another bad habit I fell into late this year. Writers go freelance presumably so they can have a life. Where’s mine? Oh, there it is, buried under those deadlines over there. Smell the roses, you.

3. Exercise more. This one ties directly into #5. The mind-body connection cannot be ignored when it comes to cranking out good, dependable material…unless you are Hunter S. Thompson…and he’s dead now. So what’s MY excuse?

2. Buy a damn filing cabinet. All of 2008’s receipts are currently overflowing out of TWO boxes, and it’s a shameful state of affairs. Organization is the key to good record keeping.

1. Buy an iPhone. Yes, I plan on becoming ONE of THEM. Tully beat me to it on this one, usually I’m more geeked out than that. This year they caught me napping.

I currently plan on keeping ALL these resolutions…but especially #1. If I do nothing else next year, the iPhone is on the list. THEN I’ll climb Kilamanjaro, cure an infectious disease and spread world peace.