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One resolution I've been able to keep
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The gyms will be flooded this week with New Year's resolutioners, all geared up to remake themselves in 2018. Many a diet began Monday and many a cigarette pack was cast into the garbage with an oath to do better in the future.

And, I’m sure there were many promises to “never drink again” uttered by folks as they turned up a fifth of Jack to toast the New Year on Monday morning.

It’s a noble goal to aspire to, changing one’s self for the better. Resolutions are truly a good thing as long as resolutions don’t get confused with procrastinations. That’s when a resolution becomes hollow, no matter the good intentions felt by the person making them. If you’re simply putting off something until the New Year so you don’t have to do it now, then you’re going to be sorely disappointed. There’s no magic in the New Year that will help you find your new self. Actually, you can remake yourself on any day of the week that ends with “Y” if you’re so inclined. There’s no reason to wait until the ball drops on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve to go for it.

Frankly, the best things I’ve done to reinvent myself have come on regular days. I’ve found most resolutions I’ve made have faded away within hours of New Year's. For instance, it used to be a regular thing that I would throw away a can of Skoal at midnight every year, swearing I would stop dipping. This would work fine for about two hours until I got the urge again and would have to go buy another can. All my resolution did was cost me $4 for another can.

However, I was able to finally kick the habit one day when I looked in the mirror and noticed my teeth were no longer even a shade of white.

“That’s it,” I said, angry at allowing myself to be owned by something.

And that was it, nearly 15 years ago. I gave it up and haven’t fallen off the wagon even once. Does this mean I’m stronger than others? Nope. It means I got mad. Sometimes if you can get good and mad at something, you can make yourself fall into line. In that case, I hated my golden teeth and the fact I was being robbed of money every time I bought a can.

Actually, the only New Year's resolution I’ve ever made stick was on New Year’s Eve 1999. That was when me and a couple of friends went to the weight room just before the Party of the Century downtown and worked out. We took an oath to work out at least three days a week. And, I’m happy to say that 18 years later I’ve pretty well held to that agreement, with a few lazy weeks mixed in.

I was at the gym this New Year’s Eve celebrating with some intense pumping of the iron. And why did it work? I got mad. I was tired of having spindly arms and people calling me skinny. I decided I’d do something about it.

So, instead of making resolutions, try getting mad. That worked for me.

Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.