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In My Opinion

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New Year’s Resolutions need to be tracked throughout the year

By Tracy Lee Curtis
Tracy Lee Curtis
Tracy Lee Curtis is a humorist, writer and speaker. She writes family humor for the Charlotte Observer. Her column appears each Sunday.

At a holiday lunch with girlfriends, everybody’s talking family plans, Christmas gifts, and what are ya doin’ New Year’s. And not one mention of how they made out with this year’s resolutions.

Shouldn’t that be THE topic of conversation right now? We set all these goals back in January – worked them all year long – and here we’re at the end of the year, and not a single recap of how we made out?

The problem is there’s no accountability. We make resolutions, tape them to the fridge, and they come down as soon as somebody brings home an art project. I don’t know who started this system of self-improvement, but the resolution people need to take a page from the schools, banks and doctor offices and have a database. Everywhere you go, our resolutions are part of our permanent record.

Like at the end of winter quarter at your parent-teacher conference the teacher inquires, “Says here in our files you were going to volunteer more at your child’s school. How’s that going?”

And when you swipe your ID at the gym, the screen reminds you that you resolved to come four days a week, drink more water and lose 15 pounds. Then the door locks behind you.

When you go for a spring physical your doctor goes over your meds, your blood tests and your resolutions. Have you cut down on the wine? Quit smoking? Are you managing stress? If not, we’ll see you in three months.

Even the ATM will keep you in check. Try taking out $100, it’ll give you 40. Remember, you said you were going to save money. It’ll also ask you if you paid your debt, got a better job and learned a new skill.

In fact, the resolution people should tie in a sponsor, like Expedia. So by summer if we’ve stopped swearing, are drinking less coffee, reading more books and traveling to a new place, we get comped a car rental. Or a night at a Westin.

Supermarket cashiers will make sure we’re eating healthy, hairdressers will ensure we’re setting boundaries and our postal carrier will track if we’re paying our bills on time. Be answerable, people – these are New Year’s resolutions, not a “to-do” list the first week of January.

Then we all get together at Christmas and hug and congratulate each other on going to church, taking up kick-boxing, recycling and watching more documentaries. We’ll nervously laugh a little at how many resolutions we made. Maybe resolve to put a cruise on a credit card. And drink a little more wine. Work a lot less. And change hairdressers.

tcurtis@charlotteobserver.com
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