PAT NEAL: New Year resolutions pointless to keep

BY NOW WE’VE all had it up to here with newspaper pundits preaching New Year’s resolutions that they have no intention of keeping themselves.

Traditionally, many of us break our New Year’s resolutions before the first Christmas bill arrives.

Initially, the average New Year’s resolution breakers are often burdened by such a heavy dose of holiday stress and guilt they are willing to offer most any resolution just to get the holidays over with.

Instead of blaming the victims of ill-advised New Year’s resolutions, it might be more constructive to understand why New Year’s resolutions are so impossible to keep to begin with.

Every New Year’s resolution we make is one more we can break.

Often, New Year’s resolutions that seem like a good idea on New Year’s Eve, like getting out of debt, spending less time on the phone and reducing stress can seem like a bad idea in the harsh light of the following New Year’s morning.

For example, our modern smartphones are not just the most important member of the family anymore.

They’ve become a way of life to many who spend every stressed-out minute of every stressed-out day and night surfing, texting, playing games and watching kitty videos on their phones.

Monitoring or reducing phone usage could be the first step in reducing our increasing dependency on devices.

Look on your phone. There’s probably a setting or an app for that.

Here is a list of other New Year’s resolutions it’s pointless to keep. Feel free to copy and paste.

• Get a puppy: According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), this is a selfish desire to possess and receive love from an animal that causes immeasurable suffering and deprives them of the opportunity to engage in their natural behavior.

Not only that, but pets are expensive and you’ll lower your chances of getting out of debt if you get one.

• Travel more: After decades of giving billions of dollars of foreign aid to nations around the world, most of them hate our guts.

Travel abroad is too stressful.

Travelling around our own country is too expensive.

There are 20 separate permits you may need just to be on public land in the State of Washington.

The National Park Service wants to charge $75 just to get in Olympic National Park so you can buy more permits.

It’s much less stressful to stay at home.

And besides, how can you go anywhere now that you have a puppy?

Do you have any idea what a petsitter costs?

• Learn something new: If you were really going to learn something new, wouldn’t you have learned it by now?

When will you ever learn?

Eat healthier and lose weight: Have you checked out the price of healthy foods at the natural organic stores lately?

The last time I read the ingredients of organic fat-free this and natural extra fiber that, it got me so stressed out, I needed an apple fritter to calm down.

• Spend more time with family: Didn’t you just do that over the holidays?

That’s probably why you’re so stressed out.

That’s probably why you’re a black sheep of the family.

You’re too stressed out.

• Volunteer: Charitable organizations are always looking for volunteers.

There is a good reason for this.

As the new guy you’ll get suckered into all the dirty work and that can be very stressful.

It might be easier to just write them a check instead of volunteering your time, but then you’ll never get out of debt.

These are just a few New Year’s resolutions that are impossible to keep, but I’m sure you can think of more.


Pat Neal is a Hoh River fishing guide and “wilderness gossip columnist” whose column appears here every Wednesday.

He can be reached at 360-683-9867 or by email via patneal

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