I Hereby Resolve

I’ve been thinking about resolutions. Melanie, the “platinum wife,” actually got out a pad last night and suggested that we write out a few New Years Resolutions. I firmly resisted, which she took to mean that I am against diet, exercise, and self improvement in general because, after all, isn’t that what most resolutions are all about? I countered that I am not at all against those things, but that a New Years Resolution was hardly the best way to approach this challenge.

In the end, we settled on an exercise “competition,” based on total treadmill/elliptical machine time over the next two months. If that works, we can renew indefinitely. We’re still vague on what the winner will get. Any suggestions?

Is it just me, or has the New Years holiday in general gone downhill? Even the meaningful football games have moved away from January 1. But there is something attractive about the “clean slate” aspect of the new year. Something that makes you just want to say, “From now on, I’m going to ….” But the “New Years Resolution” has become a poor and watered down vehicle for such sentiments.

About twenty years ago, I was involved in a very serious decision that was being made by a board of which I was a member. When it came around to me, I stated my position and the leader then probed me to see if I might be persuaded to budge a little. When he realized that I would not, he declared, “Bob is resolute.” To him, that was the strongest way he could describe a position that was not going to be changed

Somehow that strong root word “resolute” gets much weaker when we make resolutions. The UN has made resolutions throughout its history that various world tyrants thumb their noses at. Legislatures make resolutions when they want to say, “This is what we think, but hey, it’s not a law or anything.”

If you would like to further water down a resolution, you can call it a nonbinding resolution, which really goes without saying.

But the lowest rung on the resolution totem pole definitely belongs to the New Years Resolution. The average one holds for a couple of weeks. It is almost expected that you break it. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone in the diet or exercise business.

So if you really want to make changes in your life, how do you do it? Melanie and I feel that one crucial element is to have a “buddy,” someone to whom you are accountable. It may be framed within a competition, as we’re trying to do with our exercise competition, or in a partnership, as in "I’ll meet you every morning for our walk promptly at 7 AM." Anything like that greatly increases our chances of success.

And this is my great hope for this blog, and for the Platinum Years Network. Part of what I hope to create is an online, high tech “buddy system.” The mission over at the Platinum Years Network is to “equip and encourage you to get the best out of the rest of your life.” For right now, that mostly means me writing about it and soliciting your feedback. And hopefully doing it in an entertaining and informative enough way to build up the “readership” so we’ll be able to do more for and with one another.

I wouldn’t mind at all seeing accountability groups, counseling referrals (financial and otherwise), product recommendations, and who knows what else to be added to what we can offer.

But for right now, we just need readers… So I hereby resolve, in 2008, to discipline myself to post regularly and frequently, daily when at all possible. And in return, may I ask you to recommend Platinum Years to friends and acquaintances that you think might enjoy and benefit?




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