New Year Resolution Rules

It's 10:00pm Christmas Day, January 1rst 2012 is seven days away, and my New Year Resolution list is non-existent. I'm sure there are rules to classify what makes a valid resolution, somewhere.  If there are no rules I could make hundreds of resolutions that I could follow with no problem.  Things like, “I promise I will NOT go skydiving in 2012”!  I've never skydived, I have no plans of ever attempting skydiving.  I could go through the entire year and feel proud of myself in 2013 that I kept my resolution.  That just sounds too easy, and I don't think it's a valid resolution. 

I used my favorite search engine and received hits for a number of sites claiming “x” number of rules for making New Year Resolutions.  One site claimed seven, but one rule appeard twice on the list, so there were only six.  Another claimed ten, but these were suggestions of which resolutions you should consider making, like lose weight, quit smoking,  and quit kissing  women other than your wife.   I'm sure if you followed those, it would extend your life considerably, but they are not rules.  I think a list describing what makes a valid resolution should exist, I can't find one, so I offer this list for consideration.

Rule 1...  Any resolution to quit something, you  have to engage in now.  No fair promising not to drink in 2012, when the last time you drank was during prohibition.  

Rule 2...  Your resolution must be beneficial for you, or others.   Quitting smoking,  beneficial for you.  Promising to spend more time with your kids, beneficial for everyone.

Rule 3...  Make the goal realistic, don't set the pole so high it would be impossible to reach.  Good: I weigh 300 pounds, so my goal is to lose 50 pounds.  Bad:  I earn $13,000 a year,  my resolution is to make $27,000 next year, doing the same job for the same employer and working half the hours.

Rule 4...  Any resolution you make, should not cause hardships to yourself or others.  Don't promise to give 80% of your paycheck away to help finance a community kazoo band, and lose your house and loved ones because there's no money to live on.

Rule 5 (Final One)... If you fail Don't Give Up and quit, take a break and start again the next day.  Succeeding for a month out of the year, is better than failing the entire year. 

Now that I have my list of rules, maybe it'll make my choice easier, as well as smarter.  I don't think I'm going to consider quitting  anything for 2012.  As a matter of fact, I think my resolution for 2012, is to give a little more of myself, than I have in the past.  An extra smile or good morning to a stranger,  holding the door for someone male or female, or simply giving a compliment.    No cost and makes everyone feel better, I think that's a resolution I can handle.  Happy New Year!