Rethinking new year's resolutions

Rethinking New Year's Resolutions

Posted by Jim Mize on December 30, 2019

New Year’s resolutions tend to come and go with the certainty of changing seasons. 

Treadmills end up in yard sales, gym memberships drop like Newton’s apple and the fridge door resumes the wear and tear on its hinges. 

The reason we fall off the resolution wagon is that we resolve to do things we don’t want to do.

This year, I’m changing my resolutions so I can keep them. I resolve to do things that I like.

For instance, my first resolution will be to fish every time I go to the grocery store.

Fishing new years resolution

Between my cabin and the store, three streams lie close to the road to town. At some season of the year, each one will be fishable.  Now the problem with this resolution is that I will only go to the grocery store when the weather and barometer suggest I should fish...

...I think I can live with that.

As an aside, I can also find good barbecue on the route but in the spirit of keeping my resolution, I will make this stop optional.

Next, I resolve to train my dog. 

rethinking new year's resolutionsMoose, my Labrador retriever, just arrived a few months ago so he is in need of some instruction. 

His energy level knows no bounds so his training will also include a couple miles of walking at heel daily to burn off the excess. But since he has a good sense of humor and likes being trained, especially since it involves treats, this one should also be doable.

Also, I resolve to practice on the grill. 

Admittedly, my cooking skills would not make my house a must-visit stop on anyone’s barbecue trail. 

Still, I got a new grill and like to smell smoke, especially if it means dinner is soon to arrive. I drool like Pavlov’s dog if I get a whiff of anything wrapped in bacon. 

I see no problem keeping this resolution.

Furthermore, I resolve to go someplace I have never been. 

Some in the family might quip this could be as simple as taking out the garbage. But I will aim higher.

I think this trip could involve saltwater, seafood and sand.  On the flip side, mountains, fly rods and cold water could be an acceptable alternative.  Clearly, this one will take some planning but I will rise to the occasion.

While planning for this trip, I resolve to decide once and for all time what dessert is my favorite. 

Pecan pie is on my short list, along with hot fudge sundaes, carrot cake and Girl Scout cookies. I’m partial to the peanut butter ones. 

This will be a real sacrifice of time and energy comparing all these desserts, but I think I’m up to it.

Also, I plan to classify the trees around my cabin. 

Trees to identify

I’m an old forestry guy by education and know many of them already. 

The chestnut oaks, poplars and red maples are easy enough. But a few regional species are new to me, so I might just dig out one of my old forestry books and look up the rest. 

Last, I resolve to start early on next year’s resolutions with the plan to be here to implement them. 

New Year’s resolutions are all about health and prosperity, and if I do all of these things, my blood pressure and mental health should improve. 

Except maybe for that one about the desserts. Then I might have to add a few miles to the dog-walking resolution.

Happy New Year!

Jim Mize

Jim Mize has written humor and nostalgia for magazines including Gray's Sporting Journal, Fly Fisherman Magazine, Field & Stream, and a number of conservation magazines, picking up over fifty Excellence In Craft awards along the way. His most recent book, a collection of humor for fly fisherman entitled A Creek Trickles Through It, was awarded best outdoor book in 2014 by the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association. More on Jim and his writing activities can be found at

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