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Failure at traditional goals prompts new resolution style

New Year’s resolutions are meant to be broken. At least that is the only logical explanation I can come up with. In years past I have simultaneously resolved to stop smoking, lose weight, get in shape and stop drinking. Talk about planning for failure.

This year, as the new year approached, I asked myself, “What now?” You see, in the past year and a half I have managed to stop smoking, lose weight, get in shape and stop drinking.

My victory over these daunting, ever-present past resolutions was just a culmination of my past failures and my increased intolerance for failure. I had simply had enough. Maybe I am just older and wiser, and with age there actually are some good things, maturity perhaps. But these musings don’t help much in choosing a resolution for this year. I don’t know what else I can give up. I am not saying that I have reached nirvana and am now living in a state of self-actualization. I am far, far from that.

But this year maybe I will resolve to fail. Yep, I said it, fail, or at least set a resolution which when broken will be a good thing: reverse psychology wrapped up in resolution. Maybe I will resolve to be lazy, or have a dirtier house, or break the speed limit more often and run some red lights. Running amok sounds like a fun resolution. Yes, I think I will resolve to not try so hard, not to stress, well, not to really care as much. I will resolve to live for today and tomorrow be damned. I wonder, would this then be called an anti-New Year’s resolution?

It seems resolutions revolve around health or wealth or looks … looks especially. Planning for a future full of health and wealth and good looks. Tomorrow I will be healthier, wealthier and better looking. Tomorrow I will arrive. Then what? What if tomorrow never comes? What if all I have is today? What would my resolution be then?

I resolve to notice my life today. I want to dig in the dirt, squishing it between my fingers and toes. I want to watch the moon rise swollen over the trees of Spokane Valley, illuminating my little part of the world. I want to watch the sun rise over those same trees, welcoming and cheerful, promising warmth and joy and mystery to the start of a brand new day. I want to hear the birds welcoming the new day, a loud cacophony of happiness. I want to smell the rain, feel the snow, and run through the damp fog. I want to watch my children moving through their lives, enjoying successes and lamenting failures, loving and laughing, crying and feeling. I want to notice my life.

This is a realistic and reachable resolution. A resolution for living, living in the world today, no matter what is happening in my life, no matter how fat I get, how shapely and ripped I get, no matter if I smoke or drink. Today I resolve to notice my life.

Audrey Danals lives in Spokane Valley. She can be reached by e-mail at