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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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This year, find the resolve to win Bloomsday

Jemal Yimer wins the Elite Men's Race during Bloomsday 2018 on Sunday, May 6, 2018, in Spokane. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Jemal Yimer wins the Elite Men's Race during Bloomsday 2018 on Sunday, May 6, 2018, in Spokane. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Seeing as how New Year’s resolutions almost always fail, why not aim high at the outset?

You know, instead of resolving to lose 10 pounds or do 20 push-ups every morning, perhaps we could aspire to even greater heights of achievement. That way, when we inevitably fall short of our goals, we will at least have the satisfaction of knowing we went down in a blaze of glory.

Sure, self-improvement is a laudable pursuit. But as few of us really understand what is required to effect genuine behavioral change – you usually need a better plan than simply relying on willpower – we might as well shoot for the stars before we crash and burn. So to speak.

A few possibilities come to mind.

You could resolve to win Bloomsday.

OK, that might seem far-fetched. Chances are, you barely even qualify to be considered an elite couch potato, let alone a top-flight runner. But it could be the perfect goal when you’re asked by a co-worker why you are not having your usual fourth doughnut.

“I intend to win Bloomsday.”

Yes, the odds are against you. But wouldn’t that make your upset victory in May all the more satisfying?

It’s like what U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks told his team before the 1980 game with the Russians. “Great moments are born from great opportunity.”

Or you could resolve to eat nothing containing ingredients that came from farther than 100 miles from Spokane. Of course, that might put a crimp in your travel plans.

You could resolve to stop swearing. For some, that would be readily achievable. For others, it would at least be a source of entertainment when they slip up and then curse a blue streak in frustration.

You could resolve to close your eyes and begin humming in a meditative way whenever you encounter a weather complainer who apparently did not realize winter happens every year here. One problem with that is you might not know when to get off the elevator.

You could resolve to start taking the stairs at work. OK, I know what you’re thinking. That doesn’t sound so far-fetched. Perhaps not. But let me hear from you in February about how it’s going.

You could resolve to drive much slower when roads are icy. Ahahahahahaha. Yeah, right. Like that’s going to happen. Have you forgotten where you live? Driving too fast for the conditions is all but required here to keep up with the flow of traffic.

You could resolve to get to know your neighbors. Again, that might sound doable. But if you are convinced at least one of your Spokane neighbors has outstanding warrants, you’re probably not apt to go all Mister Rogers on him. Same goes for neighbors whose track record of campaign signs suggest they might be unfit to vote.

Or you could resolve to read the great works of literature. Yes, but wouldn’t that cut into your TV time?

You could resolve to visit a different Spokane area restaurant every week. That’s certainly possible. But that’s not how you achieve the coveted status of someone who waltzes into a dining establishment and is greeted with “Your usual?”

You could resolve to learn a language. With persistence, dedication and a good teacher, it’s possible. But wouldn’t that cut into your time spent on Twitter?

You could resolve to listen to some music that wasn’t popular when you were in your teens or 20s. Nah, let’s not get crazy here.

You could resolve to coach a youth sports team. Well, sure, you could do that. If your real goal is to cultivate an abiding disdain for other parents.

You could resolve to spend less time watching sports on TV. That might sound impressive, but that might force you to confront the fact you don’t really have a life.

You could resolve to acquire the ability to wish people who mispronounce “Spokane” or “Gonzaga” into the nearest wheatfield.

If that reminds you of a “Twilight Zone” episode, there’s a reason for that.

You could resolve to be quoted in The Spokesman-Review sometime in 2019. To add to the degree of difficulty, you could insist that your full name appear as First name / “All you can eat” / Last name.

You could resolve to invent and popularize a drinking game based on Spokane TV news people standing outside reporting on ongoing snowfall without wearing hats. Either that or base the game on the number of times marmots are mentioned in this newspaper.

You could resolve to go to a movie no one you know has ever heard of. Sounds easy, until you get to the part where you try to get others to accompany you.

You could resolve to say “Happy New Year” throughout 2019. Let’s do it.

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