New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not sure what it is in the human psyche that impels us to see the New Year as a new start–and to make resolutions to behave in certain ways, to turn over new leaves, to focus–yet again!–on self-improvement. But whatever the reason, most of us do take this opportunity to do some navel-gazing, followed by some promises to ourselves.

In that time-honored tradition, here are my “good intentions” for the New Year.

1) I resolve to be more environmentally conscious. Maybe one person can’t make much of a dent in the waste that’s choking our landfills, or the energy use that contributes to global warming, but an ethical approach to the planet we share has to start with each of us.

2) I resolve to be a good capitalist–by which I mean navigating the wealth of choices that a market economy produces in order to patronize establishments that deserve my business. In a free country, Chik-fil-a has the right to support anti-gay causes, and I have the right to eat elsewhere. I can choose not to deposit my   money in the banks that played fast and loose with our economic system and to take my (admittedly insignificant) funds to a local bank instead. In our wired world, it is relatively simple to assess the ethics of the large corporations competing for our dollars, and to spend our dollars in ways that reward good behavior. Capitalism lets me put my money where my mouth is.

3) I resolve to continue working through the political system to support good candidates for office–defined as people who understand our constitutional system and are prepared to work within it, who support evidence-based policymaking, and who are both intelligent and thoughtful. Granted, such candidates have become rare, so in a pinch, I’ll support the people who are pandering to the people who are least scary. Bottom line–just because our politics have become toxic and our politicians venal and/or ignorant will not be an excuse to turn my back on the process.

Will any of this make the world a better place? Probably not. But I’ll feel better.

Oh–and I resolve to lose weight. Again.


  1. A couple of suggestions?
    1) Get a Prius. They inspire irrational frothing hatred in the Fox News crowd for some reason, but I am getting 43 miles per gallon in mine on a regular basis, almost 50 on the highway, and I love it. I’m still trying to get better at riding my bike so I can start to use it for shorter errands, but at least now when I do use the car, I feel better about being fuel efficient and contributing less to global warming.

    2) Check out Health at Every Size rather than dieting for weight loss. Weight loss dieting is mostly unsuccessful and really should be called “weight cycling dieting.” Health at Every Sizefocuses on real, objective measures of health and fitness and encourages self-acceptance at whatever body size rather than weight stigma (and lining the pockets of the weight loss industry).

    My HAES goal is more movement (yoga or bellydance 3 times a week and one long bike ride or walk) but I’m pretty sure I’ll stay the same weight if past experience is any indicator.

  2. Actually, I don’t drive many miles (live and work downtown), and I do bike–although not nearly as much as my husband, who bikes everywhere and rarely drives. But I am waiting to buy an electric car. I was going to buy a Prius (love the way they look, as well as their environmental qualities), but we are so close to having a real electric option I’m holding out for another year or so until the bugs are worked out.

  3. It’s amazing how much is in the eye of the beholder.

    1) Least deviation here. As an avid believer that I’m more likely to get balanced coverage from Fox News than ABC, CBS, or NBC, I nonetheless am delighted with our family Prius and wholeheartedly recommend IndyGo.

    2) Indeed. I would suggest if we would like “our” goods and services to be considered worthy of purchase by others, we should try to buy American when possible. However, I choose not to frequent Sean Penn movies and like to shop Whole Foods whenever possible.

    3) ‘I resolve to continue working through the political system to support good candidates for office–defined as people who understand our constitutional system and are prepared to work within it, who support evidence-based policymaking, and who are both intelligent and thoughtful.’
    Amazing how that definitely points me to continued calling and writing in support of Richard Mourdock. I don’t imagine all will be similarly motivated.

    4) I agree with the emphasis on health before diet and weight. As the lone male in a pack of females who has unintentionally still managed to say everything possible that is offensive, it seems like emphasizing simple “health” often gets everyone where they want to go.

    4) I more personally resolve to again get involved as a school volunteer in a capacity that helps academics, versus just fund-raising.

    5) Lastly, I resolve to continue to read and frequent forums that encourage discussion of the issues. A Happy New Year to Madam moderator, and to all.

    Thank you.

  4. I resolve to figure out how close I can place the cursor to the little “Send” button in any program or at any site where I merely meant to get something out of my system without realizing how untidy, misspelled, and/or ridiculous it might make me feel one microsecond after accidentally clicking. For starters, I reflected fifteen whole seconds before hiffing the smd buttom. Hippy Niw Yore!

  5. Agreed. Learning to count from 1 – 6 is also a valuable skill before hitting the send button.

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