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Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

Make 2017 your year by making NO plans

By  Mark Thomas Dec 31, 2016

I am terrible at making New Year's resolutions. Well, just to be more precise, I am terrible at keeping New Year's resolutions. I have a tendency to over-stretch, to get far too ambitious and make promises I just can’t keep, a typical disease that the average politician suffers from. “This year I am going to lose half my body weight,” was a resolution a few years ago. Or “I am going get in shape and have a body like Arnie,” another unfulfilled promise. I need to be more realistic, much more realistic, or just forget the idea of making resolutions. Come to think of it I am not sure that I have ever kept a resolution for longer than a month.

Don’t get me wrong I have good intentions, I even start with plenty of motivation, it is just that I am always too ambitious. So I have been looking around for some ideas, some inspiration that is achievable, I have a dream to conquer one resolution. Then I came across an article in an English newspaper, yes I am still in mother England, entitled “15 simple New Year's resolution ideas more exciting than joining a gym.” Aha, this is what I need, keep it simple.

I flicked through the plans for 2017 to see if there was something that caught my fancy. Hmmm, the number one choice was – Turn off your mobile – not sure that one is going to be easy, far from it, unless my battery runs out, in fact I am actually reading this article on my mobile. Cook a different recipe every week – uff that is going to be tough, I basically learnt five recipes through my bachelor days that I shuffle between. I learnt one for each day of the week and went out to eat at the weekends. Let’s forget that one, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Next – Find Love – ah, that one is out straight away. Walk to work – this might mean changing my profession or working from home, I could maybe find a position in SUB City or Sheraton, but walking 15 kilometres to work is a big no! Grow something to eat – ah, now this one is closer to my thinking, although as I am doing to already I guess I can’t cheat and do it again. Have better sex – hmmm, interesting resolution! But how could I possibly judge if the sex I am having is better than before, but maybe I could convince my wife that we need to practice more, after all practice makes perfect. Get out of debt – yeah right, I am not Harry Houdini! Learn a new language – sorry my brain has no room left in it for another foreign language. Adopt a pet – my wife would love this one, but unless I buy a larger house, or maybe I should say a ranch, I am at my pet limit, well passed my pet limit.

Stop being late all the time – ah, this one could be tough. When I used to work in London for a German company we had a meeting regarding good business practise and how to present yourself. This leading German business guru came over for the meeting and spent time advising us on how to make a good first impression. “Mark, can you tell me the first thing you say when you enter a business meeting?” was his question to me. I replied without thinking (not a good idea) “Sorry I am late.” And although the rest of the colleagues in the room saw the funny side of my honesty the German frowned in disapproval, well Germans aren’t known for their sense of humour. Back to my list of resolution candidates, Start remembering important dates – it took me five years to remember my wife’s birthday and if it wasn’t for alerts on my mobile phone (the mobile I am supposed to using less) I wouldn’t even remember my own birthday. Save more, spend less – I can do this but the other way around, you know spend more... Start running a little further each time you run – how the hell can I run a little further when I am not running anywhere at the moment, this would mean I would have to start running, and we all know in Dubrovnik that people only run for two reasons, if their house is on fire or if they have stolen something. Get 8 hours of sleep a night – come on! These resolutions are supposed to be hard, this one is just bloody stupid. And finally – Journal your feelings – hmmm, I am kind of doing that one already, aren’t I. This bloody article didn’t help at all, now I feel worse, I should have stuck with my first idea, my New Year’s resolution is to stop making New Year’s resolutions.

So as the American author Bill Vaughan once said “An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”

Happy New Year to you all!

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