My New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. They’re about as effective as a Band-Aid might have been to the ski-jump guy: They won’t fix anything, nor will they have any meaningful or lasting effects. Nevertheless, my New Year’s resolution is to propose some resolutions. Here goes:

  1. I won’t get up before breakfast anymore. I’m sorry. It’s just not worth it.
  2. I’ll eat more gluten. I know it causes everything from carbuncles to bunions, from dandruff to excessive ear hair. But more people stopped eating gluten in 2020 than in all of history because what else did we have to worry about? And where did it get us? Was there any less bellyaching last year? No. If gluten abstinence won’t reduce the number of crybabies in the world, it’s not worth taking seriously.
  3. I’m getting more Road Rage. If some jamoke gets in the left lane on I-95 in Florida to prep for a left-hand exit in Maine, drives 45 mph the whole way, and stacks up traffic down the entire east coast, he deserves some righteous indignation.
  4. I may not shave every day. Since COVID beards became chic, high maintenance isn’t worth the effort. I had a lifetime supply of replacement cartridges for my Gillette Mach III razor. I had a shaving mug with one of those boar-bristle brushes. I had sensitive-skin aftershave (even though I’m a tough guy). But I’ve trashed all of them. Billy Gibbons will have nothin’ on me.
  5. I’m not going to renew my gym membership, and I’m going to nuke all the exercise equipment I bought when COVID hit. Leonard Mannheim, one of my college professors, was 83 years old when he taught me. He was more vital than I was. I asked him how he could be so vigorous at his age. He said, “I do now what I’ve done my whole life: Every time I feel the urge to exercise, I lie down till it goes away.” Done.
  6. Since COVID, if nothing else, has taught me you just can’t be too careful, I’m going to have myself flea-dipped.
  7. I’m going to stop wearing a watch. Chicago covered this in 1969, the same year Peter Fonda symbolically pitched his watch in the dust. There’s no need to go over it again. ‘Nuff said.
  8. I’ll avoid illness like the plague. With the coronavirus pandemic, I may or may not get sick. I may or may not have to wear a mask. I may or may not be able to eat in a restaurant. And I may or may not be fined for doing or not doing any of that shit, depending on what time it is. See #7.
  9. After years of reading the product warnings — and 58 years after the first official product-liability case — I’m going to use my toaster in the bathtub.
  10. I won’t use Tweetdeck, HootSuite, Tweetie, Twitchy, Itchy, Scratchy, Sneezy, Dopey, Doc, or any other tools for my social media accounts. I can only be neurotic about one or two things at a time. So, social media will take a back seat to reading more books, watching remastered editions of Three Stooges shorts, and keeping my nostrils appropriately excavated.

As the saying goes, we only come this way once. But the calendar just gave us another bite at the apple, another shot at the proverbial brass ring. Your dream is yours to cherish and to realize. If you haven’t done it yet, maybe 2021 is your year. Give it a shot. The only bad dreams are the ones we ignore.

Whatever you do — with or without your own resolutions — have a Happy New Year.


Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brien
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.

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    • Thank you, Frank. My real resolutions are to keep breathing and learning. But most people think the first is way too easy, and the second is way too difficult. 😉