Review of New Year’s Resolutions

It has been more than half the year, and I need to look and see how I’m doing.

Here are the resolutions I posted at the beginning of the year:

  1. Break the habit of smoking.  I smoked for years without
    being addicted; the last 2 years or so have not been that way.  I
    don’t have to quit, just have to stop wanting it… smoking once every
    2-3 days is not that bad, and I used to do just that.
  2. Work on debt issues.  Get more paid work and use it to bring
    debt down.  I should be able to kill $4-5,000 of my debt this
    year.  I’ve already ground up several credit cards so I can’t use
    them; only have two left.
  3. STAY SINGLE.  I need to keep this up until at least Summer
    of ’08.  I’m too damned generous, and it gets me deeper in debt
    every time.
  4. Study how I can replace as much as possible of my supplements with better eating habits, and DO IT.
  5. Lose weight.  Headed right direction again, 262 this morning
    (over 280 in October).  Need to cut out fatty, salty foods (lose
    the chips n’ cheese, Moss).  (Starting Dr. Abravanel’s A-type
    diet.)  Should be able to get to and maintain 240, and work for
  6. Keep up walking program.  (Projected for 2007 – get in regular exercise at the Y or other gym.)

1.  Hasn’t gone so well.  I have only smoked a half-a-pipe in the past 5 days, but that’s because I have a cold.  I will try to build on that.
2.  Going all right overall.  I was getting a lot of work earlier in the year, but that has tailed off markedly.  I have done about 2/3 of my hopes and dreams here, which is really not bad… doing any more and I wouldn’t have a life.  I get the credit union loan paid off the first of August, and then will get a new one which will take care of over half the remaining debt.  I later made this one more specific, that I would not buy any books this year, and soon after added CDs and DVDs to the list.  I bought one CD before putting that on the list.  I have not bought any books, but being a member of Paperback Swap Book Club has certainly helped.
3.  I’ve had two “fantasy” (i.e., online) girlfriends this year, one in Rio de Janeiro and now one in Montreal.  The woman in Montreal looks like a keeper, if I can get her here.  She has stated she will be coming down in November, at which point I will consider this resolution broken.  The main idea behind this was to spend less money, since I didn’t have enough to take care of myself and needed to reduce my debts. It’s not that the women I get involved with are greedy, it’s that, with somewhat low self-esteem, I keep trying to pay them for putting up with being with me. I don’t withhold love, but resort to bribery anyhow, I guess.  Need to work on that.  In spirit, I have kept this one up pretty well.
4.  I tried this, I really did.  I made major changes in my diet to enhance my supplements.  And then my gout flared up.  It seems that, with my kidneys damaged from years of lithium carbonate use, most of the foods that have the nutrients I need are also uric acid producers, which means gout flareups.
5.  No gain.  Not much loss.  Last time I stepped on the scale I was 260.5.  I’ve cut out the chips for the most part, don’t seem to live without cheese but I’m not eating much.  Have not continued Dr. Abravanel’s diet, indeed have forgotten what my diet in that book should be, largely because I’ve been trying to stay healthy and not have gout.
6.  Have not kept up the program as an exercise, but I’ve been outside much more often and have been trying to walk anywhere I can get to in 20 minutes or less, barring bad weather or good friends offering me a ride.  I have been offered a gym membership, but my schedule is too full to get there very often and the bus service is pretty rough to that area.

OK, not bad.  Haven’t busted any of them to smithereens, but I could be doing better.  Still, how many people do you know with unbroken resolutions this late in the year?



“Secrets of Happiness”

In American culture we are guaranteed the right to the pursuit of happiness, but most of us fall short of attaining this goal because we do not truly understand what we seek. If you want to be more successful in your quest, there are six secrets of happiness that you need to know.

First, you can’t get happy and stay happy. Permanent happiness is an unrealistic goal because being in the same emotional state all the time is called “boredom.” To experience happiness you need a point of comparison. Knowing that you are happy today means that you had to be unhappy yesterday. Happiness requires the ups and downs of life.

Second. The best way to experience happiness is to live in the present moment. This means to enjoy what you have while you have it. If you’re in the midst of your long-awaited trip Paris, France, be in Paris. Don’t be off in the future thinking about the next week’s trip to Rome, or you will miss Paris. Also, don’t dwell on unsolved problems you left back at home. Simply put, don’t distract yourself away from the happiness of present experience, or you rob yourself of it.

Third. Know the difference between needs and wants. A “need” is for something essential that we could not do without. A “want,” on the other hand, is an embellishment of a need. A want is something we desire but which is not critical to our physical and psychological well-being. We need food, but we may want a seven-course meal. We need shelter, but we may want a condo at the beach. It is important to satisfy our needs and some of our wants and not to get the two confused. Doing so only distracts from happiness.

Fourth. Be kind to other people. Doing something helpful for another person calls upon your inner strengths and virtues and generates a positive emotion. Kindness also focuses your attention away from yourself, and people are happier when they are not self-absorbed.

Fifth. Be forgiving. Forgiveness frees you to recapture the energy that you may be locking up in feelings of sadness and anger or with thoughts of revenge. Let go of the past, and forgiveness puts you back in charge of yourself and empowers you for the enjoyment of life.

Six. Practice gratitude. You probably have more to appreciate than you know. Intentionally look for the positive in your life, and you may find many small things to brighten your day, such as a friend’s hug, a child’s smile, or a stranger’s kindness in a crowded checkout line. Learn to be grateful, and you will be happier.

If you practice these “secrets” of happiness, the reward may be greater than happiness. You may experience joy. Joy is thought to be deeper and more abiding than happiness. The experience of joy gets us out of ourselves and in contact with something greater than we are. This deeper connection of joy includes but surpasses happiness and can stay with us and sustain us even through the hard times of life.
Dan Johnston, Ph.D. and “Awakenings Web Site: Tools for Psychological and Spiritual Growth” at


There is no way out of the circle of blame but to stop blaming. Yet, be prepared. If you would step off the wheel of suffering, you may find that you aren’t very popular. Those who don’t join in the world’s game of projection are the very first to be attacked. If you learned nothing from this life, you must have learned this! Anyone who would acknowledge his own fear without projecting it threatens the world’s game. Anyone who would own his murderous thoughts and seek to find their roots within consciousness threatens the moral fabric of society.
– Paul Ferrini, Love Without Conditions

Some men know that a light touch of the tongue, running from a woman’s toes to her ears, lingering in the softest way possible in various places in between, given often enough and sincerely enough, would add immeasurably to world peace.
– Marianne Williamson

Comment (1)

  1. mtn_skyz_wnc

    Some men know that a light touch of the tongue, running from a woman’s toes to her ears, lingering in the softest way possible in various places in between, given often enough and sincerely enough, would add immeasurably to world peace.- Marianne WilliamsonIs there anything this woman has written that is not just wonderful?


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