Elizabeth Davies: Willpower makes New Year goals stick

Elizabeth Davies

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know what my New Year’s resolutions should be.

They should have something to do with this extra pregnancy weight I’m lugging around like some sort of birthing trophy.

They should include a bit about keeping my temper in check when the car in front of me is running under the speed limit in the passing lane.

They should be about keeping a cleaner house, buying the groceries under budget and making time to help my neighbors.

With any luck, I might do some of those things in 2008. However, New Year’s resolutions traditionally are serious. It’s the time when we reflect about becoming a better person and leaving a lasting impression.

I’ve done the serious resolution thing. Last year, in case you can’t remember 52 columns ago, I resolved to do away with meaningless resolutions. I threw the weight-loss thing out the window (highly appropriate, because I was about six months pregnant) and dismissed the thought of boosting my savings account (equally appropriate because my disposable income was about to be blown on Pampers).

Last year, I was all about the serious stuff: Tolerance, patience and love. Valuing myself and others. Making character a priority over possessions.

Having spent two-thirds of my year in a haze of dirty diapers and night feedings, I’m not sure I made much progress on my 2007 list.

So I’ll try again in 2008. And probably again in 2009. And again and again until I start becoming a person worthy of the word “beautiful.”

In the meantime, I have to enter the new year with a fresh list of goals. I’m carrying over some heavy baggage from 2007, so I decided to keep this year’s resolutions fairly light. With a bit of willpower, I think these are a few things I can do.

In 2008, I resolve to:

Make it to March without cursing when I open the heating bill.

Act like I’m not sick of Hillary, Obama and Rudy.

Burn a few calories and save a few bucks by putting off buying a snowblower for one more year. (Note to self: Buy a house with a shorter driveway.)

Entertaining as they may be, I will ignore stories with “Britney” in the headline.

Not go completely ballistic if the writers strike affects the new season of “Lost.”

Get out of my comfort zone and try a new restaurant.

Bite my tongue when Nicole Richie gives her baby a stupid name, even though it would make for an easy joke.

Be a good sport for the Super Bowl. Even if the Patriots win.

Elizabeth Davies’ column runs Thursdays in People of the Rock River Valley.