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Slices of Life: A new year, and new resolutions
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It's a new year - a time when many of us consider changing more than our calendars.

It's time to get trim around the midsection. Redecorate the bedroom. Read more. Complain less. Join the gym. Clean out the junk drawer. Drink more water and less chardonnay. Take the planking challenge. Learn a new language. Grow our hair out. Get a haircut. Get a promotion. Get a job. Be kinder, less judgmental and less critical of everyone - including ourselves. It's time to make a resolute resolution to fix, firm and duct tape all the things in our lives that are chipped, chubby or otherwise crumbling and non-functional.

The task could be perceived as overwhelming - fixing all the things that need fixing, because there is a lot that can be fixed. At least based on the view from my cracked window.

But I've always been energized by a good challenge and approach the changing of the calendar with the enthusiasm and vigor of Richard Simmons in an 80s workout video (but without the sequins).

I'm one of those annoying people who enjoys coming up with goals for self-improvement, personal growth and poundage loss. I type them up and put them in a folder aptly named, "goals." Each year at this time I take a peek to check my progress over the last 12 months.

And then I write new goals, which are often similar to the old goals that I never quite met the year before - or the year before that. I enjoy coming up with goals; I never claimed I had the aptitude for achieving them.

A lesser person might find this discouraging. Not me. I am optimistic about my goal-setting and maybe even someday goal-completing capabilities. So what if I've been losing the same 10 pounds since the last century? At least I'm goal-driven and goal-oriented. That should count for something. I suppose it does, just not on the bathroom scale.

As with most things in life, my husband and I have differing opinions about resolutions. I adopt them; he ignores them. In his eyes, resolutions are a waste of time. He doesn't need no stinking resolution to get the job done. It's infuriating.

Take the weight thing. I can work for two years to meet a fitness goal. He skips dinner one night and is down seven pounds the following morning. And he tells me about it. (Of course he does.) I yearn to clean all the junk out of our lives. He yearns to clean the garage on Saturday afternoon. I plan for (and worry about) the future. He lives in the present. Together we make a complete human being.

However, I remain resolved - to convince him of the advantages of New Year's resolutions. It's been a goal of mine for years. He's yet to be persuaded.

This year when I asked him what his resolutions were he said, "Not to make any resolutions."

When I heard his response, I gave a silent cheer. Because when you think about it, resolving not to resolve could be considered a resolution in itself. I'm choosing to label it as such and therefore have already met one of my goals for the year. But don't tell my husband I said so. He doesn't believe in resolutions.

- Jill Pertler's column appears Thursdays in the Times. She can be reached at