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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 3, 2010

Timing is key when making a resolution

By Charles Memminger

I usually wait until June or July to make my New Year's resolutions.

By then, you have a pretty good feel for how the year is going and your resolutions are going to resemble something akin to reality.

For instance, last year if I had resolved in January to lose 25 pounds by June, I would have been damn disappointed in myself when that month rolled around to find that I had actually gained 10 pounds. But since I made my 2009 resolutions in June, I was able to resolve not to gain 15 pounds between January and June. So you can imagine how happy I was to discover, ex post facto, that I had more than achieved my goal.

Ditto on the job front. If I had made a resolution in January to ask my boss for a big raise, I would have looked pretty silly in June to find myself on unemployment. I mean, in January I had no idea that I would be taking a voluntary layoff from that other newspaper in April. I kind of sprung that on myself. So my 2009 New Year's resolution in June to get off unemployment by 2010 made a lot more sense than asking some hypothetical boss for a raise.

I'm still more or less self-unemployed, although no longer on the dole. I joined Small Business Hawaii and call myself an entrepreneur, although I've yet to entrepreneur anything.

I'm tempted to break tradition and make some New Year's resolutions at the beginning of the year, but, then, I'm liable to do something rash and resolve to find real, actual employment with benefits like medical, dental, paid vacation and conjugal visits.

Then what if June comes along and I discover I'm still entrepreneuring? I would feel like I betrayed all my fellow entrepreneurs who walk the financial high wire without an employment safety net. And just as I didn't know I'd suddenly volunteer to be laid off, maybe I will be springing something on myself in a month or so that will make me look like an entrepreneurial genius. At this moment, I have no idea what that would be, which is what makes it so exciting. I love surprises.

I could make some little sure-fire resolutions right now, like "I resolve not to find a cure for cancer" or "I resolve to not personally do anything that would increase or decrease the force of gravity on the Earth." How about, "I resolve not to shoot a kinkajou with a handgun" or "I resolve not to hang glide off Makapu'u naked with a rhesus macaque monkey on my back"? I'm pretty sure I could not do those things. Even if I got really drunk and decided to hang glide naked off Makapu'u I have no idea where I'd get a rhesus macaque monkey.

But making resolutions like those is cheating, although the success rate is staggering. No. I think I'll wait for June or July to make my New Year's resolutions again. The excitement is killing me.

Read Charles Memminger's blog at http://charleyworld.honadvblogs.com.