This is the week most people like to finalize their resolutions for New Year's.
Rarely have I ever made out such a list because it only leads to disappointment. This year is no different. I'm abstaining from the process -- again.
Instead, I'm offering a handful of some of the more popular resolutions we usually read about or hear from our friends, with some realistic afterthoughts:
º Learn how to be more self-reliant: I am proud to say I learned how to grill late this summer. I had never cooked anything before in my life, at least anything that was actually edible.
º Travel more and see the world: For me, a long trip is going to Wal-Mart or getting gas in West Quincy, but the Little Woman and I have seriously discussed taking more trips to exotic places like Iowa City, Iowa; Columbia, Mo.; and Springfield, Ill.
º Learn how to defend yourself: I don't think I would like to be hit in a repeated fashion, so this is probably never going to happen. And although I have always loved James Bond movies and fantasize about being a secret agent, my dream of being the next 007 always comes to an abrupt end when I realize the bad guys might shoot back.
º Become more romantic: I write the occasional "Stevie Love" column. I'm not sure what else I can do.
º Start being more creative: Hey, I started grilling, didn't I?
º Stop procrastinating: I've been vowing to get to this for years.
º Face your fears and insecurities: Why? I don't want to fly or travel across any more bridges than is absolutely necessary.
º Create a monthly focus: Whoa. If I would ever tackle something like this it would have to be more realistic, like an hourly focus.
º Learn more about art, music and culture: I have a copy of the famous painting of dogs playing poker and a keen appreciation of music from the mid- to late 1960s, especially the British Invasion bands and artists. What more does a guy need?
º Watch less TV: But I like television. A lot.
º Get more sleep: Ideally, we are supposed to get eight hours of shut-eye each night. Then someone needs to tell me when I am supposed to watch all of those reruns of "All in the Family" and "Law and Order."
º Become more active, get in better shape: Several years ago, I joined a fitness program and worked out on a daily basis, but there was a problem. The more I worked out, the hungrier I got, and the hungrier I got, the more I wanted to eat. I was actually gaining weight while on this fitness program, so I determined it was best to stop exercising to help curb my weight gain.
º Reduce stress: Worrying less about some silly list of resolutions could be a good start.
º Pick up useful skills or fun hobbies: Did I mention I learned how to grill?