Resolutions easy to keep with open options

By Helena Rodriguez

Another Christmas has come and gone, Now I’m already starting to think about my New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because I need something to fill this space in between Christmas and the new year.
Many of you probably wouldn’t have even thought about New Year’s resolutions until next week, but, (you can thank me later), this year we’ll get an early start.
Actually, it’s not such a bad idea to plan ahead, for those of you capable of grasping that concept. This year, we’ll have those New Year’s resolutions fine tuned and ready to break even before we ring in 2004 on Wednesday night. Now that’s setting ourselves up for failure.
Or maybe not.
It’s all about options. I’m for keeping your options open, which explains why I am 36 years old and have yet to get married.
I’ve discovered that keeping your options open is the key to keeping New Year’s resolutions. Just like everything else in life, which can change in a blink, you need a Plan B, Plan C and even a Plan D, which of course, is none of the above, in case Plan A, B and C fall through.
I began using backup plans a few years ago when I got tired of making New Year’s resolutions I couldn’t keep. Using the Plan A, B, C and D formula, I managed to keep all of my New Year’s resolutions this year, and lucky for you, I’ve opted to share this success plan with you for free. Here’s how it went:

Love Life
Plan A: Meet and marry a strikingly handsome, intelligent, rich man.
Plan B: Meet a decent-looking, hard-working man.
Plan C: Meet someone who at least has a job, a car and no arrest warrants. Looks don’t matter.
Plan D: I’m still single. Do I really want to get married?

Weight Management
Plan A: Lose 25 pounds, eat healthy and exercise regularly.
Plan B: Twenty-five pounds is too much. Maybe I can lose 10 if I watch my diet and exercise occasionally.
Plan C: I haven’t lost any weight but at least I haven’t gained either. Change plan to “don’t gain 25 pounds.” Cheeseburgers are OK now as long as they’re eaten with diet sodas. (How come I’m not losing weight?)
Plan D: I’ve gained two pounds, oh well! I’ll eat whatever I want, when I feel like it. There’s another good movie on TV tonight. Too bad I sold my stepper.

Money Matters
Plan A: Become financially independent.
Plan B: At least get some bills paid, particularly the ones from the collectors who keep calling, and put a little aside in a savings account.
Plan C: At least pay the absolutely necessary bills and make sure I have a little spending money for luxuries — like food, shelter and gas.
Plan D: I’m still trying to get my head above water, maybe I can invest in a good movie and even buy popcorn.

My Novel
Plan A: Finish writing that novel I started on back in college. Find an agent who can negotiate a six-figure book advance.
Plan B: Did I really write that? What was I thinking back in 1985? OK, I’m going to rewrite the whole book all over.
Plan C: I know what, I’ll make it a children’s book, only 10 pages.
Plan D: School and work are taking too much time. I’ll write the novel when I retire.

Self-Improvement
Plan A: Be a more patient person.
Plan B: OK, I’m trying.
Plan C: Still trying. Boy, I’d like to strangle some people.
Plan D: OK, how much longer do I have to keep being patient?

Bilingualism
Plan A: Learn to speak Spanish fluently so I understand what my parents are saying about me.
Plan B: Take a friend’s advice. Watch TV novelas to learn Spanish.
Plan C: It’s hard to understand what they’re saying because of all that yelling. Learn Spanish by listening to more Tejano music.
Plan D: There’s no Tejano radio station within 100 miles. “Habla Ingles? Yo no espeako mucho Español!”