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I have come up with two simple ways to avoid the frustration of sticking to New Year’s resolutions.

The first and easiest is to make resolutions you know you will be able to follow. For example, I made a resolution several years ago to stop adding salt to my food, at the table.

It was more of a habit than anything else, as I have always added salt and other seasonings when I’m cooking. Plus, I’m more of a pepper person, if forced to choose between the two.

Maybe this year I’ll give up mayonnaise, which would be another easy task. Ketchup would never make the list unless I was making a feeble attempt to keep “real” New Year’s resolutions.

While I am on the subject of food, I will point out the obvious; weight loss goals do NOT belong on this list.

Wait until after the Easter candy has been delivered and eaten to start any new diet plan. That still gives you a couple of months before swimsuit season to get into shape.

Another way to get around the struggle of keeping New Year’s resolutions is to make them for others instead of you. The easiest place to start is right at home with your family.

Since we recently amended the Zich Family Constitution, I don’t plan to push any new rules tomorrow. For my own amusement, however, I have come up with a “wish list” of resolutions for Ron, the boys and Glory.

Our beloved pet would vow never to escape from the yard again unless she needed to chase down a purse-snatcher and become the Local Hero Doggie instead of the pesky dog who runs loose every day.

Ron would sell his bass boat and use the funds to buy me a new sports car. He would also cancel ESPN, ESPN2 and all the other sports channels and subscribe to every one of the movie channels instead.

Jimmy would stop teasing Tommy and Ronnie.

Tommy would stop teasing Jimmy and Ronnie.

Ronnie would stop having temper tantrums as a direct result of not being teased all the time.

Jimmy, Tommy and Ronnie would stop arguing over who got the “biggest one,” the “best one” or the “one with the most frosting.”

Hopefully, you get the idea by now. I can understand how the notion of starting fresh with a new you for the New Year might sound appealing, but don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap.

January first is not the best time go on a diet, start an exercise plan or learn a new language. There are 11 other months in the New Year when you can ease yourself into becoming a better person.

In the meantime, have a fantastic New Year!

A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has moved eight times in 16 years of marriage to her Marine Corps husband. They have been stationed in various locations, including Okinawa, California, Texas and their current home in Springfield, Va. E-mail her at homefront@stripes.osd.mil or find the Zichs online at www.lifeonthehomefront.com.

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