“Now is the accepted time to make your regular good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” —Mark Twain



Pop. Fizz. Clink.

I don’t know about you, but entering the third year of “two weeks to flatten the curve” of the never-ending Covid-19 pandemic, I can’t wait to control-alt-delete 2021, and start anew with hopes of better tomorrows in 2022. But before I agree to signing off on the New Year, I need to see the fine print terms and conditions.

But I won’t be staying up until midnight to ring in a sparkly new year with a flute of bubbly champagne, the televised ball drop from Times Square and maudlin strains promising to “tak a cup o’ kindness yet” for the sake of Scottish bard Robert Burns’ “Auld Lang Syne.” For me these days, 9 p.m. with a cold longneck of PBR is the new midnight, falling asleep in my recliner to “American Pickers” reruns. After all, the difference between a new year and the old year boils down to one minute past midnight.

As old man 2021 shuffles out and New Year baby 2022 crawls in with the fast-approaching flip of the calendar page from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1, millions across the nation and around the globe will be making admirable and well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions aimed at self-improvement.

Many people optimistically look forward to the New Year for a new start, a new lease on life — 365 new days, 365 new chances. I will be among them. But whether we actually keep our New Year’s resolutions is another thing.

Luck, the statisticians say, isn’t on our side, despite the best of intentions. Research studies of such things — who knew? — show that only 8% of Americans who make a New Year’s resolution actually keep them all year, with 80% failing by the start of February.

As Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde once sagely observed, “Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account . . . You make a lot of promises you’re not going to keep. The next morning, as soon as you wake up, you start breaking them.”

Indeed, standing on the cusp of 2022, reflecting on last year’s resolutions, I can’t believe it’s been a year since I didn’t become a better person. I was going to quit all my bad habits, but then I remembered the old adage that nobody likes a quitter.

But seriously, I resolve to be a better person in 2022.

Last year’s resolution was to lose 20 pounds by Christmas. Only 30 pounds to go as of four days ago.

But this year I’ve discovered that weight loss is a low-hanging fruit, ripe for resolution success.

Forget the Atkins, Zone, Ketogenic and South Beach diets. Now that there’s more overweight people than average weight people in the U.S., the way I figure it being overweight is the new average. Check one resolution off my list — and it’s not even New Year’s yet.

Another New Year’s resolution is to be more positive and less sarcastic. Like I won’t screw that up right away.

I will start buying lottery tickets at a luckier c-store. Looks like lots of 394-mile round trips to Korneli Mini Mart in Fond du Lac are in my future.

I will drink more. After all, Benjamin Franklin said beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.

I will again promise to stop procrastinating — when I get around to it.

I will not bore my boss with the same reasons my column is past deadline. I will challenge myself to come up with many exciting new ones — 52 excuses for 52 weeks.

I will exercise more, building my biceps by increasing reps of Ding Dong curls to three sets of 15.

I will check my work voicemail at least once this year.

I will get lost without any help from Siri.

I will try my hand at stand-up in the hopes of accelerating my career change from journalism to comedy.

I also resolve to:

1) Stop making long resolution lists.

D) Be more consistent.

and 17) Learn to count.

Heading into 2022, I turn to personal favorite wordsmith Twain for my New Year’s wish for you: “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.”