I made a New Year’s resolution and kept it. Now what?

fernando fryI spent the waning moments of 2012, saying goodbye to an old friend. I was at a Waikiki restaurant. Champagne flutes were being distributed, cardboard hat-wearing patrons were gathered under the designated balloon drop area. And to a soundtrack of noisemakers and countdowns, I worked to finish off a plate of fries as if they were the last I’d eat in a very long time.

Because, they were. My New Year’s resolution was to stave off French fries.

When I started to share my goal with friends, it became clear there were some gray areas that needed to be defined. What was off limits, and what was OK? So I came up with this definition:

No elongated pieces of fried potatoes in any form or flavor. No curly fries, no potato wedges, no Cajun fries, no sweet potato fries, no chili cheese fries and no poutine.

As you see from the description above, hash browns were permissible, and I’ve indulged in them during moments of weakness. Giving up fries wasn’t exactly easy, but I got used to eating fast-food sandwiches alone and stopped missing fries quite so much.

Now as I approach the final days of 2013, I find myself with a difficult question: Do I go back to eating fries in 2014?

My original intention was to be fry-free for only a year. I had been treating it like my own warped version of Lent. But when folks quit smoking as their resolution, they don’t go back to it the following year, do they? Well, some do, but you know what I mean.

Although I honestly don’t miss fries anymore, the positive effects on my health are not as dramatic as I had hoped. While giving up a fatty vice helps, it doesn’t magically transform you to a beach-bodied Adonis. Exercise is a key component, and with our family recently adding a new baby, 2013 has involved a lot of sitting.

Now that baby is a little older, I hope to begin grabbing a 45-minute block of exercise here and there in 2014.

Pump the brakes! Am I starting to make a resolution for next year? What about the French fry thing?

Okay, here is a recent realization that will aid me in my decision. While I may not be skinnier than I was a year ago, who knows how much worse off I would be had I been downing fries throughout this sedentary year. I hear that people gain 10 pounds a year from drinking soda. I’m sure eating French fries has a similar effect; if not, worse.

Therefore I decree (in my medieval announcer voice) that I will continue to live fry-free in 2014.

As I roll up the scroll on that issue, I now have to address the exercise thing. The key that kept me on my resolution in 2013, is that it was a realistic one. I would love to say that I’ll be devoting 30 minutes to exercise 2-3 times a week but with four jobs and two kids, I’m likely to fall short by mid-January.

Here’s what I can commit to (again in my medieval announcer voice):

In 2014, I will take a weekly 2-mile walk around my neighborhood.

I’ve already used a fitness tracker to calculate the distance of my route, which will now be known as “Resolution Stroll.”

This year’s resolution taught me not to expect this new goal to drastically change my health. But I know I’ll be healthier if I walk regularly and continue to keep fries off my menu. And that’s something.

To ring in 2014, Being808 is considering the mighty New Year’s resolution. Should you make one? If you do, how can you keep it? Our bloggers have varying opinions on the matter, and we imagine our readers do, too. So join the conversation on Being808’s Twitter or Facebook pages: Are you going to make a New Year’s resolution? If so, tell us what it is and how you intend to achieve it. If not, why not? Do you have another New Year’s self-improvement tradition?

In our series:

• Lots of us make New Year’s resolutions, but few of us keep them. Get the scoop on what you can do to improve your chances of achieving your goal

• On Friday, read about apps that can help you track your progress toward meeting your New Year’s resolution

• On Monday, Being808 blogger Jamie Nakasone explains why she never makes New Year’s resolutions

• On Tuesday, learn about one blogger’s alternative to resolutions — annual mottos

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