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Column: Resolutions for the reluctant

Detroit Lakes Newspapers columnist Lynn Hummel recently published his fourth book, "The Last Word," a collection of some of his favorite columns from the past 40 years.

In the first week or two of January, folks talk about New Year's Resolutions. I read the resolutions of six young to middle-age women on the street stopped by a reporter who asked, "What is your New Year's resolution?"

Their answers: Leah — "Organization, as always;" Lisa — "Lose 50 pounds;" Amy — "Keep my fish alive;" Bryan — "Keep my room clean;" Hannah — "Exercise my right to eat more tacos;" Tyreen — "Try to become a DJ." Another, a mature man, answered "Live a more focused life."

Of these seven, I predict five will fail and only two will succeed. Leah will remain disorganized. Lisa will lose five pounds then gain them back before February. Amy's fish will go belly up. Bryan's room will remain a disaster area. The mature man seeking focus will wander in many directions. He will start out tracking a deer and end up following a fox trail.

But, Tyreen will actually become a disc jockey and you will hear her name soon on a radio station close to you. Hannah will succeed — she will exercise her right to eat more tacos.

Hannah points us in a direction of pleasure, which is the direction of most likely success for resolutions. For this reason, I will offer resolutions today for those who are reluctant to make the usual self-improvement promises. Here are 31 resolutions that will lead you on a comfortable path of pleasure (forgetting sacrifice, starvation and push-ups).

• Exercise occasionally.

• Forget politics. Stop watching Fox News and MSNBC. Watch old Andy Griffith shows and the Disney channel.

• Wear your camo pajamas to the grocery store.

• Take a vegetarian to dinner.

• Have a date on a bicycle built for two.

• Bum a ride in a friend's convertible with the top down on a warm day.

• Turn down one invitation for an event you want very much to miss. Learn to say no.

• Learn to bake a buttermilk pie.

• Eat the last onion ring on the plate.

• Go to a high school musical or band concert.

• Learn to pitch horseshoes.

• Write your own obituary listing all the things you'd like people to know about you.

• Read a book you can brag about.

• Brag about it.

• Try to name the biggest S.O.B. you've ever met.

• Try to name the nicest person you've ever met.

• Take accordion lessons.

• Learn to dance the polka.

• Leave your smart phone at home locked up and unused one day of every week.

• Spend an hour in a hot tub.

• Get a tattoo with the name of the girl/guy who got away.

• Buy yourself the coolest shoes you've ever owned. Break your budget just once.

• Teach your dog a new trick — a card trick.

• Trade bucket lists with a friend.

• Take yodeling lessons.

• Write to the editors of this paper and tell them you read this column before you read the obituaries.

• Do at least one kind deed every day.

• Feed the birds.

• Brag about your current spouse.

• Resolve to smile more (from a Coke ad).

• Name the actor you'd like to star in the move of your life.

The more of these resolutions you follow, the happier your New Year will be. If you only do one, take yodeling lessons. When you finish, call me and prove to me how much influence this column has on your life.

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