Once again, I find myself lying on the couch in our den, watching the football playoffs on the big-screen TV and gobbling bean dip directly from the container while simultaneously thinking up a few modest New Year's resolutions.
As part of an ongoing quest to become the best version of myself possible, I traditionally take a few moments at the start of each new year to set goals designed to make me even more engaging and appealing than I already am, if you can imagine.
Based on the sensitive manner in which you are reading today's column, it's obvious you are already an engaging and appealing human being, but I think it would still be worthwhile reflecting on a few minor improvements for 2014.
To help inspire you on your journey towards personal perfection, here are 10 simple resolutions that popped into my brain while stretched out on the couch, along with how I think they will play out in the year to come:
-- Resolution No. 1 -- I will make a sincere effort to get off the couch and drive to the gym every day.
What will really happen -- I will download the directions to the nearest gym on Google Maps, then take a shower because pounding the keyboard always makes me sweat.
-- Resolution No. 2 -- I will harness the power of positive thinking and stop beating myself up with negative thoughts.
What will really happen -- I will be eaten by a bear.
-- Resolution No. 3 -- I will prove to my lovely wife I am even more of a man today than I was on the day she married me.
What will really happen -- I will insist she watch while I open a family-size jar of salsa with my bare hands.
-- Resolution No. 4 -- I will become more sophisticated and worldly by immersing myself in another culture.
What will really happen -- I will watch the French channel on TV for longer than 10 seconds, even if no one is taking their clothes off at the time.
-- Resolution No. 5 -- I will lose 25 pounds of unsightly fat.
What will really happen -- I will allow my wife to throw out the luncheon meat piling up at the back of the fridge once it has turned green or the best-before date has passed.
-- Resolution No. 6 -- I will no longer allow my anger to build up until I fly into a blind rage over something trivial.
What will really happen -- WHAT THE (BAD WORD) ARE YOU LOOKING AT!!!
-- Resolution No. 7 -- I will stop smoking.
What will really happen -- I will start smoking, which, technically speaking, should make it much easier to quit.
-- Resolution No. 8 -- I will prove to my family, even though I am approaching late middle age, I am still capable of changing for the better.
What will really happen -- If my wife or one of the kids changes the toilet-paper roll and leaves it paper-under instead of paper-over -- which is the way nature intended it to be -- I will not complain, at least not loud enough for anyone to hear.
-- Resolution No. 9 -- I will make a concerted effort to prevent embarrassing spelling errors and grammatical gaffes from sneaking into my newspaper columns.
What will really happen -- I will buy a diktionary.
-- Resolution No. 10 -- Even when it is -50 C with a wind chill that can freeze medically important body parts in five seconds, I will drag myself off the couch and go outside to enjoy nature at its best.
What will really happen -- You will find my body in the spring.
Anyway, I hope these realistic resolutions help you to have a happier and healthier new year. I promise to be the best me possible. Now I suggest you resolve to sit down and pass the bean dip!