8 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Mostly Like

Research has shown that worldwide, more than 3 billion people make New Year’s resolutions, but who really keeps them? My guess: about 16 people. Most vows to eat more fiber, hire a personal trainer and open a retirement account get dropped faster than cell reception in an elevator. Maybe we’re just aiming too high.

I say, make resolutions, but keep them reasonable. Make the kind of resolutions you will want to keep. Here are some that have worked for me:

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10 Fiction Books to Add to Your Wish Lists

‘Tis the season for adding books to your wish list. Here are ten of my absolute favorite modern fiction works. While none of these are very new, all are worth reading and savoring. I hope to follow up with other lists over time with other top 10 lists in other genres as well, including classic literature, non-fiction, and humor.

I have linked my full reviews to these books to my posts on Goodreads.com. Happy reading!

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The Return of the Grown-Up Kids

(Photo credit: imgur.com)

A few days after our daughter left for a far away college, I called my friend Esther. I was still teary-eyed from our new status as empty-nesters, as our daughter is the youngest of our four kids. Now it was just my husband, me and the dog, whose cuteness barely compensated for the shedding. (I mean the dog, not my husband.)

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This Thanksgiving, Be Grateful You’re Not a Vegan

We who live in sunny, star-studded Los Angeles are often envied by people who live in less glamorous, climactically inhospitable places, such as Embarrass, Minnesota. But to those who live in Embarrass, Minnesota I say: Don’t envy us till you’ve walked a mile for parking in our Birkenstocks. We have plenty of problems of our own. 

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Online Shopping From Soup to Nuts

“Who bought all this stuff?” my son asked in astonishment the other night. The question was not a brazen act of chutzpah. Half the living room was piled with heavy white bags, emblazoned with the logo of Google Shopping Express. Now my guilt was compounded. Not only had I buckled under the lure of another e-tailing enterprise, but during my maiden online shopping expedition, I accidentally ordered duplicates of lots of bulky things. At least I won’t run out of paper plates, facial tissue or laundry detergent till 2017.

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Don’t Hate Me If I Voted for the Other Guy (or Gal)

One of the dumbest things I ever did was to satirize a friend’s political point of view on Facebook. Yeah, I really did that. I hadn’t identified her by name of course —I’m that that dumb—but she knew I was talking about her and let me know how upset she was. I felt lower than a slug. I was shaken and apologized. Thankfully she ultimately forgave me. You betcha I haven’t made the same blunder again.

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Twelve Tips to Write for Laughs

Writing for laughs is seriously hard work, but the payoffs are priceless. If you can make someone laugh with your words (because you intended to, not because your writing is so God-awful they can’t help but spurt coffee out their noses), you’ve done a great thing. You’ve brightened someone’s day, and improved their health, unlike those miserable wretches who make their living by writing traffic citations or delivering subpoenas. Why not try your hand at the humor game? You’ll have fun, and if you don’t have fun, at least you’ll have more appreciation for those who do make you laugh. Here are my twelve tips to make your readers laugh out loud.

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Cliches: Bad for Writing; Better as Philosophy

I’m always on the lookout for clichés. When I find them slipping into my own writing, I excise them out. Spotting them in my clients’ writing, I suggest alternatives. Too many cliches make for unimaginative writing, but some cliches are so wise and pithy we just cannot do without them. One of them, “Today is a new day,” recently saved my friend Anna from getting dragged back into an old dispute.

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President Obama’s First Yom Kippur

President Obama isn’t much of a church-goer, having dropped that practice after moving from Chicago, but he does take time to publicly commemorate various religious holidays in the White House. Mr. Obama has koshered the White House kitchen for Hanukkah celebrations and hosts annual Passover seders, complete with gefilte fish and matzo ball soup. He hosts Iftar dinners in the State Room for Ramadan. Naturally, he and the First Lady light the White House Christmas tree and host the Easter Egg Roll.

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