You say you want a resolution

Yes, we are approaching New Year’s Resolution time on our calendars.

Resolution 2A friend pointed this out Monday with a message on Facebook. “Remember that concise editorial I wrote all those years ago about New Year’s Resolutioners,” she asked as she shared the meme at the right.

For those of you who missed her letter to the editor nine years ago, here it is: “I resent New Year’s resolutioners who decide to lose weight, crowd the gyms and disrupt routines then quit six weeks later. Do us a favor – make a new resolution.”

It’s blunt. But for the most part, I agree with my friend about the effectiveness of making New Year’s Resolutions. And I don’t really make them.

Resolution 1 The better idea is expressed in the meme at the left. With that in mind, I’ve been trying to make a positive change in recent weeks that I am determined to establish as a habit in 2016. Succeeding will put me in the minority of American adults, according to surveys this year. Yes, I have been trying to charge my iPhone overnight in the kitchen, which means it isn’t at the side of my bed, in the bed, or, even worse, in my hand when I am sleeping. Short of that noble goal, I’ve sometimes left it across the room, where I’d have to actually get out of bed to get it.

In order to make a full confession, I have often been among the 55 percent of Americans who say they sleep with their cell phone on the nightstand, 13 percent who sleep with it on the bed and 3 percent who say they sleep with it in their hands.

And I can see the eye rolling of my family and closest friends — many of whom have pointed out this flaw in my personality for years. A friend shot this photo, which documents the degree of my addiction, during a break in a 2011 group bike ride on the most celebrated trail in Iowa. She posted it on Facebook with the comment: “Because that’s how Chris rolls.”

how I roll

Clearly, I have a problem with my phone, which my girlfriend has nicknamed “my girlfriend.”

So, awhile back, I bought a cheap alarm clock, put it on the nightstand and tried to banish the phone. To be honest, I am not batting 100 percent. If I’m lucky, I have managed to untether from the phone maybe half the time.

But on those successful nights, I’ve slept better because I didn’t momentarily wake up in the  middle of the night, roll over, grab the phone and then spend the next hour or more trolling through Facebook or checking my bank balance or reading emails or composing to-do lists or Googling to find out what ever happened to Brother Louis DeThomasis, who retired as president of Saint Mary’s University in Winonna, Minnesota, in 2005.

And that might be a topic for a future blog post: Looking back at your middle-of-the night Google searches.

Not for me, though, because I’m going to kick the habit. Those closest to me deserve to have more of my attention more of the time. It’s time to hang up on my iPhone addiction. But instead of viewing this goal as a New Year’s Resolution, I’m going to try this method instead:

Resolution 3

Please wish me luck.