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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, January 5, 2018
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Come to think of it
with Carlos Antonio L. Leonardia



Happy New Year everyone!

It is New Year's resolution season once again so it is time for us to take a look at how we did in that department in 2017 as we try to craft new promises that should improve our lives.

For those who made big resolutions more or less 365 days ago, my fearless forecast is that most failed or gave up on their resolutions before the first quarter of the year was even done. That is why this year my suggestion is to make small, bite-sized New Year's resolutions that can be achieved before the first quarter is up so when next year comes, we can say we were able to keep most of our NY resolutions.

Here are a few suggestions for easy resolutions that we can make for 2018.

First resolution: To no longer cuss or use swear words. This is easier said than done, especially for those who think like my old textmate Senator Sherwin Gatchalian who started the New Year with a series of obnoxious tweets, probably in a catastrophically failed attempt to be as folksy as his idol. That senatorial embarrassment aside it would be a good idea to promise not to swear or use bad words anymore. I succumbed to the temptation last year in an attempt to demonstrate just how uncouth those words and behavior can be, especially if it is written down. But as the year winded down I realized that I wasn't offending those who don't care about decency anyway and I was just embarrassing and demeaning myself in trying to make a point.

My mantra for 2018 is: I am not a bastos na Bisaya so I do not need to use bad words. Unlike some senators who will fake it until they make it in order to look tough or folksy, I don't plan to be President anyway so I don't need to embarrass myself with uncouth behavior. Life is too short to be known as that bastos guy.

Second resolution: To stop lying, making up stories or make promises I have no intention of keeping. This should be easy because I am not a politician who has to lie about my desire to hold on to power at all costs. I strongly believe that anyone who can keep this promise during the first 3-6 months of 2018 should be able to do it the entire year. As an added challenge for myself, I am asking my handful of readers to hold me accountable if I spread fake news or fudge facts or statistics. Don't worry, I can't swear at those who point out the bitter truth or pick holes at my opinions because of resolution number 1 which I fully intend to keep come hell or high water.

Third resolution: To be a better parent. Parents probably make this promise every year because it is easy to make because unless you can travel 10 years into the future, there is no way to tell how well your parenting skills are evolving. But in today's world where leaders and role models are being allowed to get away with vile and disgusting behavior because of their power and influence, renewing this promise and following up on it constantly has become a must. Children don't miss anything and no matter what we tell them, those who grow up around hypocrites will naturally pick it up.

Fourth resolution: To be a more courteous driver. This is going to be a tough one to keep because of the growing number of asshole drivers out there, but it is a challenge I am willing to accept for 2018. A world where all drivers made the New Year's resolution of giving way, keeping intersections open, not cutting corners, and avoided the irresponsible use of hazard lights would make our lives easier. And since government isn't keen on enforcing these simple rules, we will have to do it ourselves. The New Year is a good a time as any to try again.

Resolution 5: Eat healthier and exercise more. Yes I know we all told ourselves this approximately 365 days ago but our bodies and our loved ones deserve another shot.

Giveaway resolution: Pay taxes. Thanks to TRAIN, this is going to be an easy-peasy resolution to keep. While those of us who have been boycotting sugary drinks even before it became the rage in Negros Island won't feel the increased tax on soda, there will be no running or hiding from the new taxes on fuel and power that will result in price increases of almost everything everyone, filthy rich or dirt poor, need to live. Those of us who can afford to bear the load will be fine while those who are not prepared for it simply have to find ways or make a NY resolution to earn more or tighten their belts.

Life goes on but we can always try to make it better. The New Year and the resolutions we make every time may be cliché but it give us a chance to step back and see if our lives and everything we hold dear are improving or regressing. We can all hope for 2018 to be better than 2017 but the chances of it actually happening are bigger for those who do something about it right now when the year is still young.

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