It is the time of year for New Year’s resolutions. In the past, my resolutions have focused on me a lot. Me physically, Me career, Me relationship-wise, and how I could affect changes in the world. Looking back at them over the last few years has made me a little discouraged. Physically, I weigh about the same, and am in as crappy shape as last year. Career, I have the same job as last year. Relationship: We have the same problems as last year. Also I didn’t overwhelm the world this year.

So this year I wanted to find some people who did not habitually fail at New Year’s resolutions. I wanted to find people with the strength of their convictions, ones that did not have the stench of failure on them,

I turned to my 9-year-old nephew Kane, 8-year-old nephew Asfaw, 6-year-old nephew Julian, and 5-year-old niece Lily. They had not been beaten down by years of failure. They were fresh. None of them needed to lose weight. None needed to work on a relationship. (With the possible exception of Lily who talks about a boy she refers to as “Sweet Baby” who she has met in her kindergarten class and plans to marry.) Their careers consist of being elementary school students. None of them had even thought about resolutions until now.

I asked them their New Year’s Resolutions


A: I want to get higher belts in Tae Kwon Do. I want to be faster.

L: I could eat more cauliflower. (Her favorite vegetable)

J: I want to play volleyball. I don’t want to eat celery next year.

K: I wish for my family to stay non smoking (nobody smokes in his family). I guess I could use our treadmill more. I should really start chewing with my mouth closed.


A: I want to get better in reading and writing and spelling.

K: I could be a better student by doing more math. (his best subject)

J: I want to do more homework.


K: I should learn to like hockey more. This year I’m not going to throw things out of the window of the car.

J: I want to speak Chinese.

L: I need to get a guinea pig.


A: I want people to stop “cigarretting” and throwing trash on the ground.

J: I want to make a cool invention.

K: I want to make shark and whale hunting illegal. I will not use plastic while eating at the beach to help keep plastic out of the ocean.

L: I could make everyday Christmas.


K: I might clean out the garage.

L: I could be nicer to my brother.

J: I am already nice to my sister.

So no losing weight or any other resolutions that we can’t stick to. Let’s all just agree not to throw things out of the windows of our cars, and also maybe we should all work on a really cool invention.

Sure, these resolutions are not perfect, but it’s a start. We have to start somewhere. We are all already nice to our sisters.

Happy New Year.

Thomas Lawlor lives in Southport with his wife and two daughters. His column appears every other Friday. He can be reached by email at