When it comes to making plausible New Year’s resolutions for my own personal life, my track record is pretty dismal.

Oh, I have lots and lots of good intentions, but I always seem to overreach. No, I’m probably never again going to be the size I was as a senior in high school. And, I probably won’t amass a great deal of money in my savings account. First of all, I’m a journalist, for crying out loud. And, then there’s the fact that a $5 bill in my pocket is burning a hole even as we speak.

So I began a quest for a better way to make resolutions. I went to the Web. There I found the 10 most common resolutions.

*Getting in shape.

* Getting more organized.

* Giving up smoking/drinking.

* Getting or changing jobs.

* Keeping a check on expenses and paying down debt.

* Buying a house or relocating.

* Finding a mate.

* Donating more time to help others.

* Enjoying life more. (Hmmm.)

* Finding a hobby.

Those are all fine resolutions, but they are a lot like mine — goals without a plan. I had better luck when I just started asking other people what type of resolutions they were making for 2009.

Scott Meeker, our features editor, fell short in 2008 of hitting his goal of reading one book a week. However, he read 45 books last year and is going for the full 52 in 2009. He is arming himself with a list of bestsellers and a plan for making his resolution happen. Oh, and by the way, Scott is a great resource for book suggestions. Some of the best books I have read, I borrowed from Scott.

Joplin Convention and Bureau Director Vince Lindstrom will be busy in 2009 coordinating the first “Mother Road Marathon.” The 26-mile run is set for October and should draw runners from across the country.

But Vince says he will still make time for a daily journal. He said it was something he used to do, but hasn’t made it a priority. In 2009, it’s No. 1 on his list. Vince says he is an admirer of Benjamin Franklin, who believed keeping an accurate log of one’s life. Good luck on that Vince.

Carolyn Trout, retired Joplin Public Library director and columnist for the Senior Outlook, was successful in winning more pinochle games in 2008. Read her column next Wednesday to find out why she’s resolving to stop falling down so often. Seriously, Carolyn is one of the most motivated persons I’ve ever met. Not sure that she really needs resolutions.

I was getting my hair cut the other day and a woman there mentioned that she always resolves to add something “green” to her list. When I asked her what she meant, she told me that each year she looks at the way she lives and strives to make one change that will ultimately help the environment or save natural resources.

This year it sounded like she was going to reuse her shopping bags. She’s already recycling and has cut back on her water use at home. I thought that was a pretty neat, progressive resolution.

Perhaps I should start down the resolution path of success with a sure thing. So, I think in 2009 I will simply resolve to learn more new things.

And, I just did by asking questions for this column.

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