How are your resolutions coming along?

Published 6:01 pm Friday, July 6, 2012

My brother and I agreed long ago that we had plenty of good ideas for running our business. It was always the follow up that was the hard part. We used to go to the National Restaurant Show or marketing conferences and would come back excited about all the new possibilities of improving our business. Over time many of them would slowly drift away.

It is much the same with the resolutions we make at the first of every year. They sound good and we all have every intention of implementing them, even when we may have failed with the same resolution year after year.

This year I publicly stated my New Year Resolutions as part of a column in January. Knowing that following up is the key to success; I decided to revisit them at the halfway point of 2012. It is hard to believe it, but this year is half gone. So how have I been doing?

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First I was going to improve my Spanish. Not a good start as I have not improved it one bit, other than learning a few more menu items in the local Mexican restaurant. I don’t think that counts.

I wanted to learn the names of five more of the 40 plants in our yard. I think I have done that, but as quickly as I learn them I seem to forget them. That may be more of a problem with memory than with following up.

I wanted to learn the rules of soccer to be able to follow it with more interest. I have actually watched a few soccer games on television and have picked up a little knowledge, but I am still lost on what is really going on.

I pledged to lose 20 pounds. Finally, there is something that I resolved to do that I have actually done. That’s 21.6 pounds, to be exact. It is funny how we don’t count tenths of a pound when we are gaining weight, but we proudly count them when we are losing.

I am going to go out on a limb here and double down my pledge about weight. I hope and resolve to bring in the next New Year with a total loss of 40 pounds.

I resolved to visit my two best friends from college during 2012. I am doing pretty well on this one. One visit with David occurred in March. Bill, David and I, along with our wives, are attending an Auburn football game this fall.

I wanted to read five books, including one electronically. This has been harder than I thought, although I am still devouring newspapers, magazines and Internet articles. I have two books with me to read while we are at Compass Lake over the week of July 4, so my intentions are good.

By contrast, Mary Lou has read six books in the past month on a variety of subjects.

I was going to visit a new foreign country during 2012. That has not happened yet, unless you call the French Quarter in New Orleans foreign. My travels have been pretty extensive this year so far, but just not out of the good ole USA.

I planned to attend my oldest niece’s graduation, which I did in May. Bailey Ponder graduated with honors from SGA and is about to embark on her college career at Georgia Southern.

I resolved to play more organ-piano duets this year. Through the first half of 2012, my talented counterpart, Helen Bartosz, and I have indeed played more duets on Sunday morning. We will keep it up.

I hoped to become a better writer. Well, I guess this one is for you my faithful readers to judge. Writing is fun and fulfilling for me, but I know I can improve.

I determined to be a better husband, father, grandfather, brother and son. Once again someone else has to give the grade on how I am doing, but we are all gathered here at Compass Lake enjoying each other’s company for the 4th. I am pretty sure I am at least going to get my grandchildren’s vote.

Finally, I resolved to linger longer along the way. This is hard, but I think I am making progress. It is difficult to slow down when you have been going fast most of your life. My new padded hammock on the dock will hopefully assist in this matter.

So all in all, I guess I am doing okay. If I took a trip to Argentina and read a book in Spanish about the rules of soccer while I was there I would have just about done everything I resolved to do. We will do a final check at the end of the year.

In the meantime, how are your resolutions coming along?

Dan Ponder can be reached at