Who has time to make a list of resolutions amid the madness of the holiday season? My reflections always come later. In the quiet, cold darkness of January, when peace on earth has been packed away for another year, and goodwill to men is already forgotten. I usually resolve some variation of the same things, and they are not unusual. Exercise more, read more, write more, read my Bible more often, eat more healthy foods, and save more money.

Relatively easy, generic resolutions. Why are they so difficult to carry out? Two weeks into the new year, the gym is just as empty as it was the last time I went in November, which tells me that quite a few people have already quit on their fitness goals. I’ve come to realize that failure is part of my identity. It is also common social bonding agent, because success-oriented people are seen as self-aggrandizing fatheads. I’d rather commiserate with the people in the room who can never seem to get out of bed in the morning than stand around with a bunch of morons who are patting themselves on the back.

Successful people are threatening. I don’t know how to interact with them. They throw me off my game–even the endearingly humble ones. I’d rather hamstring myself and hang with the failers, because they are darkly funny, and I do so love gallows humor. Success is scary, because it’s different, and in order to achieve it, I must leave the comfort of my own country behind.

So. This year, I resolve all my standard resolutions, but I resolve also not to presume defeat. And I resolve to create plans for implementing change, not allowing my good intentions to stay in the realm of the undefined.

I resolve success.