I make New Year’s resolutions every year. I’ve done it for as long as I can remember, and every year they are exactly the same as the year before: 1. Write a new book 2. Plan special occasions with family and friends 3. Lose ten pounds. I always keep two out of the three; I write a new book and I create fun with family and friends.

This year, I decided to forget about the ten pounds. I’m not obese, so it isn’t a medical issue. I left the new book and the special times off my list, too, because they are not goals so much as a statement of what I always do.

I’ve made only one resolution this year. At every meal, half of what is on my plate must be vegetables or fruit. Since I’ve been a vegetarian for decades, you might think this would not be much of a change but it is making a surprising difference. Instead of zapping a plate of leftover pasta for my lunch, I had a smaller portion with steamed green beans on the side. Last night when I fixed a snack of cheese and crackers, I added a sliced apple. I’m eating more salads and fresh oranges.

Eric started school today in Laramie, Wyoming. Before he left, I treated his family to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. (See resolutions about special occasions.) The entire dinner was paid for by the advance I received that day for a Japanese edition of Night of Fear.  Back in 1993, I kept my New Year’s resolution and wrote a book. Seventeen years later, the Japanese edition paid for a family celebration. How fun is that?

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