With the new year just starting, it's traditional to make resolutions, and there's more than one way to approach that task.
You could promise to give up your favorite guilty pleasures, at the risk of losing your resolve by February.
Or you could set impossibly ambitious goals — founding your own sovereign nation in some remote part of the world, for example.
But there's a better way. When asked to tell us about their aspirations for the new year, our readers tended to set modest, practical goals.
“I'm resolving to swear less, not that I do it a lot, but I have small children,” said Scott Green of Santa Rosa, father of daughters ages 6 and 4. “They're picking up what I say now, and asking me what I mean.”
For Megan Ortega, a professional dog walker who lives in Petaluma, her personal and professional goals are remarkably compatible. For 2013, she resolved to run every day, and succeeded.
“Even when I'm doing 13 mileswalking dogs, I'll still do a run,” she said. “For my next New Year's resolution, I've thought long and hard about it, and I want to run a full marathon this year.”
Ed Shoop of Sonoma set himself a goal that is more philosophical in nature.
“I am 69 years old,” Shoop wrote, “and I resolve not to forget that, and pair that with the fact that someday I will be dead, and I don't know when. Therefore, if there is anything in this life that I really want to do, I'd better do it now!”
Karen Lockert, a Forestville artist, set her sights on making every day count.
“The big goal?” she wrote. “Spending more time on myself and my health — walking, cooking healthy food and enjoying the scenery.”
Some of those who responded to our call for New Year's resolutions set some very specific goals.
Singer and songwriter Larry Potts of Petaluma aims to finish recording his fifth album and writing the second draft of his memoirs.