10 top new year resolutions

Our Story Begins: Forget the Resolutions!

I’ve said it two years in a row now, but I’ll say it again.

I hate New Year’s resolutions.

I hate them because everyone seems to think we should have them, whether we want to or not. Admit it – there’s no possible way you ever plan on keeping that resolution, right?! I mean, “I will lose weight, work out, work harder, cook more, learn more, go on vacation, spend more time with my family, listen to my wife/kids/dog . . .” they’re all just throwaway statements.

Resolution doesn’t mean some slight statement you may or may not consider following.

Resolution: n. a formal expression of opinion or intention made.

That means you intend to do it. Sure, we might mean them, but we have no intention of following through half the time.

So as I’ve said before: promise yourself to do things. Don’t make impossible, out-there goals; do something you plan to attempt. If you fail it’s a learning experience. Not menial tasks like, “I will clean the house every weekend”; resolve to do amazing, important things.

This year I did a lot of the things I planned, and some I didn’t.

Abbi, Hannah and their Aunt Amy

Abbi, Hannah and their Aunt Amy

I got two girls through graduations on the same day! That’s a massive feat.

I drove my daughter to her college, making sure she majored in what she wanted to do, not what her  late mother was prodding her to do. She’s happier than I’ve seen her in years and loves her school.

Related: GEM: Our Story Begins: 10 Things Parents of College-Age Kids Need to Know

Life became a major adventure. . . the kids fed birds in an ecological sanctuary. We went to Disneyland and also spent a day at the beach. We saw a Calatrava bridge. We went to a state fair – in another state. We went and saw the Big Trees.  My kids went to a screening of Doctor Who in the theaters, like a mini Comic Con. We memorized and recorded the Gettysburg Address for Ken Burns’ website. We dressed up for Halloween.


I wrote and played a ton of music, more than I have in several years. That’s big.

This coming year should be no different. I have a documentary project I’m determined to produce. I plan to see Kenneth Brannagh in Macbeth in New York, with my daughter, over the summer. I will visit my family.

The Band

And the hardest thing I have on my list for 2014? I want to record and maybe even release those songs I’ve written as an EP (extended play)  or full album. This is one I want but may not achieve, but I know I will work toward it. I resolve with full intent to push this toward completion.

2013 was a rough year, filled with loss and grief. We lost my grandmother; my late wife, Andrea’s, parents – both of them; and one of our dearest friends, George Marshall, who was also our drummer. That could easily have been the demise of all our progress.

But my sons are doing better than they have in years. My daughters are thriving. The peaks far outweighed the valleys and it reinforced that life is too much of an adventure to spend it sitting at home every day in seclusion.

Don’t make a resolution. Make a promise, and for goodness sake, intend to make good on that promise.

What about you? Did you accomplish what you wanted this year? What are your goals for 2014, and do you plan to meet them?

Dave Manoucheri


Dave Manoucheri is a writer, journalist and musician based in Sacramento, California.  A father of four, two daughters and twin sons, his blog, Our Story Begins is a chronicle of their life after the loss of his wife, Andrea, in March of 2011. Follow him on Twitter @InvProducerMan.