New beginnings, SOOO CLICHÉ

When browsing Target for new dorm doo-dads, I overheard a little girl telling her mother that all she needed to get straight As was the more colorful-and expensive-set of spiral notebooks. She argued that last year, she’d had the cheap drugstore brand-and it’d cost her two Bs. But with these pink and green coordinated Lisa Franks, damnit, she was going to make honors in her kindergarten class.

At first I’d dismissed this little nincompoop as just another spoiled brat finding a more creative tactic than “Mom, all the other kids have them!” to convince her mother to shell out the additional green. But the more I got to thinking about goals and new beginnings, the more I thought this tot had her t??te on straight.

Let me break it down.

One of the best definitions of insanity-besides thinking that Crocs are acceptable pieces of footwear to be worn outside the house, that really was your last piece of drunk Domino’s pizza or booger green hair is cute and fun-is the expectation of different results from the same action.

In other words, no matter how many times you tell yourself that you’re going to lose those final 10 lbs. this year, it doesn’t take an Albert Einstein to tell you unless you change your actions-and your incurable addiction to those Longtrail Cookies they serve at the Marché;-you’re doomed to a bigger pants size.

And every time you up the ante on the results side-from I want to lose 10 lbs. to I want to get straight As to I want to be President of The Universe and All Surrounding Galaxies-you have to make proportional changes on the “actions” side.

But that’s not to say that changing yourself is impossible, it just takes a little more thought and effort than most people are willing to give. And it takes a definitive look backward to be able to move forward.

So yeah, this brat was going to change something pretty stupid-the color of the spiral she drew her backwards Js and Fs in. But that little girl definitely wasn’t as stupid as the UVM students who say they’re going to do better, be better, look better, but end up falling back into using the equivalent of the drugstore spirals to try and reach their goals.

Don’t just say this year’ll be different. Make it different.

For the record, the mom gave in to her future-attorney-of-a-daughter’s seemingly ridiculous reasoning. I just hope pink and green go with her first-day-of-school outfit.