By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Dec 29, 2016 at 11:03 AM

The angle that most columnists take when it comes to their annual New Year’s column is to write fanciful resolutions for a variety of celebrities.

Like Donald Trump resolves to end his Twitter account, comb his hair the other way and have lunch with Alec Baldwin. They are always supposed to be funny with some bite. They are not always successful.

This year, though, I’m doing something different. I’m making real resolutions. For myself. For real. No jokes, no sarcasm, no fooling around. These are real resolutions, and I hope I get held to them during 2017.

I resolve to be nicer to everyone

Under most circumstances, I’m a pretty nice person. But there are times when I can be a little caustic and rude. I may also be overly critical of the behavior or beliefs of other people. And I also have this tendency to occasionally seem like a know-it-all and dismiss the opinions of other people. Much to my distress, these traits can manifest themselves with the people who are most dear to me in life. I think a little humility will go a long way toward making me a happier person, as well as those around me.

I resolve to pay attention to my health

As many people know, I’ve been fat most of my adult life, and I had bariatric surgery in September. The results have been remarkable. In three months, I have lost 48 pounds and have another 40 or 50 to go. I feel a whole lot better and am looking forward to all of this extending my life. I intend to keep up the discipline and am looking forward to getting a brand new wardrobe. My friends and family know that if gifts are in order, gift cards to Kohl’s are my new request. I’m going to let a Wisconsin company outfit the new me.

I resolve to start playing golf again

I gave up golf three years ago after playing for a lifetime. It was a combination of bad health and the untimely death of my favorite and longtime playing partner, Terry Evans. I used to be a good golfer and realize that now I’m not going to be all that good. But I’m going to start playing again – and I want to play just for fun. I’m not sure I can walk a full 18 holes, but I never played golf for exercise. I played because I loved the camaraderie and the mental challenge of golf.

I resolve to be a more discerning theater critic

I believe that good criticism is an integral part of a vibrant theater community. Looking back over one year of reviews, I think that I sometimes cross over into a kind of boosterism that doesn’t really serve anybody’s interests. After all these years, I think I know what makes up a good production worthy of spending hard earned dollars on. I am going to work hard to make sure the standards are met and not be influenced by my affection for so many producers in this town.

I resolve focus on the really important stuff

I have always been a worrier, and my concerns have extended to little things over which I’ve had no control. I want to focus on what’s important in life and let the little things, the things that don’t matter, pass without obsessing over them. I’m at an age in my life where I have to realize that this is what I got. I’m going to realize that so much of life is "bupkis" and not worth getting all worked up over.

And finally...

I resolve to live up to my resolve. 

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.