Last year I made several New Year’s resolutions — not to drink soda pop, to do chores when they’re needed and one other one I can’t remember.

Well, I made it most of the way through the list with about a 33 percent success rate. Since I can’t remember one resolution, I am not going to count it as a success. I don’t know if I am following its guidelines or not.

The resolution that has become mostly habit is completing chores.

Dishes are done almost immediately, unless it is 10 p.m. by the time I saunter into the kitchen after having company. The trash is outside when the collection of junk hits the brim of its container unless it is midnight and the garage door is going to wake up Tracy, my wife. The recycling is sorted and taken away on a regular basis — about once every two weeks.

But the soda pop resolution only lasted a short while. I maintained my resistance to downing sugary, carbonated beverages for about six months.

Switching to nothing but coffee and water was pretty easy at first. I had already been drinking a lot of both prior to making the switch. The caffeine in coffee prevented headaches, and of course, the enormous amount of water I was drinking kept me hydrated and curbed the desire for thirst- quenching soft drinks.

There was no need to venture into the convenience store while getting gas in the morning, because I already had one or two large cups of water, and sometimes a large container of home-brewed iced coffee.

The occasional beer and tea also kept me from drinking sweet, bubbly beverages while I was out at restaurants. But I could only keep that up so long.

My slip started at a local eatery. I decided to order one soda while out for dinner, and the next thing I knew I was in the gas station purchasing them on the way to work.

After that it was the grocery store, buying 1- and 2-liter bottles that would last more than three days in the house.

I naturally drink a lot of fluid, which is part of the problem. It doesn’t matter what liquid beverage is in front of me — water, juice, coffee, energy drinks, alcohol or pop — I manage to swig it all away within a couple of minutes.

Tracy often comments on my fluid intake while at dinner. Waiters are filling my drinks three to five times during my visits to local food joints. Sometimes that means twice before I even get a meal.

All that adds up to a problem when I drink soda. While I have pretty much given up on cutting out drinks like Diet Coke and Dr Pepper, I am still making a conscientious effort not to order such drinks at restaurants. It is probably best that I don’t tap the soda fountain when the supply could be endless during my stay somewhere.

I recognize that I should practice better restraint but some of that restraint is knowing when not to purchase.

At least when I am heading into the convenience store or purchasing two liters at the grocery store, I am somewhat limiting myself.

The goal now is to continue to limit consumption, and the best way to do it is to make sure it is not as available as I would probably like.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7474

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