do it myself

        Anybody who knows two-year-olds knows the words "do it myself."  Do-it-myself means you can't help him button his shirt or eat his spaghetti or buckle his car seat.  Do-it-myself is good for two-year-olds, but it's bad for grownups who make it their motto for New Year's resolutions -- I do-it-myself, with gritted teeth and no help from anybody.  That might seem like the American way, but it sure makes fresh starts hard and lonely (and sometimes short-lived) endeavors.  The buddy system works much better.  Why not see for yourself?  Tell a friend about the fresh start you're hoping to make.  Toss it around with him.  Flesh it out.  Agree to check in with him at regular intervals by email or phone (especially when you're not doing so well).  And maybe he has a fresh start idea that you can give him a hand with.  You'll both go a lot farther together than alone, and you'll get to know each other better in the process.  I think they call that a win-win.