I am simplifying my New Year’s resolutions.

This year I will be taking the advice inadvertently offered last year during this same season by my loving children when, after perusing my last year’s list, they reflected their remarkable upbringing by responding in unison, "Huh?"

The year 2012 is my “simple” year, my “get back to basics” year. I will be shooting for resolutions that reflect those feelings — something a bit more straight-forward than last year, consistent, clear, painless, uncomplicated, laid-back … and less wordy.

Come to think of it, I am still looking for my New Year’s resolutions from last year. I must have misplaced the list. I remember that it was in a specially ordered 17-and-a-half-ring binder with my face Photoshopped over a picture of some skinny guy on a beach with a Hummer and a yacht.

I also Photoshopped my wife onto the beach as well, but she took offense at the swimsuit I Googled for her, so I replaced it with a snapshot of her objecting to something at a PTA meeting. Come to think of it, that may be the reason my list seems to have come up missing.

While I am in the mood to own up to past blunders, last year’s ambitious listing was somewhat more than I could handle. I had gone to the library and had researched the most effective documents on the “Seven Most Formidable Resolutions and the Men Who Make Them” website. I also read several biographies of ambitious men from different and respected arenas — including business, politics and NASCR — and then tried to adopt their productive habits.

Then I categorized my 2010 resolution index into sections with descriptive sub-headings and cross-referenced them to my goal register (as suggested by the website). Later in the year, I refocused the document and made several addendums that I had printed onto different colors of paper corresponding to calendar updates and topics.

No. 18 on the successful goal-makers list was to place one's resolution list in full, constant view. This would help me to remember it daily, serve as a constant reminder of the commitments I had made in the same fashion as Lee Iacocca, Newt Gingrich and Jeff Gordon (who will be sponsored by Giganto Mart soon, so he has to be doing something good).

However, I couldn’t find a magnet big enough to hold the pages, let alone their binding, to the fridge. I ended up placing the pages on the kitchen table where they could double as a booster seat for height-challenged visitors at dinner — an unexpected bonus that gave us easier access to the phone book.

As impressive as it was, my personalized goal catalog proved too much for me. I didn't have the heart to trash it, and I couldn’t leave it around the house taunting me, pointing at me, snide and unkind.

I imagined ridding myself of it once and for all, ablaze, aflame in a bonfire, returning it to the universe in a simple but elegant ceremony. I refused the bitter tears. Gone were the annotated categories of gregarious goals and aspirations. Bittersweet was the send-off of spreadsheets and pie chart targets as they fluttered up to the 9:37 p.m. sky, with the red and blue lights of the cop who told me I couldn’t have a bonfire in my backyard — and this retold daydream is way too specific.

Never mind. I just remembered where I put my list.

This year, my goals are simpler. I found a much better idea on my very own, with no help from any website. I am putting my goals on a single sheet of paper — a single sheet of paper that fits on the fridge right between my kids' school grades and my dentist’s appointment card.

Shorter, more concise goals mean that I have had to eliminate my plans for world domination and six-pack abs. And my wish for an English cottage garden for the backyard with a stone bridge has instead turned into buying a perennial or two and making the kids plant them before the flowers die in the trunk of the car.

So here’s my new list:

● Walk more

● Drink more water and buy some better teeth.

● Pray.

● Be nice to people and show my wife and family I love them. (The last one came from my kids.)

That’s it. That’s the list. And it takes almost no space, no giant magnets or duct tape. It just needs a glance a day and the guts to follow through.

I'm sure Iacocca and Gordon would approve.

Cheney writes, often humorously, at davisoncheneymegadad.blogspot.com