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Celebs are just like us! (when it comes to New Year’s resolutions)

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Michael Phelps and Simon executive chef Kerry Simon.
Photo: Sarah Feldberg

We rarely resolve to do anything, but once a year for about a week resolutions are on everybody’s lips.

As the year ticks down to December 31, the country takes stock on a micro level of what it has and hasn’t accomplished in the proceeding 364 days. We then pick an area that could use some improvement and move forward with a mission in mind. And here’s the shocker – celebrities do too.

Paul Oakenfold, resident DJ and creator of Perfecto at the Palms, offered up a classic goal when asked for his 2009 New Year’s resolution: lose a few pounds. Oh, and keep improving on the party, interactive show and musical journey that his weekly Perfecto party at Rain nightclub.

Across the Palms casino from Rain and through the parking lot, chef Kerry Simon of Simon restaurant at Palms Place played coy on his to-do list for the new year. Simon’s excuse for not sharing his resolution was something along the lines of “if I tell you, it won’t come true.” Sounds more like a wish, to me.

In many ways, however, New Year’s resolutions are wishes. While we might resolve on January 1 to complete goals like losing weight, taking more vacations or drinking less, by the time February or March rolls around our plans have often fallen by the way side, along with life-list goals like learning a second (or third) language, mastering the art of soufflé or hiking the Appalachian Trail.

I’ve managed to carry over the same New Year’s resolution two year’s in a row, and I’m considering extending it for a third go-round. Flossing daily just isn’t as much fun as it sounds.

Benji Madden of Good Charlotte dined at Simon before spinning at Body English nightclub at the Hard Rock.

Neither, apparently, is giving up unhealthy foods. Good Charlotte rocker Benji Madden said his New Year’s resolution was to drink less soda and eat less junk food. While not as exciting as kicking that pesky drug habit, Madden said that in the absence of more illicit cravings, these were the vices he was hoping to tame in 2009.

Olympian Michael Phelps, who joined Madden at Simon restaurant for New Year’s Eve dinner, said he didn’t have a specific goal he was willing to share. It will be four years before Phelps can make another slew of Olympic gold medals his New Year’s resolution.

George Maloof and IndyCar driver Marco Andretti dined together in the back room of Simon restaurant on New Year's Eve.

But it was Palms owner George Maloof who perhaps best summed up our collective concept of New Year’s resolutions with his two-part goal. Maloof resolved to work out more and make it to church more often. Whether it’s maintaining dental hygiene, losing a few pounds or giving up carbonation, most of our resolutions are aimed at doing just what Maloof’s are – improving our health in body and mind.

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