Introducing the WPNYRs

Check out the new (and fake) Washington Pattern New Year’s Resolutions.


We litigators love the Washington Pattern Jury Instructions, which allow us to submit credible instructions on common trial issues without having to actually, you know, do any research or anything. I believe this concept could be applied to other areas of life. What comes to mind this time of year are New Year’s resolutions. Imagine how much easier this annual exercise in self-delusion would be if there were a simple set of patterns.

Washington Pattern New Year’s Resolutions (excerpts)

WPNYR 1.10

In (year) I resolve to lose my [beer belly][love handles][excess badonkadonk], as demanded by my [spouse][doctor][wardrobe].

Notes on Use

WPNYR 1.10 is appropriate in nearly every case. It should be used together with WPNYR 1.11.


WPNYR 1.10 is the most frequently proclaimed of all New Year’s resolutions. It is also the most frequently breached, usually by about Jan. 14 of the year to which it applies. See, e.g., Mann v. Hamburger et al, 154 Wash.2d 597 (2005).

WPNYR 1.11

I resolve to fulfill the commitment made in WPNYR 1.10 above by accomplishing one or more of the following:

  1. Remaining at least 250 feet away from any [IHOP][Sizzler][Ben & Jerry’s][Dick’s drive-in];
  2. Removing myself from my [recliner][couch][bed] at least once per [hour][day][fortnight] and walking at least to the [television][end of the driveway][Dick’s drive-in];
  3. Improving my physical fitness level such that by (date) I will be properly conditioned to participate in a [triathlon] [marathon] [half-marathon] [spirited game of tetherball].

Notes on Use

Let’s face it, WPNYR 1.10 and 1.11 might as well be written in pencil, on a Post-It note.

WPNYR 5.10

In (year) I resolve to be demonstrably more patient, generous, and nurturing to my [spouse][children][staff][pets][houseplants].

Notes on Use

WPNYR 5.10 should be immediately succeeded by WPNYR 5.11.

WPNYR 5.11

Provided it costs me no money, time, or dignity.


Come on, these are resolutions, not miracles.

WPNYR 8.10

In (year) I resolve to improve my productivity and efficiency at the office.

Notes on Use

WPNYR 8.10 should be used together with WPNYR 8.11.


WPNYR 8.10 is another of the most frequently proclaimed resolutions. In rare cases, it remains in effect as late as the start of golf season.

WPNYR 8.11

I resolve to fulfill the commitment made in WPNYR 8.10 above by accomplishing one or more of the following:

  1. Limiting my use of non-work-related Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media to six hours per work day;
  2. Changing my cellphone number and not giving the new one to my spouse, children, or other family members;
  3. Switching my Starbucks order from a triple to a quadruple shot.

Notes on Use

Before implementing No. 3 above, ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for an hour of twitching.


As an alternative to WPNYR 8.10–11, some practitioners simply change professions.