By Ernie Brown
A new year is here, and many of you again have taken the time to make out your personal resolutions to better yourselves.
One of those resolutions, usually, is to lose a few pounds, especially after the major eating holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
It is no surprise that health clubs and spas offer enticing deals in December and January to get folks to begin the sometimes daunting task of getting back in shape or toning up.
The problem, however, is that after a few weeks, or days, you lose the discipline and desire to continue making the trek to the gym twice or three times a week for your workouts, often in cold, nasty weather.
So, I’ve come up with 10 practical resolutions I believe you can keep and achieve this year.
- Commit yourself to doing between five to 10 random acts of kindness for your fellow man this year.
For example, you can shovel or use your snow blower to clear out your neighbor’s driveway or walkway. You can take an elderly neighbor or person to a medical appointment. How about stopping your car in the winter to help push a stranger’s car out of a snow drift? You can make an anonymous donation to a nonprofit organization. Perhaps you can help Habitat for Humanity build a home for a first-time homeowner.
- Resolve that you will not abuse your child, spouse or significant other this year.
There are several counseling facilities available to help you deal with your anger or whatever it is that causes you to hurt those you say you love.
- Don’t drink and drive.
Remember, as the commercial says, “buzzed” driving is drunken driving, and a drunken-driving conviction is costly. You also put yourself and others in harm’s way by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated.
- Properly maintain the property you own or rent.
Cut the grass. Make minor repairs. Keep you yard litter-free. If you are a landlord, make sure your properties are kept clean and that you quickly address the needs of your tenants.
- Don’t gossip and avoid those who spread gossip.
If you don’t have anything good to say about a person, don’t say anything at all.
- If you have a job, try to save at least $10 a week from your paycheck.
By the end of the year, you will have saved $520, which you can use to take care of unexpected expenses or purchase something nice for yourself or your loved ones. You could also put the money in an interest-bearing savings account. If you can’t save $10 a week, try $5. That’s sacrificing one foot-long sandwich a week. You can do that.
- If you father a child, take care of the child.
You were part of the conception; now be part of providing for your offspring.
- Commit yourself to help police solve crimes.
If you see someone breaking the law, report it. If you witness a crime, make yourself available to police and prosecutors. I know many who may read this column don’t trust the police or have had bad experiences with law enforcement. But sometimes you just have to do the right thing, regardless of how you feel about the cops and how they do their job.
- Every so often, turn off the television, cell phone and computer.
Read a book. Spend time talking with your mate and children. Take a nap, and relax.
- Commit yourself to spend more time practicing your faith.
How often do you attend church or go to the mosque or the temple? When was the last time you attended a Bible study?
I know many of you don’t make resolutions, but for those that do, at least try these 10. I believe they will help get your new year — and the first year of a new decade — started on the right track.