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Resolve to better yourself this year

Published: Sat, January 2, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

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.



1Lifesnadir(164 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Here are a few other ideas for resolutions.

1. Do you know an elderly or ill person who owns a pet? Research shows that a pet or pets helps to create and maintain a sense of well-being for elderly or ill persons. But the economy has made it hard to buy cat or dog food, cat litter, or treats. Many people have had to place their animals into shelters due to lack of money. Write a nice note to an elderly or ill neighbor and tell them you know how important the pet is for the person's life. Include some money "for your pet's needs" and hand deliver the card or tape it over the lock area on the person's door so they'll see it. Note: Don't put it in the mailbox because technically, the box is only for U.S. mail delivery. Plus, it could be accidentally picked up by the mail carrier as outgoing mail.

2. We've all heard about the "Food and Toy Drives" in November and December. Don't forget though, children must eat in Jan., Feb., Mar., April.... Help re-stock the food pantries' shelves with basics for meals. Also, buy a few personal hygiene items-- bar soap, laundry and dish detergent, shampoo, conditioner, disposable razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper...

3. People think we're hurting here, locally. But other USA areas are hurting worse than Northeast Ohio. Research to find a small Appalachia town in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, then find a church with an address and phone number. Write the pastor a letter, asking if he knows a family who could use some help. There will be many, many families! Ask if you could send items in care of the pastor for delivery to the family. Then, start a box. Each month, buy a few items for "your family". Pick a date to send them a box. As soon as you send your first box, start buying to fill a second box. If you can send 2-medium sized boxes a year, that would be a great help. Plan for many lightweight items because shipping can be expensive.

3. Back to our nation's domesticated animals.... Could you foster a dog or cat? If you can't foster, could you "sponsor" one with your financial support? Even $5.00 a month would feed 1 or 2 animals.

4. Contact a local vet and tell them that the next time they meet a poor family whose pet needs medical care, that you will donate $50.00 toward that care. Ask the vet to make a special 'billing' account, and pay your donation to that account.

5. The next time you visit a business, after you complete your own check-out, tell the cashier you want to pay $20.00 on the bill for the NEXT person in line. If you want to make sure the money goes where you intend, ask for the Manager so that he or she can do the transaction.

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2Lifesnadir(164 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Part 2 of my suggestions....

6. Wintertime is one of the worst times for increased depression, loneliness, and feelings of hopelessness. Write a card with a sincere message of hope. Example: "Life often seems tough, But you've gone through bad times before and I know you can get through this too. Please know that there are people who care about You." Then, hand them out to people you meet throughout the day.

7. Remember your old school? Remember how some walls had peeling paint? Or a window that needed repaired? Become a sponsor of the school -- OR -- just one classroom. Send a little every month....or save up each month and send it next January. Our Schools NEED extra help.

8. Do you like to read? Are you great with basic math? (adding, subtracting, dividing) Do you like meeting and talking to new people? Then, become a volunteer "teacher" at the Rescue Mission.

9. Do you have a personal story of adversity and triumph? Were you abused? a victim of domestic violence? have you recovered from using drugs or alcohol? Become a "peer support" person to someone going through a similar problem. OR, offer to give a short 15 to 30 minute talk to a local group or church. Are you too shy to be a speaker? Then, write about your experience. Remember to include 2 things that motivated you to get help...and include 2 ways you found the help you needed. Tell 2 ways that you keep yourself motivated NOW, the ways you don't lose hope.

10. This one is an extra special and very important thing you can do in 2010. You can help someone do this. Or, you can do it for yourself. But it's the #1 thing that many people struggle with and often they lose hope because they feel they've failed. Can you guess what it is? Simply said, what you can do is "Believe in yourself" or help someone else believe in him or herself. We all need an extra dose of confidence, especially when life is constantly punching us or tripping us! And we often have to dig out our reserves of confidence to tackle new problems. Believing in yourself is the best gift you can give yourself in 2010. And if you can help someone else to realize or re-realize that they can also trust and believe in their own abilities, you'll have made a lifetime and lifechanging difference to that person.

Ok, who has the next 10 resolutions ready to post?

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Well I don't drink or smoke so I can't get any savings here .

I could save on my water bill by getting one of those composting toilets (OUTHOUSE) . I am not too sure about global warming and it is a chilly way to go in the winter .

I could save by not mowing my grass and maintaining a mower but then the city would fine me . There are not enough rabbits in town to keep the grass clipped .

If I didn't have my standards I would sell drugs for a second income as many are doing . So this opportunity isn't for me .

I have looked into getting a government grant to buy one of the downtown buildings for a brothel/nightclub for government officials . They are the ones who have jobs but then the city laid of a few and someone else bought the building .

I guess I'll just have to be content in my present position and hope the economy picks up .

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