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2012 Resolutions

Welcome to the New Year!

2011 was another wonderful year in the paradise I live in. The world is full of problems, conflict, and tragedy, but by comparison, my life continues to be a blessing. There really isn't anything worth complaining about, it would all just seem too petty. So let's not look back, and stare straight ahead into 2012.

As is tradition for many people at the dawn of a new year, I'm going to make some resolutions. Often, New Year's resolutions are strictly a means to try and establish some ground rules for ones life. They are often 'broken' within the first week. I believe that you shouldn't wait until New Year's to adopt the lifestyle changes you desire, but it does have a sort of formal beginning to it, so it's as good a time to start as any. Here's mine for 2012...

  1. Kindness and Compassion - How many times do we step out of our own selfishness and really reach out to others? Really? The world is a collection of individuals living together in constant interaction. If we want the world to be a better place, then why not start by improving our own interactions with people? I'm struck by the words of the late 'King of Pop', Michael Jackson, who said "I'm starting with the man in the mirror. I'm asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change." Sounds like good advice to me. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture. Every time you keep someone else's best interests in mind, you create a better world for us all. No matter how small. My first 'tweet' this year wasn't a "Happy New Year" message. I had seen a tweet scroll by from a woman who was having a tough time with health problems in her family. I reached out and gave her my best wishes. Several hours later, she responded. I think it meant something to her that I had contacted her. I think in some small way it helped her. Was it worth the 30-seconds it took me to reach out? You betcha!

  2. Health - We have very little control over how long we live on this earth. No matter how much we might desire it, our time here is not entirely under our control. But there are some parts of the equation that rest with us. If you want to stay here for as long as possible, I would recommend driving carefully (and sober), looking both ways before crossing the street, staying away from abandoned elevator shafts, and not carrying a lit torch into a fireworks storage facility. And, oh yes, eat right and exercise regularly. They're all simple common sense, but faced with the choice to look after ourselves, we often turn a blind eye. Why? Our bodies are 'machines' that take in fuel in the form of food, and transfer it into energy in the form of heat, muscle movement, etc. Anything excess is simply stored as fat. If we think about both sides of this balance, we can easily improve the workings of the machine by giving it better fuel, and by giving it the ability to tone and improve its output. Both are equally important. Both need more attention. Both play an important role in keeping us on this planet, and with our loved ones, for as long as possible.

  3. Special Projects - What does that mean?'s not just about 'being', it's also about 'living' and 'growing' as people. If we do the same thing day in and day out, we really aren't expanding our horizons. I believe that our own mind is the greatest limiting factor in accomplishing something great. It can also be our most useful ally. If we set our minds to it, we can accomplish anything. And there are, no doubt, countless things that you've wanted to accomplish in your life, but kept yourself from them. I know I have a list of them. Even small ones. I have had an 'idea' for a simple video that I've wanted to create for many years. Too many years. I have everything I need to create it. The only thing I'm missing is enough self assurance to just do it. Perhaps I'm afraid that it won't turn out as good as I see it in my head. It needs to get done. I'm tired of carrying it around with me. Now's the time. On the 'grander' side of the scale, I have a very special project in mind. It involves some dear friends of mine. It could impact many others. I'm very excited about the possibilities. I'm excited about the adventure. I'm also scared. I think it might be what my life has been training me for. But what if I don't succeed? What does that say about me? It's time to find out by diving in with both feet. Stay tuned...I'll let you know, once my toes hit the water.

  4. Time Management - Time is critical to everything we do. How often have you said "I'll start that thing, as soon as I have the time"? There's more time than you think, it just takes a bit of management. Too much time is wasted doing trivial activities. To some, wasted time is spent watching TV, or playing video games, or sleeping. It doesn't matter how you waste it, the key is to recognize wasted time, re-prioritize it, and accomplish something with it. Keep a calendar, a daily agenda, a to-do list, whatever helps. Just stop wasting this precious commodity. I'm not yet having one of those I'm-middle-aged-and-time-is-running-out moments, but I still need to manage my time better. When you look at my entire list of resolutions, they all require time. I'll bet yours do too.

  5. Organization - Our house is generally neat and tidy. At least in the common areas. That doesn't mean that we always take the time to put things in their place. We've just become better at 'hiding' the clutter. The other day, I awoke to find my wife had organized a collection of papers all over our living-room rug. She had worked hard on it for hours. It was just a start, but it was a great one. I started pulling out papers from various drawers and cabinets. The massive filing task had begun! I went out and bought 250 file folders. We didn't need 250, but we needed to make sure running out of file folders would NOT be an excuse to delay the task. We came up with a re-filing strategy and got to work. It has taken days. It's now almost complete. When it's done, we will have accomplished something that needed doing, and we will feel good about it. I'm sure you have similar organizational tasks to accomplish. Now is the time to do them. This year, strengthened by our filing success, I plan to tackle our basement. When I see an episode of "Hoarders", I ask myself, "Who gave them permission to film in my house?" My basement is a collection of all those things we either genuinely thought we'd use someday, or never got around to throwing out. This year, they get the boot! There is a Salvation Army Thrift Store right beside a United Way not far from my house. Anything appropriate gets donated to them. Anything without value gets recycled or thrown out. I want my basement back! And the satisfaction that comes with reclaiming it.

Those are my resolutions for this year. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm sure you've got similar ones. I'd love to hear about them. Whether you're comfortable about sharing, or you simply want to attack a few insecurities in your life in a personal way, there is no time like the present. The new year gives you an opportunity to reflect on your life, and choose those things to work on. We all need to work on something. If you need some help with yours, just let me know and I'll see what I can do. And if you feel like cleaning out a basement full of junk, feel free to drop by and give me a hand.


Reader Comments (1)

Last year our basement flooded. Nothing like a flood to force a major junk clean up! I think the Health resolution is probably most important. All the best over the new year!

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTara

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