If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try Try Again

January 4, 2014

Well it is just about that time of year to ask the eternal question, “How are you doing with your New Year’s resolution?” I don’t mean to be a downer when it comes to the yearly attempt at self-improvement, but if you are like me, the grand promises made a week ago are likely to have faded into thin air.

Just to recap, most of us, present company included, pledged that we would do one or more of the following – quit smoking, lose weight, pay off credit cards, join a gym, stress less, eat healthy, save money, find love, learn a new skill and of course the big resolution, stick to the resolution.

Well there you have it it, all the major resolutions, so now the question becomes have you kept your grand promise or like me have you failed miserably in just one week? Personally, I was big on the eat healthy promise and of course in the days right after New Year’s Day I was munching on potato chips, eating ice cream, and downing sugary sodas. As you can see self-control was beaten out by high levels of weakness.

This happens every year as I try to eat correctly but it just seems to be an impossible task. I presume that the same problem faces most Americans who make the grand promises, only to admit that personal weakness takes over and renders the promises meaningless.

Perhaps what I should do instead of choosing the eating healthy option is to promise myself that I will join a gym. My wife has been after me to trot over to the local Y and join the other seniors who religiously get up every morning and exercise to make up for their bad eating habits. But the gym resolution just doesn’t pan out as excuses take over and I keep saying to my wife that I will join the Y soon, but “soon” is never properly defined.

I really hope that you are doing a better job of keeping your New Year’s resolution than I am because starting the year with a pledge of self-improvement is a good idea;it is just that we are humans and humans tend to lie to themselves about self-improvement and never get around to making good on their promises. Here’s hoping that I can
renew my resolution effort come Groundhogs Day.


December 26, 2012

As the new year approaches many of us begin to think about those resolutions that we swear we will uphold. Most of the time the resolutions are about weight loss, ending smoking, eating more nutritious foods, working on long neglected home projects, going to church more regularly, and the king of all resolutions – being nicer to family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.

These are all good and noble resolutions that if kept more than a few days will help us make our own lives healthier and happier. But how about some real challenges for 2013, tough-minded resolutions that go beyond self-improvement and aim toward making a larger contribution to the world beyond our doorstep. Granted starting on a more ambitious path of new year’s resolution takes a bit more fortitude and focus, but change, real change happens when we go outside of ourselves and look toward others.

So for 2013 here are a few resolutions that might make a difference:

Demand that our politicians make this a safe country to live in by taking real steps to end gun violence and the culture of death.

Volunteer in whatever capacity makes you comfortable as long as you are helping others during their time of need.

Get involved in your community by joining a town committee, attending town meetings or simply paying attention to what goes on beyond the street where you live.

Say thank you to the men and women of our armed forces and if they return from war damaged and scarred promise to do something to make their transition to civilian life a little easier.

Take some time away from all the noise around you and reflect on life, love and liberty. Quiet time is the best time.

Remove those ear buds, shut off the IPOD, postpone listening to Pink, Lady Antebellum or Ne-Yo and read a book, any book.

Pray- to God, Allah, Buddha, Mother Nature, the Galactic Force or the Unknown, but talk to a Higher Being who is listening.

Finally, stop complaining about how bad things are in this country and do something about the problem. Remember, actions speak louder than words.

So there you have it, some resolutions that go beyond the norm and admittedly will require a little more time and work.  If our personal life is going to improve, so to must our worldly life. Have a Happy New Year.


Civic Improvement

December 26, 2009

Well, it’s that time of year when we promise on a stack of bibles to reform ourselves and lead a better life. Yes, the onset of the new year means New Year’s resolutions. Usually, those resolutions involve our bodies, whether it is weight loss, exercise or beauty.

Of course we lie to ourselves about keeping these resolutions and we quickly fall back into the same routines that made us overweight, unable to  walk up the stairs or get that 20 something look of the past.

So why not try something different and start small? How about making a point of not swearing at the person in the car who is going too slow; how about asking about other people’s lives rather than being wrapped up in your own; how about trying to do one good deed a month for a perfect stranger ( just twelve good deeds!); and here’s an important resolution – how about not living life through celebrity nitwits and morally challenged sports stars and start seeing role models in soldiers, police officers, firemen and teachers?

New Year’s resolutions have become too self-centered and not other centered. We are all about personal improvement and not about civic improvement. It’s certainly OK to try and make yourself a better person on the outside, but what about the inside? What about trying to use your personal energy for the common good?

Now trying to shift away from me, me, me and concentrate on all the other people on the planet has no guarantee of success, in fact such resolutions may be just as frustrating as losing ten pounds. But at least resolutions for the common good do just that – make the world around you a little better place, and usually make you feel just as good, if not better, than that temporary weight loss.

Let’s face it, those ten pounds will come back soon, but being kind to others lasts a lot longer. Happy New Year and may it be filled with civic improvement.