(Editor's Note:?This is the second half of a two-part editorial that first appeared in The Democrat on Dec. 29.)
6. Learn Something New. I love this resolution because I'm an avid believer that learning helps keep our minds young even as our bodies begin to fade. This is another wide ranging goal that you can suit to yourself. Maybe it means you research something on the internet, read a book that opens your way of thinking, take a class, go somewhere you've never been before, return to school... ahh, the options are endless and, to me at least, so enticing!
7. Enjoy Life More. What a fabulous resolution this is! I mean, who doesn't want to actualize this? I think we all need to get right on this one! For some of us this will mean slowing down, finding time for yourself or just not always being so busy. One of the things my extended family is resolving to do in 2012 is to have a Family Reunion. We will have 30-plus people and four generations present. We've actually managed to find three entire days when everyone can be available and have selected a location where everyone believes they can be on those dates--Whew! Some may consider a vacation, a new hobby, the addition of a pet... endless possibilities abound. Dream... and while you're at it, Dream Big!
8. Get Out of Debt. For some this will mean continuing to find a job. Others will speak with bankers and financial advisors for help. The bottom line here is 'spend less and/or earn more' so you have to detail how you'll make that happen. It's horrible to be a slave to credit cards and debt. There's a great freedom to knowing that you owe no one! It might be helpful to begin by listing what are 'wants' and what are 'needs' --your decisions may bring new ways of thinking!
9. Spend More Time with Family. For many of us this will entail discovering new ways to stay connected. Some families can achieve this goal simply through being more 'present' in the time they are together. Maybe you've hesitated to join a social network such as Facebook but it truly can be a wonderful way to stay in touch. Our family has set up a 'Group' on Facebook where only invited family members are present and can see the posts. It's a great, quick, private way of knowing what various members of our wide-spread family are doing. It's within that group that we planned our upcoming family reunion. My nephew posted pictures when his son was born. My brother keeps us updated on his kid's scouting. We all shared pictures of our Christmas trees so that although we're spread throughout the nation we could all feel, for a moment, that we were sitting in each other's living rooms. And, recently when my Dad was hospitalized with a cardiac episode my brother could quickly update the site so we all knew what was going on. No matter how good the social network might be, however, it's incredibly important to pick up that phone and actually speak to each other... and better yet if you can be face-to-face.
10. Help People. I believe this is a resolution that begins at home and spreads outward from there. Be good to your family members; do a little extra. Be good neighbors and friends. Be involved in your community. Consider helping people the way those people need help--not always just what's easiest for you. Volunteer, donate, give back! Everyone will need some help in their lifetime. In my life I've already experienced being on both sides of this. There have been times where I've been the donor or do-er, and times where I've sought help and been on the receiving end. In times of need it's a good feeling to know that at other times I've been able to be the giver.
I hope these ideas inspire you on your way to becoming a better You and having a very Happy New Year!