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New Year Resolutions

Written by Harvey Ackerman, Jr.

It might seem a good thing to use these top ten resolutions as way to explain what will or should
be going on as we enter a new year.

1. Laugh More Often…
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote...
to laugh often and much...
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends...
to appreciate beauty...
to find the best in others...
to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition...
to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived...
This is to have succeeded.

As one grows into old age, all the things we worried about through the years seem distant
and a whole new crop of challenges grow in our garden. We need to lighten up and laugh
more as the pressures of our youth are lifted and we face what is before us. It might even
be the perfect time to create a bucket list of things we want to do. What's in your bucket?

2. Exercise…
Love this remark by Ellen DeGeneres “Whenever I feel the need to exercise,
I lie down until it goes away.”

This probably applies to many of us that are fighting the battle of the bulge.
It certainly applies to me as I sit in my big comfy chair pounding on my keyboard.
Next to me is a recumbent bike that needs my attention. It’s all about committing
to spending more time on the bike and less time in the chair.

3. Lose Weight…
There is no option here. It’s a matter of life and death...
Continuing on a path of eating whatever we desire truly puts our personal health at risk.
Denial is an interesting position to take. The best way to dispel the cloud of doubt and
face the truth is to see ourselves as others see you. Nothing can open your eyes to this
simple truth more than pictures of yourself. You can feel yourself saying, “that does not
even look like me.” Well, that’s how others see you. You are the product of what you
have allowed through your mouth to your stomach. This is not a matter of a crash diet.
It is more of turning from unhealthy foods that are sucking your life away and tuning
into new choices of healthy foods that will take off the weight and make you over
naturally.

Priscilla Houliston is credited with saying “Get your head right and your body WILL
follow! Anything is possible when you make enough little changes.”

How true this has to be. A head decision is required to move in the right direction.

4. Eat More Chicken…
My doctor told me "NO MORE BEEF, NO MORE ICE CREAM, NO MORE FRIED FOODS.
Eat more skinless chicken, more fish, more turkey, more salad, and if you don't like
the choices, be a vegetarian. Here’s a calorie book. When you reach 1500 calories
in a day, stop. You need to start planning your meals, not planning to eat.”

Maybe I should get a second opinion?

Gee, you would think that cows that graze in the pasture all day eating grass would
be considered a vegetable. It’s a hard pill to swallow. Sorry, I just would not make a
good vegetarian. What makes more sense; to eat a small “loaded” baked potato or a
huge plain baked potato? It’s all about making good food choices and the journey
begins with the first step. Learning to eat to live instead of living to eat makes a lot
of sense, so let’s get going.

5. Learn Something New…
There are a million new things to learn about. The old cliché “You can’t teach an old
dog new tricks” cannot apply to since I am not a dog. The internet has opened the
doors to unlimited learning opportunities for fun. Keeping one’s brain active has got
to be a good thing. The information highway is filled with useful as well as trivial
information. Here is a quote that fits me to a tee...

“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and
original manner possible.” - Richard P. Feynman

6. Get Organized…
Easier said than done. In this respect we can all see ourselves as potential hoarders,
needing to rid ourselves of things that will never be used again, and using things we
are saving for special occasions. My man cave is a mess. Stacks of paper everywhere
while a perfectly good computer sits available to make my life paperless, and there is
more paper than ever before. This year the clutter will be gone. Application of this
simple quote will turn my world upside down...

“Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box.”- Deepak Chopra

7. Save Money…
Some folks think that saving money is the amount in dollars between the regular price
and the sale price. It’s not about how much money you save while you are spending.
It is all about how much money were you able to not spend. It all comes down to needs
and wants. A simple but effective way to keep wants in line is to cut out and collect
pictures of everything you want. Over time you will discard some of the pictures
wondering why you ever wanted the object in the picture in the first place.
Placing “wants” on the back burner will help save a lot of money so that
accumulated cash can be used to purchase those “wants” that survive this
exercise. Instead of charging up the credit cards, we should all be cutting up
the credit cards.

8. More Family Time…
Perhaps as a young parent there may be times when you use the expression
“do as I say do, not as I do.” Growing up is hard to do and some of us who may
not be as goal oriented as others might have been tossed around a good bit before
we got our act together. How much better it is to be able to say “do as I do.”

When you have grandchildren, you are once again in a position to influence the
directions they will choose. As you age, use what you have learned to help others
find the right path the first time. Time spent with family is precious regardless of
your age. Learn to spend less time at the office and more time with the family.

9. Help Others…
All help does not have to be financial. Sometimes a kind word of encouragement is
all that is needed, but let’s face it. It’s hard to be motivated if our basic needs are
not met.

Franklin D. Roosevelt offered this bit of wisdom... “The test of our progress is not
whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we
provide enough for those who have too little.”

10. More Bible Study…
2 Timothy 3 New Century Version (NCV) 14 But you should continue following the
teachings you learned. You know they are true, because you trust those who taught
you. 15 Since you were a child you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able
to make you wise. And that wisdom leads to salvation through faith in
Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching,
for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and
for teaching how to live right. 17 Using the Scriptures, the person who
serves God will be capable, having all that is needed to do every good work.

Nuff Said...

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