Most New Year’s resolutions are made as jokes, and broken within hours after the holiday has faded away. However, for someone who takes a few serious moments to consider the benefits of sincere resolutions, the year can be happy and productive. Some examples may help those who are still pondering about making those promises to themselves.
1. Be a citizen: Get involved in your community. Get rid of the idea that you’re a voting member of a political party, and you’ll never consider passing over that line. Considering the sad state of our current government, the only way to clear out the mess if each citizen works together. Participate in local, state or national politics this year. That’s our first line of defense to keep America free.
2. Help others: If you’ve been fortunate with your family, job, friendships and other benefits of living in our society, make a resulution this year to help who haven’t been as lucky. Volunteer at the local hospital, help serve meals at the downtown homeless shelter, coach a bunch of inner-city kids in sports. You’ll find that your willingness to help will bring rewards back to you in the form of love and appreciation.
3. Spend quality time with your family: You may feel you’re just too busy trying to make a decent living in a shaky economy. If you really think about it, your spouse and kids are much more important than going out to work every day. Make some precious time for them, and your loving memories will be more endearing and valuable as the years go by.
4. Quit that filthy habit: Of course, you’ve made the New Year’s resolution to quit smoking every year for the past dozen. Maybe your determination lasted more than just a few days, but by the end of last year, you found yourself puffing day and night on those killer cigarettes. Unless you’re satisfied to live a short, coughing life, make this year when you’ll give your smeared lungs a chance to breathe free again.
5. Firm up that sagging body: Don’t blame the mirror for looking back at you with a sneer. Make this year the one where you’ll fight back and firm up. Set up a regular regimen of daily exercise, whether it’s sweating in the gym or just jogging in the early morning air. You’ll not only look more fit, but people will look at you with the kind admiration you haven’t experienced since the senior prom.
6. Bye bye, all kinds of pie: Get on the scale, and if it groans, this is the year when you’re determined to make it chuckle with happiness. You may go one one of those TV diets and hope you’ll soon look like Donny or Marie. The simpler and less expensive solution is to try one simple exercise. Once you’ve eaten one modest helping of a low-fat, low-calorie meal, place your hands on the table, push your chair away, get up and eat nothing until your next modest meal.
7. Laugh your butt off: Your resolution to shed the pounds is admirable, but you don’t have to be a sourpuss about it. Laughter is the best remedy for almost everything, including everyday stress and the blues in the night. Go out to a comedy club, rent a Marx Brothers DVD or watch “Singin’ in the Rain” for the umpteenth time.
8. Toss away the bottles, both little ones of pills and big ones of booze: Some modest drinking is OK, a glass of vino before bedtime, an occasional drink at dinnertime or a cocktail when you’re invited to a party. However, if you’ve finally realized the big or little bottle has taken control of your life, make a resolution to cut back or quit totally this year. If you need it, get valid medical and psychological help, and break the addiction before it does more damage to you.
9. Pay off those bills: If you’ve finally realized that having five credit cards does not mean you have five more free ways to spend, it’s time for a New Year’s resolution. Sit down yourself or with a smart accountant and determine why your monthly bills keep piling up. First, put the brakes on your spending. When you hand over your credit card at all the stores and fancy restaurants, realize the bills will come in as real money, and you have to pay them. Put yourself on a budget, make that old clunker of a car go for another year, eat less at those fancy restaurants and get your clothes at more down-scale stores.
10. Improve that thing between your ears: Get off the couch this year, turn off the unreal reality shows on the idiot box and enroll in an online or classroom course at your local college. Get one of those new eBook gizmos, and in boring moments on the commuter train or when you can’t sleep, exercise your mind.
They’re just ten very opinionated ideas on how to make ten effective New Year’s resolutions for 2011. You can certainly do better than that with your own brilliant thoughts about it.