New Beginnings

Nearly everyone loves this time of the year, and why wouldn’t we?  January 1st represents a clean slate, new beginnings, future promise. The snow-covered landscapes reinforce this notion — the white downy layer covers up the bare ugliness of dead vegetation and other imperfections left by autumn after the beautiful colors are all gone.  At this time of the year, anything seems possible, and so we dream, make resolutions, make promises.

I’ve never been one to make New Year resolutions because, quite frankly, they always end up seeming more like political campaign slogans …  pleasant to the ears but short on follow-through. Upon further reflection, however, I’ve decided to commit to a couple of resolutions, given they meet the following conditions:  1) they are specific enough so that I know when I can declare victory or at least give myself a grade; 2) they are within my ability to achieve; and 3) achieving them will make a significantly positive impact on my life or the lives of others.

My resolutions are below.  Feel free to smack me if you catch me not diligently working towards successful completion over the next 12 months!

1) Lose an average of 1.5 pounds per month, for a total of  18 pounds by this time next year.

2) Take at least 6 trips over the next 12 months to places I’ve never been before, even if some of those trips are day trips to local destinations.  Doing something different, like taking a whale-watching tour for a couple of hours, or going to see a play, also counts.  (Note: If I’m smart about how I choose these trips … I could “double-dip” by simultaneously also working on Resolution #1.  Take that weekend cross-county ski trip in the Sierras that I’ve been wanting to do, for example.  That’ll burn some calories!)

3) Get involved as a volunteer for at least 1 local charity.  I’m thinking maybe the local animal shelter, or maybe (if I can talk my significant other into it!) adopting a puppy to help train and raise for a Guide Dog program, something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time now.  (Note:  chasing after a puppy could also burn some calories!)

Happy 2013 and cheerful new beginnings, and may all of your freshly-minted resolutions be achieved!

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