You know the ritual. This isn't the first and won't be the last. Not the first list you read this year and not the last list that I make. It is an annual tradition that sees me through the Winter months before fading off into old routines. Maybe this year will be different. Naw! It'll be the same as every other year. But at least I have to try. Feel free to comment at the end with your own resolutions or successes in the past!
I maintain an exercise regimen throughout the year. However, it normally starts with three to four visits to the gym per week, which lasts about three months before giving way to the warmer months and easy distractions. The workouts become less frequent and then the holiday months set in, throwing the whole routine off track. Maybe this year I can extend the frequent workouts another month and try to maintain better diligence throughout the year.
Every year I start out with a refrigerator cleaning. Bad goes in the trash, good goes in the body. I limit the goodies like ice cream to an ultra small scoop and try to balance my diet and increase my protein intake (to supplement my workouts). Protein shakes made with soy milk and yogurt start the day. Eventually the temptations of junk food cloud the clear thought of healthy eating with the tawdry reward of instant satisfaction. But it tastes sooooo good. Time to tighten up for a while.
I watch lots of movies, but I also enjoy reading. I started last year with Atlas Shrugged, a killer. I was happy to put it down and read something lighter. Reading books help expand your horizons and stimulate creativity. I probably succeeded fairly close on this one last year, but I would like to continue with that streak.
In our busy self-centered day, it is easy to focus on the tasks at hand and lose sight of those around you. How many times have you seen a car stranded and kept driving without at least offering to call for help? For the new year I hope to remember the small interpersonal gifts that used to be traded freely in our society. Helping someone who is having a bad day can be rewarding and brings some civility back to our often sterile society.
I have always encouraged my children to volunteer, but that generally tends to be very sporadic. My wife and I are exploring opportunities to give back to our community with more regularity. We are not retired, so the options are a bit more limited. But there is something out there that needs to be done that has our name on it. We have already begun looking. I hope to find a place to give back in time for the New Year.