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A fresh year and a fresh, new start

The change of the year is a good time to begin change in oneself. That’s why we make resolutions on New Year’s Day, because it makes for such a great starting point.

A lot of people — myself included — don’t believe in making promises for change specifically on Jan. 1. If we see something within ourselves, say, on March 5 or Sept. 29, then we should work to try to change it then, instead of waiting for Jan. 1 to roll around.

The problem is that we put off trying to make changes in ourselves, especially when it is changing something we enjoy doing that is not good for us and start doing something we don’t like as much that is good for us. So, we put it off and put it off, and when New Year’s Day comes, we say, “OK, to start the new year, I’m going to change.” That usually lasts a few weeks, maybe as long as a month or two.

God bless anyone who has kept such a resolution all year long. They have more inner strength than most people.

Part of the problem with keeping resolutions is that we make them too big to do all at once. We pledge to quit smoking or lose X-amount of pounds, then try to jump into it with both feet and find that it was too large a distance to make in one big jump.

If you want to make a resolution for yourself, try to make it something you can do gradually or within your grasp at the first step.

I don’t know if quitting smoking falls in that category. My dad quit smoking all at once, while others need a multi-step system. The point is, try to make it something fairly doable.

Try to smile more, especially to other people. Most people don’t realize that a non-smile looks like a frown or a scowl. Do something for somebody else, even something small. A resolution to help oneself can easily include helping others as well.

Whatever you decide to do for yourself — or to yourself — in the coming year, I hope you find 2010 to be a happy and successful year. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you in 2010, and just think: there are only 356 shopping days ’til Christmas!

David B. Snow is the managing editor of the Demopolis Times.