We refer, of course, to New Year’s resolutions. Forty-eight hours ago in this same printed space we offered our own analysis behind what makes Cleveland and Bradley County residents want to launch into such strategies of change.
Each has his own reasons.
Each has her own goals.
In a New Year’s opinion piece dated Jan. 2, 2011, we took a look at some of the most common resolutions made by men and women in general, and this includes old men and young women and old women and young men. As we are told, resolutions are not limited by age nor are they gender-specific. So the Top 10 listings below might apply to everyone and to anyone; at least, in the adult category.
Our research three years ago came via the Internet, an accepted resource for both truth and fiction. But in this case, we found the results to be plausible. We suspect had we conducted the same queries for Jan. 1, 2014, the results would have been similar if not altogether identical.
Time changes people.
People embrace new perceptions.
Perceptions become reality.
But when it comes to resolutions, some things just don’t change merely by hanging a new calendar.
With that in mind, please allow this revisit of America’s most common New Year’s resolutions. To heighten the suspense, we will start in reverse order.
No. 10: Help Others. Those whose lives are organized, who don’t struggle with an unbalanced lifestyle and who aren’t suffocating under work demands often develop an eagerness to make a difference in the lives of others. It is called volunteerism.
No. 9: Get Organized. Most frequently, this means eliminating clutter by simplifying lifestyles. It also alludes to taking stock of our personal lives with an intent on prioritizing what is most important ... and then doing it.
No. 8: Enjoy Life More. This one is open-ended depending upon one’s definition of “enjoyment” or “personal fulfillment.” Most resolve to do this by finding more reasons to be at home and spending quality time with family and loved ones.
No. 7: Save More. Closely akin to “Getting Out of Debt,” this resolution has more to do with curtailing discretionary spending. The best way to do it is to open, and to contribute, to new savings accounts using direct deposit if it is available, or to open IRAs or 401(k)s.
No. 6: Spend More Time with Family. This resolution is made mostly by workaholics or at the very least those whose jobs require 60 hours or more a week just to meet work demands. It is also made by community stewards who routinely place the needs of others ahead of their own. For them, the secret is learning to say “no.”
No. 5: Get Out of Debt. It takes a commitment, a lot of willpower, a little luck and a renewed mindset that says, “I don’t have to own it just because I want it.”
No. 4: Stop Smoking (or any Tobacco Use). Today’s health numbers, and rising insurance rates, tell the story. It’s why many are trying to kick tobacco’s butt.
No. 3: Quit Drinking. Some pledge to stop drinking alcohol altogether, others simply to curtail the amounts.
No. 2: Exercise. Some might place this in the “Lose Weight” category, but our findings showed that even the skinny-minis are getting more serious about regular exercise because it can help them as well to overcome stress, hypertension, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes and other ailments common to today’s rat-race society.
No. 1: No drum roll is necessary because it was mentioned in No. 2. The most popular resolution traditionally made by Americans is “Lose Weight.” One website we explored reported more than 66 percent of American adults are considered overweight or obese. Remember, these are 2011 numbers. Googling the same subject for 2014 might show slight variation. But for the record, this goal showed up on every website we visited.
Just as this newspaper does not endorse political candidates, we rarely favor one resolution over another. If we did, we might select Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10. If pressed to condense, we might suggest Nos. 6, 8 and 10.
If prodded further, we would offer No. 10.
We are our brother’s keeper. And life is simply too short to watch others suffer.
It isn’t so much about making a difference as it is just reaching out. A hand of care is always better than two in the pockets.
And when good men look away, it is our prayer that such actions are intended only to find answers in new directions.
We hope 2014 will be the year of your dreams. But as with any year, we will get out of it only what we have put in.
Happy New Year, Cleveland and Bradley County!
You have earned it.