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Sage grass & cedars
by Darrell Thompson

Resolutions Made Easy

Resolutions made easy… the title has to be a bit deceptive. Most of the time when we read about a particular thing "made easy," it is about a subject that is complex, hard to understand or achieve.

Not so with resolutions: the making of New Year’s resolutions is a very simple process. It doesn’t require a great amount of intelligence; just a good dose of common sense to know what will make us better people and what will not.

If you are a little short on common sense or high on self-evaluation, you can always ask your spouse or a close friend for some suggestions for resolutions. Chances are that they have a list already prepared. It is then just a matter of resolving to do the good and abstain from things we know are bad.

An important part of making resolutions is to write them down. Most inspirational speakers that I have heard speak about achieving goals, speak of writing your goals down and reviewing them frequently to be constantly reminded of what we are trying to achieve.

If a person would use a computer or word processor to write down and save their resolutions in a file, they could be easily looked at for future examination. Saving your resolutions to a file in your computer will actually save you time in making resolutions for the next year. Of course the date would need to be changed, but other items would probably remain about the same from year to year.

A common resolution is to lose weight. When making my weight resolution for 2007, all I have to do is add the amount of weight I wanted to lose in 2006 to the amount of weight I gained in 2006 and instantly I have a number to plug in for my weight loss goals in 2007.

Other general resolutions pertaining to spiritual growth, family life, professional development, finances, etc. may not need any changing at all. Of course, there are always the standard resolutions about procrastination, bad habits, exercise, anger management and so forth.

There have been and still are people I admire who seem to have themselves under control and are not noticeably bothered by the things that plague me. However, I think that no matter how perfect a person seems to be, there are probably some things that they would like to change about themselves.

Ben Franklin would be one such person who had many wise sayings and seemed to really have his act together (except for that time when he was out flying a kite in a thunderstorm). It is said that Ben recognized things that he needed to do better and employed some of the same methods of achieving his resolutions that you and I might use as well.

Ben’s method was to write down on cards the thirteen things that he needed to work on about himself. He would keep one of these cards in his pocket so he was constantly reminded of improvement needed in a certain area. The card would be kept in his pocked for a week and then rotated out for the next card.

This way each card would be looked at for four weeks out of the year. Cards could be thrown away and replaced by other things when a problem was mastered or something else became more important.

I have heard of people who were heavy smokers and went into the hospital for surgery totally unrelated to their smoking. But when they got out of the hospital, they had no desire to ever smoke again.

It would be wonderful if there was some medical or magical solution to gaining self control and thus changing our lives to conform to that standard that we hold as desirable, proper and self-fulfilling – in other words, keeping our resolutions. It would be nice to be able to pop into the "Resolutions Drug Store" and have our prescriptions filled to take away all those nasty temptations that have plagued us over the years.

While there I could get my monthly booster shot of will-power and some of those anti-chocolate pills for that Snickers® habit that is starting to re-occur. I’ll bet it wouldn’t be hard to tell when the older generation hit the gap in their Medicare Part D Drug Plans.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2007! May your determination and self-control be equal to your list of resolutions.

Darrell Thompson is the Moulton store manager of Lawrence County Exchange.



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Date Last Updated January, 2006