Resolving to make a difference

New Year’s resolutions are as much a part of the first day of every New Year as are college football bowl games, black-eyed peas and turnip greens. For everyone who, like me, considers who we are to be a “work in progress,” resolutions help us focus on the things about ourselves and our communities that we want to make better.

Resolutions such as losing weight, quitting smoking and getting out of debt are as popular as they are daunting. All of us have made resolutions with the best of intentions, only to see them fail weeks into the New Year.

So, here’s a suggestion for actually accomplishing your New Year’s resolution this year: Focus your resolution on someone else rather than yourself.

Now before you call a neighbor letting them know your resolution for the New Year is for them to lose weight, let me clarify [and perhaps save a friendship or two]. Look to your community, your church, your local schools and find something you can do to make a difference. Then, resolve to do just that in the new year.

Resolve to recycle at home or at your place of work. Or, if you find the recycling opportunities here lacking, do something to change that.

The needs in our local schools are great considering tightening budgets at the state level. A quick call to any local school or PTO will no doubt result in an extensive list of ways you can make an immediate impact.

Congestion on Shelby County roads is nothing new to those brave souls who commute to and from work. How about resolving to carpool to work three or more days a week?

These ideas will do nothing for your waistline, but they can certainly make a difference. Never be afraid to make a plan for improvement; doing so is good therapy and can more times than not help make our community and us better.