Making Good New Year's Resolutions

Traditional New Year's Resolutions are made with your well-being in mind. This year, try helping others and feel good about yourself.

Every 12 months, as the New Year rolls around, we all boast about our New Year's Resolutions. We puff up our chest and announce with all the authority we can muster that we're going to lose weight, stop drinking and partying so much, concentrate on work, and focus on working out more.

Basically-for the most part, anyway-we look no further than our own noses. To add insult to injury, we usually don't carry through with our "Me" resolutions. In a matter of months we've forgotten all about them and feel awful about ourselves.

Perhaps we fail because we don't set out goals high enough.

What if we looked outward instead of inward when making our declarations? Would we then be able to finish the year feeling good about ourselves?

Let's think of a few resolutions that might last a year, or, dare we say it, a lifetime. Resolutions that make you feel good about yourself might include thinking of others instead of thinking in terms of what will better your own world.

Better someone else's world by adopting a needy family and remembering their birthdays as well as the holidays for one year. Be a lifetime secret admirer. They need never know your name. Knowing the sacrifice you make is done selflessly should make you feel real good about yourself.

What about volunteering your time at a soup kitchen. Put your name on the volunteer list and be at their beck and call. When you get a call the night before saying they need your help, and you were thinking of going out with friends the next day, it may force you to rethink your plans, and do some soul-searching. Won't you feel good about yourself when you forget your previous plans and show up at the soup kitchen instead? Maybe your friends could be persuaded to join you!

The Humane Society is another place where volunteers are welcomed. In some shelters the need is so great, a lifetime volunteer probably could pick their own days and hours. Think of all the furry friends you'd make.

Retirement homes and homes for the physically impaired never turn away help. You may have to go through a screening process, to ensure you are who you say, but after that they'll welcome you into their volunteer community with open arms. Adopt an elderly person who has no other family and friends, or who's family lives too far away to visit. Bring little gifts. Bring in a young child or a kitten or puppy and watch the smile on their faces.

Be a Big Brother or Big Sister. Be a Girl Scout Leader. Become involved in your community. Join a committee, coach a team, volunteer at the local schools. Join a service organization and build and fill sandboxes for all the children in the township.

Adopt a stretch of highway and make it your job to keep it clean. Adopt a lighthouse. Plant and weed an elderly neighbor's vegetable garden. Walk through downtown and offer to wash the store windows. Shovel the church's sidewalk, and continue on down the street until you run out of steam.

Perform random acts of kindness and feel yourself grow from the inside out!

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