Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking Forward

At the end of each year, it has become customary to repeat what has happened over the past twelve months. Although it seems a little unnecessary, the media has fallen into the habit of reliving events of the current year, as though hindsight might improve our memory of the details.

Once again we are confronted with a summary of what happened over recent months including who died, who divorced, who said what embarrassing thing. We are again faced with the latest hi-jinks of the Kardashians, Oprah Winfrey and nearly every political candidate. We have the cell phone cameras and inquisitive witnesses to thank for keeping us advised about many such events.

But before we spend time and energy rehashing the year that is nearly over, perhaps we need to readjust our thinking. The evening news tonight contained snippets about the ongoing problems in the Middle East, the BP oil spill in the Gulf, and other stories of which we already aware. Why not turn our attention so that we can think ahead? After all, there is an entire year just around the corner. Perhaps we can take steps to improve the future.

Let's try and make a plan for 2012. Why don't each of us should set one goal to achieve before the end of 2012. Not a "New Year's resolution" which might sound good now but will not endure past mid-January 2012. How about one goal for the entire year? One goal per year seems doable.

How about …
Reconnecting with an old friend
Being nice to a neighbor who ignores you
Trying to cook a new dish
Being a better listener to someone you care about
Taking better care of yourself
Reading up on current matters
Finding a new hobby
Making a difference in your community
Volunteering to help a cause you care about
Learning about the history in your area/state/country
Running an errand for someone who needs help
Redecorating a room in some unexpected way
Living within a budget and saving money
Helping on a political issue
Offering to lend a hand somewhere in the community
Saying "thank you" to someone who performs a kindness

Give yourself time to adjust to this new way of thinking. Adjustments of any type may take a while to sink in. But by the time warm weather arrives in late Spring, you should try to get used to the idea of making a change. See how easy it is for one small gesture or action to send out ripples. You could be the start of something very important. It's really quite easy.

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