Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

Each New Year many people go through a massive self-examination that culminates in their making New Year’s Resolutions--- focusing on new beginnings ----issues and problems they make a new commitment to solve. Weight loss. Paying down credit card debt. Getting a better balance of family and work life.

Some succeed; some don’t. But there's always 2009.

Here are the Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions most often resolved, and then some thoughts on how to apply them to your town in New Jersey:

1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends

The State Legislature should spend more time on policy and less time on politics. There are common enemies to both the Democrats and Republicans that should unite them on policy more frequently. The Repubs made an error in dumping Senator Leonard Lance as their Minority Leader. His relationship with Senate President Dick Codey was good for New Jersey.

2. Fit in Fitness 3. Tame the Bulge

These two are self-explanatory. Continue working to get New Jerse’s economic house in order from property taxes, to debt, to school funding.

4. Quit Smoking

New Jersey was right to ban smoking in indoor facilities. The state should continue their efforts by requiring smoking sections at all out door events.

5. Enjoy Life More

More on this at the end.

6. Quit Drinking

An allegory for dealing with over-indulgence. As Aristotle said so long ago, “Everything in moderation”.

7. Get Out of Debt

Duh. With more than 35 billion dollars worth...

8. Learn Something New

Learn from our mistakes. And, uh, end the Iraq War.

9. Help Others

Do volunteer work in your community.

10. Get Organized

Make this a habit in your community. From Stephen Covey:

Be Proactive. Begin with the End In Mind. Put First Things First. Think Win/Win. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Synergize. Sharpen the saw.

And finally:

How To Build COMMUNITY

Turn Off Your TV

Leave Your House

Know Your Neighbors

Look Up When You Are Walking

Greet People

Sit On Your Stoop

Plant Flowers

Use Your Library

Play Together

Buy From Local Merchants

Share What You Have

Help A Dog

Take Children to the Park

Garden Together

Support Neighborhood Schools

Fix It Even If You Didn't Break It

Have Pot Lucks

Honor Elders

Pick Up Litter

Read Stories Aloud

Dance In the Street

Talk to the Mail Carrier

Listen to the Birds

Put Up a Swing

Help Carry Something Heavy

Barter For Your Goods

Start a Tradition

Ask a Question

Hire Young People for Odd Jobs

Organize a Block Party

Bake Extra and Share

Ask For Help When You Need It

Open Your Shades

Sing Together

Share Your Skills

Take Back the Night

Turn Up the Music

Turn Down the Music

Listen Before You React To Anger

Mediate a Conflict

Seek To Understand

Learn From New and
Uncomfortable Angles

Know that No One Is Silent
Though Many Are Not Heard
Work to Change This