Commentary: Take small steps to create big results

If 2018 was not a good year for you, or if 2017 was just as bad for that matter, Jan. 1 is your day.

Or if you are a procrastinator like me and usually sleep till noon on the first, Jan. 2 may be your day.

The beginning of the year should be declared National Reset Button Week. Or it can be called Reboot Day, Restart Day, Do-over Day, or New Leaf Turning Day. Whatever you want to call it, this is the time to start over again, but on the right foot this time.

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Is 2019 the year that we can finally embrace that disciplined exercise regimen and drop those pounds we’ve been trying to lose for years?

Will 2019 be the year that we get the house, cupboards, garage, closets, or basement organized? Will the donation bins be overflowing at local non-profits? Will “out with the old and in with the new” become reality?

Will this be the year that some of us stop smoking or drinking too much? It could be.

I wish all the power in the world for those who make those large life changing New Year’s resolutions.

We have such good intentions at the beginning of the year, but after a week or two the reality starts to tarnish most of those shiny New Year’s resolutions. Rarely does such a noble resolution last even one month, and we are depressed by our failure.

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I’ve been thinking that perhaps we need to look at this all differently. Instead of biting off more than we can chew, maybe we need to nibble like mice at our problems to make them go away.

What if we look at these life changing resolutions just one month at a time? What if our goal is just to exercise more this month than last and to be determined to weigh less on Feb. 1 than Jan. 1? What if we tackle our clutter one closet at a time and take pride in each small accomplishment? If we reduce the number of cigarettes or beers or amount of sugar in our diet each month, we should pat ourselves on the back and press on to the next goal.

Wouldn’t even a little bit of improvement be good in our lives? Then we work on another level of improvement for the month of February.

Multiplying that small improvement by 12 would be better than a broken overwhelming New Year’s Resolution that was destined to fail and sap our self confidence.

A failure during one month can be reset at the beginning of the next month and the year, as a whole, can still turn out in the positive column.

Setting general short term goals just might work.

The key terms here are the words “more” or “less.” I just want to be moving in the right direction; more of the good, less of the bad.

I’m going to move more, be more active, gradually increase my number of steps from week to week, and month to month.

I want to weigh less each month, just “less.”

I’ll be recycling more and trying to reduce our weekly trash pickup.

I want to volunteer more and help my church, local non-profit organizations, clubs, schools or groups. If we all help out more, our favorite events, and festivals will be able to continue year after year. We will continue to help the disadvantaged. We have to give of ourselves. It is essential.

I’m going to pray more and make it to church more often.

It just seems like the world has been accelerating on its own slippery slope lately and I want to do things that encourage people. After all we are in this lifeboat together.

If you like what a local politician or public servant is doing, let them know. They will be shocked to get positive reinforcement. Same goes for teachers, bus drivers, and receptionists. Make them smile.

I want to do more things that matter this year; lots of little things that add up. My list includes; checking more often on lonely neighbors and friends, opening the door for strangers, smiling at the checkout clerk, picking a piece of trash up from the sidewalk and dropping it in the nearest refuse bin, letting someone merge in traffic, tipping a fair amount, allowing a busy mom to go ahead of me in line at the grocery, etc. I hope to send more get well cards and bake more brownies, for others that is.

Will you join me in making Clark County more positive in 2019? Lots of little good deeds add up and Clark County will be an even better place to live when 2020 begins.

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