(1/2016) Can you believe it is already 2016? I know I canít. This is the time of year when people start making their New Yearís resolutions. Most of which do not last past the end of February and most of which have something to do with self-improvement. Many times it is some sort of a weight loss or exercise resolution. What if this year we all made a
resolution that was for the people around us or for improving the world we live in?
Your resolution might still involve exercise or weight loss, but what if your motivation wasnít to look better but to prolong your life and improve your quality of life for those around you. What if your goal was for the ones you loved. Maybe if you set an exercise goal for your family, maybe as simple as being more active together. You could join a
gym as a family or go for family bike rides. Maybe you could set a goal to tour all of the National Parks in your area. Let me tell you that would be a lot of walking and educational as well. Maybe you could resolve to eat healthier as a family. You could plan a healthy new recipe night. Once a week you could take turns picking a healthy recipe to try. Make dinner as a family
and then you can make a recipe book of the ones you want to have a second time.
Then take recipe night a step further and turn that night into family dinner night. Making a resolution to spend more time together could start with family dinner night. One night a week (and it can vary based on schedules) resolve to all sit down as a family and eat dinner together. You can each talk about your day or your week and enjoy good times
and good food all while making memories. If conflicting schedules make dinner impossible then make a family game night. One night a week after everyone is home and meals are eaten and homework is done everyone takes turns picking a game and you play and laugh and have fun. Maybe board games arenít your thing then make it family movie night. Take turns each week picking a
movie, make popcorn and have drinks, all while watching a movie together. Maybe afterwards you can talk about what you liked and what you didnít.
Maybe you want to branch out from your home to help people; many times you donít have to look past your church. Many churches run soup kitchens or food pantries that your family could volunteer at or your family could do a food drive to collect canned good for. In the spring you could have a yard sale and donate the profits to the soup kitchen for
buying more food or supplies. Even if your church doesnít run one of the local food pantries they are all around you. Maybe your church has spaghetti dinner night that your family could volunteer to help with. Some churches even have groups that get together and do yard work for the elderly in their congregation. Even if there isnít yard work to be done, there is always some
house hold work that people can use help with.
Maybe you want an even broader approach. There are all kinds of non-profits in this area and in others. If you are unsure where to locate one simply try googling nonprofit in your area or check with your local government or churches. There are so many places and people in every area that need help and would love to see a family come and volunteer
together. If you have a busy schedule many places schedule volunteers to help at specific times. An example might be when a nonprofit has a scheduled delivery they might schedule a bunch of people on these dates to help unload trucks or put away food, supplies, or whatever else has been unloaded.
Maybe your resolution could be to change the world one person at a time. Simply said, put a smile on the faces of those you meet. Maybe you will resolve to smile more often. If someone seems to be having a bad say give them a little smile or a "good morning". That may be all it takes to brighten their day. The other day I saw a friend in the drive thru
at Dunkin Donuts. I waved and beeped and she did the same. My bad morning was suddenly better. The smile on my face grew tenfold when I got to the window and realized she had paid for my donut. It was a small gesture that made this lady smile for the rest of the day. These kinds of gestures to improve the world around us do not have to be grand or earth shattering or even
cost a lot of money, they just need to come from the heart.
Letís resolve to make 2016 a fabulously kind hearted and thoughtful year. Letís put others before ourselves and make the small changes to brighten the day of the people around you. Spend more time with family and friends and try to help those in need. I sometimes get so busy I donít take the time to count my blessings and realize how very lucky I am.
My family has so much and I am going to resolve to help others and slow down enough to appreciate the wonderful family and friends who surround me. I hope you all can do the same. Happy New Year!!!
Read other articles by Mary Angel