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It’s all about resolve

After all of the celebrations and fanfare end, reality sets in — 2012 has actually arrived. It’s the dawn of a new day. A fresh start. A clean slate. A jumping off point from which the next 12 months will follow. It’s well advised to get a plan in place to help set the course for the year ahead. Perhaps it’s time to (yes, the well-worn phrase is about to hit the page) consider making New Year’s resolutions for 2012.Now many people shirk at the suggestion of anything so mundane as a resolution. Others fear the ambition of such a lofty goal. However you choose to perceive the long-standing tradition of the New Year’s resolution, it has a role in modern society. The New Year’s resolution helps people focus on what they might otherwise not attempt; it offers motivation to those who might lack the wherewithal to pursue one’s goal; it even hones such skills as organization and clear thinking — skills we all could bone up on.The point here is not necessarily what one’s resolution may be. Rather, it’s that the exercise of pronouncing — and, more importantly, pursuing — a resolution can be good for the body and soul. It can also do wonders for the mind.The trick is not to sabotage oneself. Don’t set unrealistic goals (winning the Nobel Peace Prize, finding a cure to cancer, losing 85 pounds — all in six months). Be kind to yourself. Set resolutions that, with work and good effort, you can accomplish (reading every night, earning high marks on a test, donating to or volunteering for an important cause every month). It’s also fine to set goals, attain them and then set new goals. It’s really quite nice to experience the feeling of having accomplished something you’ve set out to do. Progress is what everyone should strive for and something to be proud of. Like life, resolutions can also be flexible. If in chasing a goal, that goal shifts, it’s OK. That’s just part of the learning curve. And that, perhaps, is what resolutions are all about. Those who set resolutions learn as they go, through their failures as well as their successes. Those who watch others’ journeys also learn through example, and perhaps they will do better as they set out to pursue their own desires.It’s all part of the human experiment — the drive to keep improving, to reach the seemingly unattainable, to best our own records and then set new ones. While doing all of this just try to remember to keep it in perspective. And when setting those resolutions, here’s one that should be on everybody’s list — resolve to be productive, peaceful, kind and compassionate in 2012.

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