As we close out this year, we begin to think about 2012 and how can we make it and ourselves better. If you subscribe to all the doom predictions surrounding December 21, 2012 when the Mayan calendar ends and some think will result in a subsequent end to the world as we know it, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenonthen, you only have to worry about keeping your resolutions for eleven months and three weeks, and not the entire year. But for most of us, it’s best to take things one day at a time and simply try to make this world a better place in the present. So with that in mind, here are a few ideas to jump start your list of NewYear resolutions that you may actually be able to easily keep.
- Replace all of your regular light bulbs with CFLs (production of incandescent bulbs is due to end in 2012)
- If you don’t recycle now, vow to recycle at least one category that you now throw in the trash (glass, newspapers, aluminum, tin cans, cardboard and plastic bags). There are many places to recycle these items easily. Grocery stores and churches often have large bins in their parking lots for such items, and they as well as department stores (ie. Target and Kohls) even recycle plastic bags
- Set up a personal network or expand on Grace Martin’s “Angels Without Wings” network, lodeplus.com/humanitarian-in-topeka/graced-to-make-a-difference, to see that discarded items can find a new home
- Resolve not to buy any new clothing (read the article in the December 26 issue of Lawrence Journal World’s Go! Magazine about a woman who did just that. www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/dec/26/woman-sticks-resolution-stop-buying/
Make someone’s life better
- Schedule a weekly or monthly visit to a shut-in or elderly person who has no family nearby
- Make a special treat each month and share it with different friends
- Volunteer once a month to help out at a homeless shelter or community dinner
- Pick a charity and write a monthly check to them, or pick a different charity each month
- Pay for someone else’s meal anonymously when you dine out
- Buy a $10 gift card (to a restaurant, the movies, department store, etc) each month and randomly give it to a stranger or someone in need
- Buy a needed item for a local school each month (it can be as simple as tissues, treats or markers for elementary schools or more expensive items as specialty calculators and DVDs for upper grades. Contact the school first to see what is most needed)
- Make a monthly donation to your local Humane Society (most have wish lists that include items such as bleach, animal treats and food, kitty litter, blankets and towels
The list is endless, but you can adopt one or more of the above, or derive some great ideas of your own. While these are simple to do and not nearly as difficult to keep such as losing ten pounds or exercising an hour daily, they will make a difference for our world regardless of how long we are in it! Happy New Year!