Favorite New Year's Resolutions

It is that day.

Time to plan for 2017. There is much you cannot control, but there are also ways you can contribute to a better world. Here are some favorites of mine. Which are doable for you in 2017?

Your Health, Your Body
  • At the grocery store, begin shopping on the edges. Walk through all the perimeter departments -- produce, dairy, meat, deli -- before allowing yourself to purchase any of the highly processed items in the aisles.
  • Cut your sugar intake. I cut mine back this year to maximum two small sweets per day and saw my appetite diminish and 10 lbs go away.
  • Instead of dieting, set a goal to eat 7-10 servings (half cups) of fruits and vegetables every day. Doing so will cut your other snacks.
  • Get up out of your chair, at least every 20 minutes. Walk around the house, the office, get a drink of water or go fix your hair before sitting back down. 
  • Walk your dog. 
  • Commit to doing something creative every day. For me, it's quilting, gardening, cooking, photographing, playing piano, or writing. What would you do? 
  • Cook most of your meals at home. All those cookbooks on the shelf? Take one down.
Your Planet
  • Avoid over-packaged purchases. When you can't, open the package at check-out and burden the retailer with disposal. They'll get the message.
  • Don't buy synthetic fabric clothing. Plastic microfiber pollution is currently the worst plastic problem in our oceans, with millions of those fibers released in every washing. Buy organic natural fabrics or -- better yet -- only used clothing.
  • Buy used and recycled whenever possible. 
  • Fix what's broken instead of replacing it.
  • Spend time every week in nature -- take a walk, a bike ride, or put a hammock up and relax. The more nature you get, the more you'll want to protect it.
  • Support organizations that are working to protect our planet.
Your Community
  • Shop local first. Before looking for what you need at a big box store or online, see if an
    independent local merchant carries it or can order it.
  • Read and support your local newspaper.
  • Go to the theater, attend concerts, visit museums.
  • Volunteer. Give your time and your talents.
  • Greet and smile at strangers on the street.
  • Pick up trash you see.
  • Walk as much as possible, interacting with people along the way. Get out of your car.
  • Pick at least one local non-profit and set up monthly recurring donations at an affordable level.
  • Send one hand-written thank you note every week. Designate a day of the week to do this. You'll find it makes you feel as good as the recipient. 
  • Pick up the telephone and call a friend you haven't spoken to for a while. For no reason.
  • Every time you want to complain about something local, ask yourself how you can contribute to making it better.
  • Be kind.
  • Listen to a child.
Your Country
  • Subscribe to a newspaper or magazine that does independent journalism. Online or print -- either is fine. We will need a strong, free press.
  • Set up recurring donations to the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, Common Cause, Doctors without Borders, the Near East Foundation, or any organization working to do good work in the world. Even ten dollars every month makes a difference. Give more if you can.
  • Call decision makers -- Congress, agencies, businesses -- every week to voice your opinion.
  • Support progressive candidates early and vigorously. Get involved.
  • Write letters to the editor. I just did this morning.
  • Speak up for the vulnerable. Don't look away.
 All of these are fairly simple. Choose one, choose several, or add your own ideas below in the comments. 2017 will tax us all -- some in ways we can anticipate already, but also in ways we cannot.


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