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Resolving to do good in 2004 - April Avison

New Year's resolutions are pretty stupid, if you ask me. We all make these crazy promises to ourselves but know we won't be able to keep them. By the time February rolls around, we're too busy, too lazy or the diet is just too difficult, and it all goes out the window.

I've written before about how I think it's important to make changes in your life as you see fit, at the time they arise and impress themselves upon you, rather than forcing yourself to change on Jan. 1.

But this year I'm going to go against what I've always preached and go ahead and make some New Year's resolutions. There are three categories I wish to strengthen, and I hope that by listing them here, I can inspire some others to do the same n or at least have a written record to hold me accountable when February rolls around.

The first area in which I think we could all use some improvement is charity. Even those of us who are not wealthy have something to give. We have too many coats and too many canned goods filling up our closets. Why not donate them? We also all have the most valuable resource n time. Just by giving a couple of hours we can help prepare food for a needy family at The Food Pantry. We could help to host a Christmas party for foster families with the Rotary Club or build a wheelchair ramp for a senior citizen as a volunteer for Hands on Henry community service day.

There's simply no excuse to not get involved in charity work. It's fun, it's rewarding and it helps people. You're hurting yourself by not doing it.

The second area at which I'd like to improve in the new year is relationships. I don't call my mother as often as she'd like me to. I rarely make a good dinner for my husband, and I visit with my friends only when I feel as though I can fit it into my busy schedule. We become so task-oriented and drowned in our work that we sometimes put the important people in our lives on the back burner. That's not how it should be. We should nurture the relationships that are important to us, because they don't always last forever, and once they're gone it's really difficult to get them back.

And lastly I am striving for personal growth in the new year. I have a book of goals that sits on my desk. Some of them are rather insignificant, like an aspiration to create a piece of artwork. Some of them require big plans, like traveling to Europe. Some are simply ideas in my head that I didn't want to forget about, things I hope to do "someday."

I hope that someday arrives in 2004 and I hope to check many things off my list of goals. I'm ready for an exciting year, and I invite you to join me in my journey as I make changes to better myself and, hopefully, the world around me in the new year.

April Avison is the city editor of the Daily Herald. Her column appears on Mondays. She can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at aavison@henryherald.com.