New Year’s resolutions good tool

LEWISTON — New Year’s resolutions can be good for us.

“They speak to our hope that we might grow into a better self in the year ahead, and we just might,” said Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice chaplain Kitsie Claxton.

But the risk of making a resolution, and why some have given up, ” is many of us feel like we’ve failed when we fall short, which of course we do. We’re human,” Claxton said.

It’s better to try and fail than not try at all, said Sister Suzanne Beaudoin, director of pastoral care for St. Mary’s Health System. But one way to achieve the resolution is to come up with small, specific, concrete actions you can measure.

Resolutions that are too big, and too vague in the how-to department, can become a setup for failure. She offered examples.

“If your goal is to become more healthy, then come up with maybe one objective that’s measurable, like ‘I could become more healthy if I exercise every day, or three times a week.'” Or resolve to stop snacking between meals, or cut portions.” If you achieve one of these to the point it becomes a habit, after a few months add more steps.

If your goal is to improve your family life, think about how you can achieve that, Beaudoin said. It may be to play with your children, or read to them, for a half hour every night. Or sit down to dinner together two or three times a week.

To deepen your spiritual life or reconnect with God, a goal could be resume going to church, or start reading the Bible a few minutes a day, or attend a weekly Bible study.

Another resolution that can enhance everyone’s life is to improve a negative attitude. One way to achieve that is to volunteer. If you do, you may see many others worse off than you are, Beaudoin said.

Beaudoin recently started keeping a gratitude journal. “Every night I write one thing I’m grateful for that day,” she said. “It makes you more positive.

Yesterday I had a long day at work. At my door was a stuffed envelope, it was a calendar from a friend of mine.” She hadn’t bought a new calendar yet. The act of kindness meant she didn’t have to. That went into her gratitude journal.

If another goal is to improve your finances by paying down your credit card, “maybe don’t keep it with you so you don’t spend,” Beaudoin said. Or save a little bit of money every week by giving up buying takeout coffee or cigarettes.

“We want to become better people, more wholesome individuals,” Beaudoin said. Change is good, she said. “We want to grow.” But it’s important to think of specifics to achieve resolutions. “We’ve got to do more than set a goal.”

John Beliveau, of Lewiston, Peace … Just
to continually do better at my job,

2010! We asked, “What is your New Year’s resolution, and what do
you hope for in 2010?” Most interviewed were waiting for the start
of the Maineiacs hockey game New Year’s Eve afternoon at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Claire Barclay of Auburn: “To make people smile this year, to bring peace and joy and happiness. That’s why I’m all dressed up. When people see me they start smiling. In 2010 I hope for peace in the world. We have servicemen at our church who are serving. It’s sad.”

Dan D’Auteuil of Greene: “I’d like to see the Maineiacs in first place.” In 2010 he’d wants “a better economy.”

Mariatte Hebert of Lewiston: “Peace and happiness, health with everybody. And the Maineiacs have to become No. 1.”

Ernie Gagne of Lewiston: “My resolution is to lose weight. I’ve got to lose 20 pounds at least. In 2010 I want to see over 2,000 people at every Maineiacs game. I’d like more people to support this team. It’s a great community, social event.”

Sandy Beaulieu of Lewiston: “My resolution is to quit smoking for my new nephew and niece who are coming. On Feb. 18 my sister is due, the other baby is due April 28. I’m going to be an aunt.”

Elaine Makas of Lewiston. “I’m going to exercise every day instead of when I think of it. In 2010 I’d like the Democratic state convention that will be held here in May to be the best convention they ever had.”

Josh Cousineau of Auburn: “My wife and I are adopting two kids from Uganda, so I hope in 2010 to bring them home, two little girls.” Looking down at his son, he said, “That’s our goal, to bring our sisters home.”

Jake Kavanagh of Lewiston: “I’ve got to lose some weight, the same as every year, but this year I’m going to make it work. In 2010 I’d like to see health care be taken care of. I’d like to see it passed and everyone get past all the partisan stuff.”

Judge John Beliveau of Lewiston: “Just to continually do better at my job.” In 2010 he’d like “peace.”

Nick Bisson, 9, of Lewiston, a student at Trinity Catholic School. “I want to do better in school.” A squirt hockey player, someday Bisson wants to play in the NHL. For 2010 “I want to win the championship.”

Theresa Plourde of Lewiston: “I just want to stay healthy.” At 73 “I need that if I’m going to survive. I exercise, I keep busy. I want to keep my home, it’s what keeps me going.”

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