Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


December 29, 2012

VASICEK: Approaching New Year and its many resolutions

Quest for personal improvement is a good one

Millions of Americans are making New Year’s resolutions. Many of them revolve around overcoming our personal weaknesses. It is easy to condemn others who struggle with a weakness we do not share, yet we expect others to sympathize with our weaknesses. What comes easy to one person can be difficult for another.

Pittsburghabout.com lists the 10 most popular resolutions, and I will add my own commentary in their midst.

1.  More time with family and friends.

It is heartening that people want to spend more time with family and friends. Like most resolutions, the problem is typically displacement. If our lives are out-of-balance (working long hours, too much time in front of the TV or online, etc.), it becomes nearly impossible to find time or energy to make this happen.

2. Fitness.

Exercise is good for one’s health. My opinion is that it is better to walk regularly than work out aggressively and then stop working out. Better yet is to work out and stay with it, of course. Only you know what is realistic for you.

3. Tame the bulge.

For me, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is too much. But – just like exercise – it is better to take off 10 or 20 pounds and keep it off than it is to take off 40 and put on 45.

4. Quit smoking.

Overcoming the smoking habit is challenging, but worth the effort. Between patches and support groups, smokers have more help in breaking this highly addictive habit. They even market “lettuce cigarettes” that help transition smokers into non-smokers. Be encouraged by the fact that many do succeed in kicking the habit.

5. Enjoy life more.

To enjoy life, we need to cultivate a variety of interests, socialize with people, and schedule events or outings. Sometimes we just need to slow down and smell the roses. I know a few folks who have to justify everything they do as productive in some way. It’s hard to enjoy life if you are suspicious about enjoyment in the first place.

6. Quit drinking.

Many people drink in moderation, yet many cannot. Life without beer or whiskey may seem like a fate worse than death. Mere resolution is not enough; most people find that support groups help.

7. Get out of debt.

Getting out of debt is a noble goal; many Americans get out of debt and stay out of debt, but it takes a plan, not mere resolution. For some people, buying can be an addictive drug that lifts them out of depression.

8. Learn something new.

People who make this resolution may have no significant problem with the above, and should be congratulated! Learning something new, however, does tie in conceptually with enjoying life more. I read somewhere that the ancients used to consider learning a form of recreation and leisure. Maybe they were right.

9. Help others.

This resolution also connects to “enjoying life more.” Studies have demonstrated that people who help others make themselves happier in the process. While most people-helpers have religious or altruistic motivations, they find it invigorating.

10. Get organized.

I lost what I was going to say about this one! Only kidding. I am amazed at how some people are naturally into organization and find it a pleasure; I am not one of them. What does help me somewhat, however, is the realization that taking time to organize saves greater amounts of time later. Organization is truly an investment.

According to dailymail.co.uk, “We spend ten minutes every day rummaging for lost items, from books and phones to car keys and even the cars themselves, a survey has found.”

If we have 16 “awake” hours a day, we lose over three days a year looking for things. In 70 years we might lose between seven and eight months of our lives looking for misplaced items (for me, it is my glasses).

Whether you make resolutions or not, the quest to improve is a good quest. My fictional friends Elmer and Emil, along with me, wish all our readers a Happy New Year!

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@att.net.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: You've gotta keep 'em separated

    In my career as a journalist I have served my time reporting on city council, county supervisor and state regulatory meetings, to name just a few. Whatever else they might have been, they weren’t holy places. In the many, many hours I spent there I never felt the presence of anything that might be described as transcendent or spiritual.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: A committee of 10 picked Ind. capital Editor's note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. Anyone who's ever served on a committee can relate to the old laugh line: A committee is a group of people who keep minutes a

    April 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Judge in gay marriage decision is no activist When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn't

    April 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Turner ethics case tests bounds of 'citizen legislature' When a legislative ethics panel meets this week to review the case of House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, members could have trouble finding clear-cut answers, in large part because of the Indiana General Assembly's status as a "citizen legislature."

    April 22, 2014

  • Cleaning up Indiana could be as easy as a bottle deposit Scan the roadside on a drive through the Wabash Valley, and you might spot an empty pop bottle or two. Or two dozen. Or 200. Drink bottles have become our litter du jour. They compose an estimated 40 to 60 percent of all litter, according to the Mich

    April 21, 2014

  • Wolfsie: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It’s a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 21, 2014

  • Vasicek: Celebrating Easter I have shared a few bits of Easter humor over the years, so I thought I’d start with a new one. Joseph of Arimathea was the wealthy Pharisee who is famous for helping to bury the body of Jesus. He procured the body, asking Pilate’s permission, and, w

    April 20, 2014

  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

  • LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review

    Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?

    April 18, 2014

  • Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable

    One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.

    April 17, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller