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I was reading the comic strips in the newspaper and saw something about New Year’s resolutions. My youngest son John heard me reading and said, “New Year’s resolutions are dumb. If you really wanted something, you would just do it now.” I thought that was funny because I'd been writing about New Year’s Resolutions, and his point is the one I was trying to make.

In the past, I never felt the need to make New Year’s resolutions. After all, words are just words, and it is actions that truly matter. I know that if and when I am ready, I will just make it happen if I want it badly enough. After reflecting on how last year went for me, I felt compelled to make 2018 better and decided that this year it will be different. This year, I am writing my New Year’s resolutions.

  1. Get fit and healthier: Lose 10 pounds
  2. Get organized: Purge closet, clean office/desk
  3. Spend less time on social media and more time with family and writing my next book

I will admit last year I was not very active even though I have a gym membership. I am embarrassed to say it! The reason I am determined to get healthier is that I’m getting older, and it’s getting harder to lose the extra pounds. As I get closer to the big 50, it’s easier to keep gaining, but losing weight has remained wishful thinking. The last time I weighed 160 was when I was pregnant. That’s definitely a number I don’t want to keep seeing on the scale.

Another change I will make is to limit the time I spend on social media. Being online and getting on Facebook are addicting and cannot continue to the extent they did last year. Mondays through Fridays, I get home from work tired and need to unwind. I sit down and go online to read the news, then I go on FB for a while. Rather than spending time on FB, I will devote that time to writing and talking to my family about our story of coming to America.

Since I wrote my first book and translated it to Spanish, I haven’t done any more writing. I would like to make some real progress on my next book, which I started to write last year. Spending less time on social media will allow me to spend more time with my loved ones. At 74 years old, my mom is still active and works at the packinghouse. She is a busy woman, but we have to make time to get together more regularly.

Another part of my life I’d like to work on is to get more organized. Organizing my space at home and in my office will benefit me greatly. The more organized I am, the more efficient I will be because I won’t have to spend time and energy looking for things. It will help me keep track of my stuff better, which will reduce stress in the long run. Although I don’t intend to hire an expert to help me improve in that area, I am serious about getting rid of things I’ve been holding onto for too long. I’ve seen some of the shows where people suffer from hoarding, and I am so thankful I don’t have that problem, but accumulating stuff is so easy to do. The problem about getting more things is I don’t get rid of old ones. That is exactly my reason for wanting to tackle this problem this year. Some people are naturally organized, but unfortunately I am not one of them. My plan of action is to do a major purging of my closet at home and of my desk at work. If I am not using it or wearing it, it will not remain in my area. My days will run more smoothly if I devote 10-20 minutes weekly to getting rid of clutter rather than doing it all on a single day, which is what I have done in the past.

These days instead of going online to check the news or see what everybody on Facebook is up to, I am choosing to write, clean out my closet, or go for a walk. For 2018, my motto will be “Have the courage to succeed and persevere.”

Enedina Reed is a learning director at Selma High and author of “Out of the Shadows.”

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