If you have re­solved to make 2010 the year that you drop the smokes and stamp out for­ever your ter­ri­ble to­bacco ad­dic­tion, get in­volved in a self-help group or per­sonal pro­gram.

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - Bill West­cott

Our Scrib­bler looks at New Year’s reso­lu­tions and how long they last.

It is not the strong­est of The species that sur­vive Nor the most in­tel­li­gent, But the one most re­spon­sive To change -Charles Dar­win I promised my wife Betty that in the New Year I will ab­so­lutely, pos­i­tively re­solve to get organized. New Year’s Eve is a time for looking back to the past, and per­haps more im­por­tantly, looking for­ward to the New Year. It’s our time to re­flect on the changes we all want, or need to make and re­solve to fol­low through on those changes no mat­ter how small or how large.

Did your New Year’s reso­lu­tions for 2009 make it through the year? Mine cer­tainly didn’t, no mat­ter how hard I tried. I have to be hon­est and say I didn’t re­ally try too hard.

In think­ing about this par­tic­u­lar col­umn I re­mem­bered to turn to my good and trust­wor­thy friend, Google. I call him Goog - we are great on­line friends.

Wish­ing me a happy and pros­per­ous year ahead, he was quick off the mark with ten great sug­ges­tions for you and me. “ Th­ese are easy or hard - it de­pends on how much you want to do them,” friend Goog told me. You might wish to cut th­ese out for easy ref­er­ence be­tween now and Fri­day.

Here we go with our pledge for 2010. Re­peat af­ter me - we solemnly pledge to try, to the best of our abil­ity to:

Share more time with fam­ily and friends

Re­cent polls con­ducted by so­cial re­searchers show more than 50 per cent of us vow to ap­pre­ci­ate loved ones and spend more time with fam­ily and friends in 2010. They sug­gest we make plans to meet up with friends for an evening of ca­ma­raderie at a favourite restau­rant or take the fam­ily to the movies or to lo­cal are­nas for hockey, skat­ing and/ or live con­certs. Work shouldn’t al­ways come first!

Fit in proper fit­ness.

The stud­ies are in on fit­ness. Reg­u­lar ex­er­cise has been as­so­ci­ated with more health ben­e­fits than any­thing else known to man/ woman. Stud­ies show ex­er­cise re­duces the risk of some can­cers, in­creases longevity, helps achieve and main­tain weight loss, en­hances mood, low­ers blood pres­sure, and even im­proves arthri­tis. Why not make 2010 time to start get­ting in shape. Get your­self ready to par­tic­i­pate in one of those many char­ity-walks such as the Terry Fox Run for can­cer.

Cut down on that bulge. Over 65 per cent of adults are con­sid­ered over­weight, some obese. Weight loss is amongst the most pop­u­lar New Year’s reso­lu­tions. Set­ting rea­son­able goals and stay­ing fo­cused are the two most im­por­tant fac­tors in stick­ing with weight loss pro­grams, and the key to suc­cess for those thou­sands of Cana­di­ans who make a New Year’s com­mit­ment to shed ex­tra pounds.

Quit the smokes

If you have re­solved to make 2010 the year that you drop the smokes and stamp out for­ever your ter­ri­ble to­bacco ad­dic­tion, get in­volved in a self-help group or per­sonal pro­gram. Even if you tried be­fore and failed, start again! Start en­joy­ing the rest of your life smoke-free. Ev­ery pub­lic build­ing in the prov­ince is now smoke-free. Lo­cally there are a va­ri­ety of free sup­port ser­vices, hot­lines and smok­ing ces­sa­tion groups to help you kick the habit. You should ask your doc­tor for ad­vice. Per­haps he/ she will pre­scribe nico­tine re­place­ment ther­apy us­ing proven and C.M.A. ap­proved prod­ucts.

En­joy life to the fullest

Given the hec­tic, stress­ful lifestyles of many Cana­di­ans, it is lit­tle won­der that “en­joy­ing life to the fullest” has be­come a pop­u­lar res­o­lu­tion in re­cent years. It’s an im­por­tant step to a hap­pier and health­ier you, psy­chol­o­gists say. They sug­gest you con­sider one of the many health spas for pro­grams de­signed to bring bal­ance to body and mind. Or, just get out and try some­thing new. Take up a hobby or try ski­ing or cross-coun­try trekking. Go to the­atre per­for­mances and reg­u­larly check recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties in your area that meet just about any­one’s wishes.

Give up booze

While many peo­ple use New Year’s reso­lu­tions as an in­cen­tive to stop, drinkers fail to quit cold turkey but do much bet­ter when they de­cide to ta­per grad­u­ally, or even learn to drink mod­er­ately. For those who re­ally need to stop, there are sup­port groups avail­able to as­sist. Al­co­holics Anony­mous ( AA) is the su­per star so to speak, of­fer­ing meet­ings seven days a week through­out the prov­ince. There’s also Alanon for spouses of heavy drinkers and self-help ALA­TEEN groups for teens. If drugs are the prob­lem, your lo­cal Com­mu­nity Health Ser­vices pro­fes­sion­als can ad­vise you about treat­ment-based sup­port groups for drug abusers and their fam­i­lies. Do away with debt Was fi­nance a big source of stress for you in 2009? Join the thou­sands of Cana­di­ans who have or soon will de­cide to get a han­dle on their fi­nances. There is loads of help avail­able through credit coun­sel­ing and other such pro­grams. If gam­bling is the source, try ( G. A.) Gam­bling Anony­mous, an­other proven suc­cess if and when the ad­dict/abuser is ready to take cer­tain steps.

Learn some­thing new

Vow to make 2010 the year to learn some­thing new. Per­haps you can con­sider a ca­reer change, to learn a new lan­guage, or just how to use the com­puter prop­erly. Whether you take a course or read a good book, you will find ed­u­ca­tion to be one of the most re­ward­ing, most mo­ti­vat­ing New Year’s reso­lu­tions to keep. Memo­rial Uni­ver­sity of­fers a wide va­ri­ety of learn­ing cour­ses and lo­cal YMCAs of­fer recre­ational train­ing for be­gin­ners of all ages. Re­mem­ber too that most com­mu­nity colleges of­fer adult ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams-some of which can be ac­quired and worked on­line.

Help oth­ers in need

One of the most mean­ing­ful reso­lu­tions we can make is to help oth­ers in need. Vol­un­teerism can take many forms. Whether you choose to help out at a lo­cal hospi­tal, men­tor a child, or pro­vide some fi­nan­cial or other aid to the poor, many non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions can use your help ev­ery now and then. The C.S.C. (Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Coun­sel) can put you in touch with vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tions that can fit you into any sched­ule you like. If you don’t want to vol­un­teer, con­sider do­nat­ing the fur­ni­ture, cloth­ing and/ or other items that you are dis­card­ing or no longer need to good­will cen­tres in your area.

Get organized

As men­tioned be­fore, this one is on the top of my list. I think it is a rea­son­able goal. Whether you want your home organized or, in my case, of­fice organized, there are tips and re­sources avail­able through con­sul­ta­tion with pro­fes­sion­als in the busi­ness. I’m told that get­ting organized is easy but stay­ing organized is an­other big chal­lenge. It is a skill that has to be learned.

As for my plan­ning, or­ga­niz­ing and con­trol­ling - on the morn­ing of Jan. 1, 2010 I will turn to my wife Betty. She warns me reg­u­larly that “it’s go­ing to be or­ga­ni­za­tion or like Tammy Wynett sings D.I.V.O.R.C.E.”

Have a happy and pros­per­ous New Year every­one! I hope to see you back here next week re­solved and de­ter­mined!

Oh yes, and a happy New Year to you too Goog! With this dis­or­ga­nized brain of mine I al­most for­got.

Bill West­cott writes from his messy, dis­or­ga­nized home of­fice in Florida.-

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