Tahlequah Daily Press

December 31, 2012

Changing habits

By RENEE FITE
Special Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A new year is a great time to consider how to improve personal growth.

Habits can be changed one day at a time. Some people stop smoking and save the money for a special trip or gift. Others start exercising or eating more healthy. Some begin a new form of self-expression like painting, writing or learning to cook.

While, in essence, Jan. 1 is the next day on a calendar, for many it represents hope. Hope for new beginnings, new ideas and plans, a new year to make the days and lives better.

Artist Jimmy Leach plans to paint the old year out and the new in.

“I have done this a few times and I’ve missed a few times,” he said. “[It] seems like the years I do paint old out and new in, that year is better. Happy New Year!”

Pam Moore believes it’s always great to begin a new year aware of all there is to be thankful and grateful for.

“[When considering resolutions] I usually go for something like, ‘keep breathing,’” Moore said.

Rachel Younger, finance manager at Talking Leaves Job Corps, plans to be grateful and slow down.

“My New Year’s resolution is to slow the pace of my life so that I can enjoy the individual moments that make it up,” said Younger. “Time is flying by so fast and my child is growing so rapidly that I feel like I am missing so much. I will work to slow down. Will that errand I didn’t get run really make any difference if it makes me cross with those I love when they are just wanting my attention? I know it won’t, and I resolve to slow down.”

Recently, a friend’s father voiced his concern for Younger and her peers.

“[He told me] he worries about all of us girls and our families,” she said. “He said that when he was teaching his children to drive that he always told them that they just needed to slow down when they felt out of control and they could navigate the road easily. ‘If you don’t slow down,’ he said, ‘you will crash.’ He told me that it was the same concept with life. His words settled into my soul and I have been reminding myself of them constantly.”

Getting organized is important for everyone trying to keep up with a busy life.

A.J. Manship, a student in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oklahoma State University, plans to start using a calendar.

“The semester starts soon, I’m going to make it a priority,” Manship said.

Others hope to work on short tempers.

“My resolution is to have more patience with people,” said Monica Sherman.

Being happy with where life is and goes can take work, especially when forgiveness of self or others is involved.

“[My resolution is] to be content with what I’ve got and not dwell on the past,” said Alan Masters.

Healthy choices, especially with all the delicious junk food around, aren’t easy to make, so Mary Everly plans to start by eating more veggies.

Sometimes making mature choices can be exciting and healthy, like college students graduating, getting a great job and discovering what else they can do.

Summer Wilkie, an environmental engineer at the Cherokee Nation, has a resolution that comes with time.

“I plan to move out of my mom’s house,” said Wilkie. “I work here, and she lives in Westville.”

Lisa Timmons Pinnick is working on a personal and business list.

“I don’t have losing weight on the list this time because I never follow through,” Pinnick said. “I’m just listing things I know I can make improvements on and will accomplish. Just setting priorities.”

Lewis Jones said his resolution is to keep doing everything just the way it is and not change anything. He has two more years to be in the Navy.

Also with aspirations of a military nature, Rex Lawhorn’s goal is to get 150 promotion points in the United States Army.

“I’m in the Reserves now and going to school,” Lawhorn said. “I get points for community service, college hours and online classes. And I want to do better in school.”

There are always those who never make or stop making resolutions.

Jim Roaix said he made one when he was 12 years old.

“That was to never make another New Years resolution,” said Roaix. “It’s one I have kept for 59 years.”

Angela Baker-Drueppel doesn’t worry so much about her weight. Being happy matters most to her.

 

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