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VOL. 35 | NO. 52 | Friday, December 30, 2011

Make the most of your 2012 resolutions

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It’s a new year, which means it is time for fresh starts, new goals, and total re-evaluations of your life and habits. In other words, time for those dreaded New Year’s Resolutions!

Most of us don’t have a clue as to how to make reasonable resolutions, which is why they often fail. No matter how well-intended, we either set unobtainable goals and then wonder why we never reached them or we make resolutions that are ridiculously easy to keep, i.e.: breathing. Hopefully, that one will come easy for all us this next year!

It’s not easy to make a resolution and stick to it, so make sure you are truly dedicated to your goals. Once you have your goal in mind, shape a plan of success around it. Meaningless expressions: save money, be happy, get in shape; these are all great goals, but just empty talk if there isn’t a plan on how to reach them. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just enough to give you a starting place. Write down your resolution and the plan of action, and then put it someplace visible to you each day, so that you have a constant reminder.

If your resolution is to lose weight in the coming year, don’t say, “This year I am going to lose 10 pounds a month.” This is failure waiting to happen. It forces you into thinking of the resolution as something you must do, instead of something you want to do.

Make it kinder and easier: “This year I’m going to research different ways of losing weight.” This proposes a plan - you can fulfill the resolution by experimenting with diets, or exercise programs – or both. The first statement sounds as if you are going to force yourself to lose weight by willpower alone.

If you must make resolutions, make some worth keeping. Here are a few worthy ideas that can improve anyone’s life in the year to come, and they are all easily kept!

• Surround yourself with what you love: family, pets, keepsakes, music, the outdoors or hobbies.

• Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it.

• Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

• Keep learning, keep learning and keep learning!

• Listen to all facts before you react.

• Smile

• Give someone a hug at least once every day. There’s healing in hugging.

• Pay attention to the little things.

• Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

• The tears happen. Endure, grieve and move on.

• Stop criticizing, condemning and complaining.

• In your heart, forgive those who have wronged you.

One last note: Don’t measure your life by the number of breaths you take, but rather by the number of times that your breath is taken away. May your new year be blessed with God’s peace and love.

Pecan Dreams

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup chopped pecans

Topping:

1 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 cup Heath Bits O’ Toffee Bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9 x 9 square pan. Stir together confectioners’ sugar and flour in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut cream cheese and butter into flour mixture until crumbly. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle nuts over mixture and press into dough. Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool.

Whip cream and granulated sugar together with mixer until stiff; fold in toffee bits. Spread over cake. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 25 small squares.

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